Looking Back Through Downtown Raleigh In 2012

Sidewalk of Fayetteville Street

2012 wasn’t the most exciting year for Downtown Raleigh in my opinion. When looking back, there were no signature moments that really made 2012 stand out. The only fireworks were over Fayetteville Street on July 4th and on the internet the day after.

I will say that 2012 was the year of the Resident. Residential plans and new development boomed in relative terms this year. Several new projects broke ground or were approved targeting the hot rental market. Developers are responding with more apartment complexes in the rest of the city but in downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, construction has begun on a dense, more urban product.

Union Station took its largest step forward this year, with an announcement of the project being fully funded. Plans are to have the new train station up and running around 2016/2017 time frame.

In 2012, we also saw the city sign a 75-year lease on the Dorothea Dix property to the southeast of downtown. The city plans to turn that into a signature park.

Honorable mentions this year also go out to these stories:

Residential Projects

Increasing the foot traffic in downtown is one of the best ways to bring on the “urban” in Raleigh. It’s great to see these residential projects moving foward, creating neighborhoods, and spurring businesses to pop up along the sidewalks.

The most dramatic announcement in 2012 was probably Skyhouse Apartments, which plans to bring 320 apartments to Martin Street near City Market. The tower will be 264 feet in height and be one of the densest buildings in the city. The plans for the building are not unique though as Atlanta currently has the exact same building.

Glenwood South has been busy building new apartments with the 425 Boylan and St. Mary’s Square projects. These two structures will provide around 400 apartments about two blocks from the Glenwood South strip. That’s a nice injection of residents for those businesses there.

Crane at the future site of 425 Boylan

The one project I’m rooting for is The L Building, the once planned office tower on McDowell Street that has been stalled for years. Now turned residential, the project may have some legs and we’ll finally cover up the hole it has left around the Wake County Parking deck.

2012 had great news for the residents at the West at North condo tower on West Street as the building is sold out. There was also news of a seven-story apartment tower planned for the surface parking lot right next door. Add that to Glenwood South’s rise in being a future neighborhood hangout versus entertainment district.

Union Station Funded

To re-live the Union Station announcement in 2012, watch the video below.

Other Notables

In addition to a great new site re-design, that I had way too much fun building by the way, here are two more articles that I liked posted this year.

Cheers, 2012!

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  1. Leo,

    I think you said it nicely. This year wasn’t much to talk about for downtown, although nothing disastrous happened, either. It was nice to see the new Justice Center and SECU Building top out, as well as the exterior of the new Hampton Inn in Glenwood South being completed before the end of this year. No cranes for a while, which is fine, so we can take a few picture of the “new” skyline. On the plus side, the residential booming in Glenwood South – in addition to Cameron Village and Hillsborough Street – is definitely a reason for us to celebrate.

    Major disappointments for me were the choice of Citrix to move into a warehouse instead of a new high-rise, and the stalling of a few promising projects. Let’s hope that 2013 will be a good year.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

  2. Hey Leo, you missed the opportunity to celebrate the opening of the Nature Research Center in 2012. It may be the last significant public amenity building we will see in DT for years to come.
    All in all, I think it was actually a significant year for DT Raleigh with a dispersement of construction activity and announcements among the five districts. For me, it’s a sign of a rapidly maturing core. Whether it’s significant housing in “Moore Square” (SkyHouse), corporate expansion in “Fayetteville St” and “Warehouse” (RedHat and Citrix), housing and hospitality in “Glenwood South” (Hampton Suites/two new apartment projects)or public and retail expansion in “Capital” (Nature Research Center and Seaboard expansion), I see 2012 as quite an exciting year for DT. This is especially true given the state of the national economy, the election year jitters and general malaise of the global economy. While much of these projects won’t be complete until 2013 and beyond, all point toward a much better tomorrow for DT.

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