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Raleigh again extends deadline for downtown tower

Posted August 5, 2008

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— For the second time in a month, the City Council has voted to give a developer extra time to get a proposed downtown tower off the ground.

The city sold a half-acre lot at the corner of Lenoir and Salisbury streets, across from the new convention center, to Empire Properties two years ago for $1.44 million. The developer plans to build the 22-story Lafayette tower, which would mix an 80-room boutique hotel with offices and 40 high-rise condominiums.

Empire missed an April deadline for submitting plans to the city and couldn't confirm the project has the financing to move forward, but the City Council voted last month to give the developer until November to get his financing in place.

Part of that extension involved Empire picking up part of the cost of widening Salisbury Street between Lenoir and South streets, estimated at about $50,000.

After the developer refused to agree to the extension under the city's new terms, City Manager Russell Allen recommended that the city void the contract. The city could then seek new bids to develop the site.

Empire owner Greg Hatem said he didn't want to pay for the widening up front but would do so later.

The council voted 6-2 to give Hatem the extra time to line up his financing without demanding the money for the widening.

4 Comments

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  • WHEEL Aug 5, 2008

    Allen will pout now. The City Council didn't go along with his extortion of Haten.

  • bs101fly Aug 5, 2008

    that Russell Allen, he's a triple threat.

    Talk,
    No action
    and more talk!

  • atc2 Aug 5, 2008

    Bad decision city council. Now we are going to get to ugly low rise box style building (like that pathetic "L" Building). Another developer with NO VISION!

    City Council should be removed if they approve of smaller buildings! Downtown needs density, not sprawl!

  • colliedave Aug 5, 2008

    After the developer refused to agree to the extension under the city's new terms, City Manager Russell Allen recommended that the city void the contract. The city could then seek new bids to develop the site.

    WRAL do your job a reporters and spell out what are the terms of the contract between Empire and the City of Raleigh. You were gung-ho for getting the autopsy requests released, Why don't you do the same in this story?