BLOWING ROCK – 4 Forty Four, a Blowing Rock-based residential and custom building firm, is planning to build a new main office as well as a second office building and residential units on the site of the former New River Inn.

The property, located at 6875 Valley Blvd., has been unused for many years.

Kevin and Lillian Troyer’s LLC The Headwaters of the New River purchased the 4.926-acre property and building for $475,000 in July 2018 and are now requesting conditional rezoning from General Business to Conditional Zoning – General Business in order to start construction.

“(Troyer) is proposing to renovate the former New River Inn office building for use as 4 Forty Four’s office building and construct several residential cottages and tree houses,” the application states.

The property currently has the former inn building constructed in 1967, according to Watauga County property records.

4 Forty Four is currently located at 452 Sunset Drive, Suite C, near the intersection with Valley Boulevard.

According to a letter Kevin Troyer sent to Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock on Oct. 7, the plan is to build a single one-bedroom and three two-bedroom cottages, as well as three one-bedroom and three two-bedroom tree houses for a total of 10 residential units. Troyer says the mix of units would be to meet market demand.

The proposal includes 44 parking spaces, more than the 38 required per Blowing Rock land use code, installation of a ewer pump station, underground electrical service lines and use of a photovoltaic solar energy system on the southern-facing roof of the proposed office building.

The Troyers would provide an easement for the planned Middle Fork Greenway, according to the application documents. The section of the greenway that would run across the property is planned to be constructed in 2020.

According to the Blowing Rock Planning and Inspections office, the conditional rezoning was unanimously approved by the town’s planning board on Oct. 17 and it will go in front of town council on Nov. 12 for final approval. The project has no variances and meets the town’s land use code, according to the planning office. Troyer also requests a vested rights period of five years to commence all phases of the project.

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