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Paradigm Halts Demolition Plans for Now

Paradigm Development Co. has agreed to postpone for a month the planned demolition of Buckingham Villages I through III to allow more time for negotiations with the County Board.

After a meeting last week with two county board members, housing commissioners and activists trying to save the garden apartments, Paradigm President Stanley Sloter announced that he will take no action until after the County Board's July 8 meeting.

"We discussed a range of options and decided to begin a serious of meeting to explore them," Sloter said in an interview.

In response, the board members postponed a vote on whether to designate the apartments as an historic landmark, which would have prevented Paradigm from tearing them down for at least one year.

The developers and county officials have discussed a number of comprise plans that could provide more affordable units in a revamped Buckingham, Sloter said.

"First we have to get everyone on the same page," he added.

Last month the county's Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board voted to expand the existing Buckingham historic district to include Buckingham Villages I to III.

Paradigm would like to knock down the three apartment complexes and build nearly 200 luxury townhouses and 530 apartment units — 200 of which would be sold to low-income families — in its place.

Most of the residents have already vacated the buildings, but there are still a few left, Sloter said.