Starting this week, the city is having protected bike lanes installed on West and Harrington Streets as part of the Downtown North-South Greenway Connector. This will be downtown’s first protected bike lane which connects the warehouse district to Smoky Hollow. You can already see parts of it along West, shown above.
Along West Street, bicycle traffic can start from Union Station and head toward Smoky Hollow in the protected lane until North Street. If heading the other way around, you can get back to the warehouse district riding down Harrington Street.
The placement of the lanes is also nice as there are several Citrix Cycle stations along them including Union Station, across from Morgan Street Food Hall, Hillsborough Street, and at Jones Street.
This is excellent to see as it is a foundational route that one day could connect to a greenway heading north along a Devereux Meadows park in north downtown and to a greenway to Dix Park which is to the south. The lanes should be 100% by October.
The demolition continues on Caswell Square, this time with the Oral Hygiene building along Dawson Street coming down. By the time you read this, it is most likely gone.
The demolition on the square itself started in March 2020, see this post, and no plans for the land have been announced. If I recall correctly, this is the last building to be removed from the square.
I said it before and I still continue to think that the state government needs to improve the management of their own properties as the loss of these buildings, with private interest in rehabilitation, is a loss for downtown Raleigh.
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.
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.
Fill Out the 2020 Census to Help Downtown Raleigh’s Future. Do that here.
We’re getting reports that Publix, located along Peace Street at the intersection with West Street, is set to open in early September. This makes the road work nearby feel practically complete as crews just need to put the finishing touches on the bridge over Peace Street. Publix is more reason to celebrate almost four years of road construction finally ending.
Throughout the 2000s and early 2010’s, a downtown grocery store was one of those key reasons folks said they wouldn’t seriously consider living in downtown Raleigh. They are now here so if Weaver Street didn’t get you packing, Publix should seal the deal!
Hotel building is still taking place in downtown Raleigh. I feel like The Willard, being built along Glenwood Avenue at the corner with Willard Place, was funded right before the pandemic really hit. This project has been moving throughout the year and is starting to show some height.
The rooms overlooking the street will have a great view of downtown. I’m pretty excited about this one to be honest.
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.
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.