A property purchased by the town of Purcellville in 2010 adjacent to the Fireman’s Field complex will be sold.

At the Jan. 12 Town Council meeting, council members discussed the Pullen House, located at 301 S. 20th St., which was purchased for $175,000 in 2010 as a strategic asset for additional space for parks and recreation activities, according to Dale Lehnig, the town’s director of Engineering, Planning and Development.

Since the purchase of the property, the building and half-acre lot have been left unused and the building has deteriorated, according Lehnig’s report.

Lehnig recommended that town council make a decision regarding the property as it poses a liability and safety hazard in its current condition. She said the property can be sold at a price between $310,000 and $330,000 based on comparable sales in the area.

She provided three options: either sell the property through a sealed bid or through a real estate agent, or demolish the building at an estimated cost to the town of $70,000.

Amie Ware, who works for the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, explained that she believed the property would be a “great addition” to the town’s park assets.

“Our vision is to create a town center with regular and more frequent activities. This would be the hub of Purcellville. We would like more open park space for residents to use for outdoor recreation,” Ware said.

She proposed demolishing the building and working with Boy Scout troops to build picnic tables as the town proceeds with plans and options for the property. Ware suggested building a skate park on the property, which she said has been recommended in the past.

“We feel the property would be a wonderful extension of the Fireman’s Field complex and it is in a walkable area. If we sell it, the asset is gone. If we keep it to use as park space, it becomes another wonderful town asset,” Ware said.

Councilmembers spoke mostly in favor of selling the property.

Councilman Chris Bertaut said originally he thought there were a lot of good uses, but he has changed his opinion, based on the “serious issues” with the structure.

“We would find the highest and best use by selling it, preferably by sealed bid. There is space around Fireman’s Field for these other uses,” he said.

Councilman Stanley Milan said he agreed with Bertaut, adding, “My mind says sell it and use the funds to develop something else.”Councilman Tip Stinnette questioned the estimated value of $310,000 to $330,000 for the property as being undervalued. He suggested demolishing the building and selling it sometime in the future when the town could obtain a higher price.

“The value is only going to go up based on where it is situated. I think it is undervalued because of the front end cost of demolishing the existing structure. But I do understand the imperative to do something with the property, and I’m ambivalent whether or not we sell the property, but I do think we need to do something,” he said.

Councilman Ted Greenly said he sees the value in keeping the property, but he understands “financial times are hard.”

Vice Mayor Mary Jane Williams agreed with Stinnette’s idea to keep the property until it can be sold at a higher profit.

“It gives kids a place to do outside work and more open air space,” she said.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser said the property should be sold.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser said the property should be sold.

“Given the financial situations we are faced with, I think it’s time to sell that asset and put it on our tax roll,” Fraser said. “The last thing we need in Purcellville is another park. We have a lot of under-utilized park assets, the basketball courts at Emerick are always empty.

In the end, council members voted unanimously to direct staff to proceed with preparing a sealed bid proposal to sell the Pullen House property at a minimum of $330,000, pending an appraisal report“We have a property that has doubled. Given the financial situations we are faced with, I think it’s time to sell that asset and put it on our tax roll,” Fraser said.

“Whoever occupies it, there is $500,000 coming into our tax roll, as well as money through water and sewer,” Fraser said. “The last thing we need in Purcellville is another park. We have a lot of under utilized park assets, the basketball courts at Emerick are always empty. I think we have a lot of park assets in this town that are not used. If we were to put it back on the tax roll the property is still within the town we are generating revenue for the general fund and utility fund.”

In the end, council members voted unanimously to direct staff to proceed with preparing a sealed bid proposal to sell the Pullen House property at a minimum of $330,000, pending an appraisal report..

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