Long Beach is hoping a broker can help it sell the old Fire Station 9 location after it received no bids from anyone interested in developing the site, which was permanently vacated in 2019 due to recurring mold issues.

A memo from the city’s director of Economic Development, Bo Martinez, to the City Council said that the building has been assigned to a broker with the hopes of selling the property. The Fire Station 9 site could be listed within the next two months, according to the memo.

“The city is optimistic since we have been successful in property disposition using this process in the past,” Martinez said in an email regarding the potential sale.

The city had put the site out for bid in October but received no responses. Some of the uses the city listed in the bid were open space, affordable housing, a community center and office space, among other uses.

Martinez said that the site is currently being evaluated for price so the city does not have an expected listing price for the site. It’s unclear if the building will remain or be demolished, Martinez said, noting that the city doesn’t know because there have been no proposals.

The 85-year-old station was built by a Depression-era program known as the Works Progress Administration and was one of the oldest stations in the city. However, with the city moving forward with a new Station 9 located just north of the old firehouse, the fate of the building has been in limbo for a few years.

Planning Commissioners considered demolishing the building in 2021 but ultimately voted to delay any action on the site as it sought more details on the potential reuse of the site, which wouldn’t include tearing it down.

Some residents have argued that more steps should be taken to preserve the site given its “historic resource” designation, but city planners said that the estimated $1.5 million in projected mold remediation work needed to make the site safe would negatively alter the building’s original design.

Fire Station 9 is not designated a historic site.

The City Council voted in January to approve the plans for a larger Fire Station 9 to be built at 4101 Long Beach Blvd. The station, which is projected to cost upward of $20 million to build, is currently in the design phase.

The new station will be able to accommodate larger trucks and would provide a permanent home for fire personnel closer to their original service area near Virginia Country Club and Bixby Knolls.

Proceeds of the sale would go to the Economic Development department but Martinez said there is no plan for how to use any money his department might receive from the future sale of the site.

City Council approves plans for new Fire Station 9 in North Long Beach

Planning Commission postpones vote on Fire Station 9 demolition, seeking clarity on future of the site

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.