The city purchased the former site of American Freight at 680 Sunbury Road early in 2022 for just under $4 million. The plan is to turn the 29,000 square foot building into Delaware’s 5th fire station and department headquarters.
This will be the first of Delaware’s fire stations to be designed within an existing building. The building will undergo an extensive interior renovation. This will include the addition of office space, sleeping quarters a kitchen, and a dayroom. There are also plans for a 100-seat auditorium that could be used for training and public events.
A new equipment bay will be constructed, replacing a portion of the existing building.
The new headquarters will host 30 administrative personnel and the new fire station will house 14 employees, including four staffed apparatus, additional reserve vehicles and support trailers.
“Right now., headquarters staff is spread out among our four stations due to restrictions in size. It makes it really hard for people who need to work together, to work together,” said Interim Fire Chief Tim Pyle. “There’s really and truly time wasted traveling back and forth. So, this would bring all of our headquarters together.”
According to the city, the addition of a fifth fire station will help keep response times for the east side of the city down. Portions of the city that will eventually be served by station 305 currently have response times greater than six minutes. It will become especially important with new development along Glenn Parkway, Curve Road and Pollock Road.
“As this area continues to grow and develop, it’s really important that we get additional capacity,” said development planner Anna Kelsey during Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting.
Station 305 will be the city’s second fire station east of U.S. 23. Station 304 is located along Cheshire Road.
The property is currently being borrowed as a temporary station by the Tri-Township Fire Department. That department is in the process of moving due to the Point construction project.
The Planning Commission voted to approve a conditional use permit and a development plan exception for the fire station.