Pic of the Week

The Skyhouse construction site towers over the buildings of Wilmington Street. Hopefully by now, everyone has noticed that this thing is being built quite quickly as it broke ground this past December.

The plans are to have new residents moving in by this December.

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  1. And still more to go! Can’t wait to see the finished product. Any word on when they’ll start the Edison next door?

  2. I wonder when we’ll get to see what’s behind that corrugated metal on the buildings next to Taz’s. That’s such an eyesore.

  3. I’m assuming that the empty Edison lot is probably going to be used for staging for awhile. After that shuffle is over those apartments will probably go up…wishful thinking in that they’ll re-design and go for something bigger in the meantime. Just seems like a waste of space.

  4. ^Aaron; I’m hoping that by the time they’re ready to build something on the Southern lot (where those 6 story apts are supposed to go), there’ll be a lot more people here and better reason to build something big. Fingers crossed!

  5. As if on cue there is an article in the TBJ about Edison possibly breaking ground later this year. And sure enough, there is a rendering depicting seven stories.

  6. Thanks ^orulz but UGH! I mean don’t get me wrong, the render is a beautiful looking apt complex with plenty of street level retail/restaurant space…. but it would be just fine ANYWHERE else in the city. And the fact that the Edison office building is STILL being planned to be, what, 16 stories?? 16 stories across the street from the PNC tower will look like a dwarf building. #losinghope

  7. Jake Anthony. I agree, 16 stories is a joke. The developer is really squandering a grand opportunity here to design something scaled up to include office and a residential component with parking deck. We are talking about a 2 plus story building at around 360 ft. While I am encouraged by the street level activity that will pick up on this block, I can’t help but to see this as a missed opportunity.

  8. Yeah and the 16 stories for the office building will equate to roughly the same hight as Skyhouse, which will just look boring and strange. I don’t mind the 7 story apartment building as much. It will add residents and sometimes massive towers like skyhouse can seem impersonal and sterile. I think the shorter building will feel more organic.

  9. Keep in mind that even the status of building 16 stories for the Edison office is questionable at this point. They are struggling to find tenants – especially with all the space coming on board with Charter Square & North Hills 2 & space opening in Wells Fargo.

    I, personally, would welcome the influx of mostly spec space that could potentially attract large companies.

    If nothing else, large companies that decide to relocate here would have an option to setup for a year or two while they build their own tower. Nothing like that is currently available and often relocating companies don’t have time to wait 2+ years to move.

    Yes, everyone loves 20, 30+ story buildings. Be realistic though. There are still tons of options for more towers. 16 stories is good here.

  10. Have to agree with Mike. I would LOVE to see another 25 story addition to our skyline, but you would not believe the kind of financing hurdles a developer must go through in order to secure funds for a tower of that size in Raleigh. Plus you’re competing with North Hills and Morrisville’s Perimeter Park ultra-suburban office complex, which is basically a mini RTP. 16 stories is about what the market can handle right now.

  11. I am probably in the minority when I say that I am not so much bothered by the 7 story Edison project’s height. However, I am always concerned about the quality of the design of the buildings that are placed downtown. Case in point is the PNC tower. Sure it’s tall but it’s nowhere near the quality of design that our DT deserves.
    The Edison Apts rendering looks “okay” but I don’t trust it at all. A good renderer can make even the crappiest design looks sexy. I fear that, in reality, it’s going to look like North Hills East and way too Disney. Worse yet, it could look like 222 Glenwood.

  12. I’m hoping they don’t use wood frame construction over a concrete podium. It’s so cheap and flimsy. They did this with the Crescent at Cameron Village and it basically looked like a giant collection of match sticks.

    @Squirrelchat on twitter

  13. Squirrebaby actually wood frame construction would be a good idea for a smaller building because it well last less time and it could easily be torn down in a few years and be replaced by a skyscraper.

  14. ^brandon96 HA wishful thinking! I’d rather them just wait and save the space for a skyscraper

  15. If the Edison Apartments get built, they will be there for 30-50 years. Anything substantial on that site will have to wait until after all of us are dead… or getting close to being dead.

  16. ^Exactly. I can understand how “the economy blah blah blah” but you know what? Judging by the growth of not only our lovely City of Oaks, but the Triangle as a whole area, the economy WILL be able to sustain taller, more robust buildings within a few years- why not hold off on building anything there until it is economically viable to build something large and iconic? Why just go ‘OOOO! Raleigh is starting to really boom! Hurry up, let’s build some crap little apt complex right in the heart of downtown along with all the other 9000 apts being built in the area!!!!’ ?

  17. It’s still residential and that means more people living downtown, which means more of the amenities we hope to see. And it’s better than the vacant gravel lot. Just trying to be positive here! ;-)

    also, Ernest, I hope I’m not dead at 61!

