A proposal on the table for the city of North Charleston to donate a building and property worth more than $200,000. It’s the oldest fire station in city, and the city council will consider donating the property to a local non-profit in an effort to revitalize the area along Reynold’s Avenue. The proposal suggests giving the building to The Sustainability Institute.
Executive Director of The Sustainability Institute, Bryan Cordell, says, “We are training the at-risk young adults and military service veterans in energy efficiency technologies and they actually perform work on low income homes in the community.”
They install energy-friendly upgrades to bring down electric costs for low-income families, many who live in North Charleston. The Sustainability Institute says moving their office to the old fire house means they are closer to the community they serve.
Cordell says, “A lot of the individuals we recruit as a part of our program are from communities within the city and perform work on houses in this neighborhood , the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood, as well as surrounding areas around the community, so this is perfect for us.”
Reynolds Avenue is filled with vacant buildings, including the fire station, so The Sustainability Institute moving in would help the city make strides in revitalizing the area.
City of North Charleston Project Manager, Adam MacConnell, says, “We believe this would help us breathe a little bit more life in there and get some more traffic in there.”
While the building is sturdy, the interior needs some help. The Sustainability Institute predicts a couple hundred thousand dollars in renovation costs. Giving the building to a non-profit could help the city fix up this landmark that would otherwise be neglected.
MacConnell says, “The city does not pay taxes, therefore, we do not get the tax credits. So often times transferring a property such as this into private hands, it allows and unlocks additional funding to help with the renovation effort.”
The first reading of the proposal will be Thursday night at the North Charleston City Council meeting.