Charter Square South Tower Groundbreaking

Charter Square construction site

It was about 11 months ago that an announcement by Dominion Realty Partners stated that they were bringing the first of two towers to the Charter Square site on the south end of Fayetteville Street. Yesterday, the “groundbreaking” took place for that building.

I say “groundbreaking” because this site doesn’t have any dirt that needs to be worked on. The Charter Square site is over an underground parking deck so parking is ready to go.

Expect to watch construction on this LEED Platinum tower up until around Summer 2015.

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25 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to see some actual progress now. I love walking past Moore Square and seeing how far along SkyHouse is coming, now we’ll have more to look fwd to. Even more excited to see how successful this ends up and how tall they decide Tower 2 to be!

  2. I surely hope that the second building goes above 20 floors. Prime locations don’t exist in abundance in Downtown Raleigh, especially given all the low-rises and mid-rises that find their way into the core.

    The 11-story Charter Square and the 23-story Skyhouse are currently the only two projects we can celebrate about. Sure, the smaller projects count, but not in the core of the city. I am grateful that something is moving, but I do hope that The Edison’s two proposed components are canceled, but replaced with a more appropriate development.

  3. Ernest- I believe tower 2 was originally planned to be at least twice the height of tower 1, and the version of tower 1 that they are now building is actually slightly taller than previous renditions; so I think we will be pleasantly surprised with tower 2! Fingers crossed! As for the Edison, I wouldn’t be horribly upset with the current design for the office building itself, as it is about the same height as SkyHouse, but being that it will be right across the street from PNC tower, I do believe it needs to be MUCH taller. As for the apartments they have planned for the other side of the Edison’s parking garage? Garbage. A 6 story apt complex? In the heart of downtown? An absolute disgrace. I don’t think that plan will see the light of day. Some other positive things to think about- Ted Reynolds, the guy who built and owns the Quorum Center (which I love!), now owns the abandoned Greyhound Station across the street from Quorum Center. Before the recession hit, he had plans to build a highrise, be it a hotel, apt building, or office I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet he has BIG plans for the former Greyhound Station site!!! Fingers crossed again!!

  4. Nice there is some progress but, of course, I could never afford a $1000 a month studio on my salary!

  5. Jake/Ernest, speaking of the Edison apartments… I walked by Clyde Cooper’s last night (this is their last week in the original location). I noticed the new location coming along well, but I also noticed every other building on the block is now vacant of tenants and completely gutted. Combined with Clyde Cooper’s being pushed to move this weekend, it seems like there is an accelerated timeline to get those buildings gone. The office tower plans seemed pretty set, and half of that blocked is already vacant or fell down; but the tenants on that block remain, so…? I guess my question is, are those apartments going to be going up sooner than we were expecting? Have they even been approved?

  6. Sooo………… does anyone know when there are starting the 2nd tower. I’m happy they are finally filling up that empty lot but I only care for the 2nd proposed tower.

  7. I think the Edison apartments are going on as scheduled. The owner of Coopers got more time to move. She was supposed to be out by Feb 28th. The building was supposed to be demolished by March 1. But they gave her more time to move. Also my girlfriend goes to the doctors off right across the street. They park in the lot next to Coopers. At least they did. She got a letter that had different parking arrangements from now on. My point they are moving forward from what I can tell. Look at it like this. Most of the projects are not what we would wish for. But they are better than what we had coming out of the ground a year ago. Nothing! I’m hoping they put the Publix in there somewhere. That might take a little of the bad taste out of the situation.

  8. Justin, I don’t think the developers know when they are starting the 2nd tower. Hopefully soon from what they said, but they still need more pre-leasing. Who knows what it will actually look like….

  9. @Jake Anthony: I am in total agreement about The Edison Apartments. I have no idea what Gregg is thinking :( That project will be a total disgrace and a slap on our face. If it wasn’t for Skyhouse, the Edison would have been a complete disaster, in my book… I still don’t understand why Gregg isn’t building a 12-15 story apartment building on half the parcel, leaving the rest for the future. Even better, build a mixed-use tower that would include the 13-story office space and another 10-12 floors of apartments. Yes, it will be more expensive, but he would still have one large parcel to develop and make more money out of.

