Demolition work begins on Olde Towne Inn in Manassas

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With the site’s ultimate fate still up in the air, crews in Manassas have begun the teardown of the Olde Towne Inn.

Last week, the city announced that the parking lot would be closed off for good as workers began the demolition process. The first step, Manassas Communications Director Patty Prince said, will be asbestos removal.

Built in 1965, the increasingly dilapidated motel-style lodging was a target for redevelopment for years until officials announced in February that they’d agreed to purchase the 1-acre property for $5.75 million. Now, after over 50 years at the heart of Old Town Manassas, the building is coming down.

“We don’t know how long it’s gonna take because they’re removing asbestos,” Prince told InsideNoVa. “We’re hoping the next couple of weeks and then the building will go down.”

While there’s no firm timeline on how long the demolition will take, Prince said it’s not expected to last more than two months.

As crews work to remove what was, the city is still trying to figure out what should go up in its place. In July, a consultant for the city released a report on public opinion about the site showing the most popular use was another hotel, possibly with some ground-floor retail or restaurant space.

But there was also support for other uses like a movie theater, grocery store, affordable housing, a food hall or a conference center. City officials say they’ve already received inquiries about the site, particularly to build a new hotel. But the City Council will ultimately need to decide how it wants to proceed.

The council discussed several options over the summer. The city can simply sell the lot with a litany of deed requirements dictating the site’s future use. The city could also elect to serve as the developer itself and lease whatever the council decides to build out to a tenant. Finally, the city could issue a request for proposals for a ground lease deal that would see the city maintain ownership of the underlying property.

City officials think a straight sale of the property wouldn’t return an initial profit on the $5.75 million spent to acquire the lot. But Economic Development Director Patrick Small told the council back in July that the return would ultimately come in increased tax revenues from whatever is built on the site.

Prince said the council has yet to decide how it will proceed with the site, which will remain inaccessible to the public until it’s finally developed.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner and republished with permission. Sign up for’s free email subscription today.


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