Would you like to have a house for free in Williamsburg VA ? If no one takes it, The Billups House in Williamsburg VA will be torn down. The developers have offered to pay someone what they would have paid to tear it down if they want to move it to a lot nearby.
The Billups House, an 80-year-old house at 203 Armistead Avenue that was once the residence of Henry Billups, who rang the Wren Building bells at the College of William and Mary from the 1890s to the 1950s.
Last month, the Williamsburg VA Architecture Review Board asked that developers Nick Saras and Steve Manos spend the next six months trying to find someone willing to take Billups House if it can be moved to another location.
Bob Magoon, architect for the project, says there have so far been no takers. And it would prove more difficult to move the property than originally suspected.
“At the last Architecture Review Board meeting, one of the board members mentioned that the house is probably ‘balloon’ framed,” Magoon told the Planning Commission. That means the studs run from the ground all the way up to the roof, instead of each floor of the house being constructed separately. “That compounds the problem of where we the house could be moved.
The Billups House has been vacant for almost 30 years. White paint is peeling off the wood siding above the porch. . A peek in the windows reveals dusty wood floors and exposed wiring.
The project to replace Billups House and Mama Mia’s Pizza and Deli (recently closed) is a 10,500-square-foot commercial building, designed to look like the buildings at the corner of Prince George and North Boundary Streets. It will have seven apartments on the second floor.
Magoon hopes, with council zoning approval, that construction begins on the project as soon as the six-month moratorium imposed by the Architecture Review Board lapses next April 14.
The city has told the developers they won’t issue a demolition permit for Billups House (if it can’t be moved) until demolition begins on the Mama Mia’s building.
“They don’t want a developer to walk away from the project and leave an empty lot,” Magoon said.
If you are interested in saving this home let me know. In the meantime I will research moving costs and possible nearby lot locations.
John Womeldorf/ Realtor
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