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Proposed Crabtree tower heads to foreclosure

Posted April 15, 2011

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— A tower near Crabtree Valley Mall that was once planned as Raleigh's tallest building is headed for a foreclosure auction.

Raleigh officials approved plans in 2005 for the 43-story Soleil Center on Glenwood Avenue, which developers said would combine upscale condominiums, a spa and a Westin hotel. Since then, only a concrete slab has been poured for the building's foundation.

Developers Dicky Walia and Sanjay Mundra owe Regions Bank $6.2 million on the project, according to court records. A court order signed Thursday paves the way for foreclosure proceedings.

The developers initially planned to open the tower by 2008, but the recession and the commercial credit crunch that hit around that time forced them to continually push back the opening date and delay construction.

They obtained at least seven extensions on their loans, and contractors filed liens against the property to collect on early labor and materials costs, according to court records.

If the developers are able to escape foreclosure, they would have to go through the Raleigh Planning Department and back before the City Council to get a three-year extension on their site plan. The plan approved by the city expired last November.

Another court order cleared the way for foreclosure on another Raleigh real estate project.

Bloomsbury Estates, a condominium high-rise on Boylan Street west of downtown, has sold only 11 of its 56 units. Developer John Bruckel said, however, that the order was only a formality and that he is working to pay off his loans on the porject.

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  • jdupree Apr 15, 2011

    This and the condos downtown are a big bust. Where are all the politicians who got in front of the cameras now. We now have an eyesore that will likely be there for years until some developer and a bank take a big risk!

  • Mobile Geek Apr 15, 2011

    Bloomsbury was doomed from the start. What a pathetic location for overpriced condominium. It wasn't the economy that killed that one. Too bad for the people who live there already.

  • smcallah Apr 15, 2011

    "Another tragedy of the current administration...but it was a bit ambitious, seems to me."

    Care to explain EXACTLY how the current administration hurt a project that was started in 2005 and expected to open in 2008?

    PLEASE?

  • CicnyKid Apr 15, 2011

    "I'd heard word that the Sheraton that was imploded was about 15 stories. When the building was imploded for this grand 40 story tower and the rubble cleared, engineers did some soil studies on the site. They found that the maximum height the soil could support was......15 stories.

    Thought of everything, didn't they?"

    Buildings of this size/weight do not sit on "soil" or even some "footing" a few feet into the ground -- their foundations reach bedrock. The weight of the building is calculated and a foundation that will exceed this weight is designed by geotechnical engineers. Generally the foundation is drilled piers (caissons) with concrete placed in them with rebar cages or they are pre-cast concrete columns pounded into the ground with a pile driver.

  • larky74406 Apr 15, 2011

    Welcome to Bloomsbury! Would you like rail yard or state prison view?

  • Capt Mercury Apr 15, 2011

    It seems a lot of people were caught up in the frenzy of false wealth that ran the economy (and the government) until it all came crashing down in 2008. Now, it seems silly to think anything like this tower would ever have been financially solvent.

    But just wait. Nothing has really changed. It will happen again.

  • westoflyra Apr 15, 2011

    bad place for a tower anyway. It's not necessarily a bad thing that it wasn't built.

  • Dirty_Water Apr 15, 2011

    There were extremely deep and expensive caissons (deep holes filled with concrete) drilled, and a whole lot of engineering, architectural and preliminary layout expenses. It's a heck of a foundation for whatever you might want to build, and it's way, way higher than the Crabtree Creek flood level.

  • grasshopperrtp2 Apr 15, 2011

    I wonder how much the backtaxes are on this property.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Apr 15, 2011

    Who ever gave the developer money for Bloomsbury Estates deserves to lose that money. CLearly the backers did not research that area. It's overlooks the nasty rail yard. The units may be nice but not worth what they are asking. Also for that much money, They should have a garage..

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