Lovettsville’s 35-acre Engle Tract sold for $2.31 million—nearly 30% more than its assessed valued—during an April 16 auction conducted by Damewood Auctioneers at the Lovettsville Game Club.
The name of the buyer, a Loudoun County resident, was not immediately disclosed.
The property, located behind the New Town Meadows neighborhood and the Post Office, is one of the largest parcels of undeveloped commercial land left in western Loudoun County and is valued at $1,794,500, according to the county parcel database. It features a barn and cinder block building in need of repair and is zoned for mixed-use business and commercial/limited industrial.
Shirley Hale, the seller of the property, said the auction was “the final stage of the story”—a story that has seen several development plans come and go. Most recently, Metropolitan Development Group proposed a residential and commercial center on the property.
She said the sale price was a bit less than what she would have liked, and attributed that decrease in value to the community’s pushback on a rezoning of the property.
In 2019, Metropolitan proposed to build 130 single-family homes, a 12,000-square-foot farmers market, 6,000 square feet of office space, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 5,000 square feet of retail space on the property by 2025. That deal fell through in January 2020, after area residents voiced opposition to the project, specifically citing concerns about increases in population and traffic.
Hale said she and her family terminated the deal with Metropolitan after the company asked for multiple extensions as it worked with the town to get the land use designation changed and a rezoning approved.
The Engle Tract was once owned by Walter Engle, Hale’s uncle. Hale said Engle “did a lot for the town,” noting that he even sold the portion of his property nearest to the Town Square for a bank and Post Office to move in. Engle also leased a portion of the property to 7-Eleven, which Hale eventually sold to the convenience store shortly after Engle’s death in 2014.
Hale said she might seek to have some of Engle’s memorabilia put on display in the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum.