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September 30, 2016

Inn, shops, events planned for Marshall’s “Greenhouse”

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Dan Moore and business partner Dianna Campagna bought the 7,200-square-foot building and adjacent quarter-acre lot for $565,000 in July.
I have always wanted to have a guest house, or inn or something like that. I felt it was the culmination of everything I love – food, entertaining, just being a host.
— Dan Moore
Public Hearing
• Topic: Special permit for "tourist home" at 8393 W. Main Street, Marshall.

• When: 1:15 p.m. “work session” and 2 p.m. public hearing, Thursday, Oct. 6.

• Agency: Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals.

• Where: Warren Green Building, Warrenton.

• Applicants: Dan Moore and Dianna Campagna.

• Details: Approval sought for “tourist home,” including three overnight guest rooms and common room.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
He makes plans for the three-story, stucco building on Marshall’s Main Street sound like a dream come true.

A mix of shops and offices would fill the ground-level space.

Three high-end guest rooms would occupy the second floor.

And, an events hall for up to 75 people would operate in the rear portion of the building.

“I have always wanted to have a guest house or inn or something like that,” said Dan Moore, who with business partner Dianna Campagna, this summer paid $565,000 for the building and on one-third of an acre at 8393 W. Main St. “I felt it was the culmination of everything I love – food, entertaining, just being a host.”

The deal included an adjoining vacant, quarter-acre lot.

Partly constructed in 1800 and the 1820s, the 7,200-square-foot building had remained empty for about two years.

A fabric store called Haute moved to Northern Virginia after three years there. And, for many years, it housed Greenhouse Books, which specialized in children’s titles.

Mr. Moore, an interior designer, and Ms. Campagna, a Realtor, plan extensive improvements, which will cost about $150,000.

“For a 7,000-square-foot building, that probably doesn’t sound like a lot to the average person,” said Mr. Moore, who lives near Hume. “But, this is like the true HGTV show where, because I’m an interior designer, I have all these wholesale resources.”

A “huge amount” of the construction money will go to big-ticket items such as a new air conditioning system, plumbing and electrical work – “things that no one will ever see,” he said. “They haven’t had a permit drawn on the building since 1970.”

Starting with the events hall, the owners plan to phase in uses over the next six to eight weeks, said Mr. Moore, 44.

The hall requires minimal work – a fresh coat of paint and minor repairs to the parquet floor, he said.

With a couple of early-American iron chandeliers, the room should be good to go in a couple of weeks, although Nov.1 seems more “realistic,” Mr. Moore said.

About 1,200 square feet, it can accommodate up to 75 people for weddings, corporate receptions and other events.

“It’s a respectable size,” Mr. Moore said of the hall, added to the building in the 1970s but apparently seldom if ever used for the intended purpose. “You can go to Marriott (Ranches near Hume). But, you need 120 people to make the room feel comfortable. So this is 75 people, and it feels good.”

He has talked with Claire’s at The Depot in Warrenton and Haymarket’s A La Carte Catering about providing food for events at the hall.

“They seem enthusiastic, at least about coming to look at the space and the potential,” Mr. Moore said.

Depot owner Claire Lamborne “definitely would be interested in going out and looking at the place,” said Office Manager Donna Anns, who oversees the restaurant and its catering operation.

A La Carte Catering President Karen Baker believes such a venue would help meet a growing demand for small weddings, rehearsal dinners and perhaps winery-related activities.

“I think it would be a great fit,” Ms. Baker said.

Mr. Moore also plans to pitch the place to Field & Main restaurant and The Whole Ox butcher shop in Marshall and the Front Porch Market & Grill in The Plains.

Hall rental fees would vary according to the use, he said.

Totaling about 1,500 square feet, the planned, street-level commercial space involves little work, Mr. Moore said.

“Simple cosmetics,” he said.

Already at least four people have talked to him about a kitchen shop, gift store, salon and a real estate office for the space.

“That’s zero, advertising, zero marketing,” Mr. Moore added.

Planned leasing rates of $17 to $19 per square foot annually may include utilities.

“If it’s a salon, with all that water and electricity for blowers, no,” Mr. Moore said.

He believes a women’s dress shop, possibly an “extension” of a Warrenton or Middleburg store, may hold great promise on Main Street.

Mr. Moore has no prospects. “But, they don’t know we’re here. I’d like to reach out.”

He also toys with opening a home furnishings store, with a partner, in his building.

Given the hundreds of approved homes for Marshall, he believes the Northern Fauquier village will be ripe for such a store.

A home furnishings store also would give him a “new level of exposure,” said Mr. Moore, who began his interior design career in 2002 and opened his firm nine years ago. “This is kind of saying, ‘We think we’re great, and we hope you do, too. And, we’re going to come to Main Street, and let’s see what happens’.”

But, he quickly adds with a laugh: “It could also be a dress shop in there.”

Improvements for the inn include remodeling three guest rooms and installing three bathrooms on the second floor and one on the first floor.

A “common room” would feature a couple of sofas, a couple of tables with chairs and an area where a continental breakfast might be available to guests.

Or, breakfast could be a croissant or a muffin and juice on a tray outside of guest room doors, Mr. Moore said.

Either way, he hopes to arrange breakfast through Marshall’s Red Truck Bakery.

No food will be prepared onsite, Mr. Moore said.

Partly for effect, some of the building’s aesthetic defects will remain intact.

“Whether the ceiling is undulating because it’s an inch of plaster, that I wasn’t so worried about,” Mr. Moore explained. “That’s part of the rural experience. And, coming and staying in an old house like this, is that not everything is plumb. We didn’t want to correct everything. What will be perfect are the appointments and the furnishings. We’ll put in beautiful things.”

Rooms vary in size. Weekend rates for two nights will range from $450 to $550. Weekly rates for seven nights will range from $1,400 to $1,500.

The guest rooms’ proposal requires special permit approval by Fauquier’s board of zoning appeals.

The BZA will hold a public hearing on the request Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Warren Green Building in Warrenton.

Whole Ox co-owner Derek Luowiak believes for now that Marshall has enough food establishments.

But, adding the retailers and “specialty shops” Mr. Moore and Ms. Campagna have in mind would be a boost to Main Street.

“The more we diversify, the better,” Mr. Luowiak he said. “People can come out for a day of eating and a day of shopping.”

And, the inn would allow visitors to spend more time and money in the area, Mr. Luowiak suggested.

“Having people being able stay for the night is a good thing,” he said. “It brings them out for the weekend.”

“I love that people are willing to invest in Marshall and do something creative,” Marshall Business and Residents Association President Chris Robinson said of plans for the Greenhouse Building. “I think something like that would be great.”

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Silii · October 5, 2016 at 7:20 am
Marshall is full of energy and excitement about expansions, new restaurants, shops. Why doesn't Main St. Warrenton have such excitement? I like Main St. Warrenton, the shops, but it just seems the shops are always struggling or getting in trouble for not having wood signs, parking difficulties, empty storefronts and boring, overpriced restaurants, except Claire's at the Depot. Diners head to The Plains, and now Marshall, for a decent restaurant. The downside is Marshall will face serious parking and traffic problems.
Jim Griffin · October 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Smart move, good people -- Marshall is alive with commerce and can likely support a synergistic business like this. It could support another restaurant or two, perhaps an Asian noodle/soup shop with ramen and pho, maybe a small sushi shop. Marshall is once again relevant, its streets teeming with vehicles, now drawn off 66 with the prospect of good eats.
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