Nimby Assessment

Vandalism Increases Renovation Costs

Background on the Impediment

The floor plan for the apartment building is adequate for the proposed use, and proposed renovations had been limited to upgrading the heating, and electrical systems, modernizing the kitchens, and painting and carpeting throughout. The total projected capital costs, including acquisition and remodeling costs, fell within the development budget caps imposed by the state department of homeless assistance.

Unfortunately, there has been extensive vandalism to the property since the project was announced. A fire caused extensive smoke and water damage, even though it was contained to one unit by a rapid response from the fire department. However, before setting the fire, the vandals had caused severe damage to two other apartments by smashing in walls, and pulling out and hurling bathroom fixtures throughout the building. The additional costs of repairing the damage put the total development budget over the state caps and therefore make the project ineligible for funding. Without a funding commitment, ABC's Board of Directors will not allow the CEO to exercise the purchase option, although the option period is due to expire in 60 days.

The county (the current owner of the building since foreclosure) is self-insured for property damage and losses, but it is resisting paying these additional costs for repairs in light of the neighbors' vocal opposition. The county refuses to reduce the contracted purchase price, in spite of the damage to the building, but ABC doesn't want to void the contract and potentially lose site control. Meanwhile, the county has started to consider other offers from developers who have been recruited by the neighbors.


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