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October 19, 2021

Former Fauquier Bank downtown property for sale

Photo/Commercial Real Estate Services Inc.
The headquarters branch (left) and Wealth Management Building stand on 1.6 acres with 89 parking spaces.
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Fauquier Bank opened its Courthouse Square headquarters on July 26, 1971. The bank and its successor have operated downtown offices since 1902.
don’t know who the buyer will be, but my gut tells me it will be someone from outside the area.
— Bill Chipman, commercial real estate broker
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Editor
The most prominent commercial real estate in Old Town Warrenton has gone on the market.

Charlottesville-based Virginia National Bank wants $7.5 million for The Fauquier Bank’s former headquarters/main branch and adjacent Wealth Management building.

The two buildings — totaling 36,000 square feet — and 89 parking spaces cover 1.6 acres with frontage on Alexandria Pike and Diagonal, Waterloo and Winchester streets.

For tax purposes, the county assesses the property, composed of four parcels, at $6.73 million.

“I don’t think there’s anything similar to it,” said Warrenton broker Bill Chipman, whose Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. (CRES) listed the property for sale Wednesday, Oct. 13. “It’s kind of the corner of Main Street and Main Street.”

The “Courthouse Square” property lies across the intersection from Fauquier’s historic 1890 courthouse.

Completing its acquisition of TFB in a “merger of equals,” Virginia National in April consolidated headquarters operations at its main building in Charlottesville.

The bank continues to operate a branch at Courthouse Square, but much of TFB’s contact with banking customers already had shifted to the two-story brick structure it built in 2009 at 87 W. Lee Highway.

“I think the first natural buyer would be the county; we’ll see where that goes,” Mr. Chipman said of the downtown property.

County officials, including board of supervisors members, have toured the property, but all of them refused to comment.

“The other would be someone from outside the area who sees the opportunity,” Mr. Chipman suggested. “I don’t know who the buyer will be, but my gut tells me it will be someone from outside the area.”

With Central Business District zoning, the property has a variety of potential uses — including office, residential, retail and restaurant, he said.

VNB officials failed to respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment for this story.

VNB President Glenn Rust on Wednesday issued a “press statement” that says in part: “The 36,000-square-foot property at 10 Courthouse Square has been a topic of interest for many years. The Fauquier Bank (TFB) began gauging interest in the sale prior to the merger with Virginia National Bank.

“As conversations have been good, a corporate decision has been made to continue our due diligence and list the property for sale at $7.5 million. Historic Old Town Warrenton has continued to grow over the past few years with new life emerging quickly. As our headquarters is in Charlottesville, we believe the space may be better served for new growing businesses.

“Our team has called the Old Town Warrenton location home for many years and it has served our team, the community, and our shareholders well. We look forward to watching Historic Old Town Warrenton continue to grow.”

VNB Director of Retail Abbie Ford added: “The possibilities for the current Old Town Warrenton location are endless. However, regardless of what the future holds for the building, our Old Town Warrenton valued associates will serve clients at other nearby branch locations.”

The Fauquier Bank opened its Courthouse Square headquarters on July 26, 1971.

VNB has yet to change the signs on the 11 former TFB branches in Fauquier and Prince William.

But, if the Charlottesville bank closes the Old Town branch, it would end a downtown operation that dates to 1902.

The Fauquier Bank started March 7 that year in rented space at 7 Culpeper St. with $25,000 in local capital.

On Sept. 23, 1925, it opened the building at Hotel and Court streets — built at a cost of $69,850.

The bank and the late Edward L. Stephenson donated that building, then valued at $150,000, to the Town of Warrenton on April 10, 1973. Town Hall remained there until last year, when Warrenton’s government moved to the former BB&T building at 21 Main St.

The Fauquier Bank opened the four-story, 16,100-square-foot Wealth Management Building, a $2-million project, in September 1988.

The three-level main building totals 19,900 square feet.

Both structures have undergone recent renovations, Mr. Chipman said.

Contact Editor “Lou” Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.
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