JGB Properties moving into former fire station

by Eric Reinhardt / Central New York Business Journal
March 20, 2009
JGB Properties moving into former fire station

JGB Properties, LLC, has purchased and renovated the former Syracuse Fire Department Station at 238 W. Division St.

JGB Properties, LLC, has purchased and renovated the former Syracuse Fire Department Station at 238 W. Division St.

SYRACUSE - A young local real-estate development and brokerage firm is finding a new purpose for an old building in Syracuse's Franklin Square.

JGB Properties, LLC, is moving into the former Syracuse Fire Department Station 14 at 238 W. Division St.

JGB Properties is vacating its current space at 7110 Henry Clay Blvd. in Salina on March 23. The 19,200-square-foot structure is now up for sale or lease, says Christine Stevens, a project manager for JGB Properties.

The sale price is $1,199,000, or it could be leased at $8 per square foot per year, according to the commercial real-estate Web site (A link for the listing is located on the JGB Properties Web site.)

JGB Properties has been hoping to move to the downtown area, says Stevens.

"We're really excited about that area because of the potential for the Inner Harbor," she says.

JGB Properties bought the 5,000-square-foot building on Jan. 31, 2008. JGB Properties paid $440,000 to acquire the building from David B. Crandall, according to the Onondaga County Office of Real Property Tax Services Web site. Crandall is founder and president of Environmental Design & Research (EDR) of Syracuse. Stevens said JGB financed the purchase through private funding.

Parsons-McKenna Construction Co. Inc. of Salina handled the renovation work inside the building, which included new stairwells, interior hallways, new offices, and updated plumbing. On the exterior, Parsons-McKenna replaced several windows that had been bricked-in and installed awnings.

Stevens wouldn't disclose the cost of the renovation work.

Given its location in the Franklin Square Historic District, the Syracuse Landmarks Preservation Board approved the work on the building's exterior in a letter to the city of Syracuse Office of Zoning Administration last summer, according to JGB Properties.

Andrew Ramsgard of Ramsgard Architectural Design of Skaneateles provided architectural drawings for the project, while Erica Bernhardt Pigula, the daughter of JGB Properties owner Jay Bernhardt, served as the interior designer.

The interior also includes the installation of a fire pole - an ode to the building's original purpose, Stevens says. The circular holes for the fire pole remain in the ceilings and floors, providing the only indication that the fire department previously used the building, she adds.

In addition, the firm plans to hang samples of historic and current fire hoses in a lighted display case in the building's tower. JGB Properties consulted with District Chief David Reeves, chairman of the Syracuse Fire Department's Historical Committee, to find out about the tower's original purpose.

"He said the tower would have been used to dry hoses," says Stevens.

JGB Enterprises is located at 115 Metropolitan Park Drive in Salina on property contiguous to JGB Properties' current home at 7110 Henry Clay Blvd.

Jay Bernhardt, the owner of JGB Enterprises, launched JGB Properties in 1999.

For years, JGB Properties leased the Henry Clay Boulevard building to the Burdick Mitsubishi car dealership. When Burdick moved out, Bernhardt formed a new company, Generation Power, LLC, which has shared the building with JGB Properties. Bernhardt has since sold Generation Power to Home Power Systems of Rochester in a deal that closed March 6.

JGB Properties employs seven people in Syracuse. The company operates a second office in Richfield Springs with one licensed broker, one sales agent, and one full-time property manager, says Stevens. The broker and agent are independent contractors for JGB.

Stevens wouldn't disclose the company's annual revenue information.