The former home of the borough fire department may still become a craft brewery, but a planned partnership with an unidentified redeveloper has fallen through, sources close to the project say.
By Matt Skoufalos | April 22, 2022
Plans to redevelop the former Collingswood fire station into a microbrewery have hit an impasse, rendering moot a deal that had been in the works for some 18 months, and which seemed close to the finish line.
“The deal is dead,” said John Amet, a former Collingswood Fire Chief and president of the volunteer Collingswood Fire Company, which owns the building.
Amet said the two sides couldn’t come to terms despite extensive negotiations and a protracted timeline to work out an agreement for the property.
Both sides had settled on the property in June 2021, but the process of closing out the deal dragged on longer than the fire company was comfortable with, he said.
“We’re not moving further with [them],” Amet said. “We kept holding out [for them], and it just fell apart. It’s a shame.”
Amet believes the property still could serve as an excellent location for a microbrewery, and added that the fire company has already received significant interest in its building from other prospective redevelopers.
“I think it’s a great idea, and I think the town is going to be very disappointed when they hear this,” he said.
“We’re going to meet about it, and we’re going to explore the other options that we do have.”
The historic fire house hasn’t been used in its original capacity since the opening of the Collingswood Public Safety Building in October 2021.
Up until this week, both sides had been prepared to go forward with the deal; an application for the property was scheduled to hit the borough land use board April 25.
On Thursday, a source close to the project, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said the applicant had already moved to postpone its appearance before the board.
“We were super-excited,” the individual told NJ Pen.
“There were extenuating circumstances outside our control.”
The group that had intended to open up at the fire station remains interested in opening a microbrewery in the area; however, finding an equally suitable location for its operation is a challenge.
“I believe the people involved still have some appetite [for this project],” the spokesperson said.
“I think we’re going to lick our wounds for a little while.”
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