WINCHESTER, Va. - Winchester City Council has approved the creamery building to be used as new office space for Winchester Fire & Rescue, EMS, as well as other city staff.
"We're excited about the opportunity to make sure the department can keep pace with its growth to support the operations in the field," said Allen Baldwin, Winchester Fire & Rescue Chief.
Officials say the purchase of the creamery building satisfies city space for today until 2030.
"There's a pretty consistent theme in all city locations right now, with a need for additional space," said Shawn Hershberger, Winchester City Development Services Director.
Not everyone is fond of the idea. Some business owners feel that they are being forced to move out.
"I think the action in the city in this case shows that one sets a bad precedent and two shows the city is not business friendly," said Mark Stickley, Owner of Runners' Retreat.
"It would be ashamed for 11 businesses to be sacrificed in order to accommodate the city which has other options," said Gina Lewis, Co Owner, Singhas & Lewis Insurnace Agency, LLC.
Hershberger says about half of the tenants currently in the creamery building have found relocation and he is working with the other tenants to insure the relocation process is as easy and convenient as it can be.
"The ones that are remaining that have asked for additional time because depending on the nature of their business, the timing wasn't appropriate for them or created a difficulty for them, we have allowed them more time in the space that they're in," said Herschberger.
The EDA plans to close on the building in the next couple of weeks and start renovations soon after.