Business is sprouting all around the Shops at Seaboard Station; but according to court filings, landlords Gregory and Parker, LLC owe more than $2 million to various creditors.
"The parking lots are full, the restaurants are packed. So everybody is doing well here, with the exception of the landlord," Joshua Logan, with Logan's Trading Company, pointed out.
Gregory and Parker has been under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for the last 13 months working on a corporate restructure plan. With the owners in dire financial straits, neighbors and business owners are worried Seaboard might get sold to the neighbors across the street -- William Peace University.
"This could go from what's become a very vibrant retail center in downtown to a parking lot," City Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin said. "We need apartments. We need the retail to flourish and grow."
But in front of city councilors Tuesday to request refinancing of a bond, William Peace University President Debra Townsley said neighbors' fears are just a misunderstanding. She says Peace does want to purchase the land, but wants to keep the retail space.
"Students like to have a campus where there's places to eat, places to shop," Townsley said.
Leaseholders, however, contest the University would use the land for activity fields and student parking as leases expire through attrition.
Raleigh City Council delayed taking a vote on William Peace's bond refinancing until next month. Councilors want more information from the Iniversity on long-term plans, and they want the stakeholders to sit down and hash out their differences.
Townsley says, legally, bond money can only be used for projects it was originally approved for. But critics worry the university could use the bond to pay for other projects, freeing up money to purchase Seaboard Station.