Living above retail space

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I’ve noticed a lot of activity/construction going on above the shops on North Main Street in Farmville. Are the second floors being reconfigured into apartments?

When asked, Town Manager Gerry Spates mentioned only one at the moment. Tom and Michelle Frisbie-Fulton are transforming the space above Ashby Antiques at the corner of Second and Main streets into an apartment for themselves.

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“Our project is a joint effort on the part of Michelle and me,” Tom Frisbie-Fulton said. “In its planning, research, business arrangements and execution.”

Michelle Frisbie-Fulton said they moved to Southside Virginia two years to be closer to family in North Carolina.

“Farmville has proven to be the right size and character for us,” she said. “We like its friendly people, college town atmosphere and our jobs at Longwood.”

Tom is the university’s architect and a director in the Campus Planning & Construction department. Michelle works in the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy.

“Living downtown appealed to us because of its historic charm, well-maintained public areas, and its intersection with the Appomattox River and High Bridge Trail,” Tom said. “Both of us firmly believe downtown Farmville has great residential possibilities as a pedestrian-friendly, vibrant mixed-use community.”

The couple said they purchased the Richardson Building, which houses Ashby Antiques on the ground floor, because it suited them in terms of location and architecture.

“An added bonus has proven to be the ladies with Ashby Antiques downstairs; we could not ask for finer people to get to know,” Michelle added.

The Frisbie-Fultons said their plan from the beginning was to develop the property as a certified historic rehabilitation project.

“Downtown Farmville offers many opportunities for this kind of project and we look forward to seeing similar, future ventures,” Michelle said.