Hilton Garden Inn on Davie Street Rendering, Shows Glass and Curves

Rendering of the Hilton Garden Inn planned for the corner of Davie and McDowell Streets

Rendering of the Inn planned for the corner of Davie and McDowell Streets.

Coming up during this week’s Raleigh Appearance Commission meeting are plans for the 13-story, 158′ Hilton Garden Inn tower. This project is planned for the northwest corner of Davie and McDowell Streets. With a ground floor lobby, floors 2-5 are for parking, and 6-13 for hotel rooms.

After looking at the documents shared in the meeting agenda, the site is predominantly replacing the Turn Key Tire shop that sits right at the corner along with the brick, one-story warehouse that runs along Davie Street. As a result, if I’m reading this right, the building next door with the trophy shop will also be removed too and the tiny little building nearby along McDowell.

And what a cleanup job this will be as tons of utility lines and terrible sidewalks will be removed and replaced, in front and around the building. Behind it, a public alley will be built for loading/unloading of trash and other services. There’s a vehicle entrance on Davie Street and the plans don’t quite show exactly how the lobby and any potential retail space is broken up.

Current site

Current site.

In my opinion, this is probably the best looking hotel proposal in recent memory. The urban form is great and is adding density to new areas of downtown that essentially has none. Bravo to the team behind this project and let’s make it happen.

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Comments

That corner has a lot of potential to improve. This is a good start to the area, I think. (I also appreciate that whoever made this rendering thinks Raleigh is Los Angeles).

the Developer behind the HGI is the same one many on this site love to gripe about regularly, Greg Hatem and Empire Properties.

Not a bad design, its better than I expected. the lot needs some major improvements this helps a lot.

And there’s plenty of griping on New Raleigh, because some people are just never happy. But for a block that is basically a disconnect between big newer buildings like the Justice Center and the “rustic” charm of the Warehouse district, this looks like a great addition. Anything would be an improvement, but the design and the height are both better than I expected. Still have high hopes for the Flying Saucer Hillsborough Street project and John Kane’s Warehouse District project, both still without specifics, heights, or renderings.

And Charter Square North Tower.

@Jeff – agreed, reading New Raleigh responses is the equivalent to YouTube comments. The building is not amazing but it fits well into an area of the city that bridges the warehouse district to downtown proper and provides some height / density.

It is a fine looking project, IMHO. Not only it adds hotel rooms in downtown, but also brings a little height to an intersection that needs it. Let’s get this now, before the residents of the L Building start complaining about buildings the “tower” above theirs.

I like it. Much different than the usual Garden Inn, great location for a hotel and helps tie DT buildings with the warehouse area. Will look good on that corner and prefer the look over the one in Atlanta.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=hilton+garden+inn+homewood+suites+atlanta&qs=RI&pq=hilton+garden+inn+atlanta+homewood+suites&sc=1-41&sp=1&cvid=fb0be570aa7540a7ba85ae87f604ff02&FORM=QBRE

I, for one, LOVE it. Would I like it more if it were taller? Sure. But 158 ft. is just a hair taller than the SECU building, so it should actually be noticeable in the skyline from certain angles! As for the look, I dig the round glass corner. Very different for Raleigh, which is ONLY a good thing. Really hoping the entire ground floor isn’t just lobby though, and we get at least one, if not two-three retail spaces. With that and all the retail space the L building is bringing (as lame as the L is), I think this block will get some major pedestrian love. Hopefully the Firestone lot will become something substantial soon, too. Except….. ahhh, I do LOVE the big, bright Firestone sign. Maybe we could keep just that hahaha. Anyway, here’s hoping that the HUGE parking lots on the other side of McDowell from the L (where Enterprise is) becomes home to 2 or three MASSIVE towers down the road. If that happens along with all this planned development, this area could become busier than Fayetteville St!

With proximity to Nash Square, the Convention Center, and the Warehouse District I’m looking forward to what this building will do for the urban fabric of DTR. It should demonstrate to other developers how great a location this area is.

Just wanted to say how thoroughly I enjoy your downtown Raleigh page/pages. This very morning (May 5) my wife and I were driving through downtown and I commented how ugly the tire store, Morts and other properties at Davie and McDowell streets are, then I came home, opened my email, and “bingo” there was your story about the Hilton Garden Inn plans for that unsightly site. Great timing! Great page!

