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Investors Upset Over Flattened Roof

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"I think it looks like a tenement building," says McDonald, who also owns the Cheek-Neal apartment building in Manchester. He says he discovered the new roof design "by accident" in the offices of Riverside's developer, Daniel Corp., a few weeks ago.

The changes were finalized earlier this year, says Michael Campbell, vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region of Daniel Corp., Riverside's developer.

The developer's decision to shift from apartments to condos reduced the number of units from 160 to 122 — about three floors' worth. That resulted in a shorter building, Campbell says, and made the pitched roof look out of place.

It looked like a smaller condo building, Campbell says, when it needed to have a "distinct feel." So the developer removed the pitched roof and instead of brickwork added "cast stone, a premium product" to the exterior of the top two levels. "The change was an enhancement, architecturally," he says.

McDonald, who purchased two of the condos, and Scordo, who purchased one, say Daniel should have informed them about such a significant change. The condos are selling for between $150,000 and $500,000.

The public offering statement issued to potential buyers depicts an elegant pitched roof design, not a flat roof, McDonald says.

But Campbell says that the offering statement included the flat roof design. He says he spoke with McDonald and told him that he could opt out of the contract if he was unhappy. "He had the ability to cancel and he didn't," Campbell says.

McDonald says he simply wants Daniel to build what they promised to build. On the front cover, and in the only architectural rendering he found in the offering statement, the design includes a pitched roof. Indeed, in the marketing materials still being handed out in Daniel's offices downtown, the original pitched roof is prominently displayed.

"I could have gotten out of the deal," McDonald says. "I'm just trying to get Daniel to build what they have represented they are going to build." — Scott Bass

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