The 261 apartments at 425 Boylan Avenue have really taken shape after a year’s worth of construction. Plans according to the developer’s website state that the project will be completed in the Fall of 2014.
Just a recap of this upcoming apartment building for the Glenwood South district:
- 261 apartments across 8 stories.
- 11,000 square-feet of retail and office space.
- LEED silver certification.
An interesting thought that I may queue up for another post is to talk about the walkability between Glenwood South and Cameron Village. 425 Boylan and the other apartments located on the western half of Glenwood South create a dramatic increase in density that walking to Cameron Village should be simple.
From 425 Boylan to the Cameron Village library is a 0.7 mile walk. However, will residents overcome this more barren walk between those two points? Compared to a more interesting 0.7 mile walk, like Glenwood Avenue from Peace to Hillsborough or the CBD from the Nature Research Center to the end of Fayetteville Street, the lack of urbanity between the two destinations may not promote walking as much.
That or horrendous parking at a location may force walking to the forefront.
The banners are down and construction barriers are up around the upcoming L Building. The L building project goes as far back as the summer of 2007, starting out as an office tower and now planned to be apartments.
Construction should start very soon.
A friend of mine made a reference to an old post here on the blog and looking back at it after all these years makes for a great followup. In 2008, I made a list of ten retail spaces that should be filled. Today six places off that list are now occupied. It’s not just restaurants though, retail has taken hold and the quantity of shops is only increasing year after year in downtown Raleigh.
If you look at the post, you’ll see photos of empty buildings where popular restaurants are today. Beasley’s and Chuck’s have ignited the corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets. The ground floor of the Odd Fellows building was empty until Deco, Nora and Nicky’s, and High Cotton gave people a reason to window shop at Hargett and Salisbury Street. Almost all the spaces in The Depot were once empty until Videri Chocolate Factory, Tasty Beverage Company, Jose and Sons, Junction Salonbar, and Tuscan Blu set up.
Before getting into another empty spaces list, an important thing to note is that there are areas in downtown where empty spaces are few and need to be built. The “missing teeth” of retail is being filled in and the options and variety is increasing. As fewer historic buildings needing renovation are available, this will increase the demand to build new shops in new construction buildings.
Glenwood South, end-to-end, is practically full. With The Wine Feed guys renovating their space in the Hampton there’s really not much new sidewalk retail space available. Projects like The Gramercy should be adding more retail spaces right along Glenwood Avenue. The now under construction Ale House building, at Glenwood and Tucker Street, may add retail/restaurants where an empty office building once sat.
Other notables include individual buildings around downtown. PNC Plaza has leased their retail spaces and it appears the smallest one along Martin has paper over the glass as if something is going on behind it. The Hue has renters in all their spaces minus one. Red Hat Tower has seen turnover but is typically full.
The simplest way to put it is that creating a list like the one below was more difficult today than it was five years ago.
And now onto the list.
107 East Martin
A small empty space for years but just around the corner from all the great restaurants at Martin and Wilmington. The problem, I think, is that it probably needs a lot of work to get something started here. I don’t know much about the details of renovation but this building looks pretty sad and start up costs must be higher than most.
Blount Street Deck
The Blount Street Parking deck has two retail spaces, one facing Wilmington and the other on Blount Street. The downtown staple, Cooper’s BBQ is moving to the space along Wilmington and the one facing Blount is still waiting for its first tenant since opening in 2008. Facing City Market and being close to Moore Square, I would think this could be an attractive space. What will probably make it happen for this nook is when nearby residential projects like Skyhouse and The Edison open up. A services type shop would be perfect for downtown residents in this area.
The Atrium has such a good location along Fayetteville Street but needs a lot of work to be useful. The old, brick building is missing a roof in the back so someone with a lot of passion for this architecturally flat building will have to come along to spruce it up. Eventually, the location will be too good to pass on it for some developer.
Boylan Pearce Building
This has been empty ever since Fayetteville Street dropped the mall from it’s name in 2006. The Boylan Pearce Building sits in the prime 200 block of Fayetteville Street, experiencing some of the highest pedestrian counts in downtown Raleigh. Almost a year ago, there was news of a buyer of the building with plans to restore it.
Days before I planned to post this, signs of construction on the bottom floor popped up. So it’s possible this space is coming off this list sometime soon.
