Local News

After Delays, Raleigh's Soleil Center Could Finally Take Height

Posted July 16, 2007
Updated February 23, 2008

— After more than a year of delays, groundbreaking is expected this summer at the site of what will be Raleigh's tallest high-rise.

Developers said uneven bedrock beneath the site where the planned 43-story Soleil Center will sit near Crabtree Valley Mall on Glenwood Avenue was the main reason for the hold-up.

"We did not feel comfortable mobilizing on a $175 million project until we knew exactly what we were dealing with," said developer Sanjay Mundra.

In the next few weeks, Mundra said, more than 1,000 dump trucks will deliver soil to raise the property by four feet.

Since the Raleigh City Council approved the project in November 2005, the mixed-use development has received a lot of hype with its promises of a mix of upscale condominiums, a spa and a luxury hotel.

But with delays also came doubt by some about the future of the project and whether it would move forward.

"We have everything in line," said developer Gary Fourie. "We've negotiated all the major deals."

Real estate agent Kelly Werner said the doubts have not had a major impact on consumer interest. Eighteen of 54 condominiums, including two penthouses, are reserved. The penthouses start at about $4.5 million; the smaller units start at a little more than $1 million.

"Now, to be able to tell people that have been e-mailing for two years -- that's a huge response that I'm getting," Werner said. "People are so excited."

Developers said Monday they plan to get remaining permits from the City of Raleigh next week and that it will probably be early 2008 when people will begin seeing some of the structure in place.

A completion date is set for summer in 2009.

Once complete, the Soleil Center is expected to bring 150 jobs to the area and an annual estimated tax revenue of about $4 million.

The development has not been without opposition, however. Some Raleigh leaders and residents do not think the high-rise should sit outside the downtown area, which is undergoing its own revitalization.

That began in July 2006 with the reopening of Fayetteville Street to traffic. Construction is also under way to build a new state-of-the art 550,000 square-foot convention center, a 1,500-space parking garage and a four-star luxury Marriott Hotel.

They are set to open sometime next year.


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  • tlh1005 Jul 17, 2007

    BigUNC, most anyone thinking of spending 4 million on a condo isn't worried about unloading their current property to bring cash to close; They likely have multiple properties and this is just another one in the portfolio. You're right though, about the whole "We have X units reserved" thing. In most neighborhoods that means someone put down $500 - $2000 for rights to the lot until contract signing time, at which point the money may be refunded should the buyer no longer wish to sign. Without knowing how stringent the qualification process is and the demographics of the potential buyers it's hard not to just consider the pre-sales as marketing hype.

  • lornadoone Jul 17, 2007

    "With all the classy restaurants closeby, these condos will instantly sell out. Everyone nows the Cheesecake Factory is the BEST and they season there food just right. MMMMMMM! Theres also a TGIFridays that is all about class!"

    I LOLed. Don't forget the roach-infested Kanki! They add an extra crunch to your meal...

  • BigUNCFan Jul 17, 2007

    These types of condos are great in places like San Fran where space is limited by water bariers and the like. Here you can just build out into the countryside so it is not a "I want to stay a small town" argument. Rather, long term who is going to pay for a pricey condo when there is so much housing available on the market nearby with building going on all of the time.

    I hear all of this talk about we have reservations in hand for 18 of 54 condos. That can be misleading however as they may have worked 2 years to get those 18 reservations and still be 2/3s available space even after all of that marketing blitz (the well may already be dry for customers).

    I wonder where all of these "new rich" are coming from. For the 18, do they truly have the financing available given the drop in property values over the last year nationally?

    I have my doubts about the long term ability to sell these condos in a non resort non huge city market

  • DLG Jul 17, 2007

    I don't think they should build such an expensive building near Crabtree anyway. Remember Fran!!!

  • HadEnough Jul 17, 2007

    Truefan maybe you should proof read your comments before hitting that add comment button.

  • Fandemonium Jul 17, 2007

    Good grief HadEnough! Whats got into U? If you want to show some class, you can take me to KanKi at the Soliel Center. Now that is class! You now it! You don't know REAL food at all. What, is CeeCees Pizza your special place out???????

  • NCFF Jul 17, 2007

    Hooptie makes some good points with regard to the style of foundation which will be required for a structure of this size and scope. Shallow footers -- like your home or most low-rise buildings -- are out of the question for the point loadings each of the columns in a structure this size will be exerting. Bedrock style foundations (driven piles, augered piles, etc.) would be totally expected. The "uneven" bedrock would be a concern and should be investigated and understood prior to construction so that the "unevenness" with regard to quality, load carrying capacity, depth, etc. can be factored into the structural design for the building.

    Better to understand this before starting construction; rather than having to adapt during construction since a delay now is less costly than a delay once the contractor is on-site and construction underway.

  • gercohen Jul 17, 2007

    The story says the tower will have "an annual estimated tax revenue of about $480 million." Perhaps the assesed valuation of the structure will be $480m, but I can not imagine that it will generate $480m in taxes each year!

  • Fandemonium Jul 17, 2007

    With all the classy restaurants closeby, these condos will instantly sell out. Everyone nows the Cheesecake Factory is the BEST and they season there food just right. MMMMMMM! Theres also a TGIFridays that is all about class!

  • HadEnough Jul 17, 2007

    You're all getting your panties in a wad over nothing. This building will never be built. All the news stories about his are just fluff. (there's a problem with bedrock?) Did they haul in more bedrock so now it isn't a problem. Mark my word. Never will happen.