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Bank takes over Cary property once marketed as future downtown

CARY – A set of properties on Three Oaks Road, once marketed as the future downtown of the village, now are being marketed by a bank.

Parkway Bank and Trust has taken over almost 47 acres of land along Three Oaks Road between Routes 14 and 31 once owned by developer Bill Kaper.

The bank foreclosed on Kaper in June, according to online court records.

The five lots have a combined asking price of $11.7 million, according to materials provided by Bruce Kaplan, the commercial real estate agent marketing the properties.

The parcels range in size from 0.96 acres to 27.37 acres and are zoned for business use.

All of the properties have utilities and off-site stormwater detention.

The 27-acre property would be good for a big-box store, a 7.3-acre property west of the Aldi food store would be good for a banquet facility, and the 4.51-acre site would make a good business park, according to the marketing materials provided by Kaplan.

The property taxes owed on the vacant parcels was more than $176,000.

“The real estate taxes on those are staggering,” Kaplan said. “I don’t know how he held onto it. At a certain point, someone has to say uncle.”

The property had to be maintained but wasn’t generating any income, Kaplan said.

“It gets to be real burdensome after a period of time,” Kaplan said.

Bob Lussier of Parkway Bank and Trust said the bank hopes to sell the property and that it is developed in a fashion that is good for the community.

Kaper had visions of putting high-rise condominiums, gourmet restaurants, and an office complex on the properties.

At one point, Kaper was involved in a public battle with the village that included several newspaper advertisements criticizing officials, and a large sign on his property that read, “This vacant 53-acre site is destined to be the new downtown of Cary.”

His relationship with Cary went sour after he claimed that the village didn’t alert him that a hotel developer was looking to build in town.

Village officials said they never formally received plans from Kaper.

Some of the land was developed, such as the Aldi grocery store in the area, but most sits vacant.

Before the recession hit, Kaper had said he spent about $3.6 million on land balance. That included installing utilities, wells, landscaping and other things.

“I put a fortune in there,” he told the Northwest Herald in 2010. “You deal with engineers and then you get it all done and then it’s dead in the water.”

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