Updated: Tuesday, 16 Mar 2010, 6:34 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 15 Mar 2010, 9:51 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Plagued by problems with Chinese drywall, it seems things are looking up at Harbor Walk Condominiums. In 2009, developer Henin Group abandoned the Ocean View project. Now, nearly one year later, there is a new developer taking their place.
"It's a great thing for Ocean View because had the project remained dormant for much longer, it got less and less likely that somebody was going to come in and pick that project up," said Norfolk Councilman Randy Wright.
Wright says Franciscus Homes broke ground at Harbor Walk Condominiums in January. Florida-based developer Henin Group abandoned the project after a handful of homeowners discovered their condos were built with Chinese drywall. Homeowners claimed the building material emitted a corrosive gas that damaged electrical systems and caused health problems.
"I think they've worked around those issues the truth is there was only a handful of the units that had the drywall," said Wright.
Wright says Franciscus Homes worked on a very tight time-line to get approval from the city and homeowners association. It agreed to not only buy the remaining land but also build more than 150 new homes.
"This is a really great thing for Ocean View and the city," said Wright.
Wright says despite the negative perception for some here, he does not anticipate the developer will have any problem selling the new homes.
"The city council has long passed an ordinance that outlaws any Chinese drywall being used anywhere in this city and we are monitoring it very closely," said Wright.
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