HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- There's new hope to bring back to life the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough. The aging, dilapidated, historic building sits on West King Street.

"Enormously frustrating for the neighbors as an eye sore. It has been frustrating as a safety issue," says Mayor Tom Stevens.

The inn dates back to 1838. It sold to a private owner in the early 2000's. Since then, it closed and town leaders and the owner clashed over the inn's upkeep, and the building decayed.

"So the memories and part of the fabric of life, the historic preservation, being a landmark that gives Hillsborough a sense of place, that's why it's important," adds Stevens.

Allied DevCorp, LLC., bought the property this week for $800,000. The owner plans to restore the inn complete with beds and a restaurant. Stevens says it could generate around $4 million a year for the town's economy.

But residents say they've been down before when asked are they confident in the inn's future.

"I'm very optimistic it will happen but it's going to take a lot of deep pockets and a lot of good will," says Ken Ostrand.

Stevens says the next steps are getting paperwork to rezone the area and put plans in place to rebuild. He says it could be years before the inn is reopened.

The inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.