  18. Not to mention that the developer could opt out for a taller building (15+ floors) on the SE corner instead of a monolithic 7-story structure. It would cost more, but he would have the rest of the block to develop and make more money.

  19. If every developer waited to build something taller on every site then nothing would get built.

    There are other sites to be built on. And if the market needs a skyscraper then a skyscraper would get built. Simple really.

    300+ more residents downtown is not a small feat. Build it and bring more retail and possibly a ground floor grocery store with it!

  20. mike, if you really want to debate this point, then I will be more than happy to provide a more realistic angle, since this is not Sim City, where we can build anything we want.

    Let’s begin with the following: Which sites can you name where zoning will allow a skyscraper? Then, let move to the next question: How many possible candidates have been underutilized? Easy to answer: With the exception of Skyhouse, ALL of them. Another question: How many of the proposed “skyscrapers” have been cancelled? ALL of them.

    Do you see a pattern here? We are not asking developers to build skyscrapers everywhere, but rather not waste every good parcel. Besides, where did you read “skyscraper” in my posting? Assuming of course that you replied to my post… A 15-story apartment building is not even a high-rise worth mentioning. Suggesting a 15-story on less than half the parcel, in the heart of our downtown, is merely a common sense move, not just a personal desire. If it was up to me you know that the sky is the limit ;)

    Anyway, a few more crappy developments like 75% of The Edison and the waste of land will be revealed. By then, we’ll be discussing which buildings will need to be torn down. In 20 years we may see a “skyscraper” in our skyline.

  21. Probably less than 20 years for a new ‘skyscraper’… But it could easily end up being 10. I could let the Edison block go but that leaves only two places really:
    -The Lincoln Theatre Block to the south of Red Hat
    -The Enterprise Rent-A-Car block to the west of Hannover II.

    Which would have to have something substantial in them. We could not make any compromises on these. They’re the last areas that could hold 40+ floor buildings that complement the skyline without making it off-kilter, and without sacrificing historic buildings. In the long run the N&O might get bumped from its block, freeing up more space. Not any time soon though.

    For highrise residential there’s no shortage of empty lots near Glenwood, as well as nooks and crannies in the warehouse district and even some spots to the east around Moore Square. For lowrise practically anywhere is better than that Edison lot, and there’s no shortage of places that the City Gov’t could’ve come up with a land transfer for that project.

  22. How about the HUGE parking lots next to the Science Museum and State Bar building? Obviously they are state owned parking lots specifically for the museum and what not, but down the road (after all the above mentioned lots are filled with buildings) I could see some monsters going in there!

  23. Vatnos, I no longer hold an optimistic view about getting skyscrapers – for our standards, anything above 40 floors/700ft, that is. We may end up getting a few buildings around 20-25 floors, but nothing more, I am afraid. Of course, I would love to be proven wrong, and the sooner, the better ;) If the 39-floor version of One Glenwood gets resurrected, then I will be ecstatic, but I don’t hear much about it…

  24. I for one don’t really mind about the skyline getting “off kilter.” If a 40 story building springs up at the corner of Harrington and Hargett(GCF store), or Dawson and Davie(Firestone), or Lane and McDowell(Days Inn), or Glenwood & Hillsborough (Snoopy’s) I wouldn’t complain at all. In fact I think it’s better to spread the tall buildings out across downtown.

    We have PLENTY of spots left that can take a big building, without losing anything significant. Dozens of spots. A hundred or more perhaps. I’m not worried in the slightest.

  25. I hope you are right, orulz. Zoning doesn’t allow skyscrapers in most of downtown, so I am not as optimistic for the next 20 years.

    However, you said something important, and I agree with you totally. High-rise development could be spread all over downtown, thus escaping that linear pattern that I have come to dislike a lot. Possibilities do exist, but city leaders in the past remained focused on Fayetteville Street – for a good reason, I don’t blame them. If we can see the importance of creating a high-rise district between Dawson and Wilmington streets and treat all these roads equally, we’ll see a nice urban district bloom. A mixed-use area where residential, entertainment, corporate and commercial elements will co-exist in harmony.

    Anyway, all projects are important and I think we are all in agreement there. Let’s hope that the future holds a few pleasant surprises for skyscraper enthusiasts like myself :)

  26. I think there are a few blocks west of Fayetteville that have endless possibilities. The block directly south of Nash Square is begging to be redeveloped as well as the block directly east of the new L building. Both of those areas could easily hold large skyscrapers. I dont know which areas of downtown zone against skyscrapers but I’d be interested to see. I would think that the warehouse district would be attractive to future developers esp with the new apts and Citrix

  27. Clyde Cooper’s says their old location is being torn down this week, likely Wednesday or Thursday.

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