Luxury condo development in trouble

Print More


The Bloomsbury Estates, which sits at the corner of Hargett Street and Boylan Avenue, is the subject of a string of lawsuits against the developer.

A bank filed a lawsuit in late January against John Bruckel and David Iauco, developers of Bloomsbury Estates. The seven story estate is perched on the corner of Boylan Avenue and Hargett Street overlooking Raleigh’s cityscape and the convention center’s prismatic oak tree.

Despite Bloomsbury Estates’ striking Second Empire design and downtown location, some potential buyers have shown signs of disappointment. Three complaints have been filed against Brucknell since construction of the condominiums began. Two are still pending and one has been voluntarily dismissed. And then there is the most recent complaint.

The lawsuit, filed in Wake County’s Superior Court, demands payment in full on a $17 million loan from Fifth-Third Bank for the construction of a 62-unit condominium structure. The suit maintains that Iauco, of South Carolina, only shares liability for five-million dollars of the loan, while Bruckell is, allegedly, fully liable.

The other three complaints were brought against Bloomsbury and its developers by people who say they deposited money for Bloomsbury Estates condos. Each demands full reimbursement of moneys deposited and alleges that Bruckell informed the plaintiffs construction of the building would be complete by late 2007. Construction was not complete until the summer of 2009.

Bloomsbury’s Bruckell refused to comment on the lawsuits. Fifth-Third’s attorney, Christian Kennedy, has not returned the Record’s call.

In January 2009, the Triangle Business Journal quoted Mr. Bruckell as saying that 37 units in Bloomsbury Estates were under contract. Currently, the Triangle Multiple Listing Service lists four of the Bloomsbury Estate units with sales pending.

Sitting across the street from Bloomsbury Estates enjoying a beer at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, the vacant windows and empty parking lot of the estates seem to tell the story. Crossing Boylan Avenue and checking the digital register of occupants at Bloomsbury Estates, there are nine contacts listed, one of which is Bruckell and one a Bloomsbury listing real estate agent, Mike Richmond.

The real estate agent has not yet returned the Record’s call as to just how many of the Bloomsbury condos have sold, but in October the N&O reported that number as zero. A property search of 710 Indepence Place on the Wake County Government website shows the only owner there to be Bloomsbury’s corporation.

16 thoughts on “Luxury condo development in trouble

  1. THIS STORY IS WITHOUT MERIT. BLOOMSBURY IS SELLING UITS LIKE CRAZY AND REPRESENTS THE BEST LOOKING CONDOS IN DOWNTOWN RALEIGH. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME GO LOOK AT THEM. AN AWESOME FITNESS CENTER WAS JUST INSTALLED LAST WEEK. THE PRINICIPALS ARE WELL HEALED. THE BANK REFUSED TO COMMENT BECAUSE THE MATTER IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING RESOLVED. THE PAPERWORK HAS SIMPLY NOT YET BEEN CAUGHT UP.

    ALL THE PEOPLE THAT DEMANDED THEIR MONEY BACK ARE SPECULATORS LOOKING TO MAKE A FAST BUCK. THE COURTS HAVE FOUND THEM ALSO TO BE WITHOUT LEGAL BASIS.

    ROD

  2. THE COMMENT IS FALSE. THE STORY IS TRUE. MLS LOOKUP TELLS THE WHOLE STORY.

    SORRY ROD… YOU MUST BE AN INVESTOR, I MEAN A LOSER ON THIS PROJECT

    HOD
    .

  3. You guys are way off base! This reporter is a young inexperienced writer that doesn’t even know how to look up things in the real world of Real Estate. There are 15 contracts ready to close on this project and the appraisals are coming in at $367 per foot. No condominium project in Raleigh has ever been appraised at that. Allen Tate Realty the number one firm in the Triangle has the listing. Call them.

    BLOGS ARE BLOGS….NO MORE….NO LESS

    If you want the truth on this matter….pick up your phone and call Fifth Third’s Attorney. You will then find that the Raleigh Public Record needs to do more diligence.

    GT

  4. Gentlement, I think the real issue here is that Bloomsbury Estates still LOOKS busted, no matter how many condos are vacant/sold. People should file complaints about it just based on that.

  5. Ummm…looks like John Bruckle, w/his flashy Mercedes SUV (and arrogant license plate?), and his personal home on White Oak/Anderson Drive in foreclosure (so I hear…), is about to have another foreclosure….he blew it on this bldg…took a beautiful lot and built a crappy bldg…here’s a bldg w/9′ ceilings (not 10′), half the units overlook NC Central Prison (and their new, multi story addition – can you look into the gas chamber from the top floor?), no central garbage/recycling (the 3-4 people living there are pushing their garbage cans up the driveway from the underground garage!), only approx 10-15 small parking spots underneath (no truck/suv/large sedan), and a host of other issues….Allen Tate is the 4th firm to list in 3 years? Sorry…not appraising at $367 sf…if it was, they wouldn’t have dropped the initial prices by 100k 3 months ago…you don’t lower your prices when it’s appraising so hi…come on Rod and Golden – admit your bias….no sales because no Fannie/Freddie financing…and that’s not changing anytime soon…

  6. So I am reading all of this and it sounds like competitors with way too much insight having a pissing contest. Really now, who would know all of the details like this? Other than a few of the buildings downtown, which ones don’t look vacant? There is one on North street my wife and I drive by that looks like an oasis with no retailers in the street level shops in how many years? Sounds like a smear campaign to me. I don’t know much about the building but I have heard it is finished and built impeccably. Prices have dropped everywhere and it seems like condos are leading the drop across the board. Kudos to Bruckel(?) for lowering prices and frankly, I hope the landmark building makes it. That side of Raleigh I beleive is where the Mayor lives and I’m rooting for it.

