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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Spotsylvania closes on Vakos office building

The Merchants Square building during the grand opening on Sept. 16, 2010. Photo courtesy W.J. Vakos & Co.

Spotsylvania County closed today on its purchase of a three-story, 54,810-square-foot office building at Spotsylvania Courthouse Village. The county bought the Merchants Square building for $10 million from Courthouse Village developer W.J. Vakos & Co. That’s about $182 per square foot. Spotsylvania had been leasing space in the building from Vakos for county departments including planning, zoning and social services.

Spotsylvania sold $11.3 million worth of bonds Tuesday at an interest rate of 3.16 percent to help finance the purchase. Of the bonds sold, $7 million will go to the purchase of the building. The rest of the bond proceeds will be used to replace equipment for solid waste operations and upgrade technology. The county had already set aside $3 million from this year’s budget for the purchase of the office building.

The Merchants Square building, which also houses Spotsylvania’s museum on the main level, is part of Vakos’ plans for a mixed-use complex at which people can “live, work and play.” The development, which is near the county’s courthouse and government complex, includes apartments, retailers and common spaces that have been used for events and festivals. Additional buildings are planned.

“We, at Vakos, are extremely pleased that Spotsylvania has chosen to make this investment in the Village and become a permanent part of its growth and prosperity,” Company President Bill Vakos III said in an email.

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