The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 28th

Upcoming Greenbridge foreclosure could hurt LIGHT gallery

Kimowan Metchewais's work is featured in the LIGHT art and design gallery.
Buy Photos Kimowan Metchewais's work is featured in the LIGHT art and design gallery.

The LIGHT Art and Design shop, located in the bottom of Greenbridge Developments, could face problems when the luxury condominiums are foreclosed upon in November.

But the gallery owners said they have no plans to move right now.

The gallery, which aims to spread awareness of design sustainability and local art, originally chose the Greenbridge space because their design firm, SitzerSpuria, designed the interiors of the Greenbridge building, said Carrie Moore, LIGHT marketing manager.

The Greenbridge complex opened in October 2010 but has been a controversial topic since the idea for its construction was conceived.

After selling poorly, the building was scheduled by its loaner, Bank of America, to be foreclosed in June, then in September.

The complex’s foreclosure date is now set for Nov. 7.

“Foreclosures tend to occur more often since the 2008 financial crash,” said Boone Turchi, an economics professor at the University.

“Lenders used to try and work with developers who had trouble paying off loans, but now they are immediately pulling the plug.”

The future of LIGHT’s design shop is tied to that of the complex.

Maintenance and amenities could dwindle if the building changes ownership, which could cause problems for LIGHT.

“The effect on the gallery will be the lack of traffic generated by other businesses,” said Cindy Spuria, owner of LIGHT.

Turchi said that part of the reason for LIGHT’s location was the high-income demographic living above the gallery.

“(The gallery) may have worked to develop a relationship with the tenants, and this foreclosure could hurt their customer business,” he said.

Like LIGHT, FRANK is a recently founded local art gallery.

Barbara Rich, director of the Franklin Street Gallery, said that art galleries are struggling in the current economy.

“Because of the economic situation, art galleries must scrutinize every penny,” she said.

“The goal is to have Franklin become a destination for people who are looking to find art.”

Despite these struggles, Rich said art galleries in the area are trying to stand strong.

“Galleries are keeping morale up,” she said.

“We are providing things to love and to be inspired by, which are especially important in these rough times.”

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