I’m pleasantly surprised. I really like how they incorporated the deck into the hotel. It’s a shame that they couldn’t keep it within the footprint of the Turn Key Tire shop, as that would of pushed the height by a few stories. I’m happy either way. Bet this gets started before the Residence Inn new the Marriott.

Have they decided on a start date? I would think the residence at the L would be excited about this because currently there is a lot ragged area around that building. I think there could definitely be something better than that Firestone, but as someone who works downtown, I have to admit it’s convienat. This is going to be a nice project. Forward progress!!

Lot across from Dawson on Hillsborough and the lot where enterprise is are the next two big targets IMHO.

So is it just me or does the rendering show a homewood suites and hilton garden inn together? Does that have any significance?

I like the general design, but the stucco (tan) look has to go. This is close to the warehouse district, make that stucco look “Brick” for a nice transition.

That tan has got to go, see that much to often in burbs, do not want that look or fell in our downtown.

The intersection today is very pedestrian unfriendly, missing a crossing light at McDowell. This will be a huge improvement.

Is there anyone that could attend tonight’s council meeting @ 7 p.m. in the council chambers on Hargett St.? The rezoning agenda for 301 & 307 Hillsborough St. is suppose to be voted on by council. Believe me, if I could go tonight I would but my grandson has a L.L. baseball game @ 7:45 in W.F. Also, Thanks Rick for your comment! Dwight Nipper

@David… It is my understanding that it will be both sharing a parking garage. So, Yes sir… you do see both!

great location and great improvement over existing ugly site. Thanks Leo great post as with the many comments. Can you imagine staying here while going to conference at convention center? walk to Poole’s Dinner or The Pit.

Will this project actually displace the Firestone? Looking at the picture provided… it only seems to cover about half that block starting at the McDowell and Davie intersection… this would place it to the right of Firestone… ending where Mort’s Trophies currently is! Please correct me if I am wrong here!

Just heard on WNCN that Raleigh city council did approve the rezoning of 301 and 307 Hillsborough St to 20 stories. Did not mention what company the rezoning request came from. This news and the awesome new Hilton Garden/Homewood Suites rendering makes this a pretty good day for Raleigh I’d say.

Rick, the request was made by the City Planning Dept, not a specific developer. The site was approved for up to 40 stories therefore no rezoning was necessary. If the City Council approved the reduction/rezoning, it shows how little and unworthy they are of their positions. This is far from good news and rest assured the Planning Dept will proceed with more such dumb moves. Must be a slow year for them and they have nothing else to do. So much for the Raleigh 2030 plan šŸ™

Ernest & Rick,
On a good note, I have heard councilor Wayne Maiorano say that he hopes to see a 40 story project happen in our downtown. He said that Raleigh really needs this.

While I do believe there is a need for a 40-story building, I don’t feel to bad about it not being on these lots. I would have felt a little top heavy in the area. I think 20 stories is a decent height, if that height is met. I have a fear that a developer will come in and propose something much shorter than what the zoning allows. Who knows?

For the 40-story building, there aren’t many lots that have the potential to host such a building. It’s a good and bad thing. Good because we are developing these lots. Bad because the development is lacking in potential. I see the intersection of Davie and McDowell as being prime for a tower that large. That’s about the only lot I can see it on right now. Unfortunately the lots opposite the PAC and the lots adjacent to Charter Sq, feel like they will hit between the 10-20 threshold because of the historic district nearby.

Back to the meeting: any word on Kane’s tower proposal for the Warehouse district? Wasn’t he also a point of conversation last night?

*it’s hard to keep up since I moved to NYC in 2013, but I love this site!

Sam, Because Mr. Kane is so well liked & respected by Raleigh Leaders, his projects are on the fast lane.

I’ll take that as a positive. Though his projects have certainly been suburban in nature, you can’t fault the guy’s vision. And, for that matter, the designs of the towers at NH are not that bad. There is a homogeny about them, but they at least reach for something greater than what we seem to have downtown. I am excited to see what he brings to the table.

