Local News

Raleigh's Belk Building Developer To Appeal Possible $1 Million Penalty

Posted February 8, 2005 8:11 a.m. EST

— A developer of a mixed-use building in downtown Raleigh is asking city leaders not to penalize him for progress on the project.

Developer Vaughn King is currently transforming the old Belk Building in Raleigh into condos and commercial space.

He agreed to show the council a certain number of residents and tenants would be present by July, or pay a $1 million penalty.

But he says the city's incomplete plan to put cars back on Fayetteville street is holding up his project.

Last month, the Raleigh City Council signed off on a $9.4 million plan to reopen Fayetteville Street Mall to traffic.

It will cost at least $900,000 more than first planned, which includes a $400,000 contingency.

The extra money could come from two sources: leftover funds from the construction of the new BTI deck and profits from the sale of the Belk Building.

A majority of council members believe opening the mall is the right thing to do.

Developer Vaughn King agreed to a $1 million deal and July 1 deadline.

The agreement with the city required him to show that a certain amount of condo and commercial space in the old Belk Building be occupied by July 1.

King says tenants won't agree to move in dates because the city hasn't yet worked out the details of reopening Fayetteville Street to traffic.

A council committee will review his request Tuesday morning, before sending it back to the full council.

King offered the city a $1 million guarantee that the project will be "substantially complete" by July. In return, King wants the city to drop an option to buy back the site. King says he can't get a loan because of the city's right to take the property if certain conditions are not met.