Revisiting The Gateway Center

The end of Kindley Street, June 2016

The end of Kindley Street, June 2016. Click for a larger, wider view of the site.

I wanted to turn our attention today to what is being called downtown’s Gateway Center. The Downtown Plan calls out the area around the Performing Arts Center and the Raleigh Convention Center as a possible “catalytic project area” and sums it up as:

Coined the “Gateway Center,” this area is the only part of downtown capable of accommodating multiple blocks of large-footprint mixed-use development. Its proximity to the Convention Center and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts will naturally lend its future to expanding tourism and entertainment-related uses, such as a large-scale sports and/or cultural facility, additional hotels, or a campus of related businesses.

*Raleigh Downtown Plan

Regular readers are probably familiar with this already because of the plan’s two concepts for this area, one of them includes a sporting arena. Let’s revisit those two concepts from the plan.

Concept 1
Gateway Center Concept 1

Click for larger and more info.

This concept imagines space to develop an Urban Innovation Campus for a new anchor employer or cluster of businesses. With easy access to several forms of transportation and close proximity to Fayetteville Street, the Warehouse District, and the heart of downtown Raleigh, this location has much to offer. New landmark structures provide the missing link between the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the rest of Fayetteville Street. These buildings could be linked to the Urban Innovation Campus, home to another employer, or even a hotel.

Concept 2
Gateway Center Concept 1

Click for larger

In this concept, the heart of the district is a new citywide destination. Either cultural, entertainment, or sporting in nature (or a mix of all three), the center anchors the district and provides a new draw for the city as a whole. The specific location for this use in the southwest corner
of the district is advantageous for several reasons. Positioning any large-footprint building towards the southwest corner of the district allows its architecture to frame the new southern gateway. The rest of the site is arranged into walkable city blocks that link the new district back to Fayetteville Street. In this way, a single entertainment or cultural use acts as a magnet to draw visitors to and through the district without becoming a barrier to walkability. Siting the largest development at the edge also capitalizes on the site’s natural topography, allowing the potential for underground parking easily accessed from main roads around downtown. Throughout the district, active ground-floor uses and building setbacks help break down the scale of larger buildings.

There’s more in the Downtown Plan which I recommend you download and take a look.

I also want to give some love to one of the most popular posts here on the blog. Reader Will imagined a baseball stadium in the Gateway Center and submitted some sketches. Check them out once again.

It’s important to note that the focus in the Gateway Center, at least according to internet chatter, is around where this possible stadium could go, the southwestern tip. The actual focus area does include the convention center, performing arts center, and the southern end of Fayetteville Street.

However, it’s that southwest tip that I want to zoom in on with a Google map showing the four properties there.

A bit of related news for the Gateway Center. The Exploris School, a charter school in downtown Raleigh, has purchased one of the properties that make up the Gateway Center. (highlighted in orange in the map)

Exploris has been a middle school for some time, located on Hillsborough Street. Two years ago, the elementary school opened in a temporary home on New Bern Avenue. The school has been looking for space to consolidate it all.

The former home of a data center for Duke Energy, the property actually looks perfect for a school campus. The lot has surface parking, an open field, and more room than Exploris needs. Plans call to renovate the extra space and lease it out as office space.

At this point, you, especially the skyscraper fans, may be noticing an incompatibility. This doesn’t seem to match the vision laid out in the Downtown Plan. It may stifle dense development in this area of downtown.

I think you are right but I’d like to lay out a different, more positive perspective.

Let’s look at the timing of things. The Downtown Plan was adopted in late 2015. Exploris has been looking for space since 2014, maybe even earlier. With the plan being a 10-year vision, we shouldn’t expect announcements for multi-building clusters in the south of downtown not even one-year into the plan.

We have until 2025 to really see the Gateway Center blossom and we can’t assume that Exploris is going to stay in this space forever. Like any other business or institution, they may outgrow the space or move into the new development of the future.

For me, I’ll take a progressive school like Exploris here than a monolithic infrastructure company like Duke Energy any day. I see Exploris “cracking the mold” to that site in a way.

One factor that I believe greatly ties into Gateway Center is Dix Park. These two areas are so close and Gateway Center could really be the connection between downtown Raleigh and Dix Park. Planning is in the infant stages as this year’s city budget, recently approved, starts the purchasing process for the land.

The MLK/Western interchange with McDowell and Dawson Street limits connectivity but it could be a great challenge for the future with respects to tying Dix into the downtown fabric.

The city also has a Southern Gateway Corridor Study underway with a final plan expected by this Fall. This is the area from MLK/Western to about I-40.

