Seaboard Station Block B Plans Show more Mixed-Use, Underground Parking

During the Aug 20 meeting of the Raleigh Appearance Commission, a request for an alternate design came up for what’s being called Block B of Seaboard Station. The six-story building planned for this site is a mixed-use building with residences over retail. Above is a concept rendering

A bit unique to the building, and very welcome in my opinion, is that the plans show parking being underground. You don’t see too much of that with the development of the last few decades as a plethora of new buildings have been built over a parking deck or have the deck wrapped in the interior.

The site of Block B at Seaboard Station would loosely be over the current tennis courts along Halifax Street between Seaboard Avenue and Franklin Street.

It doesn’t look like the building would go all the way to Abe Alley so perhaps the remainder of that block is still being worked on.

The plans show about 180 units and all four sides of the building have an active use for either retail or residential. There’s just one parking entrance along Halifax.

Those are some of the high-level takeaways about this project from this request. If you’re curious about the request itself, the summary says:

The building meets the build-to requirement for much of the site but is missing build-to requirements along Halifax Street. A major Duke Energy 115kV transmission line and easement extends through the property along the entire Halifax Street frontage. Buildings and other permanent, above ground structures are not allowed within Duke Energy’s transmission line easements.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

Downtown Status and Do Your Part to Help

This week, the city council received an update from Jim Greene, Assistant City Manager, and Bill King, President of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, on the latest efforts to help and even reactivate downtown Raleigh as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. The riots over the death of George Floyd also had a big impact earlier this year as there are still storefronts with boards over their windows.

Today I’d like to ask readers to catch up with your downtown and take part in a short list of to-do’s that you can do to help downtown Raleigh.

Before we get in to the details, let’s get your responsibilities out of the way.

  1. Fill Out the 2020 Census to Help Downtown Raleigh’s Future. Do that here.
  2. Read about 7 ways to support local businesses.
  3. Bookmark this page and become a DTR foodie pro with takeout and dine-in options always changing.

Now how is downtown Raleigh doing?

You can jump to the video below and hear the report but some key takeaways include:

  • The city has a priority to reactivate downtown Raleigh
  • A majority of damage from the riots have been repaired with plans throughout the rest of the year to replace planters, transit stops, and the remaining glass
  • The city will expedite applications for outdoor dining on streets and parklets
  • The $5 parking fee on weekend nights in parking decks has been suspended
  • Food and beverage sales were at an all time low in April 2020 but have only been increasing
  • Public health is priority #1
  • 55 storefronts still have boards on windows but 66% are down
  • Board art is being kept and documented by Raleigh Arts

We’re getting there slowly and as the health crisis subsides, downtown vitality should only increase. As the look and feel of downtown comes back, so too will shoppers and visitors.

The video is below. [youtube link here]

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.

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.

Checking out the Recent Demolition work Near Nash Square

The block to the south of Nash Square, think Whiskey Kitchen, The Berkeley Cafe, and the former Firestone Auto, is looking a bit more airy these days. Bloc 122 (for the history buffs out there) has had plans for a pair of hotels in the works for awhile and demolition of the existing buildings look nearly complete.

Shown above is the southeast corner of Martin and Dawson Streets. The former buildings have been leveled and are now being shoveled away.

Past submitted plans suggest a nine-story hotel with outdoor terrace on the fourth floor. There haven’t been any announcements as to which hotel brand the building may be.

On the opposite corner of the block, the northwest corner of Davie and McDowell Streets has also been cleared out. Here, we’ve seen multiple renderings for a hotel and maybe that project will finally start in the near future.

You can jump back here to review the latest on this but the latest plans were for a 14-story hotel. This project has been around for over five years so maybe, just maybe it’ll start soon. The brands for this hotel were to be a Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites.

And while not quite demolition related, I wanted to throw up more photos of this block. As the former Firestone Auto has closed up, it’s left a little bit of a hole here especially with the removal of that classic sign.

We’re tracking these developments on the Community so follow along if you want to join in on the discussion.

A Walk Around Chavis Park

In case you’ve missed it, a big piece of Chavis Park is getting a complete overhaul and there’s plenty to spy over the construction fencing these days. While you can’t exactly walk around the construction due to the creek, you can easily get a sense of how much is being worked on.

Some quick history, Chavis Park is being renovated with money from a previous parks bond. The scope includes:

  • Building a new gym
  • Building a new community center
  • Building a new central plaza with splash pad
  • Rebuilding the playground area
  • Renovating the original carousel house

During this phase (more construction phases to come in the future) the former splash pad and outdoor pool have been removed but a future aquatics center is planned.

Below is the front of the new community center as seen standing right next to the existing carousel house. The rendering and aerial shot come from the city’s website on the project.

Progress as of February 2020

The old playground is gone and the area seems to be used to hold equipment for now. Same goes for the parking lot.

The former carousel house has also been emptied out. Renovation work was much needed on this structure.

It’s been pretty obvious if you follow the news the Dix Park gets a lot of attention and people want to find ways to connect downtown Raleigh to Dix Park. They often overlook the immediate availability and access that Chavis has offered for years.

With a new community center, gym, plaza, and playground for kids, Chavis delivers that community space in the near future as Dix goes on its decades-long journey to become a destination park. It’s a perfect compliment to having spaces for all in and around downtown Raleigh.

Phase 1 construction is planned to complete in Spring 2021. Phase 2 funding is actually tentatively planned for a park bond this year.

Lucky #13. 13 years of downtown Raleigh Blogging

Today marks 13 years of doing this blogging thing. I like to call the art of being a Raleigh Connoisseur , RalConography. That works, right?

In the last few years, I’ve been trying to get in touch with more people, more readers, and bring the conversation about downtown Raleigh into the real world. The audience, you all, have been incredible.

There are still some people that keep in touch, online and offline, that have been around since the beginning, 2007. That slow growth over a long time has led to a strong foundation of community. A huge thanks to those of you out there. I appreciate you sticking with me.

At the same time, it’s just this week that I met new followers. They have either just heard of this blog because they moved to the area or they want to get more engaged. Hat tip to the new folks as well.

I’ll continue to keep the blog rolling with quick hits and photos of what’s going on in downtown Raleigh. The Community has really turned into a deeper dive into Raleigh politics, development, transit, and other cultural topics. The discussion is in-depth and there are some folks that are really making thoughtful and insightful contributions. If you want to go deeper down the DTR rabbit hole, join us.

I try to only ask once a year but I do take donations for my work on the front here as well as the back end to keep these websites rolling. Any contribution would be appreciated. It also goes a long way as a few dollars could support a whole month’s worth of hosting.

This year’s goal is to get at least 13 donations of $13.

Here’s how you can contribute:

  • Contribute through Paypal.
  • Find me on Venmo as @DTRaleigh
  • Email me if you have other ideas.

Last, each year I dive into the photo vault and post an older photo. Above is the steel shell that makes the Nature Research Center’s SECU Daily Planet theater. I remember during its construction that some national blogs joked that Raleigh was building its own Death Star.

It’s Friday so a beer is on order at the end of this day. Cheers!