The Town of Middleburg has re-issued a request for proposals, soliciting interest from entities seeking to purchase, preserve, restore and reuse the 191-year-old Asbury Church building.
The 2,660-square-foot Asbury Church, which is located off North Jay Street, was established in 1829 and has been used as a Methodist Episcopal church, a storehouse, a government depot and hospital during the Civil War, and a Methodist Episcopal church for the town’s Black residents. The property sat vacant from 1994 until the town purchased it in 2014. Since then, the town has invested more than $174,000 to stabilize the building.
Town leaders now want to transfer the 0.23-acre property to a new owner who demonstrates an interest and ability to fully restore, preserve and maintain the structure.
The Town Council has identified four key objectives it will keep an eye on as proposals roll in—ensuring the long-term preservation of the building, ensuring the new owner has the finances to restore the building and keep it operable for years to come, ensuring the new owner celebrates the history and legacy of the property, and ensuring that negative impacts of the new proposed use on the surrounding community are limited.
Proposals will be evaluated with the proposed purchase price given the least amount of weight.
The deadline to respond to the request for proposals is 4 p.m., Dec. 2. A copy of the advertisement with more information can be found atmiddleburgva.gov.
In recent years, the town has heard from several organizations interested in taking over ownership of the property. The Loudoun Freedom Center proposed the town could transfer ownership to set up a Black museum and Loudoun Construction proposed to purchase the property for $50,000 and restore the building to be used as an office.
When the town issued a request for proposals in 2019, it received one response. Although town leaders deemed that response lacking in detail, they have continued to work with the proposer, in addition to multiple other parties who have expressed continued interest in the property, according to a town statement.