Local News

Delayed high-rise will happen, project manager says

Posted November 10, 2008
Updated November 11, 2008

— A controversial high-rise – billed to be Raleigh's tallest building – will happen, despite financial troubles that have put construction on hold.

That's according to John Lamutt, senior project manager for the Soleil Center, the estimated $175 million, 43-story mixed-use development that will include upscale condominiums, a spa and a luxury hotel near Crabtree Valley Mall on Glenwood Avenue.

Lamutt said Monday that because of the troubled economy, developers are trying to reduce costs and that construction could begin as early as next year, he said.

Construction has been delayed multiple times on the project since the Raleigh City Council approved it in November 2005. Initially, developers said they expected it to take less than three years to complete.

In July 2007, developers said it would be early 2008 when the public would begin to see progress on the structure and that it would be complete in the summer of 2009.

There is no visible sign of progress, however.

Despite reassurances that the stalled project will happen, concern is growing. Real estate agent Marti Hampton, with Re/Max One Realty in Raleigh, says she had a condominium buyer back away.

"Buyers are not really good with (delayed gratification)," Hampton said.

City leaders say they are also concerned about the delay.

"You know, I really just don't know what the future is," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said. "The developers, if they have a plan, ought to go ahead and let the public know, so they can make plans accordingly."

Public records show the developers asked for six extensions on loans worth $7.4 million. A few months ago, they still owed about $7 million to the bank, which was due by September.

It's not clear if the loan was ever paid off.

Last month, two contractors also filed liens to get paid – one for $336,572.75 and another for $918,300. Within the past few weeks, developers settled a third claim for $791,076.99.

Lamutt would not comment on financing or the loans, referring questions to the developers. They, however, have not returned multiple calls over the past several weeks seeking comment.

But not all the delays have been for financial reasons. Last year, the developers said uneven bedrock caused them to raise the property by 4 feet.


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  • atc2 Nov 11, 2008

    I called it when this project was announced. These developers(Munde, whatever there names are) do not know what they are doing. Add these guys to the developers that are clueless in the area (include these ugly buildings: Dawson, L Building, Hue, Hudson developers).

  • Wake1 Nov 11, 2008

    I would stay far away from this project!!

  • geosol Nov 10, 2008

    How many investors are going to put their money on a building like this in a flood plain? Even if they anchor the dang thing on the rock it will not be stable there. Oh well.

  • london12 Nov 10, 2008

    Halt! Stop the construction. A 43-story tower should be downtown. I know it's been said before, but I said it again.

  • chivegas Nov 10, 2008

    Yes, Pat I'd like to buy an "O"

    ""Buyers are not really **god** with (delayed gratification)," Hampton said."

  • The original Mr. Reaction Nov 10, 2008

    I was about to say the same thing.

  • daddyham Nov 10, 2008

    Even if they built that thing, I'm still not sure why anyone would want a $1M condo overlooking the parking deck of a shopping center.

  • NCSULandscaper Nov 10, 2008

    why cant these writers check spelling errors before they post a story?