Smith Enterprises buys historic property in Wytheville
- July 21, 2011
Smith Enterprises has purchased the George Wythe Branch of BB&T in Wytheville, a building that used to use the George Wythe Hotel. Constructed in 1927, the hotel operated until 1973 when the Bank of Speedwell purchased it and converted the building to its headquarters. In 1991, the Bank of Speedwell merged with other southwest Virginia banks, becoming Premier Bank and continued to occupy the building. Since then the building has been home to First Virginia Bank and most recently BB&T.
William and Farron Smith, principals in Smith Enterprises, would not disclose the building’s price. They aren’t sure yet what direction to take with it, given the economy. “With the economy at its continued low ebb, we are finding it difficult to justify certain uses that we believe would be most desirable for such an important property,” William Smith said.
The former four-story, hotel contains about 20,000 square feet and originally had 39 guest rooms, a restaurant, barber shop and banquet room Many of the original rooms are still intact on the third and fourth floors. The Smiths said they would prefer to restore the site to its original use although with fewer, yet larger, guest rooms, and preserve the integrity of the period’s architectural features.