The Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund will host a community re-visioning forum on Monday, August 27 from 5 to 7 pm at the Old Colonial Courthouse on Gloucester Main Street to get input from the public about potential uses of the old SunTrust bank building which was recently purchased by the Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund.
The Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund announced last month that it purchased the iconic century-old bank building at 6548 Main Street and in partnership with the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust will launch a feasibility study on its revitalization. The study is being supported by a grant from Virginia Main Street.
The bank building, most recently in operation as a SunTrust bank and purchased by the Fund for $600,000, dates back more than 100 years. Including the basement and upstairs spaces, it measures in at 10,500 square feet.
“Engaging the community on this project is an important element of this study,” said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Trust. “That is the purpose of this visioning event.”
During the public visioning event, the community will have the opportunity to offer their ideas of how the bank building could be used in coming years.
“We will have several visioning boards that outline the history and possible uses of the property,” Crittenden said. “The community will have the opportunity to vote on what they think would be the best use of the building, from retail to restaurants, service businesses and residential.”
The main part of the building, which has always been in operation as a bank, was built in 1902 and became the Bank of Gloucester in 1906. SunTrust owned and operated the building for quite some time. Although they sold the building to a real estate investment trust in 2010, they still occupied it until 2017.
This purchase marks the first time in over a century that the building could be used for something new.
The Trust secured a $25,000 grant from Virginia Main Street, a preservation-based economic and community development program, and has budgeted an additional $10,000 to complete a feasibility study on the property.
While feasibility studies can all be a little different, the purpose of this study is to determine the highest and best use for the building.
The Trust, in partnership with the Fund, anticipates developing and sending out RFPs this fall to consultants who routinely handle feasibility studies of this magnitude, as well as to those who have a strong background in downtown development and are connected with resources and knowledge of other grants and tax incentives that can be accessed for the project.
The study itself will result in the identification of the most impactful uses, along with architectural conceptions, cost assessments, and business proformas.
ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER REVOLVING LOAN FUND
The Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund was established to provide partial funding for businesses and non-profit organizations undertaking activities broadly defined as economic development within the Gloucester Village area of Gloucester, Virginia, as defined by the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation. Program loans are available to eligible applicants for the following activities: fixed asset loans for acquisition, expansion, improvement and/or rehabilitation of an existing business, land, building, inventory and equipment, to include, without limitation, sites of historical significance to Gloucester Village. Learn more at www.gloucesterloanfund.org.
ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER MAIN STREET PRESERVATION TRUST
The Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust (MSPT) administers Main Street Center and other Trust assets for the benefit of the community of Gloucester, Virginia. Funds generated by the Trust’s assets are intended to be used to attract new and additional business to Main Street in Gloucester by enhancing the economic and business environment, preserving historical landmarks in the Gloucester Court House Village area, and promoting civic and cultural activities. The Main Street Preservation Trust works with the Cook Foundation and is a supporter of the Gloucester Main Street Association. Learn more at www.gloucestervillage.com.
ABOUT VIRGINIA MAIN STREET
The Virginia Main Street Program is a preservation-based economic and community development program that follows the Main Street Approach by the National Main Street Center. Virginia Main Street offers a range of services and assistance to communities interested in revitalizing their historic commercial districts. While the program was designed to address the need for revitalization and on-going management of smaller to mid-sized downtowns, aspects of the Main Street Approach may be applied successfully in other commercial settings.