Landmark Hotel Construction Apparently on Hold

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

The hotel is coming to a stop again. All the workers came by a store at break today for munchies and said it was on hold for at least three months and the crane was actually coming down. Drove by Mid-AM and everyone was loading equipment on a truck.

The story is that the new developer will take three months to get up to speed before they can start again.

The saga of the Landmark Hotel has been tough to keep up with. Here’s hoping that they open up that lane on Water Street during this work stoppage. And I don’t know what the deal is with 2nd St. SE being closed between Water and South, but if that’s got anything to do with the Landmark, it sure would be helpful if that would open again, too.

46 Responses to “Landmark Hotel Construction Apparently on Hold”

  • 2nd street closing is staging area for Mall rebricking, although staging and parking seem to be relatively interchangeable for construction projects.

  • This guy Minor is an art lover, right? So how about just leaving it as is and calling it a modern work of art? Sort of a tribute to man’s overendulgence in the new millineum.

  • “Here’s hoping that they open up that lane on Water Street during this work stoppage. And I don’t know what the deal is with 2nd St. SE being closed between Water and South….”

    This is exactly why I never go Downtown anymore. Well, that and the complete lack of parking.

    Have you gotten any recent intelligence on the fate of the Whole Foods on Hydraulic?

  • Calluna, there’s plenty of parking downtown — you just have to park in a garage. FYI, the Whole Foods parking is going to be a garage, too, the last I heard. Just sayin’…

  • I guess maybe LD knew what he was doing after all. Three mos. to “get up to speed?”

  • Story on’s This Just In blog: a source says, “engineering and design issues” are at fault.

  • Were the engineers and designers paid under the LD regime? Just askin’, as they say…

  • one wonders if halsey hughes’s spruce goose will ever fly.

  • Still not too late for the city of Charlottesville to come in with all the “surplus” taxpayer renenues they have and take over the project to completion. Hate to say it but looks more and more like the “omni” all over again.

  • Colfer – I hear that the money issues have been resolved, at least for some subs on the project. On this design-build project, I think the building part got ahead of the designing part. This isn’t unheard of in larger construction, but it is relatively rare. Definitely not a sign of a well-run project.

  • Jogger,

    Why would the city want to do that?

  • Because we can’t have one of the jewels falling off the crown of C’ville…that being the DT Mall.

  • Why would the city not want to step in and finish this project at taxpayer expense, JL? They will tell us that an unfinished project doesn’t look good for the city and downtown area, the project when completed will be an economic boom to the downtown restaurants/merchants, there will be more people on the downtown mall which will give the outside world the mistaken impression that the mall is robust and healthy economically….etc. etc..
    JL just let your imagination go….the possibilities are endless.
    Design build project. How did the city and city planning commission/BAR let this project proceed if it was not presented in its final form with all construction i’s and t’s dotted and crossed? I don’t for one minute buy that this was a design build…What it really is, is a poorly conceived and poorly financed project from the git-go, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. If LD ever shows his head in this town with another project he should be tared, feathered and run out of town.

  • Jogger,

    What do you mean by saying “I don’t for one minute buy that this was a design build?” That seems to me like a very odd statement.

  • Now THAT would go over well- city picking up the rest of the tab for a high end hotel on a downtown mall where vendors are dropping out like flies and going out of business BUT we can’t find money to build a decent homeless shelter for both men AND women with children. Or build some decent low income housing?


  • Looks like most of these blogs are the work of Halsey or someone paid by Halsey…Could be the work of Blaine trying to get anti-support for LD and get the City to back the deal…No f—ing way as they say.

    Judging by Minor’s problems with everyone this doesn’t look like anything other than it is — a former rich man’s folly.

    Now onto the Casino Halsey wants to build in MD..this guy knows a lot about nothing. If he loves his community so much finish the project and stop the “rope a dope”.

  • Looks like most of these blogs are the work of Halsey or someone paid by Halsey…

    Um. No. That’s not even vaguely close to being true. Most of the people who have commented here I know personally, and those that I don’t I know from their comments here for a long time now. You should consider the reasonable likelihood that these people simply hold opinions that differ from your own.

  • Steve Blaine and viral marketing blogs are not even in the same dimension. Thats FUNNY!

