YOU Issue: We wish we had a better Dewberry update

We're approaching the 10th anniversary of when construction ceased on the Landmark Hotel in January 2009.  
Photo by Ashley Twiggs We’re approaching the 10th anniversary of when construction ceased on the Landmark Hotel in January 2009. Photo by Ashley Twiggs

Here’s what readers asked for:

Landmark Hotel…I would like to see someone address each City Council meeting with the question, “What have you done this week to move this project forward?”—Ida Simmons

Ah, the Dewberry Hotel. Somehow we knew there’d be inquiring minds, and while there’s not much new to report, we can tell you where it stands now.

This winter, we’re approaching the 10th anniversary of when construction ceased on the Landmark Hotel.

The last time we wrote about its Downtown Mall skeleton, we said the Board of Architectural Review had approved more height in March—for a total of 117-and-a-half feet, with an additional 16-foot rooftop structure —for Waynesboro-born and Atlanta-based developer John Dewberry, who bought the derelict Landmark in 2012 and promised to put it out of its misery. It has obviously taken longer than he (and the city) imagined.

City spokesperson Brian Wheeler had no updates to offer. Dewberry, who dodged multiple calls during our last report, again did not respond to an interview request.

The developer had originally said he’d start building the Charlottesville hotel after finishing one in Charleston, South Carolina. But that happened in the summer of 2016, and we still haven’t seen any progress. Dewberry, dubbed “Atlanta’s emperor of empty lots,” by Bloomberg Businessweek, also holds an extremely valuable piece of land in Atlanta.

But if you ask the multitudes—presumably locals—who have left gag Google reviews for the uninhabited hotel, the place clearly has its quirks.

“Located in the heart of the historic Downtown mall, the Dewberry Charlottesville offers a unique opportunity for the adventurous traveler,” writes reviewer Lindsey Fogle. “You can experience the fine cuisine, art, and shopping of this celebrated area while also getting that once-in-a-lifetime feel of falling nails. The attention to detail cannot be overstated, from the beautiful patina of rusted steel to the incredibly lifelike rodents scurrying through dilapidated plywood. My only advice to management is to offer complimentary tetanus shots in lieu of a pillow.”

Adds Fogle, “This fine establishment stands alone among Charlottesville’s amenities, and likely always will. It’s truly the crown jewel of the Dewberry line of hotels.”

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