South Paca Street building collapse traps one, injures another

A house near the stadiums collapsed today, trapping one person inside (who has since been pulled out) and injuring another, who was sent to the hospital with "non-life-threatening injuries," The Sun reported. WBAL TV got there first.

The house, at 528 S. Paca St., changed hands last year for $94,000, according to tax records. Lloyd A. Williams Jr. and Amber Wendland bought it from Options Investments LLC, which had bought it for almost twice as much in 2007.

It's been years since quick-buck Baltimore contractors routinely collapsed houses while trying to make them bigger and more profitable, and the city's permit system has supposedly been reformed in the wake of mid-2000s bubble troubles. It is as yet uncertain what happened in this case.

A Lloyd A. Williams Sr., with the same North Bond Street address as Junior, has operated a Clad Construction and Development LLC, court records indicate. In the 2000s, Williams Sr. was charged twice and convicted once of operating as an unlicensed home-improvement contractor. In 2010, he got some love from The Sun as a neighborhood savior in East Baltimore with a company named Verde Construction. A Lloyd Williams is currently listed in the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations as a home improvement contractor under the trade name, "The Alexis, LLC." 

The Paca Street house was under renovation, according to permits on file with Baltimore Housing. In June there was an interior demolition and "shoring up," followed by an August permit for a full renovation and "3-story addition to the rear of the house" with a rooftop deck. Permits for new pipe, air conditioning, and furnace were pulled on Aug. 23. The online documents do not say who the contractor is. The Verde Group's website does not include a phone number, and a number City Paper found was disconnected.

Wendland is an architect with the firm Ayers St. Gross. Reached there, she says she doesn't have all the details about the collapse yet. She confirms the building was under renovation but says the work was not being done by Williams or his company. She suggests calling Williams but does not give a reporter the number, saying she doesn't have it handy and is going into a meeting.

*An earlier version of this post said The Alexis, LLC was still part of the Verde Group. It is not; the principals parted ways several years ago.

 


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