Posts by Leo Suarez

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Salisbury Square Plans to Bring Mixed-Use Development to Downtown Raleigh

Rendering of Salisbury Square

In March of this year, Dominion Realty Partners and the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) announced a major deal. The NCAE would sell their land at the corner of Salisbury and South Streets and plans for mixed-use development are now underway.

The 4.9 acre parcel is zoned for up to 20-stories and it looks like the plans will maximize on that. The current offices here of the NCAE are one-story with suburban-style parking around it. The new development would greatly intensify the site and add a variety of uses. The new plans would include:

  • A 20-Story Mixed-Use Tower – 175,000 SF of Commercial Office & Retail Space
  • A second 20-Story Multifamily Tower – 270 Luxury Apartments
  • A 6-Story, 150-Room Hotel
  • A 4-Story Building for Workforce Housing

The architects, JDavis Architects, have more on the project:

We’re thrilled to lead the design on the recently announced project named Salisbury Square. The site has historically been the home of the NC Association of Educators and is adjacent to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Plans call for a 20-story mixed-use tower, a 20-story multifamily tower, a 6-story, 150-room hotel and a 4-story building for workforce housing with an attached parking deck. The mixed-use tower will feature 242 upscale apartments on top of 175,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space. The residential tower will feature 270 luxury apartments complete with a rooftop pool.

Finally, plans also include 63 workforce housing units wrapping around a shared parking structure. These units will feature below-market rates and will be reserved for lower-income tenants. In the middle of the development will be the NCAE park, which will provide green space between the towers and structures. The park will be dedicated to the legacy and history of NCAE. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Salisbury Square – JDavis Architects – link
Click for larger

A lot has certainly taken place since the announcement in March with regards to the COVID pandemic but if planners behind this one can stick to it, the developments here would add so much for the southern end of downtown including Fayetteville Street.

Plans are being tossed around the Planning Commission to also consider an extension of Kindley Street. The street to the south of the property currently dead ends but perhaps connecting it to MLK Jr Blvd could be beneficial.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment CP-12-19 Kindley Street – link

This is such a good location for some density as Bus Rapid Transit routes are planned nearby and it’s an easy walk to so much that nearby areas like Fayetteville Street have to offer. The new R-Line route is also a block away so connectivity is high.

Still, you can’t help but lower expectations a bit due to the uncertainty around 2020 so far. The announcement did say the development would be rolled out over multiple phases but, as always, I’ll stay positive and hope the team delivers on this one.

Pic of the Week

The McDonald’s at the corner of South and Wilmington Streets has been demolished. The plans are to rebuild it to modern standards as has been common around the country.

The fast-food rebuilds usually turn around in no time. Before the end of the year perhaps?

Sitting right on the edge of the downtown mixed-use zoning district, I feel there could have been a lot more done here especially with the city trying (but now on hold) to maximize the development potential right across the street.

Pic of the Week

Raleigh Crossing has been slowly rising up. The crews at 301 Hillsborough Street are still working on the parking deck portion of the office tower. You can’t help notice this project when walking or driving through the area as it is starting to show its presence.

There are some details that can be picked out from seeing the site. The lobby will have some nice tall ceilings. There will also be plenty of retail along Hillsborough and Dawson. The building should add some great sidewalk activity all around it.

This has been a great development to watch go up and while the office market has some question marks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m hoping Raleigh Crossing still commands some attention in the future.

R-Line Rolls Through 2020 With a New Route

Downtown mobility keeps changing. After 10 years of running the same route, the R-Line is running a little differently these days.

GoRaleigh is now running a new route that has the buses going in a two-way direction rather than the loop that was used throughout the 2010s. The new route should deliver faster and easier service.

The R-Line, more or less, services the same areas of downtown going forward with some locations being only a block away. Key highlights include:

  • Using West Street instead of Glenwood should be quicker
  • Service directly to Union Station and Moore Square Station
  • Salisbury and Wilmington Streets also move faster

The green and blue buses, from what I heard, are being repurposed elsewhere in the system and new buses running on compressed natural gas are being used. (shown above)

I think this is a nice change and improvement. Tweaks might be needed as BRT lines come online over the next few years but it’s good to see the system adapting a bit.

See more at GoRaleigh.

Pic of the Week

Smoky Hollow is looking pretty nice these days. With some gorgeous May weather, the building at the corner of Peace and West Streets, Peace Apartments, looks good from the top of the Capital Boulevard bridge.

If not already, residents will be moving in to Peace soon. Work on the Publix on the bottom floor continues as well. There’s no firm opening date for the grocery store yet.

A Walk Around Bloc 83

Hillsborough Street is a hot zone of construction right now. Since One Glenwood opened in early 2019, the twin tower right next door has been going up without missing a step.

The whole project, Bloc 83, is a mixed-use development with office towers over retail plus the newly opened Origin Hotel along the intersection of Morgan and Glenwood Avenue. A new parking deck is being constructed along Boylan as well.

Bloc 83 is the main stage of the area now with the two towers acting as the hub of activity. Ground-floor retail mostly wraps these towers and the space between will act like a courtyard for future outdoor events.

To support it all, the Origin Hotel is now open along Morgan Street. In addition to the parking deck built for the hotel, a second is being put together along Hillsborough Street. I can’t help but prejudge the glut of parking being built here but these seem to be the times we live in.

Once completed, this should be a nice injection of office workers to Glenwood South. I’m interested to see how the courtyard can be used for events, something this area doesn’t do too often.

I feel like with a larger hub at this end of Glenwood, Glenwood South may have the epicenter that the nightlife strip was lacking in the past. Everything should be wrapped up sometime in 2021.

We’re following Bloc 83 like a hawk over on the Community. Join us!

A Walk Around The Creamery block in Glenwood South

In March of this year, New York City-based Turnbridge Equities bought some property in Glenwood South, the key building being The Creamery on the 400 block. While plans haven’t been submitted, renovations to the Creamery and development of the surface parking lots nearby are planned.

This map from Google, with my edits, show the properties involved in the sale.

The Creamery building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the latest plans state that they intend to preserve it as part of the new development. The more modern addition, the apartments and retail spaces, will most likely be torn down.

There’s plenty of surface parking on this block and it is likely that the developers plan to submit a rezoning for larger buildings here.

The brick, one-story buildings on the corner of Glenwood and North Street would also likely come down.

The site is almost 2.4 acres and if the Creamery is kept, which is great, I would expect some pretty tall buildings around it. The sale of the land was for $34.7 million and it’s possible the developers will go for the highest rezoning allowed, the 40-story max height.

What is desperately missing from Glenwood South is daytime activity from office workers and this site could inject thousands of daytime workers with a few office towers.

It is also located very close to a future bus-rapid transit line so I’m hoping a mammoth parking deck can be avoided but that’s how things are these days. Parking has been a sore point for Glenwood South businesses so maybe getting a large one here for daytime office workers and night life could be beneficial for this dense business area.

No plans for a rezoning have been submitted so we’ll wait and see how that progresses with respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic emergency.