@Sam – I’ve been saying for quite some time, now, that the HUGE parking lots you mention on the corner of Davie & McDowell (and all the way down to where the Enterprise lot is) NEEEEEEEDS to become home to 2, if not 3 monsters. I think 40 PLUS stories should go in that spot. Maybe a giant 50 story building, that towers above PNC Plaza, then a couple shorter buildings (shorter meaning BB&T/Wells Fargo building height) around it. Imagine the view from Dix Park THEN!

TBJ just ran an article about how the State needs “swing” office space while they are renovating downtown properties and specifically mentioned a 42 million dollar renovation of the Albermarle building. For 42 million it may be better to tear that fossil down and put up something new. Nonetheless, good to see the state has plans with new investments downtown.

Very excited to see what downtown will look like by the year 2020. I know it seems so far away…

Think about all the projects in process and the ones on the table + Union station. Going to be so much different than the place I moved to 10 years ago.

Union Station is breaking ground on Friday!!!

What goes to the 301/307 Hillsborough Street parcel should be decided by the market, not a bunch of short-sighted people that we call “city leaders”; not just the city council members. If a developer comes forth with a proposal for a 20-story building – for the 301/307 lot – I will not cry about it, provided it looks good and it is functional, but forcing developers to not exceed 20 floors is insane.

The thing I want to caution downtown enthusiasts about is that this is merely a beginning. The city’s Planning Dept will most likely go after every lot that carries potential for re-development, within their perceived “transitional areas”, and limit the height. All those 40+ story towers will not come any time soon and the parcels that could potentially host such projects will be filled with 10-20 story buildings.

We can revisit this topic in a couple of years, but I am afraid it will be late then. The Raleigh 2030 plan is going to back-fire and all the initial cheering for its adoption will turn into reminiscing the good old days, before we set “standards”.

Hey Ernest: Things may not be so bad on these 20 story zoning areas. I have heard from a very reliable source that all is not set in stone. For instance, if a developer requests a 20+ project ,there is a chance that the city will be flexible. That conversation has already happen. I really believe that Raleigh is going to bust wide open. I’m very excited! Take Care, Dwight

If you read N&O article and council wants to tie low income housing to part of 301 site you can KISS first class 20+ building goodbye. No leadership.

Question?

Is this ordnance or plan of building 20 stories in height or less in most of downtown Raleigh,(in my view its slowly becoming the norm), a new Phenomenon or are other cities already doing this? My greatest concern is that downtown Raleigh should have a good mix in different heights next to each other or downtown Raleigh’s cost of home ownership will truly be out of this world expensive?

@Dwight: I understand your positive approach, but the problem here is the general attitude that we need to cut the maximum height of 40 stories to half of it is a reason for alarm. This is not what the Raleigh 2030 plan was created for. If a developer wants to build something taller, now he has to go through the bureaucratic process of our city to accomplish that.

@bc: You are right on the money. Naturally, the term “affordable” can be translated in more than one way. A 2-bedroom condominium unit on the 20th floor can still be sold for $500,000, which may be less than $1 million, but far from affordable to most of us.

@Robert: Our city leaders – most of them – have fear of heights, as it has been witnessed over and over. From pointless debates over 2 floors (i.e. Hillsborough Str) to reducing heights by half, some of them seem to think that Raleigh is Mayberry and not a growing place. Bottom line, projects below 20 floors will be the norm for the years to come.

My suggestion: Get some leaders who will not be afraid to re-define downtown borders. Ideally, for the areas between Glenwood Ave, Peace Str, Blount Str and South Str the sky should be the limit… With some respect for the truly transitional parts, especially along Blount Street. Until then, city “leaders” will be focusing on one thing only: keep downtown short and IF we are lucky we may get something above 20 floors near Fayetteville Str.

Good luck to our city…

The zoning that the city chose to go with is sensitive to the current context of the site, which is also one of the principle goals of the UDO. A 40 or 50 story tower might be perfect for this site, but it’d be out of character with what’s there now.

The city is actually pro 40 story buildings – just on the right sites. They have implied that the N&O block could see something that tall. And they are considering selling their block on Nash Square for taller construction. 20 stories is a great fit for this part of Hillsborough St.

