West at North Before and After

From parking lot to tower in about 18 months, the West at North tower will add more residents to the Glenwood South area. I’m hoping that talk about the potential retail on the ground floor will start soon.

February 2007

August 2007

August 2008

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  1. This is a solid project!!! From the ground floor, to the very top, West At North is simply marvelous. Having been inside and seen the views I can say with confidence that this project is going to be a desirable place to live. The rooftop swimming pool will be a great “destination” for the residents. Both the design and marketing teams have done a great job.

  2. West is ugly. I close my eyes when I drive past so I don’t have to see it. Watch out unsuspecting pedestrians, I’m not looking.
    White aluminum panels on cream brick? Two different colors of red brick? What was the thought process there?
    It looks like Granville Towers in Chapel Hill. I’ve designed more attractive buildings out of Legos.

  3. Good one, Ashton! I like the way this place looks, too. The antenna on it is a nice touch, although it probably doesn’t do anything.

  4. I did as a child. Lots of them. Perhaps I’ve missed my calling…
    I should buy a condo in West just so I can spend my days looking out from the building instead of having to look at it.

  5. Ashton: The two buildings to the South and is there any new development planned due north (that whole area needs to be re-developed, all the way to the comedy club/Peace Street)

  6. There have been rumors for more projects, but the only one we can call solid is the Powerhouse Plaza… Very nice proposal, IMHO, and so far there are no financing issues that we know of. Adjacent to West At North, as Ashton mentioned, is a lot owned by Gregg Sandreuter, the developer of the West At North. Gregg has established a good record, and if The Edison gets delivered without any bumps along the way, rest assured this lot will be nicely developed. Maybe a 20+ story hotel/residential tower ;)

  7. Anthony, to the south is the David Allen building and you can find out more about it on Empire’s website. But, the last I heard nothing was going to happen there for at least 5 years or so, and it likely won’t be taller than 7 stories. Having said that, anything can happen in that time frame. To the direct north is owned by Gregg as well, though I don’t think we’ll see anything happen there until Edison is wrapped up [unless there are some dramatic changes in the economy] and whatever goes there will definitely compliment West. Other than that, I don’t think there is any planned development to the North.

  8. Ashton and Ernest: Thanks for the update. I am aware of the Powerhouse Plaza (very nice, but the garage should have benn incorporated into the main structure like the garage at RBC, why continue to waste land).

    Sorry people, I am not a fan of Empire Properties (my opinion), they are small thinkers, buildings show a lack of vision (the “L” Building is ugly, that is prime property, that building should have been a minimum of 25 stories at that location – another blunder – again, why not incorpaorate the garage into the main structure – do not want to hear about economics – I travel all over the country – other cities continue to do this) very little vision by this developer and they take forever to do ANYTHING (if your accurate and it is 5 years for the David Allen building (at only 7 stories), I agree with city manager Allen, this group and others need to have minimum timelines for their projects – if you do not break ground within a two year window, land goes back up for sale).

  9. Just walked out of the building – lobby is looking beautiful!!

    Ari, I double checked, and you’re right – they are simply decorative flag poles [which I doubt will ever have flags].

  10. Anthony, so far as I know the city can’t force Empire to develop that space – at least not in the enforced time line tht you mention. From the looks of it, he has owned the building since 2004 and I believe has always had long term sights for it.

    I imagine in order for the city to be able to enforce something like that on say, all property inside the DRA’s defined ‘Downtown’, there would have to be some serious legal changes to give them that type of authority over private landowners.

    An interesting idea though – how would you handle properties that haven’t changed ownership in 15 years?

  11. Anthony, I would love to see developments that incorporate the garage decks nicely – RBC Plaza comes to mind – but there are added costs, which the developers may not be able to afford. To keep the building in some sort of human scale – although I think they could have gone above 15 floors without overwhelming anything around – and the costs within reasonable boundaries, they resorted to a design that keeps the deck separately. Still, they can do it right, and I really hope they will.

    Empire Properties has always been a small-scale developer. When they placed their bid for Site 4 I got very scared, but they dreamed bigger than the minimal requirements and I give them credit for it. I believe that Empire Properties wants to combine preservation and larger-scale projects, but they have yet to deliver something. The whole lending situation worked to their disadvantage, at least in the case of Site 4. As for the L Building, its construction is far more complex and the [city] requirements for open space killed part of it. I am not sure Empire Properties was the best choice for this project. Wake County should have found a developer who could build above the deck, not wrap it around with a building. I think they rushed into this project – deck and L Building – but then again I wonder if they received any better proposals; I doubt it, though.

    Regarding the David Allen buildings, it is very early to tell. The developer’s vision is for a 9-10 story building, but the final project will depend on market conditions, open space requirements and the developer’s ability to find tenants… We are years from seeing anything solid for this parcel.

    Ashton’s question is interesting, but in all honesty there is nothing that can be done to force a change in ownership, nor we should even consider this in a free market. Land owners can speculate and then ask for as much as they want. If a developer offers them a good chunk of money, they can sell, or they can wait until every parcel around them is fully developed and their property becomes more valuable. I would think that the only thing we can do is enforce laws and regulations that deal with the appearance of a property and not the length of ownership, but then again I am not familiar with legal processes and ownership rights/obligations.

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