Pic of the Week

The Ware townhomes under construction

These townhouses along Chavis Way are starting to rise up. This project, called The Ware, is located next to Transfer Company, a renovation of Stone’s Warehouse into a food hall and grocery.

In addition to the photo, I have a surround shot embedded below. This is the corner of Chavis Way and Davie Street. If you are reading through email or RSS, click through to the blog to see it.

The Fairweather Announces High-End Condos at 522 Harrington Street

Rendering of interior unit, The Fairweather

Rendering courtesy of Monarch Realty

A project that I highlighted here on the blog back in November 2016 is now in the presale phase. The Fairweather will be a five-story condo building with 45 total units. The location is in between downtown Raleigh and the future Dix Park. See it on Google maps here.

Site Plan map of 522 South Harrington

Location of The Fairweather according to its site plan.

From the press release:

Slated to open in early 2019, The Fairweather features five stories with approximately 45 units, ranging from 838 to 2,645 square feet. The first four floors showcase one, two and three bedroom units starting in the upper $300s to the $600s, while the fifth floor offers penthouse suites for $700 to $1 million. Located at the corner of S. Harrington, Lenoir and S. West streets, The Fairweather sits on a hilltop that affords owners views in every direction of Raleigh’s skyline. The development also offers immediate walking distance to landmarks, such as Dorothea Dix Park, the new Raleigh Union Station and the Warehouse District’s upscale restaurants.

Rendering of interior unit, The Fairweather

Rendering courtesy of Monarch Realty

New-construction condos haven’t been seen in downtown Raleigh in awhile so it may make sense that high-end units come first. I’ve been told this will be somewhat of a more distinctive building compared to what we’ve been used to in the apartment scene.

The exterior renderings will be most interesting to see.

Corner of West and Lenoir Street, October 2017.

Corner of West and Lenoir Street, October 2017

Strategy Forming Over Uses of City-owned Land in Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh skyline

The city has been moving forward with plans on how best to utilize the land they own in downtown Raleigh. Sell? Develop? To whom and for what?

The idea is to utilize the land that has now increased in value over the last few decades and put it towards supporting some policy goals in the city’s comprehensive plan, downtown plan, and other plans for example. The latest output of this study is the July 14, 2017 Downtown Land Disposition Strategy report which is the meat of today’s blog post.

Dive into the whole thing on the city’s website here.

The July 2017 report was prepared by HR&A Advisors and they are attempting to help the city figure out how to let go or repurpose eleven properties in and around downtown. The report offers possible reuse options, suggestions on how best to sell them, and projects of revenue generated.

The properties, some currently with active buildings and others as surface parking, are mapped below.

Map of city-owned properties, July 2017.

Map of city-owned properties, July 2017. Click for larger

To figure out what’s on the books, what goals the city is striving for, the following policy docs were reviewed:

HR&A was then able to pull some general goals from all this including:

With the general goals defined, the next step is to prioritize and gauge the public on these. Through community meetings, attendees were asked to rank the importance of each one against the other. This chart sums up those findings.

Chart of Use Priorities Communicated by Community  Meeting Attendees, July 2017.

Use Priorities Communicated by Community Meeting Attendees. Click for larger

If you’ve been paying attention even for a little while, it would be easy to guess the top priority. Housing has been an increasing concern for the city as a whole and downtown’s revitalization is shaking up the former housing dynamic.

It’s listed as a clear top priority from the community feedback sessions with economic development being a second priority and community facilities being third.

So much for downtown retail and park space, right?

The report then goes into suggestions and projections for each of the eleven sites in downtown. To make it easier to digest, I’ve taken a snapshot of the report and embedded it into a google map for each parcel which you can see below.

I actually recommend you click through to the Google map itself to see the properties and their pop-ups which include the graphic with additional details. Clicking on the graphic there makes it bigger and easier to read. See it here.

Some quick highlights:

Finally, for those wondering what kind of revenue we’re talking about, the final page of the report gets into it. See it below.

Net City Revenue Impact, July 2017.

Net City Revenue Impact. Click for larger

It’s a big project for sure. There’s a push for consolidating city offices with a new campus on the current City Hall block. The offloading of these properties could help pay for that, some being very underutilized.

It’ll be interesting to see the next step although I feel this will be a long and carefully thought out process.

Pic of the Week

Hillsborough Street, October 2017

The site for One Glenwood has been cleared and from Hillsborough Street you can get a sense of the view the offices will have of the core business district and of the warehouse district.

Pic of the Week

Marbles on Hargett Street, September 2017.

Marbles Kids Museum has purchased some property nearby with plans to expand. The building adjacent to the courtyard next to Marbles will be home to the expansion. This comes in addition to their plans for another courtyard at the corner of Morgan and Blount Street.

Marbles is a huge asset to downtown Raleigh and there are ways to experience Marbles whether you have children or not. Even today, I think Marbles is a stop for any families visiting downtown Raleigh.

