Stafford Offers Rare Opportunity to Own or Lease Historic Falmouth Building

Time is running out on a rare opportunity to own or lease a very historic building in Historic Falmouth. Stafford County issued a request for proposals (RFP) to restore the Counting House, a circa 1840 building at the intersection of Gordon Street and River Road. Important deadlines are coming up: questions about the RFP must be submitted in writing to Stafford’s Procurement Office by 11:00 a.m. on February 20; and RFPS must be submitted electronically to Procurement by 11:00 a.m. on February 27.

Stafford County owns the historic property and is soliciting proposals for ownership or the long-term lease and ownership of this historic building in exchange for rehabilitating the structure for commercial use as a professional office. The property lies in the Falmouth Redevelopment Area and has a historic overlay. Restoration plans must be approved by Stafford’s Architectural Review Board and a Certificate of Appropriateness must be granted. As well, all restoration must be completed in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

The origin of the moniker “The Counting House” is unknown. What is known is that the structure was built by Benjamin Hall around 1840 when Falmouth was a deep-water port with ships coming and going around the world. The building was used as a warehouse to store cotton, grain and other Virginia agricultural items. The Stiars family bought the building in 1852 and converted it to residential use. It has been a residential building ever since. The parcel has been rezoned B2 to allow use as an office.

The inside of the house has been cleared down to the studs. There is no current dedicated parking, but there is an easement to create parking. The building is located near other businesses, including a restaurant, real estate office, law office, and art business, and is close to Belmont, Gari Melchers Home, and Studio.

The successful RFP respondent must have historical restoration experience. The successful respondent may also be eligible for state and federal tax credits. The bid opportunity is listed on the state’s eVA Virginia Business Opportunities site.