The City is exploring ideas for land use and transportation improvements along the corridor that will benefit businesses, residents, motorists, transit riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

The study even highlights Gateway Center in their map!

With more development taking place back in downtown, there are a lot of moving parts here. The Gateway Center and the vision laid out in the downtown plan still have a great shot at coming to life.

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  1. I think another city owned sports arena or entertainment facility would be a huge waste of taxpayer money. The area already has PNC Arena, WakeMed Soccer Park, Dorton Arena, Carter-Finely, Red Hat, the Convention Center, and the Duke Arts center, why would we need another sports/event venue? Spend money to upgrade what we already have.

    Let’s be smart and develop this area as an extension of downtown, higher densities with more office and commercial space.

  2. The only sports venue that makes sense at all is MLS. And there is tough competition for those last 4 spots. MLB will never happen, and we already have a good AAA team in Durham. Moving Raleigh’s low Class A team downtown is a waste of prime real estate, and should not even be considered. Besides not being viable, the NBA and NFL teams in Charlotte have territory rights, so that is impossible.

    MLS, imo, would be a great addition for a variety of reasons. I hear the owner of the Railhawks will make a serious move, and WakeMed does not have the capacity for what MLS wants.

  3. A school going into that location is a tremendous waste of valuable real estate.

    The Carolina Railhawks have a desire to move to downtown Raleigh. In fact, they recently met with the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. The MLS wants to expand into NC. The Railhawks owner has expressed interest in taking the Railhawks to the MLS. We need to beat out Charlotte on this one.

    I’m hoping that when the Railhawks make the promotion to the MLS, they rebrand themselves to something that is relevant to NC. I prefer the Carolina Aviators FC (“First in Flight”).

    Can you imagine the Aviators fans – the Flight Crew – marching from Dix Park or Moore Square, chanting and banging their drums, waving their scarves, as they march towards their beautiful downtown Raleigh stadium before each game? It would be a beautiful sight and a fun experience! It will be one of those moments that takes us from a big town to an actual city.

  4. @Paul, I grew up in Fuquay, I think the only issue is that the term “Aviator” would probably cause some confusion, at least in the southern half of the county. People might think the soccer team was associated with the brewery.

    I’m also curious, how would a soccer team make us more of a big city than having an NHL team with a loyal fan base and a Stanley Cup (I don’t watch either sport, so I’m legitimately curious). I like sports, but I’ve never been in the “we need to have sports teams to be a real city” camp. Plus, the Triangle has and always will be known for the Big 3 basketball teams.

    On a more serious note, though, I have to agree with Brad. Publicly-funded sports stadiums are generally a huge waste of money. They don’t generate property tax revenue, and the teams are typically under no obligation to stay in the city for the life of the arena. St. Louis will be paying off the debt for the Edward Jones Dome long after the Rams move to LA.

    I think the school idea is OK for the next decade, like Leo said, but long-term it should either be incorporated into an urban campus or moved further out of downtown. That area is right next to the Convention Center, which means it should be home to a cluster of hotels and restaurants. Plus it’s walking distance to Union Station.

  5. PLEASE NO SOCCER! That would be the last thing we need. However, an “Urban Innovation Campus” would be great. It would be a great spot to expand our technology business footprint in Raleigh. It could bring in more businesses which we need and would help grow more restaurants and retail.

  6. The southern Gateway Corridor is currently home to a number of businesses that I believe most likely won’t be moving for a very very long time. Unless someone knows something to the contrary?

  7. I’m going to start this conversation again and I know a lot of you just aren’t having it. But if Raleigh is going to honestly hit it’s projected growth numbers over the next 5-10 years then there is no doubt that it could support a major league baseball team.

    Actually, Charlotte was just listed as a possibility for MLB expansion. Here is the link :

    Here is the blurb:

    “With a population of just over 10 million, North Carolina ranks ninth among the 50 states and is the largest without a team in MLB. A major league team in the state could pull in fans for whom the Nationals (roughly 400 miles away) or Braves (250 miles away) are the closest teams”

    So if the MLB is saying Charlotte is primed for a team then why not Raleigh. Let’s look at the numbers:

    As of 2015 the greater Charlotte area had a population of 2,426,363.

    As of 2013 the greater Raleigh-Durham area had a population of 2,037,430. (That was 3 years ago and we’ve been one of the fastest growing areas in the nation…so If anyone can find numbers for 2015 I’d like to see them. I’m guessing they are pretty close)

    This is the argument for Raleigh to really start lobbying for a MLB team right now. They wouldn’t have to compete with the NBA and the NFL (both which overlap baseball season) and would be the only summer pro game in town. They are located close to 95 and right on i40 (two major veins of travel) and are 20 mins from an airport (obviously Charlotte is too).

