The owner of the Soleil Center property in Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley is putting the land back up for auction.
Rialto Capital Management has scheduled an online auction for the 5-acre site for April 27. The starting bid for the property is $1.5 million. The auction is scheduled to end April 28, according to the listing on Auction.com.
Rialto acquired the site for $4.2 million in 2011. 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 Soleil Group sunk pilings on the site to support a 16-story hotel with the potential to build condos on top of the hotel, according to the auction listing. Rialto hopes the property will be attractive to hotel, office or apartment developments.
“With the land acquisition included, it is our understanding that the developers spent upwards of $20 million on the site to date,” the auction listing states. “Given the current economic climate, the $20 million will never be captured. A new user or developer will have to gauge the risk and viability of the existing infrastructure. ... As long as the existing foundation is salvageable and the necessary cross-access easements are in place that allow for connectivity to Glenwood Avenue, the Soleil Center will be one of the most highly sought after land opportunities in ‘Midtown Raleigh.’”
Last month, Rialto resubmitted the original Soleil Center plans to the city. The refiling was necessary if Rialto hoped to have the existing approvals for the site carry over to a new owner.
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.
Rialto is the real estate investing arm of the national homebuilder Lennar.
This is the second time the Soleil Center property has been sold at auction. The Soleil Group lost control of the land after its project stalled, and Rialto was the high bidder at an auction held in 2011.