WRAL Investigates

Raleigh residents want answers on stalled town home community

Posted March 22, 2010

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— The once booming North Shore town homes community on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus has stalled and residents want to know why.

It's prime real-estate, but construction has been in limbo for more than three years.

A promotional video on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus Web site is “learn, work, live,” but the people who live in North Shore town homes say their community is hardly marketable.

The plan was for nearly 300 units, but 33 were built. Residents say there have been structural issues, such as water leaks through rooftop balconies in some units, and promises of major repairs that didn't materialize.

Residents want answers on stalled town home community Residents want answers on stalled town home community

Construction stopped about three and a half years ago. In that time, the developer, Craig Davis, has been in and out of court.

The original builder sued him, and then an architect and a lender sued him to get paid. The N.C. State endowment that owns the property terminated its lease with Davis last fall. The endowment is also suing a Davis subsidiary called Lake Raleigh LLC, and Davis has counter-sued.

“Supposedly Craig Davis is in charge, but Craig Davis hasn’t come to a homeowners’ meeting in months,” said resident David Botts.

Residents say there is a noticeable difference on Centennial Campus at the North Shore sign. The final layer of asphalt was never put down, and there’s an unfinished look to the place. There’s no longer any parking enforcement. Another problem is that the roads aren’t marked on both sides.

Resident Jake Plotkin said he doesn't want to move.

“I still think it’s a great investment with all the amenities that this campus has to offer, but the other amenities have gone unfulfilled,” he said.

Many residents said they hope there's a future plan from the developer.

“I expect that what he started here he at least makes safe and livable,” Botts said.

At the very least, some residents said they think North Shore should be taken off any promotional advertisements.

N.C. State and Davis both declined to comment because of the pending litigation. However, campus officials said they are moving forward with plans to find a new developer for the site.

N.C. State worked successfully with Davis on the Venture Center and is continuing to work with him on a project called the Alliance Center on Centennial Campus.

N.C. State officials said the advertisement that features a brief shot of the North Shore Town Home community on the Centennial Campus Web site is meant to highlight what people will see at Centennial Campus. It's not intended to advertise or promote North Shore, they said.

10 Comments

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  • ncguy Mar 23, 2010

    Mr davis used their money to pay off the last buildings he erected.

    It's called builder ponzi scheme...

  • rlaero Mar 23, 2010

    This is happening all around the country and many places.

    The housing market crashed and the money ran out. 8 out of 10 builders are bankrupt or near there.

    People can't afford these 300k loans anymore and the credit markets are tight.

    Look at even the prime DT raleigh locations, and there are tons of empty townhomes and condos.

  • cary1969 Mar 23, 2010

    "...Centennial Campus and Avent Ferry Road area is a student ghetto of run down apartments and cheap fast food..."

    there usually is one of these areas around every campus

  • discowhale Mar 23, 2010

    "...Centennial Campus and Avent Ferry Road area is a student ghetto of run down apartments and cheap fast food..."

    UH, how is that NOT a stereotype?!!

    I'm guessing you'd rather live in Cary or Apex, with northerners who think the natives need to be hearded back to the woods or country where they'll be out of sight but still paying taxes? Uh huh.

    Oh, wait, is that truth, or stereotyping? It's truth, I've lived over there too.

    Those of us who live over here understand the need for student access to cheaper housing. But cheaper and run down don't necessarily go hand in hand. There are plenty of stick built houses in this area too, in fact, there many more of them than apt units. Break out a map!!

    As to fast food, there are TWO such. One BK and one Hardees. We have over a dozen eat in, sit down restaurants on Avent Ferry. There are more Chinese, Japanese and Mexican restaurants than fast food places. None of it fancy, but it's not fast food either.

    Get a grip! Please.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Mar 23, 2010

    people want answers??? Really....they not read or listen to the news? The company is broke....and no one is lending money for anyone else to deal with this, and why would they? sorry it's like in the new USSA.

  • ConcernedNCC Mar 23, 2010

    Welcome to the world of all in-progress communities around the country.

  • larky74406 Mar 22, 2010

    I know several condo owners and they all have regrets. Condos are for suckers, especially in this market.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 22, 2010

    Probably the Developer can not get money to continue.

  • kevboom Mar 22, 2010

    I toured the model. Seemed well appointed, but at four stories, not too many people willing to do that many steps day in and day out. The problem may be more with a bad design leading to poor sales, then the site itself. If they put a walking trail around the lake and sited a nice park on the waterfront instead of 40 wall-to-wall townhomes blocking everyone's view, the site would be more marketable. Unfortunately, I recall the master plan had a row of townhomes blocking the lake view. And let's admit it, the Centennial Campus and Avent Ferry Road area is a student ghetto of run down apartments and cheap fast food. Hardly appealing on a large scale to professionals who can afford to pay the $250-350k plus HOA dues they want for a townhome. Location, location, location...

  • Caveman93 Mar 22, 2010

    No money maybe? US is bankrupt? I dunno what do you all think?