My article on the renovation and reuse of the historic firehouse in the Washington District of West Sacramento is out.
A Historic Firehouse Reborn
Writing by Thomas Farley
The old Washington District firehouse at 317 Third Street is being reborn as a bar and a restaurant. The once neglected landmark sits at the foot of the I Street Bridge, its renewal just part of the larger revitalizing Bridge District. The News-Ledger reached out to Bay Miry with D&S Development who answered several questions about the pioneering urban project.
What attracted you to this venture?
Our team has a passion for the rehab of historic buildings. We have always had our eye on the Washington Firehouse building and the historic Washington/Broderick area in general. The building has great charm and character both on the interior and exterior and we are working with full force to bring it to life. A number of events are all coming together to help align the starts for that specific area to become the next “hot” urban hub including: the improved economy, the influx of housing, the addition of tenants like “Edible Pedal” in our historic strip center across the street, and planned infrastructure improvements in the near future including replacement of the I St Bridge so that it leads directly into the Railyards redevelopment.
Have you changed the original design which called for a live/work space on the second floor?
Yes. The upstairs area will instead include a second bar area and second expansive outdoor patio and we envision it will be used as a private dining space for special events and catering. One thing we heard loud and clear from the community and city staff is the need for both a neighborhood friendly restaurant as well as a special events space in that area.
Has the West Sacramento Historical Society been consulted?
Yes, we have indeed engaged them to share our plans and get feedback on our intentions and specifically on how we envision bringing the building back to life and magnifying its existing charms. We are working to incorporate the historical society’s historic fire truck, the “Old Mary”, into the space planning. We also are working with the society on obtaining photos and history that we can showcase in the space as a way to pay homage to the history of both the surrounding area and the building itself.
Estimated time of completion?
We hope to both complete construction and have an operator in place and open for business by the end of the year, if not sooner. Construction continues to move along smoothly. There was the addition of a new building on the rear of the historic building and we are working through all structural rehab and rough work right now.
Any inquiries from potential users?
About a half dozen legitimate inquiries but we are being pretty picky about who we ultimately select for the building; we want to make sure we have an experienced operator in there that is providing the community with quality food and service.
Anything else a West Sacramento resident should know?
The rehab of historic buildings is important to our team. These “gems” should be showcased and brought back to life whenever possible. What makes this project even more exciting at least for us is the positive impact it will have on the surrounding community and that it happens to be occurring at the same time as other key factors that together will bring exciting urban activity and energy to that immediate area. A lot of folks have expressed their excitement that something is being done with this building and that they appreciate the fact that there are real things for them to look forward to as far as that area is concerned in the immediate future.
Rendering image courtesy of D&S Development. (external link)