Onancock Officials Discuss Lilliston Building Rehab

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A Virginia Main Street sign stands at the entrance to Onancock. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

By Carol Vaughn —

The Onancock Town Council Monday unanimously approved a resolution supporting an application for $995,000 from the state to use for revitalization of the Lilliston Building downtown.

The building at 38 Market St., which last served as the Department of Social Services office, has stood vacant for years.

The money, called industrial revitalization funds, if granted by the Department of Housing and Community Development, would be used by the town to reimburse the property owner in the form of a loan of up to 20 years at 2.5% interest, according to Janet Fosque of Onancock Main Street.

No match is required to receive the state funds at an amount up to $1 million, according to Fosque.

As the building’s owner repays the money to the town, it would be used as a revolving loan fund for other industrial properties’ revitalization.

The new owner, identified in the meeting as John Custis, has already spent $270,000 on the property, Fosque said.

The owner is listed on Accomap, the county’s GIS mapping system, as PSP Lilliston LLC.
He also will spend private investor funds to rehabilitate the building, with the plan being for it to house three business hospitality units and three residential units, as well as retail, professional, and personal service businesses.

More than 60% of the building is to be set aside for commercial use, according to the resolution.

The application deadline is Aug. 15, Fosque said, noting that for the next two years “there is a large amount of money” available in the state fund to redevelop blighted, vacant properties that could serve as a catalyst for growth in downtown districts.

Mayor Fletcher Fosque said the owner/developer “is not a novice in this field” and estimates it will cost $1.5 million to rehabilitate the building.

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