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Time is almost up for two city-owned hotels on Capitol Landing Road.
The Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve the demolition of the White Lion Hotel and the Country Hearth Inn, both on the 900 block of Capitol Landing Road.
The demolition is scheduled to begin in July, and clears the way for the redevelopment of the property in the future.
The council’s vote approved a contract with R.J. Smith Contractor to demolish and haul away debris from the adjacent sites for a total of $303,595. The city received four bids to conduct the demolition work, of which R.J. Smith’s was the low figure.
City Director of Public Works Dan Clayton said the received bids were higher than the city preferred, but were understandable given the scope of the demolition project. Clayton said the project was the largest demolition project undertaken by the city, and asbestos from the aged buildings – which were constructed in 1949 and 1968 – would require special handling.
The city purchased the two properties, which cover about 9 acres of land, in February for $1.4 million, with the ultimate goal of reselling the properties to a private owner for redevelopment.
Tuttle said after Thursday’s meeting it was likely the city would hold onto the properties until a suitable partner was found to create a “signature development” at the site on Capitol Landing Road.
In February, Tuttle said the city would likely join the two properties together into a single parcel to be more attractive to potential developers.
“The city should not be in a hurry to sell these properties,” Tuttle said Thursday.
The city has not specified what an ideal redevelopment of the property would entail.
The city’s acquisition of the two properties is the third public purchase of a distressed city hotel in the last eight years.
The city purchased and subsequently demolished the Tioga Motel at 906 Richmond Rd. in 2007. It acquired the Lord Paget Hotel in 2011 and resold the property to Sperryville-based Copper Fox Distillery in March.
Copper Fox owner Rick Wasmund plans on transforming the defunct hotel into a microdistillery and residence. Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited the property in December 2014 to announce a $50,000 state grant to support the project.
The Tioga property remains vacant and under city control.