South Boston, VA - The former John Randolph Hotel in South Boston has been a staple on Main Street since the 1920s, but it's been sitting empty for the last decade.Now, town officials hope to bring it back to life as a boutique hotel.
The town just received a $100,000 matching grant from the state department of historic resources to purchase the property.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but folks are saying this is a step in the right direction.
Over the years, South Boston has added cultural attractions, shopping, and dining downtown. Now they're filling a void by adding a boutique hotel.
"When I go to other downtowns, I like that fact that I might can stay in their hotel and then walk to a play and walk to get something to eat. That's what we're striving for here in South Boston, " said Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown South Boston.
The hotel was open for many years before becoming a retail space and an apartment building. Since it closed in the early 2000's, business owners have been hoping to see it come back to life.
"It is a wonderful idea. We have a lot to offer in this area, " said Alexandra Medrano, owner of Caffe Peroni on Main Street.
She hopes a new hotel will increase business for her and others.
"I do believe people will come. Boutique hotels are amazing and I'm sure this one will be too, " Medrano said. The town will purchase the property from First State Bank in Danville and begin moving forward with renovation.
They hope this will help people see South Boston as more of a tourist destination.
"We want to bring people into downtown with a purpose. Something really unique that will bring people in for more than one night, " said Town Manager Ted Daniel.
"Of all of the projects downtown, this is the one project that could do the most for turning downtown around. We're all excited about it and hope that we can turn it into a reality, " said Vest.
As they continue their effort to revitalize downtown, Ted Daniel says market rate apartments in the area will be ready soon.
The town saved the New Brick Warehouse on Jefferson Avenue from being torn down.
Now developers are working to turn it into loft spaces by the end of this year.