@mike, you are right. The city is pro 40 story buildings. I don’t think Reynolds ever had the rezoning done for 301 site. As is the neighbors are moaning about a 20 story complex. The only over 40+ was the site at crabtree that went under.
I was in the L building today and Empire has done a great job with the complexities of the site with county deck. The pic of the Hilton Garden/Homewood Suites was posted on the wall. So they are excited to see their construction staging site become a needed hotel for conventions etc. Anytime a old site that needs to be torn down is built into something nice it is great to see as with the L building site. 10 years ago this was a parking lot. So there is hope for enterprise spot.

mike, could you please define “right sites”? Or more specifically, what makes the 301 parcel – all of the sudden – not the right site for a 40-story building? I think it is a wonderful site for a 30+ story building, provided it is an architecturally appealing high-rise.

The problem I keep returning to is the desire to reduce the height in the heart of downtown. If this was truly a transitional area (i.e. St Mary’s Str, Person Str) I could understand. But, it is my fear that this pattern will continue which makes me so rigid. I used to be far more enthusiastic and these people have managed to kill my enthusiasm. Mitch Silver – a great leader and a HUGE loss for our Planning Dept – would not have thought of bringing such a rezoning case to the city council.

All right, I’ve said too much. Time for me to shut up…

This proposal requiring an affordable housing component at 301/307 site makes no sense to me. It’s not that I am against policies supporting this element but must it be done right slap dab in the middle of the CBD where land is the most valuable? By mandating an affordable component we are degrading the value of the parcel which costs taxpayers up front. This sort of mandate also forces a reduction in the scope/quality of the project so developer finances work. Now taxpayers are paying for this misguided policy forever because the tax base of the construction project will always be less.

It is also a very inefficient use of limited financial resources because, for the same amount of money, more affordable housing units could be built just outside of the area where land costs less. Nearby neighborhoods such as South Park and other adjacent areas would certainly benefit from the construction of decent and affordable houses. Just think what the Cook St. project did for the Idlewild neighborhood! Now we are talking about an investment that provides more units for the dollar while also adding to the overall area (tax base and otherwise) instead of detracting from it.

I live in the Idlewild neighborhood and enjoy the short walk downtown for business and pleasure. I imagine most others who purchased affordable housing here don’t mind the short walk either. Me thinks it’s a much better strategy to sell 301/307 parcel at market value and then use the proceeds to strategically build affordable housing elsewhere as is being done with Stone’s Warehouse.

Ernest, I’m with you on this. Why is Fayetteville Street the only right place for something tall? There could be five, six or more high-rise proposals around the Holiday Inn, Quorem and warehouse district the next few years. Why should they all be limited to 20 or less stories? I see something taller being built in that area at some point.

Stew, Very well said! Would you write this same note to citycouncilors@raleighnc.gov ? I will also write. I think in the long run, the council will not pursue the affordable housing route. Thanks, Dwight Nipper

Most major cities (and some mid sized cities) have some type of inclusionary /affordable housing program. These programs do not degrade the value of the land/lot but offers a more long term value to the city in terms of diverse groups being a part of the fabric of downtown. The effect on the tax base will be minimal. For example in SF, a developer can either appropriate a certain amount of units for affordable housing or pay a fee. I fear Raleigh is headed toward a downtown where only the “well off” can live. DTR has a population of elderly, lower middle class and poor residents that have lived in the area for years, who are being pushed out. Where are their advocates????

On a different note, The Planning Commission has given a 90 day extension, to early September to make a decision on the 12 story hotel rezoning request on S. Wilmington St./ S. Lenior St. Currie, I am for affordable housing in downtown, just not @ 301 Hillsborough St. location.

I agree with the let the market decide pundits. I just don’t understand the concept of creating affordable housing in a rich neighborhood. Hey, I would like to move into Beverly Hills, but oh yeah, I’m not rich. The only way affordable housing can truly come to Raleigh is if the number of units is increased. Raise supply, lower demand. High prices equal less demand. Same old market concepts that have been around since the beginning of time. There Are plenty of places to live in Raleigh. If people want to live DT but can’t afford Glenwood South, then they can live around Shaw so that part of DT can develope more.

Not impressed with the height but the building is VERY nice and it’s much better than what is there now!!

