Federal Capital Partners, which acquired the first phase of the West Village development in downtown Durham late last year, announced Wednesday that it has taken a controlling interest in the project's second phase with a $5 million investment.
Phase two, which includes 212 apartments and 104,000 square feet of commercial space, is owned by a partnership that includes Duke basketball stars Christian Laettner and Brian Davis. That group will retain an equity interest in the project.
In December, FCP acquired West Village's first phase, which includes 241 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail and parking, for $35.25 million. FCP's partner in that deal is Greensboro-based Bell Partners.
West Village was developed by a partnership that was led by Laettner, Davis and Tom Niemann, a Duke business school graduate. Their company, Blue Devil Ventures, led a $170 million revitalization effort in Durham that converted an abandoned tobacco factory into a mix of restaurants, offices and apartments.
Laettner and Davis have since run into financial trouble, and owe millions to creditors. Among those creditors is Johnny Dawkins, a former Duke guard and assistant coach of the Blue Devils who is now head coach of Stanford University.
Dawkins loaned Laettner and Davis $500,000 in November 2006 to develop property in Baltimore. Dawkins' attorney has filed multiple contempt motions against Laettner and Davis, accusing them of ignoring requests to show whether the two have assets to repay the money. Dawkins attorney said Wednesday that his client still has not been paid.
West Village remains a major success story despite Laettner's and Davis' financial difficulties. Nearly all of the 453 apartments are occupied, and much of the 140,000 square feet of commercial space is leased.
Washington-based FCP said its capital would be used to complete the leasing of 30,000 square feet of commercial space that remains vacant.