  • Jan hate to be so negative but no building exclusively for homeless men and women with children. Charlottesville is already a mecca for these people. Low income housing is simply nuts. People with low incomes live pay check to paycheck and have no way of paying for and maintaining a house without constant taxpayer support. Charlottesville and albemarle habitat for humanity already put people in homes for less than 200K and they still cannot make the payments even with a large portion of the principal forgiven. Low income housing, bad idea.

  • Waldo—you are right; these are just opinions that really don’t matter at all. I suspect that most of the info is speculative at best and the real story is yet to be told. Just hope it gets done without taxpayer money.

  • Hotel: Only judging from the C-Ville/Hook reporting on the ice park in 1996, I was wondering if Danielson was cutting checks. Supposedly on the ice park, he drove local contractors crazy by declining to pay until they sued (Faulconer was the big one). Not a common practice around here, then, according to the press anyway. You can read a long 2003 retrospective of the affair here:
    I have no idea how accurate it is.

    Low income housing: Rep. Barney Frank has detailed ideas and background, and thinks rentals are more important than home ownership. If Obama gives him the lead on that issue, expect a lot of technocratic expertise. Get your ideologies ready for that.

  • Considering that the majority of homeowners voted Republican I can see the push in that direction.

  • This is an interesting discussion. I want to comment on the following quote I noticed in one entry.

    “Charlottesville and albemarle habitat for humanity already put people in homes for less than 200K and they still cannot make the payments even with a large portion of the principal forgiven.”

    Actually, Habitat for Humanity homeowners have a good record of making their mortgage payments, both nationally, statewide and in the Charlottesville area. The Habitat foreclosure rate continues to be lower than the national average. There seem to be several factors.
    1) Habitat partner have to have acceptable credit to be approved.
    2) Habiitat partner families have to complete homeowner education classes including budgeting classes and one-on-one budget couseling. Locally, Habitat partner families take those classes with the Albemarle County Housing counselor.
    3) Habitat families have to help build other families’ homes before they can even choose a location for their own Habitat home. This ensures that the future homeowners are serious, determined and invested in the goal of home ownership.

    The majority of Habitat homeowner families in Virginia are families of 2, 3 or 4 people who have a household income of less than $25,000 and who pay their mortgage payment on time every month. They are excellent managers. There may not be room in the budget for a pizza, but they are determined to be successful homeowners, and they are.

    Studies show that their children are more likely to make the life choices that will enable them to become homeowners as well, because they will grow up witnessing the discipline and sacrifice that their parents used to be successful homeowners.

    Overton McGehee
    Habitat for Humanity of Virginia

  • Thanks so much for that information, Overton.

  • Danpri, do you have a source for evidence for the claim that “the majority of homeowners voted republican”?

  • Have to look it up but I do recall it is form a law professor at Hamline University in MN. He does the same study every year and it is pretty much the same results for 2000/2004/2008.

  • Actually, Dan, that’s a hoax. Prof. Olson has absolutely nothing to do with it, and a bit mystified that people are attributing it to him. In fact, at least w/r/t the 2000 election, George Bush won the states who are net financial losses for the country (that is, the states who pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal services), and Gore won those states that are net gains for the country.

    A quick comparison of this year’s results and federal spending/income by state shows that about the same is true this time, except that Obama won some of those states that Bush had won before. Of the bottom ten states (the net losses for the country), Obama won two (VA & NM), McCain won eight. Of the top ten states (the net gains for the country), Obama won all of them.

    Now, none of that is specifically about home ownership. Unfortunately, I can’t find a thing about that yet. No doubt that it’ll be available in the next National Election Study, that gold mine of information available after every federal election. They interview bajillons of people, asking them very specific questions about their background, beliefs, and voting behavior, and the results are perfect for this sort of thing. Obama beat out McCain among the middle class (or at least he was in polling right before the election), so it seems pretty unlikely that the majority of homeowners voted for McCain.

  • Well danggummitt- you killed some of my right wing arguments. But, as stated in the past, I remain a bit off the traditional Republican bent and have had trouble with Dems who seem to feel that because I have this leaning, I must support Bush. It is basic to me that I want success of the country and will support my President until such a time he proves that I need to support another direction.

