Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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1200 Prince Edward Street – still not going anywhere

The last time the City Council talked about the burned-out empty shell of a building at 1200 Prince Edward St. was a year and a half ago, and the decision they made then wasn’t one that the immediate neighbors of this property were happy about.

Since that January 2009 vote, nothing at all has happened at that property, which burned in 2003, except that it’s been re-listed for sale at $475,000, a little lower than the previous price of $600,000.

Tonight, the two people who live on either side of this building on Prince Edward Street asked the City Council for the same action they’ve been requesting for about seven years — either tear down the building or otherwise clean up the property, or do something that will force the owner to take those actions.

Neighbors Carl Grenn and Bill McLain said that during this winter’s heavy snows, nobody ever cleared the sidewalks around this building, and they were pretty much impassable for weeks after the snows fell. A tree that was uprooted during the storms and leaned over to cover one of the sidewalks made it unusable even after the snow had melted.

McLain said someone came by to trim the tree, mow the knee-high grass and pick up trash around the property only after a neighbor complained to the city.

This council has not been very willing to force the removal of this building in the past. Some believe it is a contributing structure to the city’s historic district–an idea that the neighbors find laughable, since only a few walls of the building remain.

But Grenn and McLain still gave it a shot tonight.

“After seven cold winters, don’t you think it is now time to do something for our neighborhood and get rid of this ugly, dangerous, derelict blight?” Grenn asked the council members.

On an unrelated note, this block was also the scene of armed robbery yesterday evening. Keith Epps has details here.

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  • PE Neighbor

    I’m hoping someone buys this property and tears the building down. As Emily points out, it’s not only a nuisance and an eyesore, but has also become dangerous.

  • BrandonJ

    Unfortunately, no one in their right mind is going to buy that property. The $475,000 asking price is far more than the land is worth, and the cost of demolishing the building and filling in the basement would be significant. Not to mention that the city is not inclined to allow demolition. Currently, it has been approved to be restored into a maximum of four condominiums. That won’t work, because these condos would have to sell for at least $500,000 each for a developer to break even on the costs of buying the building and rebuilding it from the inside out, preserving the exterior walls that remain as the city wants. At this point, the best thing would be for the city to ok demolition and the owners to come down to about 100K as a price for the property. If they did that, it might be profitable for a developer to spend the money to demolish and build a single family home on that site.