    Jim

  7. I was looking for info on condos this am and I stumbled across this. After reading the blogs I felt compelled to write:

    If I didn’t know better, and maybe I don’t, it sounds like Marcus is bitter, and likely very close to the situation. A friend of mine in Real Estate told me that even a high profile realtor in the downtown condo scene (we will leave her nameless) purchased muliple units in the Bloomsbury. Why can’t everyone just get along? I think there is room for all and when the media tries to ruin a project the others should rally around each other. Wouldn’t it be great if they all made it? People who revel in someone else’s pain really need to check themselves. “Vengence is mine sayith the Lord”

    Lisa B

  8. Powers of observation and daily walks in the neighborhood help…plus their own signs announcing the price drop..not rocket science…but…Lisa is correct…it would be better for all in this downtown/boylan neighborhood to thrive, as it will be years before any new buildings are built….

  9. Boy oh boy! This sounds like alot of real estate people at each others throats. How does Marcus know all of the above mentioned details and why is he back in the am recommenting? Trust me, after I write this I won’t be back here again. He obviously has it out for this guy. I credit the banks and the economy for all of our real estate woes. Wether its a crappy building, or wether it has nine foot ceilings or wether the guy drives a school bus with whatever license plates is so obviously petty and the spirit marcus wrote this in was just wrong.
    Let’s listen to Lisa and judge not. I think me and my girlfriend need to go over to Bloomsbury and see for ourselves, but I promise that we won’t post hateful attacks. Hopefully Marcus is at church right now.

    Peace,

    Grant

  10. Let’s forget the real estate BS and focus on the quality of construction! THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. BS is just air. Do people really enjoy living in their rectangular condominium aquariums or are they just fish dying the get out?

    The Queen of Condos downtown had to sell her mansion for Money in Hayes Barton to get a tremendous view of the HUE. Too bad nobody believes her spin anymore.

    Her MLS listings are widely known to be fictitious and she does not disclose material Plumbing and Mechanical problems with her property.

    SUZY Q

  11. Suzy Q…ouch..what a little bitterness? Stick w/the facts on the above story….which is that the above condos, which look fab as seen from the outside, litterally do overlook NC Central Prison (1block away) as previously mentioned…and w/no freight elevator to help move in/out…or a centralized trash/recyle area…it all makes it tough…I’ve walked by and seen all of the units’ big green trash cans on the road days after the Thur morning pickup..imagine what it would look like if all of the units were filled….

  12. Okay, so the view of the prison is bad why? I have been in the units and I see The Joel Lane house, and Dorthea Dix land and trees and NC State Campus and a hospital at the prison which is new and blocks the view of the prison, and oh yeah…the most spectacular views of Raleigh on the east side. So perhaps Tina shouldn’t walk in the neighborhood near the prison if it is so bad. No, that’s not Tina’s problem. Her problem is she’s not Tina. She’s obviously someone with a real vedetta that walks with Marcus coincidentally, in such a horrible place by the prison. AND she and her friend Marcus know all the details of the building because…they are psychic??? Perhaps she carries mace. Or maybe Marcus does. He loves the beautiful peice of land but I guess he hates it’s location because it’s too close to the prison which has been there among Boylan Heights harmlessly for decades. ( right behind the Mayor’s house)Comon now Tina, you’re tipping your mit…..

  13. Just took a look at Wake County Property Tax info. I appears only one unit has sold. It’s sad things are going downhill for John Bruckel and Bloomsbury. If the project had been completed a few years earlier……

  14. A few years earlier? THE RECESSION STARTED IN 2007. HELLO!!!! NOW THE MARKET IS HEATING UP AND BLOOMSBURY IS LEADING THE CHARGE WITH PERFECT TIMING.

    Judy appears to be very jealous of the finest looking condominium building in Downtown Raleigh. Bloomsbury was just recently completed AFTER the financial meltdown and just last night was honored with a Raleigh Downtown Imprint Award for enhancing the beauty of the Downtown Raleigh Skyline. Perhaps Judy should reflect on her own bitterness and not waste so much time attacking others. Did anyone ever stop to thick that this human being has a hidden objective which is enhancing her own pocketbook? No that would be too logical! She makes herself so obvious it is humorous.

    Allen Tate just recently released this beautiful project to the marketplace. Seeing is believing. BLOGS ARE BLOGS

    EVERYONE IS A JOURNALIST BLOOMSBURY HARRY POTTER

    http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2010/2/17/suit-claiming-copyright-infringement-adds-j-k-rowling-as-defendant-jkr-saddened-claim

  15. You all need to just let it go. I spoke with the Realtor and there are several recently written contracts at this site. I am planning to buy one myself after checking everything out for myself. I found the quality to be superb and I spoke with an owner who told me she loves the place. Everyone has to start somewhere, and what I personally witnessed was a quiet and quality driven building with floorplans and finishes like no other. I reccommend it to all. and things are looking up for Bloomsbury and the downtown market. Please people, why would you trash someone that is trying to add to the downtown skyline? I love all of the condo projects! Raleigh is growing!

  16. These are the most fantastic units ever built Who cares about the trash, or lack of a freight elevator – this place is modern old school! How many have closed now, almost a month since this was posted and since the comment writers alluded that there were dozens of closings in the works?