    @Jeff: Thanks for the update. I am still hopeful that Gregg will not get the financing to build the apartments, and even the 13-story component. I hate to be like that because I like Gregg, but this project has turned into a nightmare and will become a stake through the heart of our downtown. Nothing less, I am afraid. The number of available lots for true high-rise developments is getting smaller and nothing outside Skyhouse is substantial enough (for me). Charter Square’s North Tower will hopefully put an end in the high-rise drought that DT Raleigh is experiencing that last few years.

  10. Ernest, I have always enjoyed your enthusiasm. :) “Stake through the heart” is a little hyperbolic for my tastes, as downtown will not turn to dust after this project, but I agree 6 floors with non-distinctive design is pretty poor for the location. This would be OK for the Glenwood South area like Boylan Avenue or Peace Street, but not here, especailly not after tearing down these nice historic buildings.

    One footnote: if Sandreuter can land a grocer like Publix or Earth Fare or Trader Joe’s or something for the retail tenant then all will be forgiven. It’s difficult and very expensive to develop true high rises on top of large open retail spaces like that. I doubt it will happen, though, since we probably would have heard of it by now.

  11. orulz, you know me… I have a special way to make your day :LOL: Seriously, you also know that I meant what I said. The thing that I feared the most, and didn’t discuss too much in the past, is the continuous underutilization of land. Today it is the L Building, tomorrow will be that stupid Site 4 hotel, the day after that will be the Edison apartments. In a few years there will be no land where a true high-rise can go and it will be MUCH more expensive to build something great. By “great”, I mean a distinctive building of good quality and made of strong material. Wait and see…

    As for a decent grocery store coming to downtown, there is always a possibility, but I truly believe that if Gregg had stuck to the original Edison plan, we would see something happening. Right now, there is no “grand” vision. If the developers can’t deliver something big, big grocery stores will not have faith, enough to justify an investment. In other words, if the developers don’t believe in something BIG how do we expect major grocery chains to risk their money?

    Anyway, I have given up hope. I am glad for many of the small projects, but a city our size that gets awards/kudos on a regular basis should have a more dynamic core. Yes, we are doing better than many cities, but the “small town” mentality is carried on to every aspect of Raleigh’s growth. Then we complain that we don’t get grocery stores, affordable (for most) housing, transportation (especially light rail). Next thing you know, you look for a home in Brier Creek – and I won’t blame you for this.

  12. Ernest, Publix has already confirmed they’re bringing a grocery store to downtown. People close to the source claim it will be in the CBD as well.

  13. “Then we complain that we don’t get grocery stores, affordable (for most) housing, transportation (especially light rail). Next thing you know, you look for a home in Brier Creek – and I won’t blame you for this.” Ernest, I have to say I agree on the affordable housing point you made- I live right outside the city (Rex Hosp. area) and it’s at least somewhat affordable, but alllllll the apts that are going up in the heart of the city (st Mary’s apts, SkyHouse, the ones by Cameron Village) are all WAY too overpriced for what you get. 1 bed/1 bath for 1000 a month or MORE? RIDICULOUS. I pay just under 900 a month for a THREE BEDROOM/TWO BATH. And hell, if you ask me, that’s still overpriced. But what I “love” is that all these apts going up in the city are marketed towards the “young, business class” type…. ok, I’m in my 20s, and pretty much EVERYbody I know in their 20s absolutely cannot afford that… So who the hell do they expect to move into these apts? Families? Not many families are looking to move into the heart of a city, at least I wouldn’t think so…

  14. Obviously a lot of people are moving in since all of the new buildings are 85%+ leased. You are paying for convenience and access to amenities, something lacking on blue ridge road for instance.

    Jake Anthony, you probably spend the $100 in gas and cab fare to go downtown or virtually anywhere since you have to probably drive to anything you want or need. Those downtown apartment dwellers don’t have to do that.

