First Ballantyne Village. And now the EpiCentre, the crown jewel of uptown entertainment, faces foreclosure. According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, Regions Bank, represented by a Charlotte law firm, started foreclosure proceedings on the EpiCentre on Thursday.
The filing claims EpiCentre developer Afshin Ghazi and related affiliates Pacific Avenue and Pacific Avenue II failed to make timely payments when a $90 million loan matured in May, the Observer wrote. In a statement, Ghazi said the problem with financing is common to development projects throughout the country.
Maybe, but the problems with the EpiCentre and Ballantyne Village involve more than an ailing economy. Their financial troubles reflect unrealistic growth expectations for this New South city.
I’ve always said on paper Charlotte looks great. Our median income is about $48,000. Forbes named us best this and CNNMoney named us best that, but those of us who live here know the truth. We have a alot of young professionals who live in mini-mansions they can barely afford, and drive luxury cars with whopping payments. Many of us live above our means which translates into less disposable income. Charlotte is new money, and new money doesn’t equal wealth.
The new money that flows through this town isn’t enough to sustain all of the new development that sprang up in the last decade. We never had enough people with deep pockets to support the EpiCentre, N.C. Music Factory, Ballantyne Village, Birkdale Village, Arysley Town Center, a gajillion uptown condos and the Next Big Thing.
These developments simply recycled the same people and the same dollars, and now we’re trouble. Reminds me of Krispy Kreme. Hot (Not) Now