Pic of the Week

Demolition taking place at The Dillon

Demolition is taking place at The Dillon. The former brick warehouse is coming down to make way for the mixed-use project that will include apartments and a 17-story office tower.

A Walk Up North West Street

Staring down North West Street at Hillsborough Street

On an early morning weekday, I went for a walk up North West Street to check out a few projects and take photos of the current state of the street. West Street is an important street in my opinion as it is a direct connection from the Warehouse District to Glenwood South. Right now, it is more of a go-through street (by vehicle or bike) as opposed to a pedestrian hub of activity. That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for a different face in the future.

There isn’t much to look at but the potential for new projects here is huge. There isn’t much retail or commercial right now. Some blocks of West are even lacking sidewalks.

While Glenwood Avenue is the primary pedestrian corridor of Glenwood South, West Street might do the heavy lifting with higher density projects in the near future as well as provide better connectivity in and out of the area.

Below is a map I made of highlights up and down North West Street. Let me know if a nearby project is missing and I can add it for completeness.

Open up the map yourself here.

At West and Hillsborough Street, you can already see the empty spaces ready for new uses. The mid-1900s storefronts along Hillsborough and the almost empty block at the corner of Hillsborough and West have been waiting for years. Would you consider this Glenwood South? I feel like this intersection doesn’t belong to either Glenwood South or the Warehouse District so the revitalization of those districts haven’t hit here yet.

Corner of West Street and Hillsborough Street

What could get this area moving are two, big nearby projects. One Glenwood and 301 Hillsborough are about two blocks along Hillsborough in each direction. Those two “bookend” projects could invigorate the street between them.

Heading north, the intersection of West and Jones could be much livelier in the near future. The Link Apartments has recently been finished at the Northeast corner and more residential units are planned at the Greyhound Apartments one block to the east.

The Link Apartments are now open at West and Jones.

The Raleigh Electric Company Power House building is an icon on Jones Street and we’re still waiting to see what comes of the space after Natty Greene’s lease was pulled last summer.

At the end of the block, we’re also waiting for the future offices of Google to open. It’s a high-profile company for sure but I still have mixed feelings against Google taking a great looking building and using it for offices and not something more active, especially in Glenwood South. We’ll see how it turns out.

Moving on, we pass multiple surface parking lots. I hope one-day that these lots will be replaced with more buildings that support more active uses.

The first example of when this could happen is at West and Tucker Street. The east side of West Street has had plans for years for more apartments. The West Apartments and West II Apartments have been in planning for awhile. I haven’t seen big changes to the plans but we’ve known about these projects since 2012. Hopefully, things will move on that in the near future as it is a big infill project as you can see on the map.

The West Apartments are planned for this surface lot.

A project that has been talked about for years, and is always worth highlighting, is not one around the street but under it. The Pigeon House Branch creek is buried below the area around North West Street. You can catch a glimpse of the creek about mid-block between Tucker and Johnson Street.

Creek to the left, street to the right.

Talks of opening up the creek have come and gone for awhile and it could be an asset in the newest Downtown Plan. The Glenwood Green district shows a plan for redevelopment in this area with a greenway that follows the creek path. It could be one of the most unique areas in downtown around that natural water feature.

Screenshot from the latest Downtown Plan.

West Street becomes more desolate around Johnson Street with the west side lacking sidewalks and more surface parking nearby.

Recently, news came out about the purchase of the buildings at 600 North West Street, the current location of Southland Ballroom and Themeworks. It was purchased by a joint effort involving Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building Co.

No plans are out yet for the site. Once the replacement of the Capital Boulevard Bridge is finished, the area will see a reconfigured Harrington Street that connects to Peace rather than bending over to connect to West Street. Those plans may have played a factor in the area’s attractiveness to invest.

600 North West Street, current home of Themeworks and Southland Ballroom.

Hitting Peace Street, the walk has to continue northward. I hadn’t noticed before but the pedestrian amenities are much improved at West and Peace.

North of Peace Street, West Street doesn’t resemble the straight-as-an-arrow urban street but changes to a swerving street as it edges up against the Pigeon House Branch Creek. This light industrial and commercial area is seeing some signs of new activity.

Renovation almost complete at the corner of West and Peace.

At the Northwest corner of Peace and West, the renovation of the building where Lighting Inc used to be looks to be almost completed. The Lundy Group has come in here and bought this building and a few behind it for future redevelopment. Technology companies will be moving in here soon once the former Lighting Inc. building is finished.

While the area gets less urban the more north you go, there is something to be said about the view. Best view of downtown, in my opinion. Who can build a condo here for me?

