Local News

Raleigh delays William Peace bonds hearing

Posted April 16, 2013 6:47 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2013 9:32 a.m. EDT

— The Raleigh City Council delayed until next month a Wednesday public hearing on refinancing bonds issued by William Peace University.

City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said the delay would help Peace officials clear up confusion over the issue among people who live near the university and nearby merchants.

Peace wants to refinance bonds issued in 2004 and it also wants city approval of some projects on the school's campus near downtown Raleigh.

Nearby residents and retailers, however, fear that Peace has designs on taking over the neighboring Seaboard Station retail center, which has been in bankruptcy for more than a year.

Neighborhood groups say they don't want Seaboard Station converted to parking, dormitories or other facilities for Peace. Whenever the property emerges from bankruptcy, they say, it should remain a retail center to serve the surrounding community.

Baldwin said Peace needs to, in the coming weeks, educate the community on the bonds and share any future plans for Seaboard Station with the community.

She said Peace's president, Debra Townsley, has assured city leaders that the university has no plans to turn the retail space into athletic fields or parking. Nearby retail is an amenity the school uses to attract students, Townsley told the council.