Historic fire station will be saved

Historic fire station will be saved

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 12 at 5:42 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A century-old fire station in South End will be saved from the wrecking ball.

The former Fire Station No. 2 at 1212 South Boulevard was scheduled for demolition, but owner Marcel Stark announced Wednesday afternoon that a private deal had been struck to save the building.

"To say the least the last 24 hours has been an emotional rollercoaster of offers," said Stark. "I'm happy to announce the building will be preserved."

Stark said the building will be redeveloped and redesigned for a new business entity.

"We're thrilled with the outcome here," said Michael Smith of Charlotte Center City Partners. "Charlotte has such a limited inventory of historic buildings that are over 100 years old. This is a real treasure for us."

The building had been in jeopardy after Stark struck a deal with Leo Balestreiri, a Florida-based developer, that signed a contract to buy the property for about $1.4 million under the condition that the lot was cleared before the sale is finalized.

After hearing about the news, the community rallied to save the firehouse, sending e-mails to Stark and starting an online campaign through Facebook.

"I think these kinds of grassroots efforts are a great tool for people to come together and express their emotions about privately owned assets," Smith said.

Stark said the community deserved thanks.

"The community of Charlotte -- they've really come around and provided ton of support," Stark said. "Their voice has been heard drastically, not to mention the 6,000 e-mails I've received in the last 14 days."

Stark wouldn't go into details about the private financing that saved the fire station, but says a new business will be in the South Boulevard location in the next four months.

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