Billy Maddalon hopes his second attempt to secure the future of the VanLandingham Estate goes better than the first.
The owner of the 5-acre historic estate on The Plaza – now an inn and conference center – was shocked in 2015 when Charlotte City Council voted down a plan to rezone the site for 19 townhouses and a community pool club.
Maddalon said the future of the property, saddled with about $1 million worth of debt and expensive upkeep to its grounds, was uncertain.
This month, Maddalon filed new plans to rezone the property for 22 townhouses, which would be built on the part of the site not occupied by the main house. There’s no swimming pool in this iteration, which some neighbors had opposed.
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“The feedback we got last time was there wasn’t much pushback on the townhouse part of the project,” Maddalon said. He said he’s still negotiating with possible builders, but if the rezoning is approved the townhouses will be built by one company and will be “appropriate to the market today.”
Maddalon said he’s not certain the VanLandingham Estate will remain an inn and event space, though he plans to retain ownership. The house, more than a century old, could someday be anything from offices to a residence to a restaurant, he said.
“I’m not sure (the current) going concern will continue,” said Maddalon. “The question going forward will be what does the marketplace need to be in its next iteration?”
Maddalon credited Wells Fargo for working with him on the property’s debt, and said he’s hopeful the current rezoning plan will provide a long-term solution. If a portion of the property can be sold for townhouses, that would allow Maddalon to retire the property’s debts and figure out what to do next.
“We need to get it right this time, obviously,” said Maddalon. “At some point, you don’t want to keep tempting fate.”
Charlotte City Council will hold a hearing on the case in the coming months and then vote on the plan.