The owner of the Soleil Center property in Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley has refiled plans to build a hotel and condominiums on the site.
Rialto Capital Management, which acquired the 5-acre site for $4.2 million in 2011, resubmitted the plans earlier this month. The original plans, approved in 2005, call for as many as 290 hotel units and 54 condos.
The Soleil Center property is notorious in the Triangle for being the site of one of the most ambitious real estate projects to be proposed during the real estate bubble.
The previous developer, the Soleil Group of Cary, wanted to build a 43-story tower at Glenwood Avenue and Creedmoor Road. The project originally called for 54 luxury condos to be built atop a 290-room Westin Hotel. The project was approved in 2005 despite criticism that the tower’s design was out of character with the neighborhood and that its million-dollar condo prices weren’t economically feasible.
The Soleil Group spent $20 million pouring a foundation that would support a 43-story building before the project stalled. The property was later auctioned off to the highest bidder. Rialto’s bid was $2 million less than the amount the Soleil Group owed Regions Bank.
Rialto is a subsidiary of national homebuilder Lennar. The company acts as Lennar’s real estate investing arm, and thus is likely to sell the Soleil Center site at some point to a developer.
The refiling of the original site plan was necessary if Rialto hoped to avoid having the plan expire. The previous approvals for the project were valid until Oct. 31, 2014, but Rialto can get a three-year extension if it shows that the original site plan would still meet today’s development regulations.
In recent years, Lennar and its subsidiaries have become major players in the future redevelopment of the Crabtree Valley area.
Another Lennar subsidiary, Lennar Commercial, is the developer behind Carolina Row, a major retail development planned for the area across Glenwood Avenue from Crabtree Valley Mall. Plans for Carolina Row call for as much as 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, as well as up to 175 apartments above the shops.
Carolina Row is projected to open in the summer of 2017.