Demolition Taking Place, Making Room For The Gramercy Apartments

Boylan Avenue, future home of The Gramercy Apartments

A project that has been a long time in the planning stages, since 2011, may soon start construction. The site for The Gramercy apartments along North Street is being cleared for the future apartment building. This involves demolition of the church at the corner of Boylan and North as well as the office building at the corner of Glenwood and North Street.

If the site plan hasn’t changed since we talked about it in 2011, the building will have 209 units and ground-floor retail all along Glenwood and some of North Street.

The resident wave just keeps crashing.

Boylan Avenue, future home of The Gramercy Apartments

Boylan Avenue, future home of The Gramercy Apartments

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  1. Literally eye witnessed the steeple of the white and brick church come down yesterday while driving by. Too cool. Saw a gathering of folks to my right looking towards the rear of my car and stopped to see what they were looking at.

  2. 400 N. Boylan was originally the North Street Baptist Church, founded in 1914. Not sure what happened to that congregation, but the building hosted at least two others since North Street closed.

  3. Another good grab for this part of downtown in my opinion. These types of condos allow GS to keep the classic look and increase traffic in that area. I like this, the Link, and the new Alehouse coming. Hopefully some nice tall buildings will come in the blocks east of GS going toward the government district that will give that whole area a nice look!

  4. the glut of apartments has started. You have 4 opening now or in 3 months and 4 that just started (Edison, Lincoln, Links, and Gramercy) wow and still no grocery store. Harris Teeter will be slammed and then 616 Oberlin.

  5. With all these apartments going up…where are these folks going to shop(aka) Grocery stores…has anyone thought of building some grocery stores in the area, at least within walking distance of these apartments. I’m just saying.

  6. Grocery store is coming, probably in the CBD. As for apartments, demand-side in Raleigh is still very strong. The new apartments are all 85%+ leased shortly after opening.

  7. we are over doing it. 1500 month for studio? No way. 85% now but add 900 units? economy stumble and watch out below…I have lived in GS for 8 years. The Ale House will be great. The Hampton Inn is great. Citrix is game changer but $$ incentives to get them downtown. The wine shops great but having to drive outside downtown to get groceries sucks. We all can’t eat out every night. The builders of these apartments know they are overbuilding. Kind of like the N&O article on why city market is hurting compared to Fayetteville Street cause they feed the homeless there. Why is West & West II on hold? No infrastructure to support them without the builder installing it….so they wait…Every project along Hillsborough Street has infrastructure issues.

  8. It would be nice if they actually built condos in downtown and Glenwood South due to the demand out there for them…. Meh give it a few years and some of these apartments will be turning over into condos anyway!

  9. If it turns out that this is too many apartments, then the rents will fall, which will drive down vacancy. Better to get money and fill units than have them sit around empty.

    This will steal tenants from older, cheaper suburban locations, which will then further lower their rents to fill back up.

  10. What? Peace Street Market doesn’t count?

    Correct, downtown needs Grocery Stores on Both Sides, and maybe one in the middle

  11. Peace Street Market is great but needs updating and hiding the porn magazines. It has the best beer selection just few more essentials for groceries and they would have me walking the block more instead of driving to HT at cameron village. When the garbage truck depot is gone and a creek walk (river walk) greenway and Peace Street road improvements are done the area will be great. The Ale House will be slammed!!!

  12. While I appreciate and agree to the sentiment that DT proper needs a grocery store, I have no illusion that DT Raleigh will be filled with shoppers walking to the store for weekly shopping. I don’t conjure up images in my head of shoppers walking with folding carts filled with the week’s groceries in tow or shopping bags dangling from their arms. Any new grocery store will be provided with parking and most people will continue to drive to it like they do with the two in Cameron Village. While CV is getting more crowded, it’s not overwhelmed compared to the shopping I have witnessed in other places. What is and will continue to be overwhelmed after all this new housing is completed is the parking. No pun intended but the lack of parking is likely to drive more retail development.
    I know all of this to be true because I have a home in South Beach and within walking distance to 2 Publix stores, an Epicure gourmet store and a few smaller “mom&pop” type markets and most people still drive. Sure there are some that take the SouthBeach Local bus (like the RLine). Sure there are some that take bike share (I do). Sure some people walk with those folding carts (mostly the few elderly ladies left that have been there for decades). Sure some people walk with just one or two bags in their hands. However, MOST people still drive to the grocery store because it’s simply the most convenient way for most people to do their weekly shopping. That said, CV remains the sole reasonable shopping destination for most of DT and within a very reasonable driving distance to much of DT.
    As a resident of Glenwood South, I agree with others that it would be the logical place to serve the most DT residents. However,the city’s new DT plan doesn’t target the area for the store because, as you might guess, Cameron Village is so close to it. The DT plan tends to push the grocery location south and east. That said, the market forces will prevail and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a grocer come to Glenwood South first. I keep eyeing the block bounded by West, Harrington, Hillsborough and Edenton and wishing for it be the location for a grocer. It is a bit south of the immediate GS neighborhood but it would serve many of its residents by foot (for some of the shoppers, some of the time). That location bridges to The Warehouse District and the Citrix campus. It would breathe retail life into an otherwise quiet and desolate scene in the surround block. I just see it as a winning location.
    I know that it’s hard to be patient for the things we all want to see happen but they will happen. I have seen this pattern before. Raleigh is still in the early stages of its urban renaissance. That’s the bad news for many. The good news is that it’s all happening very rapidly and we can expect to see that cycle accelerated with all the new housing being built. Loud and obnoxious clubs will eventually be replaced with retail. That’s the good news. The bad news is that favorite independent haunts in key locations will eventually succumb to the market as well: especially places like MoeJoe’s & Snoopy’s that occupy key corners.

