Jilted again? Dewberry, City, clash over hotel project

When I was with the Hook I tried to explain to John Dewberry’s people that the abandoned Landmark Hotel project was a sore spot for us, that we’d been burned by a sharp-tongued, thin-skinned developer and his partner, who left the Landmark at the altar, her gown in tatters, and that while she’s stood there stoically with what little dignity she can muster, absorbing all the forlorn looks she receives, the whispers, someone really needed to relieve her from her embarrassment. Well, I didn’t put it exactly like that, but the point was that showing some concern and reassuring us that she would be taken care of would go a long way in this town.

How long has it been since ground was broken on the Landmark Hotel? Check out our stopwatch HERE

However, in a recent letter to City officials, who dared to suggest Dewberry better secure the site and hurry the project along, the developer showed he’s as sharp-tongued and thin-skinned as the previous owner, firing off a defensive, sarcastic missive that even suggested City officials were hypocrites.

He also revealed that he has not yet secured financing for a similar hotel project in Charleston, South Carolina, the renovation of a 1960s-era federal building that has been sitting dormant for 13 years, which he has said needs to be finished before the Landmark project can begin. Last June, he indicated that ground would be broken on the Charleston project in the fall of 2012. Now he says that won’t happen until February 2014, depending on if the financing comes through. What’s more, he’s seeking financing for a new, untested Dewberry brand hotel chain, which will likely make lenders wary.

So, of course, the big question on everybody’s mind is “when can we expect the Landmark Hotel to be finished?”

Well, since the Charleston project won’t begin until February 2014, and likely won’t be finished for at least a year after that, if not more, we’re looking at a start date for the Landmark around the fall of 2015, with a completion date around the end of 2016. So we’ll likely be looking at that shell of a building for another 3 or 4 years. And keep in mind, that is a BEST case scenario.

Meanwhile, the war of words that has broken out between Dewberry and City officials isn’t going to help matters.

Oh, also, where did Dewberry get that coffee on the Mall at 5:30am?

Read Dewberry’s letter below:

Dewberry letter

Development People

David McNair View All →

writer. journalist. editor

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