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The Lackawanna Community Development Corp. has decided against purchasing a former city firehouse because it would be too expensive to renovate.

The corporation had an option to purchase the building at 207 Ridge Road from Sorrento Cheese Co. of Buffalo for $28,000, pending the outcome of design feasibility studies.

But those studies found it would cost far more than had been previously estimated to renovate the building and convert it for residential and commercial use, Michael M. Edwards, the development corporation's executive director, said Wednesday.

Renovating and converting the entire building would cost about $500,000 and doing just the first floor would cost about $330,000, Edwards said. The preliminary estimate for the entire building was about $300,000.

The plan was to put four apartments on the second floor and commercial space on the first but the studies determined "it was cost-prohibitive and not a wise spending of public dollars," Edwards said.

The non-profit corporation spent about $10,000 on the project, including the $1,500 purchase option, but Edwards said he feels it was better to spend $10,000 on the studies than $500,000 on a questionable project.

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