Residence Inn Close to the Top

Raleigh Convention Center and future Residence Inn

Raleigh Convention Center and future Residence Inn

Checking in with the Residence Inn being built next to the Raleigh Convention Center, the hotel on Salisbury Street was working on the ninth floor. Below is my shot from the sidewalks as well as a photo from Twitter from the air.

Future Residence Inn

Raleigh Agenda: The City of Raleigh wants to improve the Southern Gateway

I’m contributing to a new online site called Raleigh Agenda. They launched earlier this month and I’m hoping to expand on some greater Raleigh development and other topics there as an addition to the blog. I recommend you check it out and subscribe to the email newsletter.

I have a post up there now about the city’s southern gateway and the vision plans around invigorating this tired, neglected area of the city. From the article:

It may be ironic then that this area, the Southern Gateway, is lacking the same kind of investment that other areas of the city are experiencing. An extremely vehicle-accessible area with roads like Saunders, Wilmington, MLK Boulevard, and the behemoth, I-40, are actually negatively impacting new investment.

*The City of Raleigh wants to improve the Southern Gateway via Raleigh Agenda.

Make Way For Townhomes at Hargett Place

July 2016, future home of Hargett Place

Click for larger

Site clearing is taking place along the 400 block of East Hargett Street. The Hargett Place townhomes are planned for this area.

For a refresher of what is planned, jump back to this March 2016 post.

Looking at the Site Review for One Glenwood

Corner of Hillsborough and Glenwood Avenue

Corner of Hillsborough and Glenwood Avenue, July 2016

This week, a site review (SR-045-16) was submitted for One Glenwood, a mid-rise planned for the southern end of Glenwood between Morgan and Hillsborough Streets. This would be on the western side of Glenwood Avenue as shown in the below graphic. The new building will take up four existing properties.

Site of One Glenwood

The building will be mixed-use with office space over retail. The site review description mentions an 11-story building but the next page shows the height being 155 feet at 10 stories with over 242,000 square feet of space. There will also be no on-site parking according to the plans.

The developer is Glenwood HPI and the architect is J Davis Architects.

Looking at the site plan, the ground-floor plan shows some generous retail spaces. The center of the building would contain a lobby with two retail spaces on each side, one facing Hillsborough and the other at the corner of Glenwood and Morgan. The modified image below shows the lobby in yellow and the retail in orange. The Morgan/Glenwood retail space also has covered outdoor seating.

Site Plan of One Glenwood

Parking for this development is planned to be through a new deck built facing Morgan Street. This has been reported before. However, in this site review plan, there is a piece on the site plan that states:

Future phase: proposed parking deck (phase 1) wrapped with hotel (phase 2) with ground floor retail

Staring into downtown on Morgan Street. One Glenwood will be to the left and a new parking deck (and hotel?) to the right, July 2016

It evens indicates parking spaces in front of said hotel for “check in, valet and taxi.” More to come on that in the future? We’ll see I hadn’t heard of this hotel before.

No renderings are shown so I’ll end with this one that was released earlier this year.

[UPDATE 7/11: Below is the latest rendering.]

Click for larger.

Pic of the Week

Motorcycle only parking on Glenwood Avenue

Motorcycle only parking has been installed on Glenwood Avenue. The nine spaces replace two vehicle spaces and they are located in front of Devolve Moto. The same rates apply to these spaces as any other.

Site Plans for Smokey Hollow Show Johnson Street Connection

Click for larger

A quick one today before folks peel away for the holiday weekend.

The submitted plans for Smoky Hollow, a mixed-use project mainly along North West Street near Peace Street, shows a connection between a currently disconnected Johnson Street. The screenshot above says it all. Check out case S-040-16 on the city’s development activity page for more.

No other plans about the building are shown. I imagine you need to get the street right before moving on to that part. Jump to this google map to see what the area currently looks like.

Revisiting The Gateway Center

The end of Kindley Street, June 2016

The end of Kindley Street, June 2016. Click for a larger, wider view of the site.

I wanted to turn our attention today to what is being called downtown’s Gateway Center. The Downtown Plan calls out the area around the Performing Arts Center and the Raleigh Convention Center as a possible “catalytic project area” and sums it up as:

Coined the “Gateway Center,” this area is the only part of downtown capable of accommodating multiple blocks of large-footprint mixed-use development. Its proximity to the Convention Center and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts will naturally lend its future to expanding tourism and entertainment-related uses, such as a large-scale sports and/or cultural facility, additional hotels, or a campus of related businesses.

