Pic of the Week

Future home of Citrix

Renovation work begins on the future home of , located in downtown Raleigh Warehouse District.

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There needs to be a hotel and more high rise (COOL) office space in warehouse district to attract start-ups and technology companies.

And every building that goes up, must have retail on ground level.

On another note: Cannot believe there are NO developers planning of building high rise office towers in downtown Raleigh (Charter Square group is a joke – city needs to get rid of that group NOW and send out a new RFP to attract new developers for that property (IT IS AN EYE SORE and now going on 5 years or more), this city gives patetic local developers too much time – city council and Wake County Commissioners must be collecting money under the table, 2 years and your gone, move on to a new potential development group – hopefully not one from N.C.)

Thomas, some city leaders are too busy trying to keep projects below 5 floors. Thinking big and acting on a greater vision is too demanding for them ;) Unless we get the usual suspects out of the city council – and other committees – Raleigh will not achieve the kind of excellence it deserves. This kind of excellence goes beyond a great street-level experience and a decent number of iconic projects that will push Raleigh’s skyline to the levels it should have been years ago.

Raleigh lacks the inspiring image that will show major corporate tenants that we are serious about our status as a city. It is not about having tall buildings, but rather about the dynamic nature of our city. A true dynamic nature demonstrates the blending of old and new elements. Historic preservation (when and where it makes sense), an evolving skyline, a financially diverse [downtown] population, a great mix of cultural, retail and entertainment destinations, but most of all a forward thinking group of local leaders (public and private sector) are some of the key elements that will guarantee success over a long period of time.

My problem is not the local developers, but as you said, there is some preference demonstrated towards local developers who lack the financial backing to deliver even the smaller projects. Unfortunately, the current financial state of our country doesn’t encourage even out-of-town developers to jump into the existing opportunities with both feet. If we can get 2-3 major projects going, I will be ecstatic. Charter Square, Skyhouse and possibly One Glenwood would be a great way to begin the next phase of development.

You would think the dolts in city government would get this after you have had major corporate anchors of Raleigh poached away including RBC and Progress Energy. Both Citrix and Red Hat are major targets for larger companies as well.

Daniel, Citrix is headquartered in Florida. RBC is headquartered in Canada and sold RBC Centura, the city of Raleigh really had nothing to do with either. Progress Energy didn’t leave because the city wasn’t helping them. If a company comes along and offers the shareholders or owner a bunch of money (and a job, as with the founder of Sharefile) then the city can’t do that much to deter the sale.

I also don’t really understand the outcry against ‘local’ developers and the city leaders. There isn’t much demand for office space.

One thing that I’d like to see is the city attract more small businesses with edgy ideas, like in Durham. One pipe dream of mine is that the city decides to build its own library, a 21st century library that focuses on digital media and conference space. The Wake County Commissioners are unlikely to deliver anything like that and I think it’d be a real asset to the city and its population.

^Never said these entities had their corporate HQs in DT Raleigh (although Progress did and Red Hat currently does). I did say these are major anchors that are currently tenuous at best. The leadership of the city (including the chamber of commerce) does have a responsibility to try to attract businesses to the city. This Mayberryesque schtick is a bit much for a competitive 21st century marketplace. Contrary to what you said there is a large demand for office space and Raleigh has been passed over several times for this very reason. Charlotte has been eating Raleigh’s lunch for this very reason. When the leaders of this town looked to Greenville, SC for inspiration one has to scratch their head at what the vision is for Raleigh.

You didn’t say they were, but you implied that the city council had some kind of power over corporate decisions. My point about RBC in particular was that the city council really had no influence on RBC’s decision to unload RBC Centura. You seemed to imply differently. You also mentioned Citrix and Red Hat, which were both recipients of city incentives, I’m not sure what else the city could have done. I’m also a little confused by your assertion that the Chamber and the City aren’t trying to attract business. I think it’s obvious the leaders are very much trying to attract business, as evidenced by the high marks we annually get for business friendliness.

As far as Greenville, I’m not sure if you’ve been there, but it has a downtown much superior to our own. Greenville’s city center is among the nicest I’ve seen in a Sunbelt city, with shopping and entertainment we could only dream of. Two things that they have would really improve DT, a Mast General Store (or similar store) and Single A baseball stadium (or soccer stadium in our case).

Charlotte is building a new baseball stadium in their downtown which is helping attract a lot of investment from businesses and new residents. Not to mention the added visitor dollars being spent in their city! I agree with Steve, we should go for a soccer/multi-use stadium. Now THAT is something our city government could work toward; not so sure about whatever Daniel is trying to say.

