The Metropolitan is Lost in Overnight Fire

East Raleigh view of fire

Not much to say here about the fire that took place this weekend. The Metropolitan apartments had just recently topped out and is now burnt to a crisp. Nearby buildings including the Quorum Center and The Link apartments suffered damage as well.

Above is the view from East Raleigh, about 12 blocks away. See the local news networks for more but it is great to hear that there were no life-threatening injuries.

A Walk Around 400 Hillsborough

Corner of Hillsborough and West Streets, March 2017

Corner of Hillsborough and West Streets, March 2017

Site plans and other docs were recently submitted to the city for 400 Hillsborough, a 20-story development planned for the entire block between Hillsborough/Edenton Streets and West/Harrington Streets. The blocks along Hillsborough Street are a bit smaller than the larger ones around downtown so while I say “entire block” it actually isn’t that large due to the way the streets are made up.

Google map of topic area

The project, shown in orange in the map, plans for 220 residential units in a 244 foot building. There will also be plenty of ground-floor retail with a few floors of parking.

Rendering of 400 Hillsborough from AAD-009-17

Rendering from 400 Hillsborough AAD-009-17. Click for larger.

Rendering of 400 Hillsborough from AAD-009-17

Rendering from 400 Hillsborough AAD-009-17. Click for larger.

floorplan of 400 Hillsborough from AAD-009-17

floorplan from 400 Hillsborough AAD-009-17. Click for larger.

For awhile, the block has been pretty empty. I need help from readers to share what used to be here as the “main” building, the pink colored one shown at the top of this post, has been empty as long as I’ve been into downtown Raleigh.

Artcraft Sign and C U Fitness are still operating along the Hillsborough Street side while more empty (empty right?) buildings line Harrington Street.

Artcraft Sign and C U Fitness

Artcraft Sign and C U Fitness

Empty buildings along Harrington

Empty buildings along Harrington

I can’t help but lump that triangle property, shown in blue on the map above, in with 400 Hillsborough. I know it’s separate but with a large mixed-use building, especially with so many residential units planned, I can’t help but think this may finally stir something on this plot.

It may not look pretty but the tree-lined sidewalks are mature and lush on this lot. A pocket park sounds like a great use of that space but the city may have to acquire it in order for that to happen. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for a signature building with a unique design here.

Surface parking along West Street

Surface parking along West Street

Pic of the Week

Stone's Warehouse, March 2017

Demolition is taking place at Stone’s Warehouse. The project is moving along now as the former Rex Senior Center is coming down and new art projects line Davie Street. Banners on the front of the warehouse tease a 2018 opening.

The Expansion of the Upcoming Smokey Hollow Project

Corner of Peace and West, August 2016.

Corner of Peace and West, August 2016.

This is kind of a backlog post so you may have seen this already. The developers behind the Smokey Hollow project are buying up even more land. The area along Peace Street between Capital and West are being combined into much larger properties.

At this time, no plans have been made public but being associated with the mixed-use Smokey Hollow project, we can guess that even more mixed-use development is in the future.

In addition to the land along Peace, Kane Realty has picked up properties formerly owned by Gregg Sandreuter. The former apartment projects here, the West Apartments, never materialized so perhaps Kane will give it a go.

The Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative has this map of the area showing the recent owners.

Map new property owners

Over the next few years, this will be quite a transformation as multiple blocks could be developed alongside the Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street and the square loop configuration.

We also have the latest renderings of Smokey Hollow, more specifically, the building for the corner of Peace and West Street, to give us an idea of what the area will look like. Big thanks to Cline Design for allowing me to post them here on the blog.

Smokey Hollow. Courtesy of Cline Design.

Smokey Hollow. Courtesy of Cline Design.

Smokey Hollow. Courtesy of Cline Design.

Renderings of City Gateway Show 10-Story, Energy Positive Building

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

We have the first renderings, provided here on the blog with permission, of what is called City Gateway, the office and campus building planned for the Southern Gateway area of downtown Raleigh. For a quick recap, jump back to this December 2016 post.

City Gateway will be home to the Exploris K-8 charter school and a number of other businesses. The building comes to us from SfL+a Architects who have worked on a few other projects including energy positive schools. That means City Gateway will “on average over the year produce more energy from renewable energy sources than it imports from external sources,” according to the Global Buildings Performance Network.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, City Gateway should break ground this July with completion about a year and half later. (or whatever Winter 2018 means to you)

For clarification, let’s define a few “gateway” terms:

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Renderings come courtesy of SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor.

Pic of the Week

Northeast corner of Jones and Harrington Streets, February 2017

Northeast corner of Jones and Harrington Streets, February 2017

Southeast corner of Lane and Harrington Streets, February 2017

Southeast corner of Lane and Harrington Streets, February 2017

I present two wide shots of the currently under construction The Metropolitan Apartments. Judging by the height of the stairwells relative to the wood construction apartments, the building is almost topping out along Jones Street. There is still a lot of room for more units as you go down Harrington and turn around Lane Street.

At this pace, the units along Jones could have residents moving in before the year’s end. August 2017 was a planned move-in date about 6 months ago, according to the folks behind the project.

Dollar General Express Now Open in Downtown Raleigh

Dollar General Express

Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image. Read the post on the blog to see it.

A new concept for the company, this store, Dollar General Express, is now open in The Edison Lofts at the corner of Davie and Blount Streets. The store contains more convenience items rather than cheaper home goods like the larger stores. It’s actually a decent convenience store with some grocery items.

High-end, gourmet retail is nice but sometimes, you just need the quick and easy. From a resident’s point-of-view, I welcome the new store and hope it succeeds.

Dollar General Express

8-Room Boutique Hotel, Guest House Raleigh, Takes Big Step Forward

400 Block of South Bloodworth Street, February 2017.

400 Block of South Bloodworth Street, February 2017.

This past weekend, two historic homes rolled through downtown Raleigh from previous sites to new ones. The two houses along the 100 block of East Lenoir Street were moved to the 400 block of South Bloodworth Street to make way for a new 12-story, Element-branded hotel. Demolition of the Baptist Convention Headquarters building should follow soon.

Catch up on that project here.

Ahead of schedule!!

A post shared by Guest House Raleigh (@guesthouseraleigh) on

As the new hotel is being worked on, one of the two historic houses will also be used for some downtown hospitality. The Gorham House will be renovated this year and there are plans for it to house an 8-room boutique hotel called Guest House Raleigh. You can follow the progress of the project on their Instagram account.

For a boutique hotel, this area of downtown is actually a great location being only two blocks from City Market and four from Fayetteville Street. It also won’t feel like the edge of town as progress on Stone’s Warehouse, to the east of Guest House, should start up as the developers finally closed on the site.

A huge congratulations to those behind Guest House Raleigh. I’m hoping big success there so others might take a stab at going the boutique route rather than the safer, more sterile hotel route.

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