  13. ^John^ – I like your thoughts, and I agree with many of your points; however, I do not agree that places like Moe Joe’s and Snoopy’s will “succumb to the market” like you think, I believe these places will only grow to become more popular and their business will only increase with all the new residents. Raleigh is a “young” city, meaning there are many young people living/moving here. Our young people are supporting less and less chains and corporations and supporting more and more independent/local places, like the ones you speak of. Think of Raleigh as a “Little Portland” or a “Little Austin” – places like those are FILLED with hole-in-the-wall indie shops & eateries that do GREAT business. Think positive!

  14. What I recently heard from folks in the land brokerage business is that up until now CV Harris Teeter has acted like a sponge sucking all demand potential for a downtown grocery store.

    However, I also heard with four new apartment projects springing up around Fayetteville street area, two office buildings, a new hotel, AND a commitment from City of Raleigh to redevelop Moore Square, the demand threshold for another store seems to be almost met from a market analysis standpoint.A while back Publix was reviewing sites for a possible store. They never submitted a proposal, but could of been waiting for city incentives and/or increased trade area population.

  15. John, your proposed grocery store location (block bounded by West, Harrington, Hillsborough and Edenton) already has buildings on it. A much better location would be the old Greyhound site at Harrington & W. Jones.

  16. The Gramercy new rendering is on TBJ. Better than the original, but J Davis Architects (I use the term architect loosely), they are really awful at what they do. EVERYTHING looks the same. They are the worst firm. They pull a rendering from a previous project and change a few things, they are not creative AT ALL. They do not deserve a penny for duplicating previous projects.

  17. Just in my humble opinion, I do think that the rendering actually looks very suiting for the landscape and esthetically pleasing despite the comments that always bash JDavis architects’ creativity. Take a look at beautiful dense cities in Spain like Granada. Every building is literally the exact same 5 story replica and yet still looks like a destination city.

    In our case of the swarm of JDavis projects downtown, they do show some similarities amongst each other, but the footprints of the buildings and dispersion through the city as key infill makes them great assets. The placement is going to dramatically change the urban feel in this portion of GS.

    When demand and the local economy reaches the point where it can attract a developer to create something with more height involved and the intention of adding a signature piece to the city, the JDavis designed buildings will help these projects stand out more and make them feel as if they provide so much more character to the table as compared to an existing cluster of unique buildings that attempts to add more unique buildings that will change the urban feel and skyline to an extent.

  18. J Davis is a joke. As are 95% of the firms that build in Raleigh.

    “Oh you’re going to build a 6 story building, with a stucco exterior, that takes up an entire block? ”

    That’s exactly what we were going to build. ”

    “Yeah. Rocky Top Hospitality is going to put some generic crappy restaurant in some of the first floor retail space. ”

    “Wow! We’re in talks with Empire Eats. They want to put another boring generic restaurant in our first floor retail space”….

    Basically what I’m trying to say is there seems to be a vacuum over Raleigh that’s sucks all the creativity out of my beloved city. Durham, may be dangerous, but at least they have some imagination. And chefs seem to love it. In Raleigh, we’re stuck with ” might as we’ll be a chain” restaurant groups and awful architecture firms. And a city council that is too heavily influenced the old inside the beltine money that really doesn’t want to see Raleigh change.

  19. Cameron,

    Sounds like you work for or know people that work for JDavis.
    Spain! Could care less, this is Raleigh, OUR city. JDavis has no clue how to design urban. They should stick to airport warehouse space or suburban hotels (because everything looks the same). What a waste of prime real estate to throw up a “JDavis ME TOO” urban design.
    The best thing that could happen moving forward: this is the LAST building JDavis is allowed to design in OUR downtown.

  20. Yea, the building doesn’t stand out. But does it have to? I mean its just a 6 story building. People will get over it.

    It will be like 222 Glenwood. You’ll walk by it, look up briefly and say “eh”, and move on.

  21. you folks that are complaining do realize that this is basically the same architecture style that is being created across the nation? Travel to virtually any city, Nashville, Richmond, Atlanta, Denver, etc and the ‘box’ style apartment building is being constructed everywhere. Blaming the architecture firm for something the developer ultimately chooses is a bit unfair. An architect is given a task to design a building, and most likely provided a budget within to work. This prevailing style across Raleigh and most other revitalizing downtowns is simply the most economically feasible style.

