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After years of disarray, old Petersburg Ramada Inn almost demolished

Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-27 18:16:28-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- One of Petersburg's most controversial buildings, the old Ramada Inn, is expected to be gone by the end of the week.

While many consider the building to be an eyesore, some Petersburg residents hold on to happy memories associated with the building's past.

"My wedding reception was held inside after they remodeled it the last time. It was so beautiful inside when we had our reception, that's why we had it here, it was beautiful," Steve Gay said.

But for nearly a decade when the building was supposed to be under renovation, it fell on hard times, getting worse each passing year.

On September 1, 2016, the City of Petersburg partnered with Chris Harrison to renovate not just the old hotel but almost the entire block. However, months turn to years with no progress.

"It didn't really give a good image at all for Petersburg," Cara Proctor, who works near the old building, said.

In April 2021, the city turned to the courts for help. Two months later, the city filed a 267-page document in circuit court, wanting Harrison to abate and demolish the building.

In 2022, with help from the General Assembly, the city bought back the property from Harrison and immediately went to work, trying to get the building torn down.

The main building is supposed to be down shortly and the entire property will be rid of debris and ready for its next chapter.

"Now they've got a nice blank slate they could work from. And it's a great spot off of 95 so it's got a lot of potential," Gay said.

With 85% of the main building down, the demolition is expected to meet its deadline. After that, all the debris is scheduled to be hauled away and the remnants of the parking garage gone sometime in January.

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