I think that everyone here makes good points. First of all, there is demand for office space in DT Raleigh. The problem is the hesitation due to the uncertain economic times, along with existing contiguous space. Tenants want space almost ready to move in. This “problem” is a lot easier to deal with in areas that have at least 3-4 times more the space DT Raleigh has, since they have a larger inventory of available space – plus bigger buildings. The latter has some significance: Having 200,000sf of available space is more devastating for the owners of a 300,000sf building than for the owners of a 600,000sf.

When Raleigh’s leaders looked into Greenville, SC, they did so because Greenville leaders did an outstanding job developing their Main Str. They didn’t try to imitate the way DT Greenville lured office tenants, or even residents. Main Str is a phenomenal experience and the people behind the street’s revitalization deserve kudos. Raleigh’s leaders looked into the street-life experience of DT Greenville, not its business environment as much.

I also have to give kudos to Raleigh’s leaders for helping RBC Bank to make a decision favorable for DT Raleigh. I think that our leaders – with whom I disagreed many times in the past, and still do – played their cards right. They didn’t put too much pressure, but rather played politics. Luckily for us, Highwoods Properties is a major entity and were able to build something big; kudos to them for working with a residential developer and add condos.

On the other hand, it is safe to say that Raleigh’s leaders are not as aggressive as they should have been. Maybe there are obstacles that we don’t know of – outside the economy – but I can think of something else that makes it hard for any company: Lack of contiguous space – yes, I know, I said it earlier. I hate to see empty buildings, but sometimes this is what it takes to attract tenants. Landlords are forced to offer good deals, without losing money, of course. Tenants see the opportunity and take it.

As for sports complexes, I am for them, provided we don’t turn valuable land into surface lots. Which is why I advocate for a sports complex South of MLK Blvd, and closer to the Beltline. This would require a greater vision for that area, starting with making it part of downtown. Not for the sake of annexing space, but rather for making that section part of a larger plan. I would not see a stadium as part of attracting new residents – the opposite, probably – but attracting entertainment destinations and visitors is a certainty.

I’m sorry by I was completely unimpressed with downtown Greenville. I thought it was pleasant but that was about it. I travel a lot so maybe I have higher expectations than just being a little sleepy southern burg. What I see out of Raleigh is a straight line to genericville with the constant quest to be nonoffensive to every conceivable group. When you do this, you end up with a stale, unimaginative, uninspired Walmart-style product.

I agree with Daniel about Greenville, SC. Not impressed at all. Matter of fact, other than Hilton Head, absolutely NOTHING is impressive in South Carolina.

Raleigh does not need to take ideas from a small bland town like Greenville, SC.
If your going to take ideas, look at portions of Michigan Avenue, San Diego Gas Lamp district, Denver LODO, or any district in NYC and piece meal those ideas into a district that in downtown Raleigh (example: the warehouse district area – this area is basically starting from scratch). Enough of these small town ideas. Raleigh is not (anymore) a small city

Article: “227″ building on F Street – will be technology/start-up hub (nice project).
WAKE UP past and present CITY COUNCIL members – you are so clueless and OLD fashion (Odom, Crowder and Stephenson, get rid of them – they prevent progress) – That existing building – The Hudson, what a joke – a few years ago, a MA. Developer wanted to build a technolgy themed 30-40 story building – our pathetic city council members (ODOM, CROWDER and a few other clowns) said that downtown was not the right location for a technology hub (so we bring in a local developer, who knew nothing about development), it was the right time for that MA developer project and still is – JUST SHOWS THE CONTINUED LACK OF VISION OF OUR CITY COUNCIL.
With that said, the vision today must be serious conversations and planning sessions to build a downtown Hockey and State BB arena before we wait another 20 years (thx Fetzer!). Amazing, Edmonton, in the middle of no where, is talking and planning for a new arena and Raleigh is a fast growing metro market and there is no conversation what-so-ever for a downtown sports venue (we also should be doing all we can to bring the Mudcats to downtown Raleigh – get creative DRA). Been here a long time, lack of vision just get’s old and boring after a while – if not for kids, I would be gone. Two venues that are important to downtown Raleigh future. enough small, piece meal thinking.

I agree, Raleigh’s city council rejects any project that could make Raleigh bigger and better. Also can’t believe so many projects went down under like the Edison and the Reynolds tower. I think we need a taller and wider skyline.

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