Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Arlington: Finish or Demolish Bromptons at Cherrydale

The Bromptons at Cherrydale, a 22-unit, mixed-use townhouse-style condo and retail development at 3800 Lee Highway that has stood unfinished since 2006, must now either be either be fully completed or demolished, per an agreement between the Arlington County Board and developer Ed Peete.

After selling out the condos during the banner year for condo sales that was 2004, work on the Bromptons stopped in March 2006 after County inspectors found the structure to be faulty, with uneven floors and load-bearing members incapable of bearing the building’s weight. The developer laid the blame for the structural deficiencies on the project's structural engineers – whom Peete later took to court over the matter, though Peete is still working with the project architect.

Meanwhile, beginning in 2007, the developer pledged that he would demolish the work already underway, re-pour the foundation and begin the Bromptons anew. After two raze permits were granted – and lapsed – the County officially declared the quasi-building a "blight" in September 2008 and authorized legal action action against the Ed Peete Company, with the hope of recouping the estimated $600-900,000 of taxpayer funds required to demolish the building on the County’s dime. The County Attorney’s case was scheduled to be heard next week, but has been called off in the light of the settlement announced today.

According to Board Chairman Barbara Favola, today’s agreement “eliminates the uncertainty of this project that has become such an eyesore in the Cherrydale neighborhood.” Per the terms of the settlement, the Peete and company must “make the necessary repairs to complete the approved site plan project and bring it into compliance with the building code within an agreed timeline,” while giving the County the right to carry out demolition should the project not “proceed in accordance with a detailed timeline that specifies each incremental step in the re-design and repair process.” Peete will also be putting $250,000 in escrow to contribute to the cost of any eventual raze and work is set begin again at the site as early as next month. According to the County, the building’s exterior, along with sidewalks and landscaping, will be the first features attended to, so that “the community can begin to enjoy the benefits“ as soon as possible. WHA will remain onboard as the project's architect.

Arlington, VA real estate development news


Richard Stabile Bergen County Real Estate on May 20, 2009, 10:17:00 PM said...

It is wild, banks are bull dozing half built houses, they are not worth it to finish. Unusual times for sure. Was the problem that it had faulty construction or was it they were skimping? Did they just mess up and then did have the funds to fix it? Either way it is a sign of our times.

Faith on May 20, 2009, 10:55:00 PM said...

Habitat for Humanity should give serious consideration to making that NoVa property in Arlington a mixed income condo building. Putting all low-income folks on one site is asking for trouble (even with just 12 units) ..... unless it's for a temporary, sensitively monitored and supervised period of adjustment, support and training in home maintenance and financial management, etc., before moving up to an independent living situation.

What should work well is to open sales and promote these condos to people within a limited range of incomes in order to ensure some degree of income diversity as well as life experiences. If everyone in the building is poor, it's too easy for people to feel down on their luck and resentful. But if you mix it up a little, then relationships can develop on the basis of people's humanity -- for who they are as human beings, not for what they have or don't have.

ChrisP said...

Do we know anything about a given deadline?

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