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Peace University and Seaboard

posted Apr 15, 2013, 8:06 AM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Aug 8, 2013, 1:22 PM by Dana Deaton ]

Judge OKs Peace acquisition of Seaboard center, 8/7/13

Read more here:

William Peace criticized over refusal to name trustees who approved retail center purchase, 7/5/13

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William Peace seeks to use bulk of endowment to acquire Seaboard center, 7/2/13

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Peace president: We may expand Seaboard Station, 7/1/13

The owner of Seaboard Station retail center has agreed to sell the property to neighboring William Peace University for nearly $21 million as it attempts to settle its debts with two major lenders on the property.

William Peace Makes $21 Million Offer for Seaboard Station

The Shops At Seaboard Station Update

William Peace University Signs Purchase Agreement For Seaboard Station

By William Peace University on June 28, 2013

William Peace University announces pu

rchase of Seaboard Station

Seaboard owners granted extension to find potential buyer (5/30/2013)  The owners of Seaboard Station have been granted a lease renewal through the end of the year while they look for a buyer or settle their debt.


May 21, 2013

Update on Peace-Seaboard situation: Letter sent to WPU Trustees (Posted 5/21/2013)

We have sent a letter to the Board of Trustees, asking them to reconsider their bid for the Seaboard Station property. We have been unable to obtain a list of trustees from the university, but have a list supplied by someone else. We haven’t verified if it’s the current list, but we believe it is.

If you would like to write a letter, we suggest sending an email to the university president Debra Townsley at, and also to the executive secretary, who informed us that she will ensure that each trustee receives a copy. or here is her contact if you want to send snail mail:

Board of Trustees c/o Pat Lukaszewski, Office of the President
15 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604
P: 919.508.2220 • F: 919-508-2327 •

Additionally, we are suggesting that you send a group email to this group, as these are the emails we have obtained for some but not all of the trustees on our list. (cut and paste into your email), ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Peace University-Seaboard Issue on the MCAC agenda for 5/14:  
(20 minutes) Philip Bernard, Kim Gazella and Andy Petesch will provide an update on discussions with Peace University officials regarding their current and future development plans.

News & Observer, 4/25/13, "William Peace University won’t seek City Council

 approval to issue bonds" Read more here:

News & Observer, 4/16/13, "City Council tells William Peace University to explain growth plans to neighbors"
Neighbors’ concerns over the possibility that William Peace University could acquire the Seaboard Station retail center led the City Council on Tuesday to delay approving the school’s plan to issue as much as $16 million in tax exempt bonds.
Although university officials insist the two issues are unrelated, council members delayed a vote for 30 days and told William Peace to meet with neighborhood groups to explain its future growth plans.

Read more here:

WRAL, 4/16/13, "Raleigh delays William Peace bonds hearing"

The Raleigh City Council delayed until next month a Wednesday public hearing on refinancing bonds issued by William Peace University.
City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said the delay would help officials clear up confusion over the issue among people who live near the university and nearby merchants.

From Kim Gazella and Brad Carpenter, Mordecai CAC Co-Chairs (Posted  4/16 5PM)

The Raleigh City Council today postponed action on Peace University’s request for tax-exempt bonds, in order to give us time to meet with Peace officials about their current and future development plans. They've kept the public hearing open for 30 days and did not vote, and will take up the matter at their May 21 meeting.

I read a statement from Brad Carpenter and me as co-chairs of Mordecai CAC. Because the CAC has not formally voted on a position on the bonds, we did not feel we could support or oppose them. Instead, we asked Council to delay action until we had a chance to meet with Peace University about its plans. I am attaching our statement.

Afterward, Philip Bernard and I chatted with Peace President Debra Townsley about a meeting. She is attempting to get the current owners of Seaboard involved, but it’s a difficult time for them because of the bankruptcy proceedings. She has agreed to set up a meeting with a small group of us within the next few weeks. I am expecting that 3-4 MCAC representatives will be involved, along with a representative from Historic Oakwood, Person Street Partnership, North Central CAC, East CAC and possibly Five Points CAC.

