Sebastian’s former Fire Station No. 9 sells for $160,000 at auction

SEBASTIAN – The former Fire Station No. 9 that once operated on US1 just south of Jackson Street in Sebastian is expected to become a place muscle car enthusiasts.

Real Estate agent Richard Peacock, of Vero Beach, was the high bidder of the .38-acre property Monday morning – buying the site for $160,000.

“It’s a happy moment,” Peacock said of winning the auction, though it sold for more than he had anticipated. He added he had been thinking about buying the property for the last month and “it finally came true.”

Indian River County shuttered the firehouse a couple years ago and built a new station off Roseland Road to replace it.

Station No. 9 had sustained damage from the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 and has since fallen into a state of disrepair.

“We’ll get at it right away,” Peacock said of getting the necessary permits and begin making the necessary repairs to the building. He has no plans for tearing down the fire station to build anew.

“It’s going to be perfect,” he said of being able to display muscle cars and detail customers’ cars and sell muscle car memorabilia.

His son, Shane Peacock, plans to help him get the shop up and running.

“Let’s hope it’s something good,” Shane said of the new business. “It’s going to be a hit.”

The Peacocks were two of more than three dozen people who attended the public auction at the firehouse – though only a few showed up to actually bid on the property.

John Conway, owner of Sebastian Riverfront Condominium Resort behind the fire station, said he came out just to find out what the end bid was going to be.

“Everyone’s going to be asking about it,” he said, referring to the guests.

North Carolina resident Gary Teague came down to Sebastian specifically for the auction, he said, at the behest of his cousin, who lives between Sebastian and Palm Bay.

“It’s not the primest piece of real estate I’ve ever seen,” Teague said, adding that he had not yet decided if he would bid on the property. He declined to say what he would do with such a piece of property were he to bid and win the land.

Fourteen-year Sebastian resident Baxter Coston said he didn’t plan to bid on the old firehouse, but had thought about asking the county some time ago to buy it.

“It would have been great if I could afford it,” Coston said, explaining that he had since picked up another piece of real estate for development.

His vision for the former fire station was to turn it into residential efficiencies, he said.

The Board of County Commissioners are expected to review the auction’s process and outcome at Tuesday’s meeting and could confirm Peacock as the winner.

Auctioneer Karlin Daniel, of Karlin Daniel & Associates, said that he has given up trying to make a guess on what a given property will sell for at auction. Up until three or four years ago, he said, Daniel could guess to within 5 percent of the winning bid. With the change in the economy, though, accurately predicting the price has become a challenge.

“I’m glad all the hard work paid off,” he said after the auction.

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