Nearly a year after a rezoning request was denied, Plaza Midwood’s historic VanLandingham Estate is on the market for a cool $5.1 million.
The estate was originally built in 1913. It was the height of the textile boom, and Ralph VanLandingham was invited by his father to join his cotton brokerage firm in Charlotte. So Ralph moved his wife and twin son and daughter from Georgia to Charlotte to capitalize on the opportunity. Over the years, the property has been willed and deeded to Ralph Jr, then to UNCC. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Since then, it’s changed hands a few more times, becoming a highly-regarded venue for weddings, receptions and other social gatherings along the way.
Then in August 2014, Billy Maddalon, one of the VanLandingham Estate’s owners, filed a rezoning request to develop 18 townhouses and a private neighborhood pool and swim club on the 4.5-acre parcel. Maddalon cited the fact that he’s never turned a profit on the gorgeous property as he reason for the request – it would allow him to pay off his debts and give him some cash flow. City Council voted the idea down last October.
While city staff, the Zoning Committee, the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association and Historic Landmarks Commission were ok with the idea, the neighbors who live closest were not. Most had concerns about parking and traffic.
After the proposal was denied, Maddalon had two choices in filing another rezoning request – make the request at a lower zoning classification or wait two years to make the request again. Maddalon has said that he doesn’t have the budget or confidence in neighborhood support to file another petition.
And that’s how we find ourselves here. One of Charlotte’s most well-known historic properties is for sale for $5.1 million. For now, it’s business as usual on the estate, as weddings and events book up to a year out. Let’s hope the new buyers keep this piece of Charlotte and Plaza Midwood history intact and open to the public.