The land topography may prove to be more challenging for a new development but with a possible park to the south called Devereux Meadows (see the Glenwood Greens plan above) it’s just a matter of time before this area gets built up.

Along the 800 “block”, a fantastic warehouse renovation has taken place. At this time, Morehead Capital is the current tenant.

There are also plans for the house next door. Each are shown in this photo below.

Old house at 713 North West Street, next to the warehouse renovation at 801 North West Street.

Development plans are on the city’s website for The Cardinal (SR-20-16), a bar and lounge planned for the house there at 713 North West Street. The lot next to it will be paved for surface parking.

I finished my walk once I hit 1000 North West Street and decided that was good enough. It’s all industrial at this point and with West ending at Wade, there isn’t much traffic. That could change if, as part of the Capital Boulevard Corridor, West Street is extended northward to connect to Fairview Road.

It may not look like it but West Street could be poised for something big and the pieces just feel like they are coming together for this very important downtown street.

Pic of the Week

Raleigh Union Station construction site March, 2016.

The future Raleigh Union Station has been stripped down to its steel bones. The renovation of the former warehouse building for Raleigh’s new train station is creating a flurry of activity at the south end of West Street in the Warehouse District.

The new station is scheduled to open in 2017.

Municipography, Food Trucks and Raleigh Bike Share

title

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

No embedded videos this week as for some reason, the city’s streaming video service is auto-playing the videos. I’m not into that.

Two long-talked topics were approved at this week’s city council meeting. The food truck debate has been a long one and a new pilot program will be rolled out to see how they operate on public property in and near downtown. Also, Raleigh will get its first bike share system in the coming years.

Food trucks

To watch/hear the discussion, click here.

The latest in the food truck saga is over the mobile food businesses operating in the public right-of-way. The plan is to designate five “zones” where the trucks can operate during the lunchtime hours. (10am-3pm) First Fridays will extend those hours to 8pm.

The five locations include:

At this time, the Moore Square zone was dropped due to all the construction from the GoRaleigh Transit Station and Moore Square renovation.

The plan with the four zones passed unanimously and the new food truck pilot could be in place in 2-3 months.

Raleigh Bike share
To watch the video, click here and jump to around the 48th minute.

We talked about bike share in Raleigh recently and after a work session earlier in the day, the council decided to vote on it.

The plan was approved after a few brief comments. While councilors recognized that the city has needs outside of funding a bike share, the opportunity to have 80% of the installation costs covered by a federal grant was one they felt had to be taken. There was also lots of interest from the private sector to sponsor the system and the bike community was very vocal about their support.

“It’s up to you guys to use the system,” said Councilor Thompson. After three year, the system will be evaluated. It will most likely take two years to finalize the details and roll out the bike share system.

Hargett Place Planning Townhomes on East Hargett Street

400 Block of East Hargett Street

Corner of East and Hargett, March 2016

New development plans for Hargett Place, a 19 townhome project, were submitted to the city. After a successful rezoning in July 2015, the plans are moving forward to wipe out the surface parking lot on the 400 block of East Hargett.

The one acre lot will consist of 2-bedroom units spread across four buildings. The site plan below shows the makeup of the townhome buildings.

Hargett Place Site Plan

The plan doesn’t show much but I want to say these will be similar to Peace Street Townes, at least in the building configuration. Vehicle driveways will be on Hargett and Bloodworth. As Hargett is identified as a key bicycle route, having the vehicle driveway doesn’t quite make sense. At the same time, 19 townhomes probably won’t generate that much traffic to make a difference so for me, not too worried about it.

Not much else here, except to reiterate the fact that I love seeing surface parking disappear. Bring it on.

2016 State of the City Video

If the embedded video doesn’t show for you, watch it on YouTube.

The mayor’s 2016 speech, added here for your viewing pleasure.

Pic of the Week

Salisbury Street, March 2016

A crane has shown up at the construction site of the future Residence Inn hotel on Salisbury Street. The image above shows a view down Salisbury in front of the Raleigh Convention Center. The hotel will be seen above the front courtyard of the convention center when it tops out in the future.

Food Hall and Market in the works for Warehouse District

Former Buckhead Saloon space.

Empty warehouse at 117 South West Street.

This week, the folks at the Hibernian Company announced plans for a food hall and market in an empty warehouse on West Street. This space was formerly the short-lived Buckhead Saloon but was really made popular when Jillian’s was in there for (I think??) over ten years.

There’s no name for the spot yet but the new market will house a variety of food vendors, a food court, and event space across the 21,000 square feet of warehouse. The group is hoping to open in Spring of 2017.

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