Raleigh again extends deadline for downtown tower
Posted August 5, 2008
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.