Good News for the Taylor Hotel

The City of Winchester has received funding approval for the 108 HUD loan application for the Taylor Hotel project. According to the City, the acquisition of the property should occur within 30-60 days. Immediately thereafter, work will begin to stabilize the existing structure (historic front portion along Loudoun Street and the rear tower on Indian Alley) and demolish portions of the property that have collapsed.

Vic Bradshaw of the Winchester Star reports:

A second phase of the $3.85 million project will result in the creation of 7,000 square feet of commercial space, five apartments, an entertainment pavilion and a covered farmers market area. In a third phase, 12,000 square feet would be developed as condominiums.

Completion of the first two phases is expected to take 18 to 24 months, [Jim] Deskins said.

“I think ultimately it’s going to be tremendous,” he said of the entire project. “This will be moving the city toward the completion of City Council’s goal of enhancing the downtown area and addressing a blighted building that sits right smack dab in the middle of downtown.”

Read the rest of the article at (login required).

For more information, please contact Jim Deskins, Director of Economic Redevelopment, at (540) 667-1815.

Community Food Store Slated for Demolition

Vic Bradshaw reported on the fate of the Community Food Store, 319-321 S. Kent St.:

. . . Hobbs’s response provides an answer to why the Community Food Store building is still standing – money to rebuild on the site could not be obtained. The structure, at Kent and Cecil streets, could be gone by year’s end, however. The City Council has begun action to declare it blighted and tear it down.

Read the full article at the Winchester Star (login required).

PHW representatives toured the building prior to the public hearing for demolition.  While the building tells a key story in the development and history of the neighborhood, the cost of the necessary stabilization made the project financially unfeasible.  PHW did not oppose the demolition of the structure given that the state of neglect and compromised structural integrity would make the project financially unfeasible.

The fate of the Community Food Store,  like Ruth’s Tea Room before it, is a sobering reminder that  important pieces of history may become empty lots when faced against demolition by neglect.

Two Structures on Mall Declared Blighted

City Council voted unanimously to declare the Taylor Hotel and the “Blind Faith” building, both on the Loudoun Street Walking Mall, blighted structures at last night’s Council meeting.

While there is no word yet on future action for the “Blind Faith” building, a potential purchaser is looking to buy the Taylor.

In a phone interview, Erik Wishneff said  the development group [Brian Wishneff & Associates] has presented a signed contract to Denver Quinnelly, a Lafayette Plaza principal. The development group still has due-diligence work to complete before the sale is completed, he said. . . .

Brian Wishneff & Associates . . .  is the co-owner of the second phase of the Our Health complex and has worked with Oakcrest Development to manage the tax-credit process for a historic building on Loudoun Street.

To read more of last night’s City Council coverage, visit Vic Bradshaw’s article Council declares three structures as blighted, including the former Taylor Hotel building at the Winchester Star Online (login required).