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May 13, 2022

Fauquier supervisors support finalizing Virginia National Bank property purchase

Photo/Commercial Real Estate Services Inc.
The Board of Supervisors on May 13 voted to complete the $6.4 million purchase of the Virginia National Bank Courthouse Square Campus property located at 10 Courthouse Square in Old Town Warrenton.
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Staff Journalist
The Fauquier Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Thursday to approve two resolutions to complete the purchase of the Charlottesville-based Virginia National Bank property in Old Town Warrenton and then lease it back the bank for one to three years while the county plans the relocation of certain departments and building renovations.

The Board of Supervisors signed off on the $6.4 million purchase of the Virginia National Bank Courthouse Square Campus property located at 10 Courthouse Square in Old Town Warrenton.

Formerly the Fauquier Bank, which merged with Virginia National Bank in April 2021, the complex will soon become administrative offices that could help solve the county’s overcrowding issue. Currently, the county has various agencies crammed into the Fauquier Circuit Court and other government buildings, which has created logistical issues and prompted concerns from the Circuit Court judges about security.

County Administrator Paul McCulla now has authorization to reach an agreement with Virginia National Bank as early as Monday on purchasing the two buildings.

The county would have full ownership of the buildings at that point, but McCulla said as part of the agreement the county expects to lease both buildings back to the bank for eight months and up to a total of three years. Rent would be $200,000 for the first eight months and $25,000 per month for any renewal, he said.

“The year [lease] on the wealth management building will give us enough time to actually do the planning necessary to determine what departments we can put in that wealth management building,” McCulla said.

McCulla said the ultimate goal is to remove the county departments currently in the Circuit Court building and transfer them to the new campus. McCulla said it’s a little early to know exactly which departments will move to the new buildings, but he noted it’s likely to be the Community Development Department, GIS Department, the commissioner of revenue and the treasurer.

“So the initial review of those buildings will be to determine how much [space] those departments would occupy in those buildings if we were to move them,” McCulla said.

Some of the county departments, such as Community Development, are currently split up between the Circuit Court Building and Warren Green building. The idea, McCulla said, is to bring these departments together under the same roof.

The county has not come up with a budget for renovations yet, but McCulla said it will cost tens of millions of dollars less than building a new courthouse, which was the county’s original intention.

“The Board of Supervisors did a study of what it might cost to build a new courthouse … and the amount came in at about $55 million,” he said. “The Board was trying not to spend $55 million, but much less than that, by essentially buying these two buildings … ”

The Virginia National Bank complex at 10 Courthouse Square went on the market last October for $7.5 million.

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.

Funding for the purchase of the property will come from unallocated capital reserve funds, according to the board’s resolution.

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Minachan · May 13, 2022 at 9:49 pm
I don't quite understand the problem. Why buy and sell assets of national banks? cookie clicker
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