Midday Headlines: Rittenhouse Club Horror Story

Former owners still haunted by Norristown condos.

New projects in and around the city are thriving (even if approvals can be cumbersome), but not all developments are created equal. Case in point: the Rittenhouse Club condo apartments in Norristown.

In an an article written for the Inquirer, Carolyn Davis tells the home buyer horror story that unfolded with a Norristown condo complex at its center.

The 26-unit project by developer R. Bruce Fazio cropped up with issues from the start. And not just cliché, annoying-leaky-pipes type of issues. No, more like scary naked wiring and wooden fire-escape staircase (what?!) issues. And it doesn’t stop there:

Over the winter, with only a handful of people living there, a fire sprinkler on the top floor exploded in an unheated unit. Water leaked down through units, finally collapsing part of the garage ceiling.

Davis points out Fazio’s building-permit application foreshadowed problems because it placed construction cost at $17 per square foot, whereas $94 per square foot is considered “standard industry practice.” Unsurprisingly, the building was condemned in 2010. Even when that ruling was lifted in 2012, smart former owners ignored it and decided never to return.

Davis delves into what happened to the residents who left (hint: their credit was hit hard, and I mean, hard), the finger-pointing between Fazio and Norristown, and the lawsuit between former owners and 770 Sandy. It’s an in-depth look into new home-buying gone wrong, and definitely worth the read.

Failed Norristown condos still a burden to buyers [Inquirer]

In news elsewhere…

Hit by lightning, church reinvented itself [Changing Skyline]

$5B in transportation projects in Philadelphia area set to begin soon [Business Journal]

Councilman Jones under ‘bizarre’ eminent-domain fire in Germany Hill development lawsuit [PlanPhilly]

Northampton Township considers implementation of LERTA program to stimulate economic growth [Bucks Local]