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County Endorses Plans for New North Hills Development

Posted July 23, 2007

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— The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted unanimously in favor of endorsing an $800 million mixed-use development at the intersection of Six Forks Road and Interstate 440 in Raleigh.

The board's approval would make Kane Realty's development a public-private partnership that developer John Kane argued would mean a larger tax base that would benefit both the city and county.

But according to the county's project development financing policy, the project has to have the city's financial backing before county commissioners approve the plan.

Last year, city leaders approved Kane's plan, which entails demolishing several buildings on 45 acres across Six Forks Road from the current North Hills development.

But the City Council declined Kane's request for the city to issue tax-increment financing, or TIF, in which the city borrows $75 million for a public parking garage. TIF loans are paid back with increased taxes generated by the project involved.

Kane's new plan, however, calls for what he said is a synthetic-like TIF request that poses no risk to either the city or the county. Under this type of financing, he said, the developer borrows the money and is responsible for paying it back.

In return, however, the developer would be limited to paying only 75 percent of expected taxes for the next 20 years, which is more than what would be paid if the property was left to be developed at the expected market value of $125 million.

Kane said the developer would be taking all the risk by borrowing the money privately to pay for public improvements and paying back the debt only after the project generates the anticipated tax revenue.

Kane said the city and county would receive $550 million in additional revenue that could fund 15 to 20 new elementary schools. It would also create 2,700 permanent jobs.

Even without public backing, Kane said, he could still proceed with the project but that it would not be as big.

With the public's support, he reiterated before the board, the project could be worth as much as $792 million.

Kane's original proposal for North Hills East included 1,800 residential units, 1.3 million square feet of office space, 850 hotel rooms, more than 500,000 square feet of retail space and a 300-unit retirement community.

Kane said he plans to go back to the City Council with his latest proposal and that he hopes he can soon be added to its agenda.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, however, told WRAL Monday afternoon he "thought the City Council was done with this project," adding he doesn't think it is appropriate for the public to become involved in areas already slated for development.

40 Comments

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  • Raydianse Jul 24, 2007

    If the city backs his development then they need to financially back every developer in Raleigh that is bringing an increases in taxes. Doing for one and not the other makes no sense. Part of being a developer is knowing what you can and can't do. He has done a wonderful job with North Hills and really turned it into something nice, but using tax payers money to develop something that all tax payers might not use is crazy. Growth and development are positive and wonderful but the private group needs to fund it not the tax money. Use the tax money to build better roads, or more schools -- be more efficient with the money.

  • cj1979 Jul 23, 2007

    "Kane said the city and county would receive $550 million in additional revenue that could fund 15 to 20 new elementary schools. It would also create 2,700 permanent jobs."

    So with the additional 1,800 residential units proposed, I assume many could be filled with families who might possibly have children - Two of those new 15 to 20 schools just filled up!

  • wrkmnjnc Jul 23, 2007

    What a waste of money!

  • colliedave Jul 23, 2007

    My church, The Church of the Apostles, purchased the old State Employees Credit Union building at 333 St. Albans and has plans to move in Spring of '08. We are a part of the Anglican Mission in America and have our "spiritual" authority from the Episcopal Churches of Rwanda and SE Asia.

    Our first public services were held in two stores in North Hills Mall and Mr. Kane gave us a very reduced price in rent. Our next move was to the Brendle's store behind Crabtree. After 7 years, it will be good to have a place to call home.

  • one_nc_citizen Jul 23, 2007

    this sounds like it's going to be many times better than the project across from Crabtree Valley Mall.

  • london12 Jul 23, 2007

    I keep asking myself, "where are all these people coming from? And why are they coming here?" There's a good bit of vacant housing, office and retail space now. Why keep building at such a frantic pace?

  • luv2surffish Jul 23, 2007

    when has wake county had a good plan. develope every inch.. then then let the people and dot worry about getting in and out

  • nowayebby Jul 23, 2007

    N.Hills is absolutely 1 million times better than it ever was before, anybody who does not admit that, is a liar, or brain dead. Keep it up Mr. Kane. I would say you should run for mayor, but you actually get results for your money. The government officials should take a lesson, but they wont. Hope they get re-elected, so they have a pay check. In my business, they would last about 30 seconds.I hope they do not get re-elected. Downtown is such a huge waste of tax payer money.

  • Lit Jul 23, 2007

    "The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted unanimously in favor of endorsing an $800 million mixed-use development at the intersection of Six Forks Road and Interstate 440 in Raleigh."

    The stretch of 440 around Glenwood Ave and Six Forks is notorious for traffic jams. I'm all for planned growth, but emphasis has to placed on planning and not "plop it over here" building projects. I hope they've got a good plan for minimizing traffic bottle-necks around the development.

  • luv2surffish Jul 23, 2007

    when are the idiots that run this place gonna learn... guess they never will as long as we keep electing them.. re-elect no one

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