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Pace has slowed on Crosland apartment project on Trade

Crosland's plans for a $100 million apartment project with street level retail on the James K. Polk building site at 500 W. Trade St. are unfolding slower than anticipated.

When the eight-story, 400-unit building was announced in May, the real estate firm was planning to start construction this fall and finish by late 2009.

Now officials say they expect to be busy through the end of the year selecting a demolition contractor and completing the permitting process.

“We, like everyone else, are watching the employment projections downtown to better understand market demand before getting too far ahead of ourselves,” said David Ravin, president of Crosland's residential division.

Trinity Capital Advisors acquired the site in 2006 to develop a mixed-use project including mid-rise residences on the 2.7-acre tract.

When that plan didn't materialize, Trinity formed a partnership with Crosland on the eight-story luxury apartment building and shops fronting West Trade Street.

More than 20 high-rise residential projects have been announced or proposed in the center city in the past three years, but the faltering economy and tighter lending have led developers to re-evaluate.

Two residential towers are tied up in legal disputes and three have been postponed. Four have opened, and three are under construction. Plans are indefinite on the other proposed projects. Doug Smith

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