Several council members, led by Mary-Ann Baldwin, were very supportive of our neighborhood and our community, and urged Peace to work with us in a collaborative spirit, which is also my intent (to have a collaborative spirit!) President Townsley stated that Peace has taken several steps to be more community minded, and also that the Shops at Seaboard are hugely important to Peace students and staff, as they are a major draw for students who appreciate having a place to eat, shop and work nearby.

She also reiterated that the bond proceeds will not be used for any purposes other than those stated in the attorney’s memo, and emphasized that the bond matter is completely separate from any discussions about Seaboard. Also, it should be noted that the Seaboard situation is very uncertain right now. Until the bankruptcy court rules, nobody knows whether the owners will be able to restructure somehow, or whether the entire area will be sold, or whether only certain parcels will be sold. It is too soon to know what is going to happen, what will actually come onto the market or not, and who might be bidding on it or not.

We’ll keep you posted about new developments. Thanks for your interest!

WRAL, 4/16/13, "Peace University eyes Seaboard Station" Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville

William Peace University Response to Public Hearing and Seaboard Station, 4/16/13

Seaboard Merchants using social media to gain support

Facebook users may have noticed multiple posts by Seaboard Merchants and supporters asking for their customers and neighborhood residents to speak up.  The topic has been gaining momentum since Monday, April 15 when Seaboard ACE Hardware posted "HELP SAVE SEABOARD STATION!!! This is an urgent request for your support! There is trouble brewing for The Shops at Seaboard Station! We need the help of our community and our wonderful patrons."  

SPCA of Wake County
"We usually ask our SPCA supporters to take action to save animals. Now we are asking them to help save the Shops at Seaboard Station. The merchants of Seaboard Station have supported the homeless pets at the SPCA for many years. We are asking people to let the Raleigh City Council know how much they enjoy the Shops at Seaboard Station and care that these merchants are actively making our community better. We care about these businesses, as they have cared about the animals of Wake County."

From Galatea Boutique:
"Let your City Council Representative know you want to save Seaboard Station!! Call, write or email asap!! Thank you! is the email address you can use to contact City Council."

"The residents and the City of Raleigh have a vested interest in keeping Seaboard Station a retail center, not just for the benefit of its citizens, but also for the tax revenues and cost benefits generated by the merchants, their employees and ancillary services. The merchants and neighbors of Seaboard Station hope the City Council will look closely at the bond request by WPU and consider the ramifications if this center of commerce in downtown Raleigh would cease to exist."

From MCAC resident Jon Zellweger's letter to City Council, posted on the MCAC Facebook Page:
"I hope that the City can encourage responsible, neighborly strategies in the transfer of ownership, regardless of who the purchaser may end up being."

News 14 CarolinaNews 14, 4/16/13, "Downtown Raleigh residents worry Peace Univ. wants to close Seaboard Station"

Raleigh Public Record, 4/16/13, "Peace University Eyes Seaboard Station"

“The Seaboard Station property is in bankruptcy and we understand that there are several parties interested in it, including William Peace University,” the statement said.

In an email provided to the Record by Raleigh resident Matthew Brown, college president Debra Townsley said if the school were to acquire the property it would be used for income.

“Seaboard is one more attraction in Raleigh that makes WPU an excellent place for students to attend college and employees to work,” she wrote.

News & Observer, 4/15/13, "William Peace University interested in buying Seaboard Station retail center"

Read more here:
RALEIGH — William Peace University, which last fall welcomed its first coed class of students, is interested in buying the adjacent Seaboard Station retail center that has been mired in bankruptcy for more than a year.

The university’s interest has alarmed Seaboard tenants and residents in the surrounding Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods who fear William Peace would ultimately close the center and use the land for student parking, dormitories or activity fields.

