WINCHESTER — Condominiums are planned at the site of a former real estate office on the Loudoun Street Mall.
The Palace Condos complex at 45-49 S. Loudoun St. is being pitched to city officials by property owner Scott Rosenfeld. It would feature a total of eight two-bedroom units in an enlarged and renovated version of the now-vacant Hable’s Real Estate office, which was built in 1927 as a single-story structure, plus a new four-story brick addition in the rear. The office closed in December 2019.
Hable’s was a real estate and property management firm that operated in Winchester for more than a century. It closed its downtown headquarters in December following the death of its sole surviving owner, Barbara Bachrach Taylor. Rosenfeld bought the firm’s office building and an adjoining 0.12-acre parking lot for $395,000.
The parking lot is currently utilized by the Winchester Parking Authority to provide metered parking to Old Town shoppers. According to Rosenfeld’s proposal, the majority of the lot’s 31 parking spaces would be replaced by the four-story addition to the Hable’s building that would extend westward to Indian Alley.
Some of the parking spaces would be retained and reconfigured for use by condominium owners and guests, according to Rosenfeld’s plans for the property.
“We’re pretty excited about this as an infill opportunity along the pedestrian mall, and particularly excited because it’s being proposed in the form of condominiums [with] ownership opportunities for people who want to live on the Loudoun Street Mall,” Winchester Planning Director Timothy Youmans said this week.
Housing has become a critical need in Winchester. On Thursday, the online property-listing service Zillow listed just 21 single-family homes available for purchase within a city that has an estimated population of nearly 28,000. Of the 21 homes for sale, 14 were priced at $300,000 or higher.
Rosenfeld’s proposal has been reviewed by the Board of Architectural Review, which is tasked with overseeing all new construction and renovations in Winchester’s downtown historic district, and a site plan will be submitted upon completion to the city’s Planning Commission. The property is already zoned for multi-family residential use, Youmans said, so it will not require a conditional-use permit.