Fri, 21 March 2008
March 21, 2008
Solving the problem
Grubb is involved in a mediation process with Rodgers Builders, the executive board of the Latta Pavilion Condominium Owners Association Inc. and the project's designer, Charlotte-based FMK Architects.
"We have consulted with numerous experts and coordinated professional tests of many units as well as overall airflow in the building," the homeowners association said in a statement sent to the Charlotte Business Journal this week. "Based on what the experts tell us, we believe the primary problem is insufficient airflow between the units and the outside environment."
Association member Buck Lawrimore, owner of a communications firm who is acting as the group's spokesman, declines to comment on the issue.
In the written statement, the association says it's working with Grubb and Rodgers Builders to find a solution. So far, the focus is on installing fans that would funnel the gas out of the building. The cost: $5,000 per unit, or $1.3 million.
Grubb pledges that tenants won't bear any of the expense, but it's not clear who will.
Grubb believes a faulty ventilation system designed by FMK is the cause of the radon problems.
Not so fast, says Allan McGuire, managing principal at the architectural firm. He says his company designed Latta Pavilion to meet the Charlotte-Mecklenburg building codes, and it was constructed accordingly. "Nothing is unique about the Latta Pavilion system that would allow it to contain radon over other systems we have done."
Fong says he's unaware of any similar problem in a building in
McGuire says Grubb is ultimately responsible for delivering a safe building.
Rodgers Builders executives did not return calls.
"It's a weird, perfect storm of strange occurrences that are causing this," says Sandy Kindbom, who heads the uptown office of Allen Tate Realtors. Tate is the primary sales representative for Latta Pavilion and
Caught up in that storm are condo owners such as Brian Cowman, who moved into his $370,000 Latta Pavilion unit a couple of months ago, before the radon issue came to light.
Cowman says he's not concerned about the short-term health impact. He is worried about the potential damage to the value of his unit. "If you have place one and place two and there is an issue at one, you are going to choose place two."
There are currently 22 units in Latta Pavilion and the adjacent
While residents do have a justifiable concern about resale values,
The state's real estate license law imposes upon real estate agents the duty to disclose material facts about the properties they list. But those rules do not apply to the seller.
Next: Still selling