A wall in the former Paulee Restaurant in Richmond’s Historic District that was deemed to be crumbling and unsafe in 2012 remains unrepaired. The owner, GBA Properties, was ordered to effect repairs by court order in 2013. GBA Properties was given 180 days to make the repairs in early November 2013.
The cost of the repairs has been estimated at $120,000. GBA Properties is also being sued by the former owner of the restaurant that operated in the building, which was forced to close due to the crumbling, unsafe wall. The owner, Beth Brittenham-Foster, is the daughter of the original owner of the restaurant, which had famously operated at that address for more than six decades, becoming a landmark in the historic district until it was forced to close.
GBA counter-sued the owner as well as an advertising company that had attached signs to the wall. Structural engineers have determined that the improper mounting of these signs contributed to the wall’s collapse. GBA believe this makes the wall’s repair outside their responsibility.
As the tangled web of accusations and lawsuits mounts, the wall remains unrepaired in violation of the court order. The mediation is designed to get things moving in that direction again. GBA has stated it does not believe it should be responsible for the damage to the wall, despite the court order explicitly putting responsibility on the company. All sides are ordered to agree on a mediator by May 1st.