For years, drivers, walkers and bikers on South King Street and the W&OD Trail in Leesburg have found themselves asking the question: What is going on with those two broken-down buildings?
The answer: more than you might think.
The two structures, 303 and 305 South King Street, have been in a state of disrepair for years, but, in 2013, they’re going to be renovated, rebuilt and resold by Paul Reimers, the owner of PR Construction and Development.
Reimers purchased each lot for about $100,000 in a sale that was finalized Nov. 27, according to Loudoun County land records. It was in lien with the Deutsche Bank, who foreclosed on the property’s previous owner, Jeffrey D. Kruse. Kruse, for whom no information is provided in county records, bought 303 S. King St. in 1999 for $109,000 as part of a multi-parcel sale. The owner before him was not listed.
The houses are currently waiting on Board of Architectural Review approval for their work, but Reimers said he plans to make each one “perfect” after rehabilitating and renovating them. He will install a driveway in between the two properties and, after building a single-family home behind the small brick structure and rebuilding a porch on the bigger house, re-sell them as single-family homes.
Reimers hopes to do this all in 2013. Work on the houses is already underway; drive by on a weekday and the crew can be seen on the job.
Kim del Rance, the town’s preservation planner, said the two houses are on every Leesburg map still in existence, meaning they’ve been around since 1875, at least. Architectural conservator W. Brown Morton said they are definitely pre-Civil War and likely from the early 19th century. They’re rumored to have been built as workers’ quarters for the original Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, del Rance said.