A.C.O.R.N helps in fight to save homes in Ginter Park

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – An offer is now on the table for two historic homes in Ginter Park that are slated for demolition. Residents have been rallying to save the 90 year old homes for the last two weeks.

Since we first brought you this story people have been rallying around these homes trying to find a buyer. A.C.O.R.N got involved this weekend and it may have made a huge difference.

"We are willing to work hard to preserve these houses and preserve the integrity of this block," said Meg Lawrence, Ginter Park Residents Association.

The two homes and a third adjoining lot at the corner of Bellevue and Chamberlayne Avenue were bought by the Robins Foundation in 2005. The foundation had hoped to build a family learning center, but Executive Director Bill Roberts says when met by opposition from the community they decided to build the center further down the road.

Last month the foundation filed for a permit to have the homes demolished, causing a visible uproar in the neighborhood.

The Ginter Park Residents Association Board even held an emergency meeting over the weekend where it pledged to help reimburse several costs if the foundation would put the homes on the market for 6 months.

"We feel that by these actions we have removed any financial incentive for demolition," said Lawrence.

Also over the weekend the alliance to conserve old Richmond neighborhoods stepped in and sent a mass email to its contacts about the properties.

"We've saved houses before that we're literally on their way to the dump. These are nowhere near on their way to the dump. I think honestly with a little bit of elbow grease you could turn the utilities on and live in them right now," said David Herring, A.C.O.R.N. Executive Director.

In just 24 hours, one of A.C.O.R.N.'s contacts made an offer. Roberts would not confirm the offer, but said today his foundation is more than willing to consider a fair price for the properties.

"If the deal can work, everybody wins, everybody wins," said Herring.So far, the city has not granted a demolition permit. We're told that process could take several weeks. The asking price for both properties is a total of $425,000.

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