I was watching the May 5th 7p.m. council meeting video on Raleigh’s RTN Channel. App. 2 hrs. into the video, I saw a attorney speaking in support of the 301/307 20 story rezoning. His business is located beside these 2 lots. He said that Mr.Ted Reynolds was going to bid again on the lots & that he would not be surprise if his bid is selected, that Mr. Reynolds would request a permit to build higher than the 20 story zoning.

I for one am very glad to hear that Mr. Reynolds will bid for the property again. If memory serves me well, his plans for that property were beautiful. Not a word that comes easy to downtown Raleigh developers or buildings…

@Robert, it won’t “help” in the way most of us want it. Setting a limit of 20 stories along Wilmington, Salisbury and Hillsborough are exactly what Ernest and others were talking about. I’m astonished that anything over 500 ft on Fayetteville Street would need special approval. I could see if say it were in excess of 650 or 700, given that the tallest building is around 532. I suppose it might not be as bad, it seems the city is trying to say “if someone builds big, we them to incorporate affordable housing”. I for one would be ok with a few floors worth of affordable housing if there were 20+ floors of market rate apartments, having economic diversity downtown is obviously a good thing.

To those obsessed with building height, to get a 30-40 story building away from the center of downtown, are you willing to give up the Charter Sq North tower? The Edison office tower? Are you willing to accept a shorter tower at the Enterprise lot? Putting too much height in the wrong location affects the right locations where higher density would be more appropriate. And geez, a 20 story building is not a short thing anyway! What are yall really complaining about?

@Bob … I understand what you are saying up to a point. But let’s be clear, no one is trying to create affordable housing in a “rich neighborhood”. The opposite is happening. A rich neighborhood is trying to be created in most of downtown. Rent controls and affordable housing options are alive and well in major cities. The suggestion that “they can live around Shaw” is the type of thinking we need to change during this redevelopment process. High concentrations of the “well off” is just as damaging as high concentrations of poverty. I grew up here and I’m extremely happy with the changes. I just want all of the citizens of Raleigh to have “options” in choosing where they live.

What I was trying to imply is that projects like the Ten and The Lincoln are starting to pop up in the East and South East side of Raleigh. I believe that the development of downtown will eventually turn areas like Shaw(southeast) into middleclass
Neighborhoods where people will have access to live close to where they work and not pay outrageous sums of money to do so.

mike, I understand where you are coming from, but we are not playing the game of “I give you one, you give me one”. The point of the argument is not whether a developer can deliver a 20 or a 40 story building. If you ask me, I will say that market will decide, and if I feel that a project is small for that location I will say so, knowing that there is nothing more I can do.

The real issue here is WHY do some people in the city want to limit heights in prime downtown locations? I understand when they say that a proposal has to be reviewed by the city council if a project exceeds 40 floors… I get it. I also understand that a review is needed for lots that are simply too small for really tall buildings, or if the infrastructure cannot support the proposed building. So, if you are going to ask me a question about heights, I will say that along the edge of downtown, 10-20 story buildings should be allowed, depending on the final height and the existing neighborhoods; the latter being the issue in a few cases, since Oakwood and Cameron Park would be the only neighborhoods where transition needs to happen.

To better answer your original question: No, I will not “accept” any reduction for the Enterprise rentals lot and Charter Square (North tower), and the reason is simple: We already have “accepted” the Edison, where two 38-story and one 29-story buildings have been replaced by a 19-story and a 7-story buildings. We already “accepted” Site 4 going from 22 to 11 to 9 stories. We have already “accepted” the L Building not even covering fully the parking deck. We have “accepted” the wonderful Clarence Lightner Public Safety Center being canceled. We have “accepted” Marriott Hotel and Charter Square South, both of them unworthy of the locations they were built. We have accepted and tolerated a lot, mike. It’s not much to ask from the city leaders to give incentives, or at least not remove them. THAT is the topic, not a developer’s proposal.

As for the whole affordability discussion, I am neutral on this. It is fine for the city leaders to provide incentives for a developer’s willingness to add something of great value, but I am afraid that the concept of “affordability”, as defined by the city leaders, may not exactly attract as much interest. I can see some kind of affordability being included, but I think it will be like buying a condo/house for $200,000 instead of $250,000. I do not foresee housing for the poor being built anywhere on prime downtown locations.

