Bank postpones Greenbridge June 27 foreclosure auction to allow negotiations for potential debt purchase

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Bank of America has indefinitely postponed the auction for Greenbridge, a prominent mixed-use development at 601 W. Rosemary St. in Chapel Hill that is facing foreclosure, Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton confirmed. The auction was previously scheduled for June 27.

Bank of America postponed the foreclosure auction to give potential investors time to negotiate the purchase of more than $29 million in outstanding debt on the project, according to a Saturday story in The News & Observer. There have been three formal offers to buy the debt, which totals over $29 million, Toben told The N&O. Toben could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Greenbridge Development took out a $43 million loan from Bank of America in 2008, but had problems filling the pair of 10- and seven-story buildings offering energy-efficient retail space and condominiums. Currently only 37 of the 97 condos are occupied. After Greenbridge Development failed to make payments on the loan from December 2010 to March 2011, Bank of America filed for foreclosure in April.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett have met with potential investors to answer questions about investing in Chapel Hill and the community, Bassett confirmed this week. However, he said that he and Kleinschmidt have had no direct role in the negotiations.

Bassett said he hopes that by avoiding foreclosure, the stalled Greenbridge project could change hands and begin contributing to the community and local economy.

“It certainly isn’t good for any market to have foreclosures period,” he said.

In related news, a lobby at the Greenbridge condos was the site of protest and vandalism Saturday. According to news reports, an estimated 15 to 20 people sprayed Silly String, broke furniture and moved couches to block the elevators. Chapel Hill Police arrested three people, charging each with one count of felony rioting and two counts of misdemeanor damage to real property.

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