Living in Downtown Farmville

PART 1 of 2

Take a stroll in Downtown Farmville mid-day on a Saturday and you will see the streets bustling with cars and the sidewalks busy with shoppers and diners. People sit at the bistro tables and chairs spread throughout the downtown area sipping their coffee and reading a newspaper. A guitarist strums at the plaza as runners and bikers cross Main Street on their way to the High Bridge Trail. Travelers from afar wind around the Green Front buildings looking for their next favorite piece of furniture. Who wouldn’t want to live downtown?

We interviewed residents and landlords to find out from them why they chose to live and/or build in the heart of downtown Farmville.

Audrey Sullivan | Owner of Red Door 104, lives above her business on Main Street with her husband, Kent Wilhelmi

Tom & Michelle Frisbee-Fulton | live on the second floor of an active business in Downtown Farmville on Main Street

Diane Bozart | and her husband, Nathan Bozart, own the building that is leased by Perini’s, which has a second-floor apartment.

What is great about living downtown?

Audrey Sullivan | Living and working on Main Street in downtown Farmville has been an experience like no other! For both Kent and I, this is our first “small town adventure.” Being able to walk almost everywhere we need to go and seeing friends and acquaintances (who will likely someday become a friend) is pretty amazing! For me personally, having opportunities to work alongside fellow business owners, Farmville Downtown Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce in an effort to grow our business community has been an unexpected bonus.

Tom & Michelle Frisbie-Fulton | We have the privacy of living in a second-floor space with historic architecture and great views of rooftops and sunsets. It’s an easy walk to the growing presence of downtown retail and restaurants and no lawn to mow!

Great downtown view before renovation at the Frisbee-Fulton residence.

Diane Bozart | It’s great being right down the street from great restaurants like Charley’s, and now, Perini’s. The High Bridge Trail is just down the street, as well. There is a lot of night life and things to do downtown now with the brewery and other restaurants that have opened up.

What cool features are you in your space?

Audrey Sullivan | Being able to live above our business is a pretty cool feature in and of itself! The first moment I saw our space in all its dusty broken glory, my design brain kicked into full gear…I had no doubt I would live there some day. This was a designer’s dream! Then working with a space that has existing parameters, one must get pretty creative. I was able to include three bedrooms but knew that with the grandchildren, we would require extra space frequently. That challenge led to probably the coolest feature of our space, which is the beds for our granddaughters in a hidden wall. It is definitely the girls’ favorite space but the truth is, Kent and I love every inch of our home.

Tom & Michelle Frisbie-Fulton | We love the high ceilings with 19th century beams, our exposed brick throughout the space, the historic elevator, and the walk-out exterior deck.

Historic elevator in the Frisbie-Fulton’s home.

Diane Bozart | The building was built in 1857 and is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Farmville. I believe it used to be a place for lodging, next to the old hotel. If you look at the front of the building up top between the two windows on the right, you can see cannon ball hits from the Civil War.

Cannon ball damage from the Civil War above Poplar Hall building.

What made you decide to make your space residential?

Audrey Sullivan | One of the greatest aspects of living in downtown Farmville has been watching the explosion of businesses come to life and bring the community closer together! People are genuinely excited to come to town and not just on weekends. Almost any day of the week, there is something exciting happening! Amazing restaurants, shopping, community theatre, civic organization having events, beer and wine festivals, Heart of Virginia Art Festival…I could certainly go on, but suffice it to say, we are never bored! The best part of Farmville Downtown? The people…amazing, friendly, caring people. And we are grateful to have become a part of it.

Tom & Michelle Frisbie-Fulton | We were looking for a building to renovate for our home and our location is good use of the upper floor of this building. Locating in this space contributes to downtown vitality. Downtown Farmville is small scale, safe, and walkable neighborhood connected to the University and the High Bridge Trail. It has a lot of great buildings with upper floor waiting to be renovated. We would like to help others take on projects!

Living area and kitchen with exposed high beams at the Frisbee-Fulton residence.

Diane Bozart | When we bought the building back in 2008, it was already an apartment upstairs. We wanted to keep it that way because we thought it was a great place for the owner of the building to live. The owner can live upstairs and walk downstairs to their business, or down the street to restaurants and other shops.

Living area in the Bozart’s space, which is currently for sale.