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Former Grace Place Turns Campus Nuisance

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But a year after buying the former Grace Place property, it appears RAMZ has paid no attention to the building.

Last week the building was in disarray: Second-story windows and a side door hung open, and part of the wooden fence had fallen down. Neighbors say that squatters have taken up residence inside and they worry that the area is less safe because of it.

VCU Police are now monitoring the property closely, a university spokesman says.

The state of the building hasn't escaped the city's notice either. City officials issued an order Sept. 7 for the building to be secured. This week, after no action was taken, building officials planned to board up the property and fine the owners.

When property owners fail to secure vacant properties, the city has no choice but to take action, says Richmond's Commissioner of Buildings Art Dahlberg.

"It gives a place for ne'er-do-wells to do things," Dahlberg says. "Whether [it's] the criminal element or juvenile pranks — young boys and stones love to come in contact with glass windows."

RAMZ did not return Style's calls for comment by press time.

"It's a beautiful building with a lot of fond memories to the community," King says. "It means a lot to a lot of people. … I'm not sure why it has not been secured." S



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