*Raleigh Downtown Plan

Regular readers are probably familiar with this already because of the plan’s two concepts for this area, one of them includes a sporting arena. Let’s revisit those two concepts from the plan.

Concept 1
Gateway Center Concept 1

Click for larger and more info.

This concept imagines space to develop an Urban Innovation Campus for a new anchor employer or cluster of businesses. With easy access to several forms of transportation and close proximity to Fayetteville Street, the Warehouse District, and the heart of downtown Raleigh, this location has much to offer. New landmark structures provide the missing link between the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the rest of Fayetteville Street. These buildings could be linked to the Urban Innovation Campus, home to another employer, or even a hotel.

Concept 2
Gateway Center Concept 1

Click for larger

In this concept, the heart of the district is a new citywide destination. Either cultural, entertainment, or sporting in nature (or a mix of all three), the center anchors the district and provides a new draw for the city as a whole. The specific location for this use in the southwest corner
of the district is advantageous for several reasons. Positioning any large-footprint building towards the southwest corner of the district allows its architecture to frame the new southern gateway. The rest of the site is arranged into walkable city blocks that link the new district back to Fayetteville Street. In this way, a single entertainment or cultural use acts as a magnet to draw visitors to and through the district without becoming a barrier to walkability. Siting the largest development at the edge also capitalizes on the site’s natural topography, allowing the potential for underground parking easily accessed from main roads around downtown. Throughout the district, active ground-floor uses and building setbacks help break down the scale of larger buildings.

There’s more in the Downtown Plan which I recommend you download and take a look.

I also want to give some love to one of the most popular posts here on the blog. Reader Will imagined a baseball stadium in the Gateway Center and submitted some sketches. Check them out once again.

It’s important to note that the focus in the Gateway Center, at least according to internet chatter, is around where this possible stadium could go, the southwestern tip. The actual focus area does include the convention center, performing arts center, and the southern end of Fayetteville Street.

However, it’s that southwest tip that I want to zoom in on with a Google map showing the four properties there.

A bit of related news for the Gateway Center. The Exploris School, a charter school in downtown Raleigh, has purchased one of the properties that make up the Gateway Center. (highlighted in orange in the map)

Exploris has been a middle school for some time, located on Hillsborough Street. Two years ago, the elementary school opened in a temporary home on New Bern Avenue. The school has been looking for space to consolidate it all.

The former home of a data center for Duke Energy, the property actually looks perfect for a school campus. The lot has surface parking, an open field, and more room than Exploris needs. Plans call to renovate the extra space and lease it out as office space.

At this point, you, especially the skyscraper fans, may be noticing an incompatibility. This doesn’t seem to match the vision laid out in the Downtown Plan. It may stifle dense development in this area of downtown.

I think you are right but I’d like to lay out a different, more positive perspective.

Let’s look at the timing of things. The Downtown Plan was adopted in late 2015. Exploris has been looking for space since 2014, maybe even earlier. With the plan being a 10-year vision, we shouldn’t expect announcements for multi-building clusters in the south of downtown not even one-year into the plan.

We have until 2025 to really see the Gateway Center blossom and we can’t assume that Exploris is going to stay in this space forever. Like any other business or institution, they may outgrow the space or move into the new development of the future.

For me, I’ll take a progressive school like Exploris here than a monolithic infrastructure company like Duke Energy any day. I see Exploris “cracking the mold” to that site in a way.

One factor that I believe greatly ties into Gateway Center is Dix Park. These two areas are so close and Gateway Center could really be the connection between downtown Raleigh and Dix Park. Planning is in the infant stages as this year’s city budget, recently approved, starts the purchasing process for the land.

The MLK/Western interchange with McDowell and Dawson Street limits connectivity but it could be a great challenge for the future with respects to tying Dix into the downtown fabric.

The city also has a Southern Gateway Corridor Study underway with a final plan expected by this Fall. This is the area from MLK/Western to about I-40.

The City is exploring ideas for land use and transportation improvements along the corridor that will benefit businesses, residents, motorists, transit riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

The study even highlights Gateway Center in their map!

With more development taking place back in downtown, there are a lot of moving parts here. The Gateway Center and the vision laid out in the downtown plan still have a great shot at coming to life.

Pic of the Week

The Dillon Warehouse

Click for larger

The Dillon Supply Company warehouse is mostly gone and the walls that are planned to be saved as part of the new development, The Dillon, have been braced up by steel supports.

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