Construction is still years away so when Moore Square has been renovated, the future of this area may turn more family-oriented than it is today. (at least during the daytime)

Reader Meetup on Wednesday 10/4!

Thanks to all of our friends and family who came out the past few days and have continued to support us. We couldn't do it without you!!

A post shared by Little City Brewing (@littlecityral) on

What started as an idea over coffee will now take place over a beer. (or whatever beverage you prefer)

The good folks behind The Acorn, a weekly email newsletter, Inbound Raleigh, a podcast about transit and transportation in Raleigh, and myself invite readers and listeners to a meetup on Wednesday, October 4. We thought that trying to make connections in real life was a worthy cause for Raleigh so here’s the first opportunity.

We’ll be at Little City Brewing from 5:30-7:30 pm, with hopes to help out some local businesses hurt by the downtown fire back in March of this year. The street has been closed and revenues are slumping as a result. If you’re hungry, a group will then be heading to Clouds Brewing afterward.

See you then.

Reader Meetup @ Little City Brewing

Date/Time: Wed., Oct. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
400 W North Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

2017 Transportation Bond Includes Downtown Projects

Map of projects as part of 2017 bond proposal.

Map of projects as part of 2017 bond proposal. Click for larger.

There’s an election coming up and on the ballot for Raleigh residents will be a transportation bond which will include money for upcoming projects around the city and in the downtown area. Early voting has already started but you’ll get your chance to nay or aye this one on October 10.

You can dive into all the details about the $206.7 million package here. The map above shows the location of projects with two being in downtown Raleigh.

Blount/Person Two-Way Conversion

The bond would help direct $6.1 million towards converting Blount and Person to two-way streets. This is probably a result of the work that took place a few years ago, also a result of a transportation bond approved in 2013. I went into great detail on this project in this post.

Rendering of a two-way Blount and Person Street

I’m curious to know what the traffic coming off the Hammond Road I-40 exit would be like when Blount and Person are converted to two-way. The theory goes that two roads would absorb the traffic rather than funneling it all down one resulting in improved flow and lower speeds. The bike lanes would also be welcomed in creating easier routes on the east side of downtown.

West Street Extension South

A portion of this funding would allow the City to proceed with the design of the proposed West Street Extension under the NC Railroad Corridor between Martin Street and Cabarrus Street, which provides a critical connection to the upcoming Raleigh Union Station. The remaining funding would allow the City to provide a local match in order to pursue federal grant funding for the project.

As the description states, the bond money would move the ball along but not fully deliver. The West Street extension has been discussed in the past as well. (also here)

This is an interesting connection, joining West Street to West Street, that could change the dynamic of the warehouse district. Union Station and The Dillon are already going to have quite the impact so we’ll know over the next few years if the West Street extension will ease off the pressures of a crowded downtown corner.

I call it a corner cause the warehouse district really is the corner of downtown, strangled off by the railroad tracks where streets just end.

Go Vote

I think Raleigh has a strong history of approving transportation bonds but the question out there is the appetite for more debt after approving an increase of the sales tax for transit during the 2016 election.

Either way, voice your opinion on October 10. Here’s a sample ballot for this bond referendum.

Sample Ballot of 2017 Transportation Bond

A Walk Up Peace Street

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017

Warning! (or treat!) This will be an image-heavy post.

I had the pleasure of taking a walk up Peace Street recently, during rush hour, to witness all the demolition and work taking place around the Capital Boulevard bridge. We’ve all been following the work in this area for awhile but when you walk it, it’s truly at another level.

I’ll write a little and then let the photos do the talking.

The Capital Boulevard work is really in full swing here as clearing for the new bridge over Peace Street takes place. Buildings have been demolished and old foundations chipped away to make way for the Square Loop.

At this time, construction fencing is up around the Smokey Hollow site. Even more demolition should be taking place in the coming weeks for the 12-story mixed-use project.

In the pipeline also is the West Peace Street Streetscape project, adding more chaos to the street in the future.

It’s a swarm of development in such a short amount of time. The end of 2019 should see all the street work wrap up for us to enjoy it.

I’m starting to think that the state’s Capital Boulevard project would be this decade’s most impactful public-funded project taking place in downtown Raleigh. (Fayetteville Street being the clear winner in the 2000s) I wanted it to be Union Station but so much is going on here that I think this edges it out.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017. The former Fairway Advertising.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017. The former Finch’s restaurant.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017.

Peace Street, September 2017

Peace Street, September 2017. Construction fencing around Smokey Hollow.

Peace Street, September 2017

West Street, September 2017. Construction fencing around Smokey Hollow.

Peace Street, September 2017

West Street, September 2017. Construction fencing around Smokey Hollow.

Peace Street, September 2017

Johnson and Harrington Street, September 2017. Construction fencing around Smokey Hollow and future Johnson Street connector.

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017. Clearing of buildings for the square loop.

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017. Clearing of buildings for the square loop.

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017. Clearing of buildings for the square loop.

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017

Capital Boulevard area, September 2017. Clearing of buildings for the square loop.

Blog Post Topics