A Walk Around The Edison Block

Polishing off Skyhouse Raleigh

A worker looks out over a balcony at Skyhouse Raleigh.

The flowers and leaves aren’t the only things that are growing in downtown Raleigh. I took a walk around the Edison block and snapped a few photos of the new and upcoming developments here. These include the apartment buildings of Skyhouse Raleigh, the Edison Apartments, and the Edison Office tower.

All being delivered by the same developer, when open these projects will add a serious injection of new residents and office space to the downtown core. It’s possible that the bump in residents might trigger more retail or counter-service food places. Nearby Sosta Cafe has already posted that they will experiment with longer hours, including staying open on weekends because of the Edison Apartments right across the street. Maybe more will follow.

Skyhouse Raleigh from Person and Davie Streets.

Skyhouse Raleigh from Person Street

Skyhouse retail spaces at the corner of Blount and Martin Streets.

Skyhouse retail spaces at the corner of Blount and Martin Streets.

Artwork being installed over the vehicle entrance along Blount Street.

Artwork being installed over the vehicle entrance along Blount Street.

The construction of the Edison Apartments is humming. The Blount and Davie corner is much farther along compared to Davie and Wilmington. Unlike Skyhouse, this building goes right up against the parking deck. That means even more space for retail along all the sides of Blount, Davie, and Wilmington.

Construction of the Edison Apartments as seen from Davie Street.

Construction of the Edison Apartments as seen from Davie Street.

Corner of Davie and Blount Streets.

Corner of Davie and Blount Streets.

Corner of Davie and Wilmington Streets.

Corner of Davie and Wilmington Streets.

The Edison Office tower hasn’t actually started yet but below is a shot of the corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets where the project will go. The latest renderings on the J Davis Architects website show something similar to the towers that are at North Hills. It is described as:

Edison Office will be a 19 story office building with 14,350 square feet of retail and 245,895 square feet of office in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Let’s hope for an increase in office pre-leases as that will help bring this tower into downtown finally.

Corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets.

Corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets.

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  1. I will say that the images for The Edison on JDavis website look much more promising and designed than anything I’ve seen them do in Raleigh in, well, forever. The articulation of the skin in these images harkens to international style & midcentury modern tenants and I hope that they stay in the design through construction. If they don’t, my sneering will be directed toward the developer who will have undoubtedly cut it. I do think that the architects could listen to the advice of Coco Chanel and “take one thing off” to complete the look but if it was delivered as it is currently designed, it would still be a vast improvement to most of the crap being put up these days.

  2. Gosh does it seem like things are going at a snail’s pace DT. I’m ready for a new tall rendering!! Someone please throw us a bone!!

  3. So the Edison Apartments are stick built on a concrete platform/base? I thought that generally when above three or four floors, buildings generally went with a steel frame. What effect does this have on the final product, (more inexpensive, less durable)?

  4. I believe it is anything above 6 floors on top of a concrete base has to be built with steel/concrete. As this is only 6 stories above the ground floor, it is pretty consistent with other apartments around Raleigh.

  5. And it seems like 6 stories is the magic number right now. Not just in downtown, but it seems like there has been many projects at NH’s around that hight. I also saw where there is a proposed project at Ridgewood shopping center for a mixed use 6 story building. It’s good in some areas but I hope downtown doesn’t get too many. DT needs more hight especially around the city center of Fayetteville St. I think the Link and the Gramacy are also both 6 stories over in the Glenwood South area. It would be nice to see more projects like the West in that area. I think it is way cheaper for Developers to get away with this 6 story stuff. I think our DT needs to hawk it a make sure we are doing everything we can to get substantial investments in our downtown area.

  6. anything above 75′ is considered high rise and has to meet higher building code/fire standards. It is cheaper to use wood and keep below 75′. There are fire wall requirements between retail/commercial and residential floors which is why they use concrete for separation between commercial & residential. Great sound barrier too. Wood is cheap and fast. Devon 425 is concrete and +2 years construction compared to Lincoln which should be done this summer under 12 months. concrete is quiet/strong while wood is cheap & more noise. The cost for Skyhouse was around 65 million compared to half that for Lincoln. There is a lot of money riding on these projects and who ever finishes and puts the “for rent” sign out makes more $$$. Be patient as there is plenty of land and so much potential.

