Landmark Hotel One of Many Unfinished Dewberry Projects
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
A half-finished hotel that sits empty on Charlottesville's downtown mall may remain an empty eyesore for years to come. That's because we found the man who bought the property, and promised to turn it into an asset for the city has a reputation of not keeping his promises.
The Landmark was supposed to be a boutique hotel on the downtown mall, drawing tourists and business. After the first developer went belly-up, John Dewberry stepped in promising to finish it. But now, the blight has become just another one of his projects across three states that are sitting untouched.
Dewberry has made a name for himself – as a star college quarterback and then as a real estate developer. He even survived a plane crash. But it's his lack of work catching people's attention nowadays.
In 2012, Dewberry told NBC29, "We have a good track record. We've never bought a property we didn't develop.” But looking at his track record now, you might disagree.
Dewberry bought the half-built Landmark Hotel at a federal auction. Work on the Landmark was supposed to start after construction started on a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. Hotel Dewberry was supposed to open for business in the fall of 2013, but Charleston city planners say the site has little to no activity. Dewberry representatives also admit work hasn't started on three high-rise projects in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dewberry's Richmond property has also garnered attention. His company bought the old Azalea Mall in 1998. The plan calls for an upscale, open-air, 1.3-million-square-foot, mixed-use development but for 16 years the property has not been touched.
If and when work does start on the Landmark in Charlottesville, Dewberry may hit some issues. The building permit for the hotel has expired and new building code changes could cause construction issues.
Dewberry has not returned any of NBC29's calls about his projects.
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