A longtime eyesore and safety hazard in Chantilly is headed for demolition one way or another with an upcoming county public hearing, a step in enforcing the county’s newly adopted blight ordinance.
The target is the United Rentals Building at 43910 Eastgate View Drive.
According to county staff members, the property has been the site of at least four fires since November 2016. It has also been the site of numerous Sheriff’s Office calls, including suspicious activity complaints, building checks, and a parking violation.
On Dec. 1, 2017—less than two months after the county’s new blight ordinance was adopted in October—county staff members received a complaint about the building. The building’s owner, G J Malt Corporation, said the property was involved in a recently settled lawsuit, and the company was moving to sell the land. The company requested the county hold off on enforcement, a request that was granted until May 1, 2018.
On May 15, the property owner wrote to inform the county he intends to demolish the structure. However, the county began moving ahead with its own blight abatement program. After a fire July 19, the fire marshal ordered the owner to secure the structure—county staff had informed the property owner than a door had been pried open in May. A second letter, according to a county staff report, has still yielded no results, and the next step is a criminal complaint.
Now, the Board of Supervisors is set for a public hearing Oct. 10 on its plans to demolish the building. At the same time, the owner has said he has hired a contractor and is pursuing demolition permits.
“It is my hope that the owner will demolish the building without the County having to do it,” wrote Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) in a newsletter to constituents. “Given how long it has taken to get to this point, however, I want to make sure we have a backup plan in place if the demolition doesn’t happen.”
The cost of demolishing the building to the county is estimated to be $373,274.