January 9, 2017
Appraisal: Former museum could sell for $574,000
File Photo/Cassandra Brown
Supporters propose a new organization to relaunch a Mosby museum at Brentmoor, which the town council could sell.
• Size: 3.06 acres
• Where: Main and North Calhoun streets, Warrenton.
• Owner: Town of Warrenton.
• Purchased: For $460,000 in February 1999 for development of John S. Mosby Museum.
• House: Brentmoor, 4,200-square-foot Italianate, built in 1859, converted to museum with donations and grants.
• Visitor center: Two-story brick structure which the town built in 2006 at 33 N. Calhoun St., behind Brentmoor.
• Assessed value: $1.12 million total for county tax purposes. Property is tax-exempt.
• Appraised value: $1.17 million for the visitor center and historic Brentmoor.
Should the Warrenton Town Council decide to sell the former John S. Mosby Museum it could expect to receive about $574,000, according to a recent appraisal.
The adjacent visitor center and two acres might sell for another $605,000.
For more than a year, town officials have pondered the property’s future after the museum in Brentmoor, at 173 Main St., closed.
The council recently has focused on two options:
• Converting the Warrenton-Fauquier Visitor Center on Calhoun Street to town offices and remodeling the adjacent 4,200-square-foot Brentmoor for a visitor center, with offices and, possibly, historical displays.
• Selling the property.
John Saunders of Central Virginia Appraisal Service near Richmond evaluated Brentmoor and the visitor center, constructed in 2006, to determine their fair market value. The council received summaries of the appraisals Thursday night.
“We concluded that the highest and best use is a subdivision of the property into two parcels,” Mr. Saunders wrote in a letter to town officials. “One parcel would consist of the historic residence and approximately one acre of land to be used as a private residence.”
The other parcel would include the visitor center, parking lot and about two acres of land valued at $605,000.
In September, town officials estimated a cost of up to $800,000 to renovate the former museum and adjacent visitor center for other uses.
The town purchased the historic Italianate home for $460,000 in 1999.
A $1-million historical renovation — funded with donations and grants — converted it from a private home to a museum, which operated from 2013 to 2015.
Despite a task force’s recommendation, the council decided to focus on other options for Brentmoor instead of another museum attempt.
However, a group of citizens still hopes to see the house turned back into a museum and history/cultural center.
The Brentmoor Trust, under the leadership of Birge Watkins and Bob Dyer, recently drafted a business plan to operate the Mosby Museum.
Document embedded below.
“We are laying out the groundwork and telling the town how we would raise money, what are the options for an agreement . . . what arrangement we would have with the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and how we would collaborate with others in town,” Mr. Watkins said.
“It was basically to say that there is a group of people who have some expertise and commitment to get this open as a museum and . . . cultural center,” Mr. Watkins said. “It’s an option for the town . . . especially since people already donated money for it to be a museum.”
The town council will continue discussing options for Brentmoor in February.
Brentmoor Appraisal summary by Fauquier Now on Scribd
Brentmoor Trust Business Plan by Fauquier Now on Scribd
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BJ · January 11, 2017 at 7:43 am
Cut your losses, sell it, and move on.
susuhillier · January 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm
I am curious to know if the appraisor took into consideration the highly restrictive allowed usage of the home put in place by the easement on the property. An easement is generally perpetual and cannot be changed. It seems to me this would grestly impact the value of the property.
TooTrue · January 10, 2017 at 10:25 am
Thank you Mr. Watkins.
Rover 530 · January 10, 2017 at 12:31 am
Sell it for as much as the town can get for it and allow the purchaser to do what they want. Walk away from a nightmare. The longer this property sits there empty and closed, the more town government appears indecisive. End this. NOW!
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