  15. If in fact Publix is committed to DT, I can assure you that they know how to build urban area stores. Within a short distance of me in Miami Beach, there are three such Publix stores. One is a stand alone on a small lot with two floors of parking on the roof. It’s super modern and is lovingly referred to as Spaceship Publix in the neighborhood. Similarly and one long block south is a Fresh Market. It’s situated on the property like the Publix but its architecture is far less daring. It’s still a nice building and I can totally image that model being picked up and dropped in Glenwoood South or other DT edge hoods.
    Anyway, back to Publix…..At Fifth&Alton in SouthBeach is another urban model Publix. This time it’s in a multistory big box retailer complex. Among seven floors, the project includes a Staples, a TJMaxx, a Ross and a BestBuy. There are smaller stores on the ground floor on one side and the other is the grocery store. This store is all but invisible if you didn’t know it was there. The parking for this complex is sandwiched in between the various layers so that you can actually park store front to a big box store on its entrance floor. While it’s not my favorite land use for retail, it beats the heck out of big box sprawl.
    The third urban model Publix nearby is across the Bay in Miami proper on Biscayne Blvd (US1). It anchors a prominent corner in a mixed use building of retail and housing. It too is a good example of how a grocer can be integrated into a a project.
    While Publix is not my favorite grocer, I will give them their due that they know how to build in a city.

  16. @Uncle Jesse a great man once said “The rent is too damn high!” – and it is. Everywhere.

  17. Jake,

    I agree the rent is quite high in downtown Raleigh and I certainly couldn’t afford Skyhouse, Hue, or The Dawson unless I relinquished all of my discretionary funds.

    HOWEVER, we live in a capitalist society. The lease rates on these projects are good, so this means there is enough demand to justify the rents. They would never build skyhouse on a whim.

    Bottom line is that there is a trade off between cheap housing costs and proximity to vibrant, urban locations. You simply can’t have both without government housing subsidies. People aren’t lining up to live by Rex hospital, so of course your rent is going to be a lot less than being adjacent to City Market and Fayetteville St.

    To quote the famous ancient Roman realtor Remaxicus Coldwellicus, “Location, location, location”

  18. @Jake Anthony: The problem I have with the term “affordable” is the ability to interpret it any way we like. A 5000sf home that sells for $1 million may be called affordable… for THAT square footage.

    @Uncle Jesse: Sometimes it is about minimalism. I could NEVER live in a 1200sf place because I have accumulated a lot of stuff that I can’t simply get rid of. For me and my family a 3000sf – up from 2400sf – home would be a nice next move.

    On the other hand, I live a lot closer to real amenities than any downtown dweller, so I am not sure “amenities” is what attracts people downtown; they still have to get behind the wheel for most of their shopping. Of course, employment and entertainment destinations are good enough reasons for many people, but I look forward to the day when downtown will attract everyone and provide similar amenities with other locations in Raleigh.

    @Squirrelbaby: I would add that Skyhouse has some unique characteristics, which make it desirable when compared to any apartment building in our area, but also carries higher quality construction material. However, let’s not dismiss locations like Rex Hospital because they offer something that most people see as positive: proximity to Crabtree Valley Mall, healthcare facilities – very important to some – and sports events. You are correct about location and supply-demand being the driving factors, but I would add that downtown market has been underserved for a very long time and naturally there is more interest in downtown living… at the moment.

  19. People keep saying “Publix has already confirmed” for downtown Raleigh. However I’ve yet to see anything confirmed in print about this other than hearsay.

    Until I see it on WRAL/N&O/TBJ, I don’t believe it.

  20. They confirmed via their twitter account. I asked them specifically. New Raleigh reported it first.

  21. Do you have a link to that tweet from their official twitter account? “New Raleigh” reporting it first doesn’t mean anything to me. That’s not a major news outlet.

  22. Yes, Publix is definitely in talks and have a preferred location. However, it will not be official to me until there is a public announcement with renderings and a start date.

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