The owner of the unfinished Landmark Hotel on Charlottesville’s downtown mall has responded to the city's call for a safety plan. But one official says the reply does not address its primary concerns.
Developer John Dewberry sent the letter dated October 21, saying he has done what he can to secure the property. This comes after city leaders submitted a document in September, asking for a solid plan of action to deal with the structure's problems.
Dewberry writes that he visited the Landmark Hotel on both October 11 and 12 to assess the property. He says that the structure "is secured with a padlock and there is no evidence of physical breach of the eight-foot fence surrounding the site."
Charlottesville's Director of Neighborhood Development Services Jim Tolbert says the city is still waiting for a suitable plan.
“We would love to see the project happen, but this is a property maintenance issue. It's a public safety, it's the appearance of the building, it's the negative impact it has downtown but it's really the safety that's an issue,” said Tolbert.
Tolbert says Dewberry has until December to submit and implement a plan to make the property safer. If none is sent, the city will take on the responsibility.
The plan would then go before the planning commission and City Council for approval. Dewberry emphasized work on the Landmark would not begin until construction is underway on his company's first hotel in Charleston.
That project has not started yet. Dewberry says he hopes to begin construction on the South Carolina property by February 2014.
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