Taylor redevelopment held up again, this time by big storm
Posted: October 30, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Merchants on the Loudoun Street Mall, who have been waiting since 1993 to see new life come to the old Taylor Hotel, will have to wait a few days longer for work to begin on a renovation that promises a commercial resurrection for the property.
Hurricane Sandy, dousing the local area with wind-driven rain Monday, delayed the long-anticipated start of the $3.6 million redevelopment of the building.
Kevin Gabel, senior project manager for Lantz Construction Company in Broadway — general contractor for the first phase of the project — said the plan to close off the alleyway beside the building and reset barricades along the mall to separate pedestrians from the work crews, probably won’t start until Wednesday, depending on the amount of damage Sandy inflicts on Winchester.
The project, which is a public-private partnership of the Winchester Economic Development Authority and Taylor Hotel LLC, is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2013. The first phase is set for completion in early February.
Under the new design, the front part of the building will have commercial space on the first floor and five apartments above.
Behind that, what was once the Colonial Theater will become a grassy commons — planned home to a farmers market. The rear of the building along Indian Alley will be the focus of future development.
The Taylor Hotel dates to the 1840s, when a Clarke County resident, Bushrod Taylor, rebuilt the McGuire Tavern, which had burned down in 1846.
The building housed various Union and Confederate officers during the Civil War, and also served as a hospital.
The Colonial Theater was established in the hotel in 1921 and ran for 18 years.
McCrory’s store operated there until 1993, and was followed by a telephone call center until 2002. The building has been empty since then. The roof of the old theater collapsed in a heavy rain in 2007.
Jim Deskins, executive director of the EDA, said he wished the project had had a better day so it could have started on time.
“There’s a lot of prep work,” Deskins said.
Gabel said Lantz’s crews would be on the site “whenever we get a break in the weather.”
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com