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The beleaguered Harbor Walk condo project in Norfolk’s Ocean View neighborhood is being taken over by new developer Franciscus Co., months after it was revealed that the old developer – Henin Group of Florida – had been using defective Chinese drywall, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Residents began to discover earlier this year that their luxury condominiums had been built with Chinese drywall that is believed to emit corrosive gases that damage metal and injure people.

Franciscus will be the third developer for the project. Meanwhile, innocent property buyers are suffering. I hope builders and government leaders work diligently to make these people whole.

My colleague Jim Lewis wrote about the Chinese drywall issue earlier this fall when leaders toured tainted homes in Hampton Roads; my colleague Rick Shapiro was one of the first to sound the alarm back in May.

One resident, Jeffrey Dunn, told the Pilot earlier this year that his condo has Chinese drywall and he’s had to ask BB&T Corp., his bank, to give him more time to pay his mortgage.

“If they don’t extend the forbearance, I’ll have to borrow money from family,” Dunn told the Pilot. “At this point my savings is gone.”

A number of Harbor Walk homeowners have sued over the defective drywall, as well as expensive moisture problems in many of the condos.

Homeowner Michelle Germano told WAVY-TV that her condo smelled like rotten eggs. She lost two treadmills, a TV, a refrigerator, a washer and a dryer, she told the TV station.

Franciscus told the Pilot that it hopes to restart the project soon. Only about 81 of a planned 237 units have been completed, the Pilot reported.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our injury attorneys host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . In addition, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.


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