Spencer Young

Courtyard owner's mouth writing checks his bank can't cash

I hope none of you were surprised to hear about this development. (If so, it's because you apparently didn't read my recent rant about "the problem with downtown." Hint: It has something to do with negligent landlords.)

The bank filed a request late last month for a foreclosure hearing in Orange County Superior Court, saying Spencer C. Young Investments wasn't making payments on $2.63 million it had borrowed in 2005 to buy the property.


In June, a collection agency sued Young, saying he had defaulted on a $15,000 credit line from Citibank. Earlier, Wright Co. Electrical and Maintenance Services sued Young in Orange County small claims court, claiming almost $3,000 in unpaid services there and at a shopping center he owns in Durham.

This summer, Raleigh-based Benjamin Construction Inc. sued Young for more than $550,000, saying he did not pay for construction of Baba Ghannouj, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and various general improvements to the property.

The problem with downtown

I just drove through Eastgate, and and wow that place is really coming together. It looks quite nice and there are lots of appealing businesses there. However, almost none of them are locally owned. WomanCraft seems to be the only local business there now. I would so much prefer to spend my money at a business that supports the local economy and supports our downtown. I started to think about why our downtown is starting to struggle after so many years of vitality.

No, it's not the panhandlers, lack of parking, or drunk students. I think It's the landlords. Or at least some landlords, most notably Spencer Young who is actively driving tenants away from The Courtyard while piling on loans that he apparently can't pay, and Joe Riddle who is responsible for at least two empty store fronts and a vacant lot on Franklin Street. Riddle is a developer who lives in Fayetteville. He was arrested on felony drug charges in 2005, and he currently owns several properties in Northside and downtown Chapel Hill worth a total tax value of $1,795,460 (according to Orange County GIS).


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