The Raleigh Sandwich Shop
Sandwiched, pun intended, between some busy shops and restaurants along Wilmington Street, the Raleigh Sandwich Shop has such a good location for someone to consider working with it. I’m going to punt this one over to a great post at Goodnight, Raleigh about the shop. Remembering the Raleigh Sandwich Shop
The Shops at 500 Hillsborough Street
This little strip of one-story retail spaces is kind of an island between Glenwood South and Fayetteville Street. The shops that are there serve niche markets, like the violin store, but next door, the spaces are empty. This is a tricky area I feel as the better move would be to join the cluster of businesses in the other districts. Until the growth reaches here, this may be the same for a long time.
I feel like the City Market building is the flagship in historic charm for downtown Raleigh. Some may say the Briggs Hardware building but I lean more toward the ole girl on Martin Street. The half facing Martin Street has been vacant for quite some time now with the other half being used by the event venue, Cobblestone Hall. It’s a big space and difficult to break up into smaller ones, if even possible. A big restaurant operation or large retail store is perfect for this space.
Currently, there are posters around it for an event space called 214 Martin.
Last night, NCDOT were showing off proposed design alternatives of the upcoming bridge replacements for Capital Boulevard at Peace Street and Wade Avenue. This is an upcoming project that comes out of the need to replace these approximately 50-year-old bridges before they become functionally unsafe. There are plans for two different alternatives for each bridge and I wanted to go over the bridge designs at the Capital and Peace intersection.
The two alternatives are being referred to as Alternative P-Base and Alternative P5. In my opinion, you have the status quo in the P-Base alternative and a new design in P5. However, as is to be expected the P-Base plan is the cheaper of the two. Let’s get in to each before comparing the two against each other.
Like I stated earlier, the P-Base plan seems to have the least impact to the area and delivers a new bridge with the same street design around it. Entering and exiting Capital Boulevard from Peace Street is almost the same as today.
There are a few enhancements here that will help vehicles turn. The northbound entrance ramp to Capital from Peace would be two lanes wide, the right-most lane being a turn lane for the Cotton Mill parking lot. Also, when exiting downtown on Capital heading north, a right-most fourth lane will pop-out and feed the exit onto Peace Street. The same principals are there for exits and entrances on southbound Capital, where a fourth lane exists for merging compared to the abrupt turn lane that’s there now.
It also looks like the entrance to the small row of shops (Jersey Mike’s, Dry Clean City, etc.) will not have that little driveway onto the northbound Capital ramp.
P5 has a lot more going on around the same new bridge that will be built. Capital Boulevard entrances and exits have been moved and will result in a new traffic pattern. Before we go over these, it’s important to show the new street connections that are proposed.
Harrington Street would play a much bigger role in the P5 plan. Here, Harrington would kind of “punch” through and connect to Peace Street, accomplished through the use of property acquisition. This would create a brand new, signalized intersection.
Nearby along southbound Capital, the parallel service street, intersecting Johnson Street to the north, would be redone as well. Rather than an awkward turn off Capital, you could now make a right turn, with a dedicated turn lane, onto a connecting Johnson Street. This then drops you off at Johnson and Harrington and off into Glenwood South.
Along northbound Capital, new to any proposed design yet, is a longer off-ramp with driveways to Johnson Street to the south of Peace and a turn lane to the Cotton Mill on the north. This off-ramp will create another signalized intersection at Peace Street.
So with these additions, there are some things that are removed. Gone are the “cloverleaf” style on/off ramps at Capital on to Peace. With the addition of the Johnson Street connection and Harrington Street extension, traffic should flow through here in its place.
Matching Them Up
The two plans don’t share much but walkers and cyclists get a win with both. Peace Street will get 5-foot bike lanes and what looks like wider sidewalks, which are desperately needed as nature is reclaiming the current pedestrian paths on the south side.
A minor detail that I thought was important is that both plans call for 11-foot lanes on Capital Boulevard. This actually contradicts the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study’s “Happy Motoring” section stating that 12-foot lanes were something to work towards. I believe that increasing those lane widths would have created faster speeds, more vehicles, and more traffic along Peace Street. I commented in support of the 11-foot lanes for either plan as it compliments an urban area better.
Cost of the two plans is drastically different. According to last night’s handout:
- P-Base – $26.4 Million
- P5 – $37.4 Million
That’s an $11 million dollar difference. The bulk of the reason comes from the property acquisition involved in each alternative, 5 versus 12 properties in the area.
