Proposed Crabtree tower heads to foreclosure

Posted April 15, 2011 2:08 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2011 4:11 p.m. EDT

— A tower near Crabtree Valley Mall that was once planned as Raleigh's tallest building is headed for a foreclosure auction.

Raleigh officials approved plans in 2005 for the 43-story Soleil Center on Glenwood Avenue, which developers said would combine upscale condominiums, a spa and a Westin hotel. Since then, only a concrete slab has been poured for the building's foundation.

Developers Dicky Walia and Sanjay Mundra owe Regions Bank $6.2 million on the project, according to court records. A court order signed Thursday paves the way for foreclosure proceedings.

The developers initially planned to open the tower by 2008, but the recession and the commercial credit crunch that hit around that time forced them to continually push back the opening date and delay construction.

They obtained at least seven extensions on their loans, and contractors filed liens against the property to collect on early labor and materials costs, according to court records.

If the developers are able to escape foreclosure, they would have to go through the Raleigh Planning Department and back before the City Council to get a three-year extension on their site plan. The plan approved by the city expired last November.

Another court order cleared the way for foreclosure on another Raleigh real estate project.

Bloomsbury Estates, a condominium high-rise on Boylan Street west of downtown, has sold only 11 of its 56 units. Developer John Bruckel said, however, that the order was only a formality and that he is working to pay off his loans on the porject.