    If you want to build something yourself and pony up the extra millions to create a ‘stylish’ exterior, by all means go ahead and when you realize that you can’t charge a higher rent than the ‘boxes’ to offset the additional money spent for a style that suits what you deem to be ‘good architecture’, let me know how that works out for you when you tell your lender that the rent roll won’t justify the loan debt…..

  22. I think it looks fine. Fits in well with the area. Also I agree with the above statement totally. It’s easy to have ideas when it’s not your money.

  23. With the right location, many people will walk to a DTR grocery. There won’t be as much need to get a cart full of groceries every time you go, especially if you’re without kids. That said, the CV Harris Teeter could absorb more demand by expanding or changing the way people shop. In some places, delivery or curbside pickup has become popular.

  24. Uncle Jesse: I travel North America, no, this architecture is bland architecture is NOT a number of cities, unless JDavis has an office in most metro areas and are winning projects. Lets stop with the nonsense “if it was your money”. Even with a budget, you deliver a high quality product. We are talking millions of dollars for this project, the architect can deliver a building that does not look like a twin of it others within their pathetic portfolio (“budget” or “your money” is nothing but an excuse for an agency that has no vision). If I have millions to spend on a building, it will be different, why would I want it to look like 222 right down the road. Make some sense.

  25. I think the grammercy building is a tad unimaginative, but certainly fine for that area.

    The worst new building in that area so far is the Hampton Inn. The parapets are too big and look cheap. Seriously, does anybody else notice this? The facade looks like it was borrowed from some cheap I-95 off-ramp hotel. Thank god City of Raleigh had the balls to at least demand they move the circular driveway to the side of the building and not the front.

  26. Mike,

    I’ll see your ‘I travel North America’ and raise you I’ve been in over 100 different cities in North America in the last 6 months alone. I can assure you that this ‘box’ design is being built everywhere, perhaps with different colors, maybe even a few different materials that ‘look different’, but this mid-rise design is being designed and built by development companies all over the nation. Hell, look at Skyhouse, the ‘high-rise’; that is nothing but a copycat that the developer is building on over 15 different cities at this very moment.

    You can’t ignore the financial argument and “if it was your money’ you too would determine the most cost effective construction design that allows you to maintain competitive rents to lease your building as fast as possible. The ‘wrap around a parking deck’ design is arguably the most common ‘neuvo-urban’ design currently underway in America today. Market economics dictate what can be built. If the market dictates a more aesthetically pleasing design (though I think many of you would still complain), then developers will build different designs.

  27. Yeah I’m sorry but uncle jesse is dead on. I am happier with this apartment building than the ugly building and dilapidated church, but it looks boring and it could be a lot better. That being said, it is completely understandable that this stuff is getting built. I think people like all of us on here value good architecture, innovation, and continued urban development. But the fact is, developers and architectural firms and management companies are all a business looking to make money. Don’t blame them, because we would all do the same thing if that was our career. Blame the city council for not being more restrictive or the people that choose to live there, because at least they have other options. As a side note, I went to my suburb-of-Albany (NY) hometown recently and was astonished how much new construction is going up that looks exactly like this apartment building. I have also started seeing it in other East Coast cities I travel through. Someday maybe this will be considered historic, and people designing interesting buildings nearby will be met with lawsuits because they aren’t preserving that classing 2010s look….

  28. Seems very fallacious to claim that if a design looks bland, that it must be because the company can’t afford to do better. It assumes a worse looking design is inherently a more economical design, which might not necessarily be the case.

    Sure a glass and metal building is more expensive than a wood and brick one, but wood/brick buildings can look very good. In some cases it’s less about the cost of the raw materials and more how you use them.

  29. I read in today’s N&O that the city council will discuss selling the two lots across from The Campbell Law School @ Tuesday’s meeting . There are two developers interested in them . It is one of the highest peaks in downtown . I hope for a future tower ! Dwight Nipper

  30. That would be great if those two lots across from The Campbell Law School were sold. It is crucial however for these lots to not settle for JDavis type projects. Not intending to throw shade at JDavis Architects, its just plain obvious that these two ‘center city’ lots deserve a high profile tower of some sort, definitely nothing less than 15 stories. (Trying to be as realistic as possible, considering the ongoing trend here in Raleigh, its more plausible to see a 11- 23 story tower right now than it is to see something closer to 40 story tower).

    On another note, it would be great if the majority of the newer glass 15+ stories glass towers that are to come within the next decade would all resemble the same style as the wave of newer building planned and under construction in Dubai. The newer ones have much more artistry and meaning in the designs that add immense character and I feel that if we adopt the trend early on in the game (since we have more room for growth than larger sized cities). Refer to YouTube video “Dubai 2020”

  31. Someone mentioned a possible glut of too many apartments? I doubt it, but I do hope for it. As a renter, I’m tired of the price-gouging ITB landlords and apartment complexes are doing. More supply will hopefully finally mean rents go down. Cuz we can see pretty clearly the city isn’t doing anything to improve the lack of affordable housing near downtown. So all we can do is hope that the developers simply build too many.

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