    But I do lean to letting the free market sort itself out rather than continually propping it up. Remind the banks why they are the piece of Greenspans capitalism thoughts that were the exception when they are to be the rule. Numbskulls that killed the economy should be the ones without jobs. Those banks that lent money to people who had no place owning homes should be wondering how THEY will pay their own mortages.

  • It could be that danpri is right about the home ownership bit. Cities are home to better-educated, liberal voters. Cities are also home to apartments, many of which are rented. It stands to reason, then, that liberal voters may in fact live in rented apartments while less well-educated, conservative, rural voters may live in homes.

  • Dan, there’s not a thing wrong with any of that. Those of us who own (or, in my case, in the past tense) small businesses can get particularly upset seeing that the bailouts go to the rich guys, while the little guys get nothing. That seems reasonable enough to me.

  • Voice of Doom,
    Cities are home to better educated voters? Like Detroit, Chicago, NYC? You’re in a bubble of people like yourself. Take a walk over to Garrett St some night and hang out with your educated liberal friends there.

    Yes, there are well-educated people in cities, just like in suburban and rural areas. The opposite holds as well.

  • Mr. McGhee care to enlighten the group as to who will hold a mortgage for these people, that own a home making less than $25K per year. Don’t they actually pay their payments to Habitat? What happens when they can’t meet their mortgage payment? Who pays there real estate taxes and who performs the maintenance on these homes. When does habitat let go and let them sink on their own? Sure when these people move into their new home they try and make a few payments but they fall behind and the taxpayer bails them out. Homeownership even homeowner ship through habitat is not for everyone. Homeownership implies stability in ones life and living hand to mouth and just scraping by is not stability.

  • Jogger, it sounds like you are a fan of Rep. Barney Frank :):)
    Search down to “Bernie Sanders” for a description of the program, emphasizing rentals, not home ownership.
    OK, you can search down to “Ronald Reagan” if you like, it’s derived from his program……. ;)

  • fdr,

    I would point you to the following link, that describes and discusses the educational disparity between rural (conservative in the recent election) and urban (liberal in the recent election) areas. There are, of course, highly educated conservatives and poorly educated liberals, but the general trend is otherwise:

    If you google “rural urban education,” you will find numerous references to this phenomenon.

  • One posting a couple of messages above had a question about Habitat for Humanity.

    Habitat loans are not held by banks. The local Habitat affiliate is the lender and holds the mortgage. The Habitat homeowner family pays their mortgage payments to the Habitat affiliate.

    If a Habitat homeowner falls behind on their mortgage and does not have a good plan for catching up, the Habitat affiliate forecloses and the home goes up for auction. Because of the mortgage, the Habitat affiliate owns some of the equity in the home. So, sometimes the Habitat affiliate buys the house at auction, in order to sell it to another qualified Habitat partner family.

    Nationwide, the foreclosure rate on Habitat homes has been lower than the national average foreclosure rate, for some of the reasons I mentioned in the posting a few messages above.

    Worldwide, there are more than 200,000 families who own Habitat homes. As with any other form of homeownership, a few of them fall behind and lose their homes, but the majority of them have a great pride of ownership and make their payments on time every month.

    The reader also had a question about real estate taxes. Habitat homeowners pay into an escrow fund for real estate taxes and the local Habitat affiliate, like most other lenders, makes sure the real estate taxes are paid.

    Overton McGehee
    Habitat for Humanity of Virginia

  • Mr. McGhee care to enlighten the group as to who will hold a mortgage for these people, that own a home making less than $25K per year. Don’t they actually pay their payments to Habitat? What happens when they can’t meet their mortgage payment? Who pays there real estate taxes and who performs the maintenance on these homes. When does habitat let go and let them sink on their own?

    Jogger, you already got owned by Overton. (Keep digging…there’s a pony in there somewhere?) Do your own research.

  • Mr. McGee your habitat for humanity is a true non-profit Government supported socialist program. Socialism at its very best. Take from the haves and give to the have nots. Create dependence rather than independence. Destroy self esteem rather than promote self confidence and a can do attitude. No wonder this program requires more and more of the taxpayers money each year.
    Home ownership is a priviledge and not a right.
    Waldo, you should now be able to see the pony as well as smell the manure.
    Oh, by the way what is the status of the Landmark Hotel construction? Still on hold?

