Local News

Raleigh may void deal for another downtown project

Posted August 29, 2008 2:55 p.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2008 8:53 p.m. EDT

— City Manager Russell Allen, who twice this summer failed to convince the City Council to void a contract with a developer over one proposed downtown tower, has recommended that the city's contract for another downtown project be terminated.

The council is expected to decide Tuesday whether to end the city's deal with Raleigh lawyer Ted Reynolds for The Hillsborough, a 23-story mix of retail shops, a hotel and condominiums at the corner of Dawson and Hillsborough streets.

The city's inspections office was formerly housed on the site, but its building was torn down last fall to make way for the $65 million tower, which is expected to include 17,500 square feet of retail space, a 136-room hotel and 26 condos on the top floors.

Under the terms of his agreement with the city, Reynolds was supposed to have the financing for The Hillsborough lined up by Aug. 1. He and his partners told city officials in a recent meeting that they need another investor for the hotel portion of the project and that they expect to have the financing in place by December.

The City Council rejected Allen's previous recommendations to terminate Empire Properties' contract to build The Lafayette, a 22-story tower at the corner of Lenoir and Salisbury streets. Like Reynolds, the developer didn't have its financing in place to meet a city deadline, and it later balked at paying for street improvements up front.

The council voted to give Empire until November to arrange financing and agreed to let it pay for street improvements later.

Also Tuesday, the council is expected to vote on plans for The Edison a complex of four towers planned for a downtown block bounded by Wilmington, Martin, Blount and Davie streets. The two 38-story towers and two 29-story towers would include retail space, offices and high-rise condominiums.