VanLandingham owners seeking permission for wrecking ball

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Admirers of Charlotte's VanLandingham Estate call it a neighborhood gem for the Plaza Midwood Community, but the big green building is causing owner of 19 years, Billy Maddalon, to absorb the pain of red ink.

"The VanLandingham Estate has operated well since '98, but it hasn't operated profitably. The VanLandingham Estate is a critical part of Plaza Midwood," Maddalon said.

Visit the estate's website and a wide range of services from lodging to parties are listed, but the estate's decline in profit means redefining the mission.

"Clearly what we're doing is not the right economic fit for the estate," he said.

Despite the historic designation on the front porch, Maddalon isn't ruling out the wrecking ball.

Dr. Dan Morrill of the Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission says Maddalon is requesting what's called a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Morrill said, "He wants to have the option to demolish it. You cannot deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness."

In recent years, a new development plan couldn't get past Charlotte City Council, but Maddalon says the option of demolition opens the door to the new possibilities.

The estate is made up of two buildings on five acres along the Plaza. One option is keeping the structure and parceling out the land around it.

"At this time my dad and I are the only two owners of the VanLandingham Estate that are left, and my dad isn't getting any younger, and it's time for us to do something that stops the bleeding," Maddalon said.

The Historic Landmarks Commission will decide on the permit application this November 13th.

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