New use of Fowle Building discussion set for council meeting

Published 6:13 pm Friday, March 24, 2017



Details about the project to convert the building that once housed Fowle & Sons General Merchandise into mixed-use building are scheduled to be discussed Monday during the Washington City Council’s meeting.

Those details should surface during the second of two required public hearings regarding the use of $500,000 in grant funding to help pay for the proposed project. The hearing is set for 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

New Vision Partners LLC has plans to convert the three-story building at 189 W. Main St. into a brewery/restaurant — Castle Island Brewery — on the ground floor, with residential use on the upper floors. The building’s rooftop would be used for dining purposes, according to a city document. The residential part of the building is outside the scope of the Community Development Grant Project.

The new business would contribute up to $200,000 toward the upfit and renovation of the building, according to another city document. The $500,000 grant represents 71.4 percent of the project’s cost.

Previously, City Manager Bobby Roberson said New Vision Partners would need to obtain state permits for the project. Some of those permits would come from the State Historic Preservation Office, which has to sign off on the proposed use of the historic building, and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which regulates the sale, manufacture, purchase, consumption, possession and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the state.

In October 2014, the council amended the city’s zoning code to allow microbreweries in certain commercial districts.

In late 2014, the Historic Preservation Commission voted 3-2 to grant a certificate of appropriateness to New Vision Partners to install balconies on certain areas of the second and third floors of the building. The balconies plan, according to Trent Tetterton, who addressed the commission concerning the balconies, called for several of the building’s windows to be replaced by doors and for the doors to open to balconies. Tetterton, an official with the Washington Harbor District Alliance, has played a part in helping find buyers and/or developers for downtown properties.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “City Agendas.” Locate the appropriate agenda (by date) under the “Washington City Council” heading, then click on that specific agenda listing.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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