I hope everyone is spending as much time as possible outside before the heat kicks in. This is one of the best times of the year in downtown Raleigh for walking and outdoor eating.
Here’s the latest list of restaurant news.
- Dos Taquitos Xoco is now open in Glenwood South. Besides sitting outside on the outrageously decorated patio, the booths with the toy train serving chips and salsa are pretty enjoyable.
- Kimbap, a Korean cafe, has opened in Seaboard Station. There is a lot of sustainably grown food served here as well as a very gluten-free friendly menu. The dumplings are excellent!
- They have been open for some time now but Trophy Brewing has been making progress on their new kitchen and outdoor space. Expect that to be open soon.
- The Videri Chocolate Factory in the warehouse district has added a coffee bar.
- Fiction Kitchen has now been open for two or three months and is 100% vegetarian. The tinga tacos are way tasty!
- Cafe de los Muertos is opening a store in The Hue building and should be open late this summer or early fall.
- Another coffee shop, Joule Coffee, is still being worked on in the former Wilmoore Cafe spot. According to the (silent) Twitter account, it’s still planned for a Spring opening so expect it soon.
- This fall, a doughnut shop, Donut Theory, is planning to open in a space near the intersection of Saunders and South Street.
Also, a little bird has told me that the space between Neptune’s Parlour and King’s on Martin Street may be serving food out of the window this weekend. Is The Garland finally going to open? Perhaps we’ll know in a few weeks.
Emo Raleigh (East of Moore Square) may be getting a big influx of housing units if a new development gets approved by the city. According to a newly submitted site plan, The Lincoln is a full-block apartment building for the mostly empty, grassy lot bounded by Hargett, Martin, East, and Bloodworth Streets.
Currently, just a single house sits on the lot and for years the developers behind The Lincoln have been working to acquire property, move houses, and get everything ready.
The site plan tells us that the 70′ high building will be designed by JDavis Architects and offer one, two, and three bedroom apartments. Looking at the preliminary site plan we can see that there will be apartments along all four faces of the block with an enclosed parking deck and pool.
If I’m looking at this map correctly, the deck entrances look to be on Bloodworth and East Streets. See for yourself on this extracted image I created, posted below.
This is great for the Moore Square area as well as the adjacent Thompson-Hunter neighborhood. This side of town has been quiet on the development front. If successful, The Lincoln could raise more interest in new projects for East Raleigh as there is relatively cheaper land here.
Above is an architectural rendering of the new building which will be located along the 100 block of East Peace Street. The land was just surface parking for more than 20 years to the best of my knowledge and adds some diversity to what could be a heavily residential area if the Blount Street Commons project is ever fully completed.
The first real bike corral in the state of North Carolina was installed last week on the corner of Hargett and Wilmington Street.
Yesterday, a group from the City of Raleigh, NCDOT, and Clearscapes were hosting the public at the Contemporary Art Museum to show off some updates to Raleigh’s upcoming Union Station. This is part of an ongoing effort for citizens to take part in the design process of downtown’s new train station.
The last public meeting was only two months ago so I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. Clearscapes did have slightly new renderings and one interesting slide about the feedback that they have collected.
Almost half of the comments collected so far are related to connectivity, mainly pertaining to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The design of the new station is attempting to be easily accessible by a variety of modes and from many different directions. In addition to obvious connectivity off West Street, the architects are tossing around the idea of connecting a walkway westward up to Boylan Avenue.
Parking was another concern from the public. There’s no real concrete solution for Union Station parking at this time. The site plans show that only 36 spaces can fit on the site. All parties agree that this is far too few to adequately serve the station. There’s work being done behind the scenes to try and find a solution in the surrounding properties so more details are to come for sure.
The rest of the comments cover a couple of other things. People are interested in really making the entrance way an iconic space, especially the plaza. Use of natural light was also commented on and is leading to designs with more glass.
Here’s a new sketch that I haven’t seen before that shows the gateway from the civic plaza. The cross section shows the possible flow of pedestrians from the plaza and into the station. It also shows how the station will work “around” the in-use freight track that runs between the plaza and the station.
Here’s the latest site plan for you to geek over. Click on it to see it large. I didn’t realize how long the Amtrak platform really is.
Looking at the latest update at Raleigh’s Current Development Activity page, there’s a new entry for The Edison Office tower. The site plan sheds more light, and hopefully a sign of progress, on The Edison, a multi-tower project planned for downtown Raleigh.
In addition to the Edison Apartments and Skyhouse Apartments, The Edison Office tower site plan shows a 225 foot tower with retail over office across 310,000 square feet. These preliminary plans are just a sketch of what’s to come so hopefully with plans at the city, progress is being made behind the scenes.
At the same time, the website of JDavis Architects has a rendering, on display for The Edison Apartments and not Edison Office, that shows a concept of the entire block built out.
While Nash and Moore Square offer green space, Chavis really is the closest park that downtown Raleigh has. Make a visit there this Spring if you haven’t been in awhile or ever.
I recommend viewing this picture Large. The skyline is right there!
A few days have gone by so I think it’s a good time to look back over the evolution of Charter Square now that the confidence level is higher and we may actually get a building on this site.
As far back as 2006, the city labeled this piece of downtown as ‘Site One.’ On top of site One was the former Raleigh Civic Center which previously bookended Fayetteville Street. But with the revitalization of downtown underway, the roof of the civic center was blown up, literally, and the site demolished to make way for the current Fayetteville Street, Site One, and the now open Marriott Hotel.
The first round of renderings, that I could find back in the photo vault, is the one above. Two towers were planned at Site One, an office tower on the north half and a residential tower on the southern half. With ground floor retail space, the project was mixed-use all the way.
The plan was to start building the towers after the city completed the underground parking deck that would support the Marriott Hotel and the new Raleigh Convention Center.
Things went quiet for a little while and in 2007, new designs popped up. The same two tower project was planned as well as a larger ad campaign to start leasing the spaces. The north tower came in at 358 feet over 20 floors and the south tower at 182 feet over 15 floors. Other towers were on the planning board for downtown Raleigh in 2007 and things seemed positive.
What was most likely due to the economic recession in 2009, Charter Square then stalled.
The underground parking deck was finished and the Charter Square block has been wrapped in a chain-link fence with advertising for almost four years now.
To The Present
Last week, there was an announcement by Dominion Realty Partners and Charter Square that they were bringing a building to the site. The south half of Charter Square would consist of an 11 story, 225,000 square foot building with class A office space. The glass covered building will seek a platinum LEED certification and cost around $50 million.
According to the press release, 35,000 square feet has already been signed with a ground floor restaurant by Eschelon Hospitality, the good folks behind Sono, Zinda, and The Oxford. The press release also says, “Construction is scheduled to begin in Fall 2013 and be delivered in Fall 2014.”
Skyline fans first nit-picked the height of this tower last week but astute readers noticed that this tower is actually taller than the one previously planned for the southern site. The 11 story office tower will be 215 feet tall compared to the previous 15 story, 182 foot residential tower. Yes, office floors are taller than residential floors in most cases.
On May 2, the developers will submit their site plans to the city for approval. Here’s to smooth sailing until groundbreaking!