Point was that by putting an extra 10 floors of office space or residential on the edge of downtown it will affect the market by taking away 10 floors of space from other projects. I can’t imagine you’d want a 13 story Charter North tower in order to get a 30 story at 301 Hillsborough. Keep it 20 floors there and maybe we’ll get tall stuff where it would make more sense. That’s the point.

mike, I understand your point, but this is not what the complains – at least mine – are all about. If the market allows for a 40-story building on the 301 Hillsborough Street parcel, why would ANYONE have a problem? After all, IT IS downtown and not the edge of downtown – not the same as CBD. However, the issue is that the city tries to dictate that. This is not about what I would prefer.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: If we get a 20-23 story building at the Charter Square site (which is what is planned, really) and someone proposes a 40-story building for 301 Hillsborough, would YOU have a problem? What if the latter happens and the city says “No”? Would you think of it as “right” or “appropriate”?

Let me re-phrase the above: If someone proposes a 20-story building for the 301 Hillsborough Street, I have no problem. I do have a problem, however if a developer proposes a 30-story building and the city rejects the proposal because of the height. That is all I am saying…

Well said Earnest. I for one don’t understand why some people believe that all the tall buildings need to be clustered into one area of downtown. I like the look of a skyline that is spread out, throughout the different districts. They basically serve as landmarks as you’re driving into downtown or walking the streets.

I know that when I’m in a city, I don’t know it’s easy to look up and walk in the direction of a building that I’m familiar with. Atlanta doesn’t have all it’s buildings crammed onto one or two streets and it’s a very cool looking city when you’re driving around town.

Have you noticed how pitiful Raleigh’s skyline is when you’re passing by it on 40. Around 90% of the buildings that make it up are located on two streets. The area of Hillsborough St that is being discussed would look perfectly fine with a 30-40 story building. It needs to happen, for more reasons than just making the skyline grow.

That area is a gateway from Glenwood South into downtown proper. West Street in the Glenwood South area could support taller buildings and there’s no reason the Warehouse district can’t have a few as well. Soon North Hills will have a better skyline than downtown and that’s just sad. Maybe the city of Raleigh should hire Kane Realty to recruit a few corporations downtown…

Ernest,
Why do you feel like CS South is “unworthy of it’s location? The final building is taller than what was originally proposed, and from my understanding to make that happen the Architects had to reinforce the existing footings to do so.

I think it’s funny. Really. If you live in the Dawson and the proposal is for a 20, 25, or 30 story building the the net result is you lose your North View of DT. So what does it matter? I’m sure there is more to it. I’m just saying…

@Chad: Thanks for actually getting what I am trying to say. This is not Lego Land or Sim City, where we can create the “perfect” world, as we want it. If we begin crowding all the taller buildings along 2-3 streets we’ll end up with a linear skyline that looks good from a couple of angles and that’s it… Of course, this assumes that we’ll actually get some true high-rises in the CBD.

Naturally, an impressive skyline is not all we should be looking for. The street-level experience is what will set Downtown Raleigh apart from other cities. We need buildings that also provide a good pedestrian experience, along with utilizing land to its maximum, or near maximum. In my “perfect world”, Raleigh’s skyline should be mainly focused within the area bounded by Glenwood Ave, Peace Str, Blount Str and MLK/Western Blvd, with some transition taking place within a block away from those streets. I can envision a blend of low-, mid- and high-rise development, as long as our infrastructure can sustain it; traffic is not an excuse, in my book, unless we are talking LA or Atlanta.

@Brian: CS South is a lovely building, in my opinion. Something different… The use of the word “unworthy” was made carefully by me, strictly because of the size and the overall placement of the building. Kudos to the developers for delivering such a project. They did a fine job for what they had to work with. However, the problem was in the initial phases, when we had the opportunity to seek and select a developmen more substantial in size – there was at least one I knew of. After all, the city leaders were trying to push for the tallest buildings being placed along Fayetteville Str and this is not exactly what we got out of Site 1.

