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Applicant retracts request for permission to demolish Hotel Louise

The applicant requesting the Washington Historic Preservation Commission issue a certificate of appropriateness to demolish the Hotel Louise has withdrawn that request.

The commission was scheduled to discuss the request during its meeting Tuesday. The applicant decided to pull the request Tuesday, according to Emily Rebert, the city’s community development planner and who works closely with the commission. Rebert said the applicant provided no reason for wanting the application withdrawn.

The application lists Verdes Terblanche as the applicant, who listed 316 E. Fifth St., Washington, as his mailing address. The application shows 163 West Main Street, LLC, as owner of the property. The LLC was formed Jan. 19, 2017, according to the N.C. Secretary of State Department website. Local attorney John B. Tate III is listed at the LLC’s agent. According to a Beaufort County real-estate document, the LLC’s mailing address is 45 Miller’s Lane, New Hyde Park, New York. That address is the same for Golden Rock Investments, owner of property adjacent to the Hotel Louise.

If the application comes back before the commission, it has two options. The first option is to approve the demolition request. The second option is to approve the request but delay demolition for 365 days.

The commission’s guidelines required it to delay demolition for an “appropriate time” to allow city staff and the commission to work with the property owner to seek viable options to demolition. Those alternatives include, but are not limited to the following:

  • if the building is in disrepair, working with the owner to develop a rehabilitation plan and identify funding assistance such as rehabilitation tax credits that allow the building to be restored and preserved;
  • if a building does not fit the owner’s required needs, determining if the structure could be adaptively re-used;
  • working with the owner to find a buyer who would use the property without demolishing it;
  • as a last resort, finding suitable site in the historic district for the historic building to be moved to and working with the owner to develop a relocation plan.

The building is considered a contributing structure to the city’s historic district and National Register of Historic Places nomination, according to a staff report regarding the request.

Several plans to renovate the building for lodging and commercial uses never came to fruition.

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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