Trial date set for the case between Petersburg and the owner of the Old Ramada Inn


PETERSBURG – The City complaint of 267 pages against the owner of the Old Ramada Inn is scheduled to be heard by the Petersburg Circuit Court. The abandoned building has garnered much attention for its appearance and visibility with residents and visitors entering the city from I-95.

Petersburg announced plans to take legal action against owner Chris Harrison and CA Harrison Companies LLC in April. The city’s lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment and injunction that will force Harrison to tear down the property. He also filed a second petition to allow city staff to enter the property and downsize or demolish it if Harrison failed to downsize within a certain time frame.

Following:Petersburg files legal action to possibly demolish the old Ramada Inn

The case was set for June 13, 2022 in Petersburg Circuit Court, case number CL21-00495-00.

Harrison first closed the building in 2015, planning to create a hotel and mixed-use development with apartments, shops and offices and a restaurant. Delay after delay, the building has remained almost intact, leading the city to call its actions a “blatant refusal” not to repair the property.

Senator Joseph Morrissey stood alongside Mayor Samuel Parham at a press conference in June and announced his firm intentions to completely demolish the building. Morrissey, who represents Petersburg, made the dilapidated hotel an important part of his election message in 2020.

Petersburg city council has yet to announce its full decision between downsizing or demolition, although Parham has said the city will be ready to be dismantled.

“Petersburg will continue its efforts to eliminate this dangerous horror and will not stop until the property is up to code or demolished,” said Mayor Samuel Parham. “The city is actively seeking funds to remove this building if the owner doesn’t. so.”

A 57-page report from an architectural firm earlier this year detailed nearly 140 total property code violations. At the same time, city code officials imposed $ 14,000 in penalties for these violations.

Harrison previously said Petersburg made it harder for him to find funding by publicizing the litany of code violations against property, believing that bad press deters lenders.

According to a city press release, the defendants are currently represented by Spencer Wiegard of the law firm GENTRY LOCKE in Roanoke, Va., But seek to replace Wiegard with attorney Don Scott, a Virginia delegate from Portsmouth and the lawyer Todd Fiorella from Norfolk.

You can reach Sean Jones at s[email protected] Follow him on @SeanJones_PI. Follow the Progress-Index on Twitter at @ProgressIndex.

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