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Work progressing on Western Front Hotel in downtown St Paul, Va.

ST. PAUL, Va. — The squeals of power saws slicing lumber fill the air near the intersection of Fourth and Russell streets in downtown St. Paul, much as they have for the past nine months.

It's a brisk March morning and workers from Roanoke-based MB Contractors scurry about inside the vacant three-story, E-shaped brick structure formerly known as the St. Paul apartments and the Willis building.

Bright sunshine blasts through large glass windows illuminating a virtually empty, meticulously framed ground floor bracing for its next chapter. 

The 1920s-era building is being transformed into the Western Front Hotel, a 27-room boutique hotel deriving its name from St. Paul’s once colorful, rowdy past. The project is being developed by Creative Boutique Hotels and Cornerstone Hospitality — the same Virginia-based partnership group planning to create Bristol’s Sessions Hotel.

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