Overall, I left comments in support of the P5 alternative. Simply put, this area is pretty much a place to get through and not stop in. We already know that delivering the same thing will most likely produce little new results so we almost owe it ourselves to find that $11 million and try something new.
I feel the P5 alternative slows traffic down and starts to transition the area towards one with better urban form. I’m a huge fan of a grid-like street network and this alternative creates that in the new connection at Johnson Street and the Harrington Street extension. If we can add in on-street parking along these areas, interest in new development could increase. It can’t get any lower as the area only consists of sprawl-like, one-story buildings with surface parking.
NCDOT is taking input on the alternatives over the next few weeks. Here’s the project page on the NCDOT website with contact information so you can submit your thoughts.
The handout also gave us a project timeline.
- Winter 2013 – Environmental Assessment
- Spring 2014 – Public Hearing
- Fall 2014 – Final Environmental Document
- Fiscal Year 2015* – Begin Right of Way Acquisition
- Fiscal Year 2016* – Begin Construction
I’ve added the cross section of Peace Street which shows the 5-foot bike lanes on each side of the street. The cross section is pretty much the same between the two alternatives. Click for a larger view.
Continuing the conversation around Blount Street Commons this week, the project at the corner of Person and Peace Streets broke ground over a few weeks ago. Peace Street Townes is an 18-unit townhome project that should pop up fairly quickly because of the smaller scale of the project. Seems there are still developers delivering outside of the crazed rental market these days.
On a walk this past weekend, the sign near the site said that 10 units were under contract which is great momentum and clearly enough to start building. Looking back, this project was announced over a year ago around the summer of 2012.
Fans of urban transition should be cheering for this project as it somewhat steps down from the denser government buildings to the single-family homes in nearby Oakwood and Mordecai.
This will be short as details are a bit light, as far as I know anyway, on this project. There’s movement on one of the apartment buildings planned for the Blount Street Commons project. The current parking lot near the NCAIA building and along Wilmington Street is being broken up.
I did some digging and this tract of land is referred to as “Block 2 Tract B” of the Blount Street Commons project. In early 2012, the Raleigh Planning Commission recommended the approval of a height amendment that was in place here. It was to go from 45′ to 62′. This was probably the beginning of plans for the upcoming apartment building.
By the way, the details are all in MP-3-11 on the city’s development approvals archive site.
I haven’t found much yet about it but the property owner, according to Wake County, is Elan Raleigh Property LLC. Their website, elanapts.com, shows some slides of some decent looking developments. The Elan Uptown project in Minneapolis looks pretty cool.
It’s taking a little more effort to find details here so I’ll post as facts come up. Please share if you have any insight to this potentially significant new residential project for the northern side of downtown Raleigh.
It’s been almost a year and a half since there’s been any major news on the re-design for the area around the Capital Boulevard bridge that goes over Peace Street. On November 19, the NCDOT wants to show off the latest designs for that area.
Date/Time: Tues., Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Open House)
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Meymandi Hall Lobby
2 East South Street, Raleigh
This project comes up because the current bridge is nearing the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced before safety is put at risk. The city is working with the state to find a working solution and this project falls inline with the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study, a much greater strategy to re-invigorate the entire corridor from downtown Raleigh up to I-440.
Project website: Peace St. /Wade Ave. Bridge Replacements on Capital Blvd.
We’ll see what is shown at the meeting and the public can certainly comment on the new designs as we’re still in the planning phases.
On a related note, a friend of mine shared an interesting article with me where a similar bridge replacement was done up in New York state on I-84. Watch the video (shown below or in the linked article) and read about the technique called accelerated bridge construction. Makes you curious as to why this couldn’t be done here at Capital and Peace to save a little money. (and upsetting nearby businesses)
Construction fencing is up for the Skyhouse Raleigh project. This confirms some reports last week that the 23-story apartment building at the corner of Blount and Martin Streets is finally starting.
For those new to this project, Skyhouse Raleigh is basically a copy of the same building being done in other cities such as Austin and Atlanta. In fact, I was in Atlanta in summer of 2012 and have some photos, taken for the Raleigh Public Record, of their building during construction.
Expect this building to be done around early 2015. Cheers and bring on the cranes!