Greenbridge open sales office; looking to sell final units

Jan. 02, 2014 @ 02:48 PM

With a renovated sales office now open at the Greenbridge mixed-use development in Chapel Hill, the investors that bought the historically troubled project are looking to sell off remaining residential units.

Thirty-six units were sold out of 97 before running into financial issues, said Betty M. Harbourt, executive vice president of the Atlanta-based firm The Marketing Directors. She said the firm was hired by the new owners of Greenbridge to handle sales and marketing for the building’s condos.
Since the sales effort began under the building’s new ownership last year, 14 sales have closed and an additional 10 are pending, she said. That leaves 37.
“We anticipate that we’ll be sold out in a year or less,” she said. “We’re actually right on target with where we’re projected to be, (we’re) very pleased with how well Chapel Hill has embraced the re-launch of Greenbridge.”

Bank of America started foreclosure proceedings and sold the project debt.

The condos are owned by a joint venture between the investment firm Invesco and the New York-based investment firm Square Mile Capital Management, according to a news release from the marketing firm.
Invesco announced in a press release dated to September 2011 that subsidiaries of the company had teamed up with Square Mile Management and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds to acquire a portfolio of performing and non-performing commercial real estate loans from Bank of America.
The 29 loans were secured by office, retail, industrial, multi-family, and lodging property located across 16 states, according to the release. They had had an aggregate unpaid principal balance of about $880 million.
Harbourt said the new owners took the title to the building in March of last year. The building had sat in a “neutral state” for a period of time, she said, with no organized sales effort. The owners have since invested money to complete some of the amenity areas for residents, she said, and also into models.
And earlier this week, the owners announced the opening of a sales center on the ground floor of the building. Harbourt said the office is more accessible than the previous sales office, which was located on the second floor.
“It’s light, and bright, and it’s right at the front corner of Rosemary,” she said. “It’s meant to make transacting real estate a much more interesting concept if you will. It’s more interactive and fun.”
Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, said town officials are “very excited” that the new owners are actively marketing the property again.
“The process of when it was in limbo, it was really difficult for anything to happen with it as the new owners were taking control of it,” Nelson said. “Now they have momentum and I expect those other (units) to sell relatively quickly.”
Nelson said the building was in limbo at time when it was “really impossible” to finance condominiums. He said he believes banks are more interested in financing condos now.
“They took a break when it would have been very difficult to sell anyways,” he said.