Strasburg plans to sell Brown house

Traffic passes by the Brown house along East King Street in Strasburg. The town bought the house several months ago and now the town now has a pending contract to sell the home. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Town of Strasburg has decided to sell the Brown house.

Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said Monday that he was approached by Joe Filerman, the owner of Filerman Procurement Interests, LLC, about purchasing the property at 218 E. King St.

Pearson said that Filerman offered to buy the Brown house for $75,000, and the back half of the tattoo parlor and the vacant lot to the east of the Brown house. But the deal changed when the town asked Filerman to replace the roof of the house by May.

The status of the roof has been a concern for people who have wanted to preserve the Brown house since a November 2016 inspection found that the roof would need to be replaced within two years.

“The town wanted the condition that he must replace the roof by May 2018, and [Filerman] said when he offered the $75,000, he wasn’t planning on [paying to replace] the roof,” Pearson said.

Filerman eventually agreed to pay the town $60,000, in addition to the parts of the two lots, for the property. The town and Filerman signed a contract on Aug. 16.

The town intends to use the back lots that it will receive from Filerman as part of an event space near the Town Hall, Pearson said.

The Brown house has been a spot of controversy since the town purchased it for $100,000.  The town has not used the   house since then.

The Town Council later voted to demolish the building, but the Virginia Department of Historic Resources decided that a grant the town had with the department prevented the demolition from happening for several years.

Pearson said that if the sale goes through, Filerman will be able to go through the Architectural Review Board if he wants to have the Brown house demolished.

“I don’t believe that any private owner would be restricted by our programmatic agreement” with the Department of Historic Resources, Pearson said. “But he would have to step through and get full approval from the Architectural Review Board in order to do so.”

The Town Council was only able to vote on the demolition of the Brown house previously because the town owned the property, Pearson said.

He said that Filerman intends to use the first floor for commercial uses and the second floor for residential use.

Pearson said that the town had not put the Brown house up for sale but decided that the offer was a good price for the property.

“It’s my general opinion that, since he is an adjacent property owner and has the ability to offer us adjacent land for the event space, that he is likely in the position to make the best offer on the property,” Pearson said.

However, the sale is not slated to go through until Sept. 22 and other people are allowed to make offers on the property, Pearson said.

The Town Council will have to approve the sale in order for it to go through. That vote is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 12.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources requested that the town hold a public hearing about the sale of the Brown house. That hearing is set for the Town Council’s work session at 7 p.m. Sept. 5.