February 16, 2014
The nine story structure sitting off of East Water Street in Charlottesville was supposed to be a luxurious hotel with a rooftop bar. Instead it remains a giant eyesore near the city's downtown mall.
But Charlottesville's City Council hopes to come up with a plan on how to move forward with its construction during their meeting on Tuesday evening.
“Everybody wants to see the Landmark get built, including the owner,” says Charlottesville vice Mayor Dede Smith. “It's really a matter of just finding a solution that's palatable to both parties.”
The structure was first built by Minor Family Hotels back in 2008 and was expected to open July of 2009, but there were problems with the development and the property was auctioned off to new owner, John Dewberry, last year.
“Everybody is appreciative that Mr. Dewberry stepped in to a project that was basically under foreclosure and was willing to take this half-started building and make it something that we'll be proud of,” says Smith.
But as it stands now city officials don't believe the building's skeleton is safe.
The unfinished building was deemed a blighted property by the planning commission, meaning it is detrimental to the safety, health or welfare of the city.
Last month the city's planning commission asked the owner of the landmark hotel to build a larger fence around the first floor and chain linked fence around the second story of the structure.
Those were recommended after the planning commission deemed the unfinished building a blighted property, meaning it is detrimental to the safety, health and welfare of the city.
“If in fact the structure does qualify as a blighted or a public nuisance that offers us some options on how to make the project move forward,” says Smith.
One of those options could include tearing down the landmark hotel.