  7. Wood construction notwithstanding, I thought I’d mention that Parisians built one of the most amazing cities on earth with only the very occasional monumental building/structure taller than the midrises that dot the landscape of DT Raleigh these days.
    Everywhere can’t be a high rise and, frankly, having a baseline of dense housing at this level could be a catalyst to future high rise construction by creating more demand for businesses to operate in the city center near the workforce.

  8. Yes, the demand to go higher will come with less options to stay lower. Agreed. I think the city center of Raleigh has hit the point where we can ask for more height in the Fayetteville St area.

    ^^. Haha. Yes Paris is beautiful. No denying that. One of the worlds first sky scrapers was built in Chicago in the late 1800’s. The talest building in NYC around the turn of the century(when McKinley was president) was about 29 stories. The hight of our tallest building in dowtown Raleigh today. I’m sure a lot of Paris was built prior to the turn of the 18th- 19th century. This meaning that they did not have the technology to go high when they built Paris. And to your point, did not tear down beautiful historic building to replace with sky scrapers as time progressed.
    I’m just saying I don’t know if we should compare Raleigh to Paris or New York in any way. Maybe Richmond, Jacksonville, or Charlotte are a little more fair.
    And I do want to reiterate that I agree that we don’t have to be tall to have a nice city. But i do want to reiterate that we don’t need DT Raleigh to get overwhelmed with too may Cheap Buildings.

  9. Thanks everyone for the clarification on the wood versus steel frames for residential and the separation needed between the commercial and residential.

    The mid-rise buildings are adding a lot of residential density to our city center. And while we don’t need skyscrapers to be great, it would be unfortunate to loose out on prime locations for taller buildings which will better support active streets and districts.

  10. It appears said a pawn shop (reliable jewelry). Is somehow holding up an $80 million office tower, The Edison if I understand yesterday’s planning commission request. Surely, this can’t be accurate.

  11. ^Uncle Jesse^ – I just read that article (and saw your comment haha) – come on now…. Even if they are able to wait… does “Reliable Jewelry” even fit in at SkyHouse? It’s my understanding that one of the spaces in SkyHouse is going to a high end scratch kitchen restaurant. That makes sense. We want to see the Edison building sooner than later, Reliable Jewelry: GTFO.

  12. The Skyhouse apartments are basically finished. The leasing office moved in, and they’re doing a tour of the rooftop deck this weekend. I also would like some clarification about the Edison tower’s timeline now.

  13. Jeff, I was reading some minutes of a meeting that took place with city leaders & The Edison owners/officers in March. The Edison people said that they hoped to start the office tower by August & a finished date within 36 months. Mayor McFarlane said she thought that 36 months was too long. This is all that I have heard. Dwight Nipper

  14. 3 years from August to build a 19 story building?! That is WAY too long! Wow!

    But thanks for the info, as always, Dwight!

  15. Sorry, I wasn’t talking about Skyhouse, but the other apartments/condos on the other side of the deck. It just seems there isn’t a lot of urgency to build the tower.

  16. Jeff,The meeting that I mention was on 3-19-15.
    It was a city council budget work session, if you or anyone wants to check this out.

  17. I just wanted to say that I respect and enjoy everyone’s opinions! I want to send a special hurrah for those that are respectful and exhibit good manners, while doing so. Leo… you are the best!

    Looking forward to a shimmering skyline in the next few years.

  18. Speaking of how awesome Leo is- everyone needs to go to the Indy website and vote for best of the triangle – you can vote for “Best Local blog” and I highly recommend you put “The Raleigh Connoisseur” in there (spell it right so we all count, y’all)

  19. @john, you can thank Georges-Eugène Haussmann for Paris’s wide streets but then they did fire him. Also thank Napoleon Bonaparte. Having been to Paris we could learn how round a bouts work which Raleigh leaders haven’t figured out and never will.
    @uncle Jesse yes reliable pawn. well there is a thing called “ownership” and part of his contract is he won’t move out until he has a place to move in. good for him. Is it in the interest of the city? no, but unless some developer doesn’t cough up enough $$$ then don’t build your building. They didn’t cough up enough $$$. They don’t care about Raleigh too.
    It’s only 19 floors so what. the bums will piss on the building anyway.
    Edison will be built in phases around reliable and the phase 2 will demo it and finish the site.

  20. Jake: I went to Indyweek.com site but did not see anywhere to click on for the best blog vote. Also TBJ has 24 pictures taken of the inside of SkyHouse. Dwight Nipper

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