  • Socialism, really? As a conservative I applaud the work done by Habitat. It is a program where people volunteer their time and donate goods. That’s charity with social good. It does what government can’t do well for alot less money. HfH can pick and choose who gets a house. People who get picked have to use their own labor and have a higher sense of ownership because of it. While it does have non profit status what it does benefits society greatly.

    Jogger, there is lots to pick on in this world for socialistic failures (much of section 8 housing for example) Habitat is not one of them.

  • Perlogik, section 8’s have to pay something every month in order to stay in their units whereas, HFH homeowners don’t have to pay every month if they don’t have the means. I am not picking on HFH, but just trying to point out one example of how socialist our society has become. Also, if you are going to critize socialism in this country you cannot pick and choose the organizatiions and programs which need reforming and don’t need reforming. It’s sort of like being pregnant or not being pregnant. There is no in between, you either are or you aren’t.

  • Jogger,

    Can you tell us what’s so wrong with spreading the wealth around? What do you feel the wealthy have done to deserve their wealth? Why should hard-working people continue to live in poverty if a helping hand can lift them up? If we know that capitalism (especially over the past eight years) concentrated wealth in the grubby hands of a few (some of whom did no work whatsoever), what is wrong with correcting this injustice? How is a government redistribution any different than a non-governmental redistribution, when all is said and done?

  • Jogger,

    I’m guessing that you drive on roads that we’ve built. Are you a socialist?

    I’m guessing that at some point that you’ve made a living working in an economy made safe, predictable and therefore profitable by a shared national defense and **gasp** regulation. Does that make you a socialist?

    Do you overpay your insurance costs because you’re too proud to accept that that the existence of a socially-supported police force reduce your risk?

    Are you refusing social security and medicare when you come of age? Do you now reject the care of MD’s who financed their education with government loans?

    You’re looking utterly foolish here. Buh-bye.

  • Regarding the posting three messages above, I am not aware of any Habitat for Humanity affiliates that allow homeowners to miss payments without serious consequences. Missed payments usually cause Habitat affiliates to add late fees and to initiate forclosure proceedings.

    Interesting discussion!

    Overton McGehee
    Habitat for Humanity of Virginia

  • Jogger you seem to confuse government programs with non-profits. Government programs I can demand they reform as they deal with my tax dollars and are suppose to be controlled by my elected officials.

    Non-profits, such as HfH, I can’t control unless I’m on a board or perhps give money to. As long as they take money from private source and don’t run afoul of tax laws; they can do what they want.

    I just don’t think you got it right about socialism and how it relates to HfH. I don’t think I can convince you otherwise.

  • Remember, Habitat builds houses for money. Helping people is their business model. A nonprofit is a for-profit corporation that doesn’t pay corporate taxes. Some of that profit goes back to help people and some goes to profit folks like McGehee.

    Here’s the most detailed report in existence of a specific local example of how Habitat operates.

    “Update on illegal Habitat houses”, Dec. 18, 2006 Includes photos, public comments, lengthy quotes at city council meeting, and thoughtful blog comments.

    McGehee: “The families purchase the homes with an interest free loan”…In response to the concern that the families won’t be able to afford rising costs, McGehee said the mortgage is to be paid over a longer term than typical. Habitat believes their families should not pay more than 25% of their income for mortgage, taxes, and insurance. Some neighbors have said they want the land sold on the “open market” but Habitat prefers the transfer be thought of as “an investment in affordable housing.”

    City council ignored a 64-signature petition in opposition to “donating surplus city lots.” Nothing like moving into a neighborhood where your neighbors protested the process whereby you moved there.

  • Voice of Doom,

    I think Jogger is way out of line, but “What do you feel the wealthy have done to deserve their wealth?”. That is as ridiculous a comment as many that Jogger has made.

    Plenty of wealthy people deserve their wealth. Many have worked their butts off, hands to the bone, and invested wisely. They spent years living below their means and saving, unlike most in this country that live above their means, spending more than they make and living on credit cards and buying houses they can’t afford, and then feed off government handouts.

    Many wealthy people deserve every bit of their wealth, and the government has no right to take so much of it and p!ss it away in DC. Our government is shamefully wasteful.

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