Municipography, Downtown Retail

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

Downtown Raleigh Retail

At the Raleigh City Council meeting last week, David Diaz and Paul Reimel from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) gave a report on retail within downtown Raleigh in 2012. We’ve talked about how the retail scene has become more and more noticeable and this data from the DRA supports that.

Below is the video showing their report.

Some highlights from it are:

  • Recognized the positive reaction of the retail community to rehabilitated storefronts and that there is still a need to work on more buildings in downtown.
  • In 2011, there were 83 retail space vacancies, accounting for 10% of inventory. In 2012, 27 of those 83 are now occupied.
  • 2012 also had 38 retail openings, a 28% increase from openings in 2011.
  • With the downtown load program, 3 loans were given for $150,000 total.
  • The loan program had 25 inquiries in 2012, the highest yearly amount yet.
  • Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week continues to grow and be more popular with each year.

Downtown Remote Operations Facility

The Downtown Remote Operations Facility isn’t directly tied to downtown. This new building, planned along Westinghouse Boulevard near Capital Boulevard and I-440, will instead be the new home for city maintenance trucks. The result is that the city can then vacate the current lot along Peace Street, the site of the old Devereux Meadow baseball park between West Street and Capital Boulevard.

The council approved moving forward with the project. Details below from the agenda.

On September 6, 2011, City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract with Williard Ferm Architects to provide planning and design services, through 50% construction documents, for Phase 1 of the proposed Downtown Remote Operations Facility to be located on the city-owned site east of I-440 between Capital Boulevard and Raleigh Boulevard on the former Westinghouse property.

In addition, a Request for Qualifications to provide Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) services was advertised on October 23, 2012. Eight responses were received and three firms selected for interviews. Interviews were conducted on December 12, 2012, resulting in the recommendation of Brasfield and Gorrie general contractors to provide CMAR services. Brasfield and Gorrie has submitted a proposal of $375,000 to provide the required pre-construction level services.

A status report of the design development effort is being presented to provide an update on the project and to discuss City administration recommended actions to maintain progress related to design and construction.

Recommendation: (1) Authorize proceeding with the proposed Downtown Remote Operations Facility, to include the proposed facility program, site design alternatives, project schedule, and estimated costs. (2) Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a Contract Amendment with Williard Ferm Architects to complete construction documents and provide for construction phase services. (3) Authorize the City Manager to execute a contract with Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors, in the amount of $375,000, to provide pre-construction services sufficient to develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for Phase 1 construction of the proposed Downtown Remote Operations Facility. (4) Authorize the following budget transfer from previously approved and completed remote operations facilities to fund additional design and pre-construction services, commissioning services, environmental management, and permitting requirements.

Transfer From:
508-2210-790010-975-CIP00-99150000 $1,200,000
Wilder’s Grove Remote Operations Center

Transfer To:
508-2210-790010-975-CIP00-93960000 $1,200,000
Downtown Remote Operations Center

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  1. Sure wish there were a downtown baseball field where the former Remote Operations Facility is located (and the site of the long-gone Devereaux Meadow).

  2. The Mudcats should be downtown (the heck with the Bulls being within 40 mile radius). Understand there would be an annual fee to Bulls if stadium in downtown Raleigh. PAY THE FEE with the revenue/spending activity it would generate. This is where our pathetic city council members have no clue what they are doing. Apply a 1/2 sent tax to all money spent and pay the fee to have Mudcats stadium downtown. Sick of hearing about Bulls, Mudcats belong in downtown Raleigh so we do not have to drive to the sticks to see Mudcats

  3. Henry, I couldn’t agree more. If we could build an urban stadium like the DBAP and manage to develop the area around it in any way similar to the THD then it’d be a great asset. I’m not JUST saying this because I’m a huge baseball fan…

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