Now, CS South doesn’t qualify as a perfect use for that parcel. Just look at the Wilmington Str elevation and you will see what I mean. What in the Earth is that 2-3 story “addition”? How about that huge distance between the East side of the building and the street? The building could have allowed for a wider sidewalk along Fayetteville Str and bring the “back” closer to Wilmington Str – a 90 degree rotation. The sad thing is that CS South is a building that can make some impact, but not large enough to provide – in my book – a good urban experience along both Fayetteville and Wilmington Str. If this was a 30-40 story building, it would have been possible to alter the design and use setbacks, making it a less boxy building. In addition, it sets the tone for other, shorter buildings. My guess, what will end up on Sites 2 and 3 will be less than 15 floors, just to create a “step-down” effect.

This was mentioned before by me, but I want to say it again. I love what the new developers are doing with Charter Square. They have very little to work with and they are doing everything in their power to make this project a great one. Unfortunately, this site’s potential was not truly realized from the very beginning by the city leaders, but the developers deserve credit and the final product will be a great addition to our city.

Steven Schuster, Chairman Of The Planning Commission has said that he is going to vote against the rezoning for the planned project, 12 story hotel @ 603 S. Wilmington St. His e-mail is sschuster@clearscapes.com ! I have e-mailed him & hopefully many will do so in support of this project.

Dwight, any idea why is he going to vote against the rezoning? Is it the height/size of the project, is it the use, or something else? I would send an email to him, but I have to know what I can reference, so it doesn’t sound like an out-of-the-blue email. Are there any minutes available online where I can go and get some idea what his reasoning is? Thanks.

Hey Ernest, I read the article in “The Raleigh Public Record” that talks about the historic sites yesterday. In that article, Steven Schuster says that he will vote against the rezoning because of the historic house on S. Lenior St. Thanks Ernest & it’s good to hear from you! Take Care, Dwight

Dwight, I have also written him to support the rezoning, basing my request on the benefits the Pope House would receive by allowing the Hotel to proceed. As well as the benefits it would bring to surrounding historic sites.

@Dwight: I will read the article and send an email as soon as I can.

@randall: You made an excellent point. New developments could also help older buildings receive some exposure. A true benefit and not just for the sake of arguing against non-sense.

Thanks Ernest & Randall!

I looked at the aforementioned location for the hotel while I was downtown today and all I can say about Mr. schuster’s opinion is wow..

I’m all for preserving history and I do agree that the Pope House should be preserved but it’s already sitting in the middle of a parking lot surrounded by tall buildings on its North and West. The Lincoln Theatre is behind it and there is a McDonald’s within a block. But this is where Mr Shuster draws the line?? Wow.. That parking lot is prime real estate. Mr Schuster is going to lose this battle eventually. Might as well be now.

I just realized that Whiskey Kitchen is renovating the old White Horse Limo building on the same block as this hotel (opening this fall). That will really transform this block!

Thanks for that info Jeff! That building is one of my favorites downtown. The Deco details on the roof’s parapet walls are some of my favorite details in the city and I am so happy that the building is being reused and saved instead of being torn down for some crappy generic building. This building must be historically designated if it hasn’t already been done.

The Council will meet tomorrow on The UDO Plans for downtown. The city’s policy will be 40 stories,500 feet, 20 stories, 250 feet. I have e-mailed some of the council, asking for 600 feet & 300 feet change! Dwight

@John: I totally agree with you. That building is a truly nice one and deserves to get a life extension. Nothing too fancy, but there are a few nice architectural details that set it apart from other buildings.

@Dwight: Any source that we can reference with regards to the height limit discussion? Of course, I can make my email a general one and speak about heights, but if there is a discussion planned it will be better if I am more specific.

Ernest, I’m not sure! After I posted this info., I received a e-mail from Wayne Maiorano & he said that he loves & supports heights. All I know is a 2 hour meeting is scheduled for tomorrow on the UDO Plan. The UDO Plan does state 40 stories – 500 feet max & 20 stories – 250 feet max, so I asked Wayne to request the 600 & 300 feet change. Thanks Again Ernest! Dwight

Dwight, thanks for the reply… Maiorano seems to be one of the few people who actually understands, and the ONLY council member who bothered to reply to my last email about heights. I will definitely send an email, but one thing that I will say differently is that ALL projects should receive the same amount of scrutiny. A 600ft tower can be as elegant a structure or an eyesore as any low rise. If they have to make the process easier and faster for smaller buildings, then 250ft is definitely not a height to deserve the honor of being the “maximum”.

