When ground broke on the Landmark Hotel nearly two years ago, developer Halsey Minor said it would be “like nothing people have ever seen.” Boy, oh boy, have truer words never been spoken. Since then, Minor’s been involved in a slew of nasty lawsuits
, the most recent of which
involved a refiled suit against former developer Lee Danielson for allegedly colluding with the hotel’s lender, Specialty Finance Group. (You with us?)
The Landmark was slated to be in pillow-fluffing stage by last summer. And, even though it’s nowhere near that, you can enjoy a taste of Minorland a different way. Communicate with him in his preferred mode: via lawsuit. Here’s how you do it:
First, visit General District Court Clerk Mary Alice Trimble (at 606 E. Market St.) and fill out a Warrant in Debt. Then, present her with the name of the defendant, the current address of the defendant, the amount of your claim, the basis of the claim and sufficient funds to pay the filing fee (you can calculate this online
), as well as any sheriff’s fee for serving the warrant. A “return date”—the time and date both you and the defendant should return to court for the trial—will be assigned and included in the civil warrant.
Not admissible in court, and when has that ever stopped a litigant, we have three realistic-sounding ideas for civil suits against Charlottesville’s lawsuit guru.
Property damage. Sure, the former Boxer Learning Center—where the Landmark’s skeleton now sits—was no Roman cathedral. But it certainly was better—with its black granite facade and, well, window panes—than what Minor has left for us to stare at in its wake. Isn’t it Real Estate 101 to buy the worst property on the block and transform it into something beautiful? Sue the bastard.
Lost opportunity. The 100-room luxury boutique hotel at one point was promised as a catalyst for a new retail tier on the Mall. “We’ve been approached by people like Apple, Anthropologie and others,” Minor said in 2008. Now, the “Landmark” serves as a Monument to the Recession. Meanwhile, Anthropologie took up at Barracks Road and the arrival of an Apple store seems unlikely, as it would require things like electrical outlets and roofing. Hire an attorney.
Emotional distress. Minor promised us a restaurant, a bar, state-of-the-art meeting facilities and even a rooftop terrace. And what did we get? The building’s sad exoskeleton, which creaks and moans and—we don’t think we’re too far off with this—mocks us as we walk by. Why did you deceive us, Halsey? Why?
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