The site is in a wetlands area, so there are specific requirements about the amount of land a building can use. In addition, most building codes require parking for a specific number of people based on the expected occupancy of the building. The capacity of the hotel will affect the acreage to be covered with asphalt.
All went well until the building was finished and the county noticed that it was two floors higher than what had been approved. Was it intentional, or a blunder made by both the county and the builders? Some say there are construction companies in
The county was outraged at the overbuilding. They refused to grant a certificate of occupancy. They said the builders could tear down the top two floors, or – get this – fill them with foam.
After eight years of legal wrangling and $1.6 million in attorney fees, buying and selling of the building, the original developers won $7.5 million from the county in court. It was a jury trial. Not hard to get juries to side against the government.
The new owners, who bought the hotel in 2003 for $11.2 million to add lodging for the horse racing track they operate, have found problems with the electrical system, fire sprinklers and temperature controls, fire escape stairs and fire doors. Hmmm… did they order enough stuff for the two extra floors on the hotel? Eight years of vacancy is a recipe for deterioration too.
Funny story. But think about the amount of copper, aluminum and steel sitting there for all this time. The polymers in the carpets, décor and plastic components – that will probably be scrapped – were produced from petroleum products. Labor was wasted in the construction, but also in manufacturing all the bathroom fixtures, doors and windows, and elevators. And fire control systems. And attorneys’ fees.
And it was a plain and simple human system at the root. Intentional or not, the lack of common understanding of the product and process produced a monster.