Greenbridge Condos: ‘Make Us an Offer’

Nearly two years after new owners took over the embattled Greenbridge development, all but six condos have been sold.

Betty Harbourt is the executive vice president of The Marketing Directors, which handles Greenbridge’s sales and marketing. She says just half a dozen of the 97 condos are still available and the company is pushing a novel approach to get them sold by year’s end.

“’Make us and offer, we’ll make you a deal’ is our campaign to close out by the end of the year,” says Harbourt. “The owners had a goal to sell out in two years and we’re on track to do that.”

The one, two and three bedroom condos start at around $350,000, but Harbourt says price isn’t the only negotiating point.

“It’s not just off price that we can take an offer, we’re looking at including some homeowner’s association fees as part of the deal, maybe a storage unit as part of the deal, maybe a little off the price,” says Harbourt. “The offer can be a number of things. Because every home is unique, the offer is also very unique.”

In addition to selling the majority of the condos, Harbourt says only one of the ground-floor retail spaces remains unoccupied.

This marks a turnaround for the development, which has been embroiled in controversy since its conception.

It was originally billed as Chapel Hill’s most “environmentally sustainable” project. While town leaders touted its green features, those in the nearby Northside neighborhood worried it would speed the pace of gentrification in the area, potentially driving out long-time residents. The site was plagued with bomb threats and vandalism.

Then, the original investors got caught short in the housing and banking crisis. Shortly after opening in 2010, the development was foreclosed in 2011.

Condominium sales were put on hold for two years until Square Mile Capital Management LLC purchased Greenbridge in 2012. Harbourt says the new owners put considerable time and money into making the project successful.

“The owners gave a lot of capital to the building. They came in and built out a sales office; we’ve been there for the last two years, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.”

After four tumultuous years, Greenbridge is on track to fill the last remaining vacancies within the next two months.

Greenbridge Beginning To Bring In New Business

CHAPEL HILL – After a tumultuous first couple years, the new owners of Greenbridge Condominiums say the complex is turning a corner, with new homeowners and new businesses moving in.

“We have had 24 sales to date, and that with the 36 original homes, we are at 64% sold,” Miller said “we’ve sold 60 homes out of the 97, and we’ve 37 to go, we hope to be done in about a year.”

That’s Vic Miller, the VP of sales at Greenbridge. He says of those 60 units sold, 24 were sold in the past year alone; just a few years ago, the building was two-thirds vacant and had to go into bankruptcy.

New businesses are coming in as well: the newest addition is a 1300-square-foot eco-friendly hair salon, To The Woods, co-owned by Jessica Reiner, Jaime Phillips and Julie Smith.

Greenbridge has always touted itself as a center for green technology: the original owners designed the building to be energy efficient, with features like planted rooftops, fresh air exchangers and Low-E glass. Miller says those features lower the energy cost for an average unit by 30 percent—and PR rep Amanda Romano says the building may soon receive a major award for that commitment to sustainability.

“They are finalists for the 2013 Green Gala Sustainable Business Award this year, so that’s something they are still really invested in as well” Romano commented.

Vic Miller says Greenbridge may still file for official LEED certification as well.

Miller says he’s optimistic about Greenbridge’s future—and he also says he’s optimistic about the future of Chapel Hill and Carrboro as well.

“I think over the next couple years, I’d say the next five years, I think that Chapel Hill, Rosemary Street, Carrboro area is going to be an epicenter of new growth in your area” Miller said “I just see a lot of changes, we’ve been there the last two years.”