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A New Lease on Life


When Sherrie and Mourad Fahim bought a 120-year-old building in Barboursville, Va., they weren’t exactly sure what they were getting into.

5446 Governor Barbour Street before

“I just found it and fell in love with it,” Sherrie Fahim says. “The building was originally a general store near the train tracks. Later, it became The Governor Barbour Hotel. I just instantly felt so much love for that property that I knew I needed to restore it and save an important part of Orange County history by bringing it back to life.”

But the couple soon found that restoring the old building was a lot easier said than done.

Luke Roark of Commonwealth Contractors, LLC

After purchasing the property, one of Sherrie’s first calls was to Luke Roark of Commonwealth Contractors LLC, a renovation and construction specialist servicing Charlottesville, Richmond and surrounding counties.

“Without Luke, this project would have never gotten off the ground,” says Fahim.

One of her next calls was to John Flanagan, Senior Distribution Designer at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.

After a comprehensive floor-to-roof renovation, the 5446 Governor Barbour St. building is ready to begin its new lease on life as a modern apartment complex

“I have known Sherrie for a while and have been to her house several times in the past,” Flanagan says. “When Sherrie thinks REC, she thinks John Flanagan, and I’m always happy to help if I can. It’s nice to have that one point of contact.”

The 4,912-square-foot building at 5446 Governor Barbour St. was built in 1900 and was later converted by an architect into six apartments, but it apparently still only had one electric meter.

5446 Governor Barbour Street after

“After Sherrie installed a new meter box, I converted the one meter to seven meters,” says Flanagan. “This provides each unit with separate service.”

Now, after a comprehensive floor-to-roof renovation, the building is just about ready to begin its new lease on life as a modern apartment complex.