City leaders push to jump start revitalization on old hotel

Posted at 10:09 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 23:02:23-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- It's considered the biggest eyesore in Petersburg - for good reason.

The abandoned hotel sits at the entrance to the City and is highly visible from both the north and southbound lanes of Interstate 95.

Vice Mayor John Hart and City Council Member Darrin Hill say they get asked about twice a week about the hotel.

The situation has become so dire, a delegation from Petersburg recently headed to Washington DC to meet with the developer "We wanted to know where we stood as far as getting this building taken care of" says Hart who admits he had concerns on the drive up "I went up there with zero percent confidence.  I came back at about 75".

The developer, Chris Harrison is facing both legal and financial issues.

One positive out of the meeting, a possible way to get the developer the cash he needs to complete the project and without costing the city any money.

It will involve City Council passing a tax ordinance "Hopefully we can get this ordinance passed so he can help get the funding to do, no cost to the City" said Council Member Hill.

The bottom line to those who drive past of work nearby is: the property needs to be fixed or torn down.

The sentiment of Lou Meredith whose family has operated a business a few doors down from the hotel, since before it was built "It's an eyesore to the city and as a business owner and property owner in the same block, we would like to see something viable here".