Afton Inn demo vote set for Tuesday

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — The town Board of Architectural Review will vote at its Tuesday meeting whether it thinks the Afton Inn should be demolished.

The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority announced in August a $2.1 million plan to demolish and rebuild the dilapidated Afton Inn.

If the plan moves forward, the new building would include apartments on the top two floors and a ground-floor restaurant, according to an EDA news release.

MODE Partnership LLC has been enlisted to oversee the redevelopment. MODE would fund it and receive ownership of the property once it is complete, EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald previously said.

Upon consultation with several area developers, the EDA determined that the building's remaining shell would not allow "financially sound renovation," the release said.

At the BARís August meeting, Mike Grabowski of the Winchester-based Grabowski Building and Excavation Services said his company could provide renovation for a cheaper price than the EDAís proposal, according to BAR board member Gary Vaughan. Grabowski is carrying out a similar renovation to a 1760s building in Ft. Loudon, Vaughan said.

A vote against demolition could be overruled by the Front Royal Town Council, and would not be the first time the council has done so, Vaughn said.

About 16 citizens spoke during the public input portion of the BARís August meeting, and Vaughan said the opinion was about split.

The BAR's vote is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of the Front Royal Town Hall.

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