LU purchases Travis Building

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Farmville Town Council has agreed to sell the vacant Travis Building to the Longwood University Real Estate Foundation.

The building, which the town purchased months ago, is at 109 N. Main St. in downtown Farmville.

A public hearing held regarding the sale of the Travis Building garnered no comment from the public on May 11.

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“Longwood University and the Real Estate Foundation are thrilled that the town has agreed to sell us the Travis building,” said Louise Waller, Longwood University’s executive director of campus planning, construction and the foundation.

“The property has a tremendous amount of potential and we hope with some short-term improvements it will shine when the eyes of the world are on Farmville next October. For the long term, we have no plans in place yet for the property, but certainly a primary goal of any plan will be to contribute to the revitalization of Main Street.”

Town council documents state the town purchased the Travis Building in September for $40,000 and previously said the initial plan was to tear the building down and create a 25-foot-by-160 foot green space.

“The town is very excited for the foundation to purchase this property and how it might enhance downtown,” said Mayor David Whitus.

Months ago, the town agreed to allocate $72,000 toward the Travis Building project, with the remaining $32,000 from the $40,000 being used to tear down the building, perform roof repairs on two adjacent building roofs and perform landscaping to the area once the building is demolished.

“We felt like with Longwood buying it, there would be more opportunity to develop it,” Whitus said.

Town documents indicate Longwood offered the town $55,000 and anticipates improvements being made in time for Longwood’s hosting of the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

I think the people that are buying it are going to do the same thing we were,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates. “It’ll be a nice addition to town.”

Town Attorney Gary Elder is set to prepare the documentation to complete the sale.