BEST Plans To Launch Biggest Project Yet For Warehouse District

BEST Dillon mural

The BEST team has been busy this year and excitement is brewing for one of their largest upcoming projects yet. I’ve highlighted them before and the all-volunteer group is planning a new mural for one of the Dillon supply buildings in the warehouse district.

The new mural will take up an entire block on the Triangle Transit owned building on West Street. Donna Belt, the founder of BEST, writes:

We will begin by inviting children to add their handprints and body tracings to a design that will morph into a crowd boarding a train in front of a Raleigh skyscape. Phase II of the mural expands into a sunburst as the Wright brothers’ plane and other flying machines soar over the North Carolina countryside. The theme, whether specifically reflecting Triangle Transit’s role in regional transportation or applying to the limitless potential that we all share, is a spectacular celebration of the ways in which we move forward together.

– YOUR FACE HERE… in the largest community art installation in downtown Raleigh

There are two ways to get involved.

  1. The BEST Dillon launch party is on July 27. The free event will be held at Spy Raleigh. Attend for drinks and networking or take part for the raffle prizes and art auction.
  2. Become a sponsor or donate to BEST anytime.

The last BEST fundraiser was held at The Hive and the group packed the house so I expect a similar gathering at Spy Raleigh.

This is a great project for downtown and building that community strengthens it in a lot of ways.

See you there.

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  1. I liked seeing this, but where does it stop? Is the goal of this project to cover every single unoccupied building in the city? Are we ashamed of the grittiness of downtown Raleigh? It seems like we are trying to cover up who we are because we’re ashamed of it.

  2. An easy way to do this would be to line the lil’ churrins up on the wall, spray them with a giant airbrush gun (we can borrow one from Maaco), and bam! Instant child outlines.

    On Twitter: @Squirrelchat

  3. The goal of BEST is to bring attention to these overlooked vacant storefronts. Since BEST did it’s installation on the Old Raleigh Sandwich Shop, the building has been sold, and hopefully a new business will come in for the first time in decades. The spot of the first BEST installation under the Hue has been leased, and the installation will soon be moved. The third installation on the 300 block of Wilmington Street is on a facade that will be taken down when the Edison Apartments go up, hopefully late this year.

    But while these storefronts sit empty, BEST, an all-volunteer organization, is creating community involvement and putting a nicer face on the Downtown Raleigh streetscape for pedestrians.

  4. Why not join us on July 27th at SPY Raleigh and see exactly what this project is all about. We are not ashamed of our city..that is why we are trying to give ita pleasing look while the buildings are beng torn down and rebuilt. There are so many good artists and residents and businesses their time and energy. I guess the old saying “you can’t please everyone”. I will say after an installation is finished I spend some time watching people pass by and their excitement to see it. As we are working people are constantly asking where the next one might be. We are on the right path. Thank you all for your support.

  5. DHHS looking for 1M Square Feet of office space near downtown. What about Charter Square, the old Edison design, current space at warehouse district or build that building across from Cambell law school?

    Any thoughts? Perfect time for new/tall development. Here is a partner/main tenant for a new structure.

  6. I somehow have trouble believing that NC would pay rent to occupy space in a top-of-the-line office skyscraper. More likely they would build something on one of the empty lots in the government complex. 1 million square feet is only a FAR of 4 on a full 500×500 downtown block.

  7. OK so the RFP specifically mentions a lease. The first 600,000 square feet must be delivered by June 2014. So I guess I’m wrong. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. It says anywhere within the greater Raleigh area is OK, but it says preference will be given to sites closer to Dorothea Dix (not downtown.) The RFP seems written to give preference to a campus setting, but I suppose anything goes.

  8. I wonder if space exists along New Bern Avenue for this? Although I’m not sure these government buildings are always the friendliest of neighbors but it could be welcomed in that area of town.

  9. Anybody know what that pathetic Empire Properties is doing with that ugly empty lot next to the cirular Clarion downtown. That dirty ugly lot has sat there untouched for DECADES. Surprised city council does not do SOMETHING about that eye sore (tax Empire monthly for doing nothing). Empire is a joke. They are not a developer, they are a simple food service company. I have seen very young college graduates do what they do. Put a “For Sale” Sign on the property and get out of Progresses way. That lot is a “EYE SORE”, cannot believe Clarion and their customers put’s up with that dirty lot next door to their facility.

  10. Hopefully waiting for Hillsborough St to heat up again and try to pull the trigger on something nice. That stretch of Hillsborough was at one point going to see 3 decent towers and a few other mid-rises, I’d prefer they not do anything until it’s ready for something serious.

  11. Hillsborough Street is a golden opportunity for DT Raleigh and I hope that we don’t end up getting a bunch of low-rises in the major parcels (i.e. next to Clarion Hotel) that deserve more. Personally, I want to see successful projects, so I don’t mind waiting for another 5 years before more construction activity gets under way. With lending as strict as it is these days, only small projects can be financed.

    I heard that Clarion Hotel will be branded as Marriott, again, so we may see the need for expansion in the nearest future. Who knows, Marriott might like to take advantage of the need for more hotel rooms in DT Raleigh. Or, a competitor may do something there. I wonder if Empire Properties could revive Lafayette and place it next to Clarion Hotel. A parking deck will be needed, but that is part if the game. Put a nice 25+ story building in that location and watch how others will follow. Winston Hotels has to get their act together, as well, and redevelop the block West of Second Empire, ASAP.

  12. Empire is not a joke as a developer, but their area of expertise clearly is adaptive reuse of historic buildings, which they have done many and have done excellent work. They seem to be out of their depth when it comes to new construction?

    On the subject of Empire, maybe DHHS could occupy the L building and a new building somewhere else nearby. That does an especially good job of meeting the requirements of “near major roads”: Western, Dawson, McDowell; and proximity to Dix (about 3/4 mile by road.)

    But the pessimist in me makes me think this will wind up as a suburban campus somewhere like Hammond Road.

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