If not now, when?

Some of you might have noticed we had 2 water-main breaks this week in the same day, following the terrible trembler 'NokeQuake 09. One, in the area of 2nd and Franklin - was right down from an area where a good deal of utility work has been ongoing in the past few months. So there's a good chance the pipe has been shaken around prior. The other pipe, well - that's a whole 'nother story.

Remember our old friend - the unspoken blockade to downtown development - the Patrick Henry Hotel?

Well, yes - the pipe bust there. As it was reported, some water did penetrate the PH. Know what that means? More damage to the old lady.

I could post link after link after link to the court documents on this property, it's amazingly un-jailed owners, and how many pension plans were ripped off - intimidated - and outright lied to in regards to this building. It would mean nothing. However, there is hope...

Affirmative Management (aka. Affirmative Equities Company, Patrick Henry Hotel Associates, LP - oh here, read the details in this .pdf) has not paid, well... anything in a few years. Which means, and it has been mentioned in the past - the Patrick Henry Hotel is in arrears when it comes to property taxes. At last check, back in Dec. 2008 - the PH owed the city over 80,000 dollars in past due taxes at the time it's parent company filed for Chapter 11. Well, it's nearing the halfway mark of 2009, and so far - no word has leaked about the City's plans for the building.

Why? Andrew Jubelt has no real intent to develop the property, it's just a pawn for him to use against some pension funds he has tied up in it (see .pdf above). It is crumbling, as has been evidenced in photos taken from the inside recently (roanoke times 10/2/08), and sadly - it's nearing the point of condemnation.

The recent water main bust has surely left some damage, and will only aid in her demise.

How long before the city moves to take the Patrick Henry, and sell it to someone who can make it viable (or at worst case scenario, demolish it carefully - saving what can be saved), and a worthy match for the new Social Security building across the street.

Revitalize Jefferson? Perk up downtown's economy? Rid yourself of a nasty white elephant? Or maybe just extract the name of Roanoke from the business properties of a very dubious charicter.

Will we be lamenting the collapse of the PH in ten years? Or celebrating the smartest decision the city leaders have ever made?


Anonymous said...

Pipes don't bust. They burst.

Museice said...

This is Roanoke. Of course The Patrick Henry Building will sit empty and stagnant until it crumbles under the weight of neglect.
I'm sure the 'New Amphitheater' will draw thousand of visitors which will of course spur economic development on Jefferson Street just like the Trolleys.

Anonymous said...

Well, if they ever did decide to condemn it, and tear it down, the usual group of obstructionists would line up around the building carrying their "Concerned Citizens of Downtown Roanoke" signs, with much moaning and gnashing of teeth over what a beautiful, historic building it is, and that Roanoke destroys anything that is old.
Let it sit for awhile. When the economy bounces back, perhaps some innovative risk taker will snatch it up for a song, and turn it into condos.