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Charlottesville Officials Push Hotel Developer for Safety Plan - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Officials Push Hotel Developer for Safety Plan

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Construction for the Landmark Hotel, just off Charlottesville's downtown mall Construction for the Landmark Hotel, just off Charlottesville's downtown mall

Charlottesville officials are calling on the owner of the unfinished Landmark Hotel to develop a solid plan to secure the vacant building. They say people have been trespassing and climbing up the shell of the structure - making this an urgent safety concern.

Charlottesville's director of neighborhood development services, Jim Tolbert, sent a letter to Atlanta-based Dewberry Capital on September 10. The document outlined problems with the property and set a response deadline that's just days away.

City officials have taken the preliminary step in determining the Landmark Hotel as a blighted property, according to Charlottesville code. This means that building is considered "detrimental to the safety, health and welfare of the community."

Charlottesville's vice mayor, Kristin Szakos, says the city sent the letter last month to put pressure on finishing the project sooner and - in the short-term - to make sure the property is safe.

"We've been relatively patient through this whole process and now we're kind of at the point where it's getting dangerous. We realize that people are getting in there. There's some graffiti way up high - people have been climbing up on the scaffolding," Szakos said.

Developer John Dewberry bought the Landmark property in June 2012. He said work on the Landmark would begin when his company's first hotel in Charleston is complete. Dewberry Capital now has four days to respond with an acceptable plan to cure the blight.

If this is not done, the status of the building will fall into the hands of Charlottesville's Planning Commission and City Council.

NBC29 contacted the company for a statement but has yet to hear back.

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