Former Front Royal Town Hall up for sale

Front Royal – The former Front Royal Town Hall recently hit the market for $1 million, and the town will have the right of first refusal if an offer is made.

Located at 16 N. Royal Ave., the former town hall was acquired by Frank Barros in a 2014 property swap with the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority for the Afton Inn. The building was last assessed at $649,700, and the land at $113,700, according to Warren County’s GIS website.

An online real estate listing describes the town hall as “one of the most iconic buildings in Warren County” with a design that “allows for one business or the option to divide the space for several different users.”

Should an offer be made, the town would have the first option on the building, according to Town Attorney Doug Napier. It would require a super majority vote by the Town Council to buy the property back.

Napier said he does not know if the council would opt to purchase the building.

“I’d have to wait and see. We’ve got a largely different Town Council than the one that voted to trade the building. I don’t know what the feeling of this Town Council would be for that,” Napier said.

The town hall has been on the market for 109 days, according to the online listing. Napier is not sure if any offers have been made. Barros could not be reach for comment.

The 8,500-square-foot, three-story building was built in 1936. Although Napier is not sure if it is legally a historic building, he said it is considered an iconic location by many Front Royal citizens owing to its service as the home of the Town Council for nearly 75 years. The building was vacated in 2013 when town operations were relocated to its current building at 102 E. Main St.

Due to its historic nature, Napier said there were stipulations in the property swap requiring Barros to keep the building “in substantially the same condition that it was in.”

“Basically, he had to keep it in good repair,” he said.

The agreement required that no changes be made to the building’s exterior. Although renovations were permissible inside the building, Napier was not sure if any have been completed.