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North Old Town Neighbors Rattled by Construction at Old Colony Inn

(Updated 10:35 a.m.) Residents of the Liberty Row condominium community in North Old Town are upset that construction at the nearby Abingdon Place development has been shaking their walls.

“We’ve received several complaints from [other Liberty Row residents],” said Nathan Collins, a resident of Liberty Row and a member of the Liberty Row Condominium Association. “I contacted the city but basically got shuffled from department to department.”

The redevelopment of the Old Colony Inn (1101 N. Washington Street) has faced controversy since it was first proposed as a hotel in 2016. The hotel proposal faced outcry from nearby residents who said it would literally overshadow the Liberty Row development. Two years later, developers returned with the current proposal to redevelop the site as a new townhouse complex called The Towns of Abingdon Place.

The Abingdon Place development includes 19 luxury townhouses built by Madison Homes. The website said prices are anticipated to start at $1.4 million.

Collins said the reports he’s been hearing from his neighbors include vibrating glassware, pictures shaking against the walls, and floors and windows rattling.

Collins also claimed that a wall on his property was damaged by the construction activity.

Barbara Carroll, who sits on board of directors for the Liberty Row Condominium Association, said the fact that the wall wasn’t cracked before construction and is now in the wake of the pile driving next door points to a clear cause. However, what the nearby residents really want, she said, is more communication.

“The issues revolve around the fact that the builder was not really forthcoming with people about what he’s doing,” Carroll said. “This is unlike the development at St. Asaph — the Gables project. [That] was incredible, they communicated every month and told us what to expect. They installed noise and vibration monitors. I don’t know that the group across the street has.”

“There was more transparency and communications with the [Gables] project,” Collins agreed. “It was a huge project and they took the good neighbor approach. I wish I could say the same in regards to Abingdon Place.”

Mark Westmoreland, Vice President of Madison Homes, said the disruption wasn’t from pile driving, per se, but a process called gravel injection to treat tiers of gravel at the site. Westmoreland said most of the gravel injection was finished, but that there would be some more work in March and the company would be in contact with surrounding homeowners associations.

“We have started the foundations for the model building,” Westmoreland said. “We will start vertical construction in the next 30 days. If people drive by, they’ll certainly notice that.”

The model building at the site is scheduled to open in late summer. Westmoreland said the opening of the rest of the project depends on sales, but he anticipates a full build-out in 2021.

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