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Raleigh Wants Policy On Financing For New North Hills Project

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh leaders said Tuesday they still need more time to decide on whether the city will help fund a private mixed-use development in North Raleigh, and asked the city manager to develop a policy about the proposed method of funding the developer wants.

Developer John Kane has committed $700 million to build the 45-acre North Hills East, but wants the city and Wake County to help fund the remaining $75 million for a 5,000-space parking deck and open space.

The new development would sit directly across the street from North Hills right outside the Interstate 440 Beltline on Six Forks Road.

Kane proposed Amendment One, or self-financing bonds, which would allow the City of Raleigh to borrow money to make public improvements and then pay back the loan with increased property taxes generated from the project.

The concept is so new to the Triangle market that city leaders want Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen and Wake County Manager David Cooke to develop guidelines for when Amendment One financing should be used.

"Get out of the box a little bit, and be creative," Council Member James West told Allen.

Across the United States, the self-financing bonds have been a tool for blighted areas in large cities such as Atlanta and Minneapolis and has had successes as well as failures.

A policy, some Council members said, will help determine if the bonds are an option for North Hills East.

"I do think it's a good sign," said Kane, who is optimistic that a new policy would favor his project. "I think you have to be careful where you use this tool. It's not applicable in every circumstance. In our case, we are redeveloping a district."

Allen, however, has said in the past that he is against city funding for the project.

"I don't think it's likely that the manager's policy would favor some kind of financing in this area," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said Tuesday.


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