Chesapeake’s vacant Burger King demolished after problems with graffiti
CHESAPEAKE — It’s as if the Chesapeake community shared a collective sigh of relief as the former Burger King at 739 S. Battlefield Blvd. was demolished on May 10.
Passersby honked as they drove by the site. Others pulled into the vacant lot to take pictures.
The chatter on the Nextdoor app centered around the news that the dilapidated building, on the corner of Battlefield Boulevard South and Luray Terrace, was coming down. The comments on Nextdoor kept pouring in: “Finally!,” “Woohoo!,” “About time,” “Fantastic,” “Hallelujah!”
Less than a month after a story was written about the graffiti, including obscenities, swastikas and other racist markings, littering the building’s east-facing wall, it was history.
But, as quickly as the demolition came to fruition, it’s been a long time coming for those who have watched it deteriorate and fall victim to vandals and trespassers throughout the years.
Built in 1988, the building operated as a Burger King until its closure sometime between 2016 and 2017, according to the city’s real estate and commissioner of the revenue records. Owned by 1542 Property Corp since 2014, the business remained vacant.
A city spokesperson said the department of development and permits issued a notice of violation to the owner on March 27 for the dangerous structure because of the number of code violations. The spokesperson noted the process takes time to monitor the structure and build a case for the dangerous structure review and approval.
“At that point, the structure either had to be repaired or demolished,” she said. “The owner chose to demolish the building.”
That choice has made a lot of people happy.
“People keep going by beeping at us,” said Stephen “Duck” Petersimes, a worker with CM Munden Construction Services, the Virginia Beach-based demolition contractor hired to take down the building.
Bob Smith, of Hickory, said he used to frequent the fast food restaurant when it was in business years ago. He stopped by to shoot a quick photo to show his wife.
“It was time for it to go,” he said. “I hope they put something nice in its place.”
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Lee Barrett, of Glenwood, echoed that sentiment and said that’s the next question.
“I don’t know what the outcome is going to be or what will go in, but at least that building is gone,” he said.
Susan Old of Fernwood Farms posted on Nextdoor that she was sad to see it go.
“My girls played in the indoor playground, and as teens, rode their horses for lunch through the drive-thru,” Old penned.
Now, residents will wait to see what is planned next for the empty site.