Read more here:

Public Hearing Info - Requesting permission from the City Council to seek financing (Posted 4/16 8AM)

One thing that residents can do is attend the City Council public hearing meeting on Tuesday, April 16. The meeting begins at 1:00p, but the public hearings won't start until 2:00p and the WPU Bond is #5 on the agenda

Meeting is in the Council Chamber (Room 209) 
222 W Hargett St across from Nash Square.

Note: WPU is coming before City Council to ask for bond approval. WPU has a list of specific projects they would like to refinance. However, none of the funds can be used to purchase Seaboard.  

Statement by William Peace University Officials (Posted 4/15 10:20PM)

This is a statement released earlier this evening (4/15) by William Peace University officials, confirming WPU's interest in the Seaboard property:

"The Seaboard Station property is in bankruptcy and we understand that there are several parties interested in it, including William Peace University. At this time, any questions related to the purchase of the property would be best directed to Seaboard's broker at Capital Associates."

From Kim Gazella and Brad Carpenter, Mordecai CAC Co-Chairs (Posted  4/15 12:00PM)

MCAC Community:

You may be hearing about some changes in the works for the Shops at Seaboard and the possibility that William Peace University is interested in buying that property. We'd like to tell you what we know, what we don't know, and what we're trying to find out!

1. First, WPU is requesting permission from the City Council to seek financing through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to be issued by the Public Finance Authority located in the State of Wisconsin. As part of the process, City Council will hold a public hearing on the bonds at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Apr 16) at City Hall. According to the attorney's memo, the educational facilities revenue bonds would not exceed $16 million, and would be used to refinance existing loans at lower interest rates, to renovate Finley and Ross Residence Halls, construct a new residence hall on campus, construct Delway Street adjacent to the campus, and other projects. (See attached memo.) These bonds, if approved, MUST be used for the purposes as stated.

2. SEPARATELY, we have been told by Seaboard merchants that WPU has expressed interest in or has actually made an offer to purchase the Shops at Seaboard. The owner is currently in bankruptcy proceedings. It is hoped that the owner can restructure his debt and keep Seaboard as is. If not, the bank is likely to sell it. We do not have confirmation from Peace officials about whether they have made such an offer or expressed interest.

3. I wrote to the president of WPU last week, asking about the bonds. She explained what they would be used for. At about noon on Friday, I requested a meeting with her and Peace officials, asking that three MCAC members and Matthew Brown, representing Historic Oakwood, be allowed to attend to learn more about Peace's long-term plans. We have not received a response yet.

4. This morning, I wrote to the president of WPU, asking directly whether it is true that Peace is making an offer for the Seaboard property. I have not heard back yet.

5. This morning, I wrote to City Councilmembers Russ Stephenson, Eugene Weeks and Mary-Ann Baldwin, telling them that we are trying to gather information about a possible Peace-Seaboard relationship. I also sent them a Facebook posting from the owner of Ace Hardware, asking customers for support in keeping the Seaboard businesses viable.

So, what we know is that Peace wants to issue bonds to refinance debt and build or upgrade existing infrastructure. This is not unusual, and businesses, institutions and homeowners do this all the time, especially when interest rates are favorable.

What we do NOT know is whether Peace, in fact, has made an offer or expressed interest in the Seaboard property. If they have, we do not know what this would mean, or whether we would have any input or participation in the process, or whether we would have any recourse through rezoning hearings or any other avenue if they do purchase the property.

At this point, we have NOT received confirmation or denial from Peace about any of this, and we have not yet received a response for our request to meet with them. Please provide any feedback or direction to MCAC leadership about what you'd like us to do in representing the MCAC publicly on this issue. Thank you!
Reid Serozi,
May 21, 2013, 7:59 AM
Reid Serozi,
Apr 15, 2013, 9:17 AM
Reid Serozi,
Apr 16, 2013, 1:49 PM
Reid Serozi,
May 21, 2013, 9:25 AM