City adjourns demo hearing for downtown building, giving time to review redevelopment plans
The fate of a former downtown hotel is on hold.
City officials adjourned a demolition hearing for two weeks on Thursday, allowing time to hammer out a possible resolution.
The old Richford Hotel sits on the corner of Elm and Chestnut streets, at the edge of the Midtown block, across the street from the Hotel Cadillac. This is the second time in seven years that the city has sought a possible demolition order. Christopher Lattuca, a lawyer representing the building owners, blamed poor communication.
“I think the city was under the impression that nothing was happening,” he said. “And that couldn't be farther from the truth.”
The city filed for the demolition hearing last month, which led owners to step up planning and retain a team also including developer Patrick Dutton. Earlier this week Dutton outlined a $20 million plan to save the building, converting it to office and retail space with loft-style apartments and a rooftop patio.
In a statement Thursday, a city spokesperson said officials want a detailed plan to review, and that any agreement must include a defined timeline, confirmed financing and “immediate actions to abate current safety hazards.”
Lattuca said settlement details have yet to be determined.
“I'll have a better idea of exactly what those will look like after we get something on paper with the city,” he said. “We just agree that there do need to be steps taken and that, you know, greater communication about what those steps are and that they've been completed and that we're moving on to next phases.”
The building has sat behind barricades since last year, when metal cladding that once covered the building started falling off during a windstorm. The city also is requiring reimbursement for expenses incurred responding to the siding collapse, securing the area, and erecting the barricades.
The demolition hearing is scheduled to resume on Oct. 12.