ANTIOCH -- It's not quite a fire sale, but the city is looking for a developer willing to swoop in and build homes on a vacant fire station property.

The city-owned lot, near the corner of Deerfield and Via Dora drives, has been a popular spot for vandalism, illegal dumping and trespassing in recent months. The former station itself, a portable building and garage used for training, was the target of a suspected arson in early January, Contra Costa Fire District officials said. The fire caused an estimated $10,000 in damage, officials said.

Antioch's request for proposals calls for up to two market rate homes that fit the character of the neighborhood.

"It's been on the back burner for a while, and it's been a negative for the neighborhood," City Manager Steve Duran said. "Hopefully, a couple of nice homes can go there."

The city agreed to the subdivision plans with Ponderosa Homes in 1985, with one of the conditions being that a temporary fire station be built. A permanent facility was built in the late 2000s, and the fire district turned over the property to the city in 2011.

The property is zoned residential, thus nothing else is planned to be built there, Duran said.

A handful of residents who live nearby said Friday that they hadn't heard about the city's plan, though it would be good to get rid of what has been a magnet for bad behavior.


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While most said they were fine with homes being built on the site, a couple said the property would be better suited as a small park for young children in the neighborhood.

An aboveground fuel tank that the fire district used was removed from the property, and soil testing was conducted last month, with no evidence of a major release found.

Interested developers will be able to tour the site Wednesday, and proposals are due to the city by Sept. 15. Interviews would then be held by city staff.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.