I’d be interested to know if the 500′ and 250′ limits would be to the top of building’s parapet walls at the roof or to the top of any crown or spire design feature. To suggest the latter would mean that the city is essentially limiting all new buildings to be shorter than the PNC tower. That would be a travesty and it would limit any crowning of future buildings when it’s maximized at 40 floors.

Dwight,
How did the UDO plan meeting go this week?

Hey Josh, I went to Wayne Maiorano’s town hall meeting last night @ The Millbrook Exchange Pk. I never got a chance to ask Wayne about anything except to say hello. There were many people @ the meeting & believe me there were some hot homeowners over the resent rezoning denial of Z-17-14 Dunn Rd./ Falls & Neuse Rd. Shopping Center. Wayne & Planning Director Ken Bowers had their hands full over this situation, so I could tell that this would not be a good time for any other questions. The meeting went beyond the schedule time & when I left, there were still a lot of people waiting to speak to Wayne. I had several questions to ask including the rezoning of 603 S. Wilmington St. & The UDO Heights. Wayne is for higher heights than the 250 ft. & the 500 ft. limit for the 20 & 40 story projects. If I do hear anything, I will post the info. Long answer but I did want to pass this info.!

Thanks for the information, Dwight! Lets hope things go well in reguards to the rezoning.

Josh, I just saw this! You can go to Raleighnc.gov, click on their homepage, click on government, click on RTN Videos, click on council meetings, click on Monday May 11th, UDO Meeting & this covers the entire 3 hour meeting. Hope this helps!

Any updates on this hotel project? This article is from 13 months ago and I’ve heard nothing since. Any of you “in the know” guys got any scoop?

I hope it’s reworked or scraped. This is a prime location for a true skyscraper some day. There are enough mid size hotel proposals downtown already. On a similar topic….the N&O site proposals Dwight discussed in another post…why propose 3 buildings on the one site with the tallest being 20-25 stories?? This drives me crazy. Completely guessing here but if the other 2 buildings are 10-15 stories, why would a developer not want to make a statement and rather than 3 20-25, 10-15, 10-15 buildings, build 2 35/40 and 10 or 1 45 story?

Daniel , I feel the same way . @ one time , the developer was talking 40 stories & I don’t know what happen !

RE building heights, I have done some scanning to see if my gut is correct (I have a background in civil engineering though not structural design or cost estimating) and 20 stories seems to be the point where cost per sqft goes up substantially. Water in, wastewater out, electrical, structural, elevators, stairwells…all of this tings get fatter and more numerous in order serve the floors going higher and higher. Economics in Raleigh will have to shift quite a bit (or a company wanting a “statement”…not just a developer) before you get too many proposals over 20 stories or so.

@Mark, that’s very interesting insight. Certainly there’s the ROI to consider. I suppose that calculations including land cost will determine what maximizes profitability in size, use and intention to either hold the property or sell it after it’s completed.

I agree with what you all are saying and I didn’t think about some of the factors that Mark introduced. It still seems like it may offset some of those costs to do 1 or 2 buildings versus doing 3. I was under the assumption that the height limit was justification of going the path less obstructed.

John, I think, is right, that land cost is the primary additional factor that makes going higher worth it or not. The demand to be on that particular spot. Raleigh does not have things like, ocean front property or lakeside views driving up the need to be on a particular spot. What will organically drive heights here is the disappearance of parking lots. When there is nowhere else to go, you go up. I know this drives the skyscraper fans nuts and the ‘lack of foresight’ argument gets tossed out…but hey…it’ll get there in time. There are plenty of candiates for structures that can and should be removed…my personal choice for best 50+ building is to demo the Sheraton parking deck on Salisbury and put it there…I know I know, the money shot! It’ll block stuff behind it! If your money shot has a 50 story building in front, you’ve got a pretty good skyline money shot. Besides, the view from Boylan Bridge would be improved…you can’t win all the angles.

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