Sale sought for town hall

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The site of the Kenbridge Town Hall and Community Center on 511 E. Fifth Ave. has no potential buyers currently, Town Manager Robyn Fowler confirmed.

The property, built in 1922 and the former site of Kenbridge High School, was put up for sale earlier this year. The real estate company heading the property sale is Divaris Real Estate Inc., based in Richmond.

The property is a little more than an acre, and the building covers 20,000 square feet, a brochure from Divaris Real Estate cited. The building has two stories with a partially finished basement. It has an auditorium in addition to numerous office and classroom spaces.

The property is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register as Kenbridge High School, the brochure cited.

Fowler said in an email Nov. 20 that the property has been under discussion at the Commonwealth Regional Council.

“I am not aware of any potential buyers at this time,” Fowler said.

The property was also discussed during the Nov. 21 Town Council meeting. Fowler said the real estate company has been working on advertising the property in area newspapers.

She said one person had looked at the building Monday, Nov. 20.

“I think he was looking more to do apartments, and he said ‘This is too nice of a building to do that,’” Fowler said. “At least we’ve had one interest.”

Fowler said Tuesday morning that the decision was made following a discussion during October’s Town Council meeting to move forward on selling the property.

She said the for sale sign outside of the community center was placed a few weeks ago.

She said the decision to sell the property was due to the size of the building, which she said is too large.

The Town Council and the Kenbridge Police Department currently occupy the building, Fowler said, but there has not been interest from the community in renting space within the building.

“There is a lot of maintenance for a big, empty building,” Fowler said.

She noted that the Town Council and the Kenbridge Police Department may be willing to negotiate with the buyer to continue to rent the space, meaning that if the property is bought she said the council and department may not have to move locations.

While the building is currently for sale, Fowler said the council and police department plan to stay where they are.

“We’re not planning on moving out and leaving an empty building,” Fowler said.

The status of the former Kenbridge High School Gymnasium was also discussed during the Tuesday, Nov. 21, meeting.

Fowler said Stephen Israel, who had initially offered a bid of $5,000 to purchase the property at 533 E. Fifth Ave., rescinded the offer for the building.