    The point is, this area is ready and should not allow Charlotte to continue to poach major opportunity. Charlotte grew first and struck first with NFL and NBA, but Raleigh has caught up and the city is growing at an unbelievable rate.

    It’s time big money in Raleigh starts seriously getting in the conversation with MLB.

    (and please no more of this “we cant have a MLB team bc we are within 20 miles of the Durham Bulls. There are numerous big league teams within the 20 mile radius rule everyone here always quotes (with no documentation) and the MLB is literally looking at Charlotte which has a minor league team (i believe its AAA) in the heart of their downtown

  8. Leo, you make a good point about the Exploris timeline. Exploris will likely grow to want another building and site to meet its needs. A school actually makes it easier in the long term to redevelop here than a private business. There is also a lot of work to improve connectivity and the streetscape along the MLK/Western Corridor and along S. Saunders.

  9. MLB as never stated, at least to my knowledge, that they are interested in North Carolina. Also, while we may have the population, we don’t have the money to support the MLB. I read an article in the Triangle Business Journal that Duke University conducted a study and found that with the Hurricanes and three major universities with sports teams, the only professional sports league that has a chance to be successful in the Triangle area is Major League Soccer.

    MLS has publicly stated that is interested in NC. They’ve mentioned that they are intrigued by the Triangle, as it’s a growing soccer hotbed.

    We also have an owner in Steve Malik of the Carolina Railhawks that is interested in taking the team to the MLS. Really the only major hurdle for the Railhawks right now is securing a stadium site in downtown Raleigh (MLS said the stadium must be downtown).

    If the city and the community collectively worked towards this goal, we could have a top-tier professional sports team in downtown Raleigh in less than 10 years.

  10. Love the chatter on this topic! When I sketched the baseball stadium, I knew it was pretty much a pipe dream (kind of like those guys who designed the “Raleigh subway” concept). I just thought, “if we ever had a ballpark, what better place than that? Ideal SW corner for home plate, skyline backdrop, connected to rail, etc.” But then I heard the interest in MLS, so I sketched a soccer stadium in the same place. Would be pretty cool to have the Railhawks playing in a stadium abutting an actual railroad IMO. Well, I sent that sketch to the Railhawks, thinking, as another poster mentioned, that they were interested in moving downtown, but never heard back. Oh well, it’s just something fun to think about!

  11. If the owner of the Railhawks wants to pay for a downtown stadium, that’s fine with me. I’d have to see the ROI for a publicly-funded soccer stadium (not a projected ROI, but an actual case study) to see if it’s actually worth the money, before I’d be ok with the city putting up money for it. After just a cursory look at the number of games played and the average attendance, the the average cost of a new stadium (upwards of $100 million) I don’t see how it’s worth it. It’s possible the city could put up some small amount of money, but it’s unlikely we’ll really end up generating much tax revenue.

    I will say though, the only thing it would take to convince me otherwise is the numbers. Show me the data!

    Happy Fourth, everyone!

  12. For the historical record, this site was the original site of the Washington School in 1867. Also the period between when the Governor’s Palace occupied the foot of Fayetteville St and Memorial Auditorium ended up there a school called Century School was there.
    My biggest care is probably nobody elses and its that the street reconfiguration take place. I prefer the squared off street grid instead of the funnels all over the place.

  13. Paul,
    I remember that study but that study was done a long time ago and things have changed drastically over the past 3-5 years.

    Look, I’m not saying Raleigh MUST have a baseball stadium. I’m saying that Raleigh should start getting in serious discussions about it and stop making excuses like “We can’t afford a team. We don’t have the population. We are too close to the a AAA team.”

    Turns out that MiLB radius rule doesnt exist. Turns out we DO have the population and until I see a recent study of what the greater Raleigh area can support, I’ll refuse to believe that we can’t sustain a team while Kansas City isn’t having any trouble doing so (in fact they just won a world series and are selling out games nightly).

    Also realize that MLB has revenue sharing rules. When the Yankees, Dodgers, BoSox go over the cap, then they pay a tax that gives money to the smaller market teams, making smaller market teams able to compete in the long run.

    If you don’t like baseball, that’s fine. But creating excuse after excuse why it will never happen is defeating a plausible idea before it’s even really explored. Raleigh isn’t just a sleepy little city anymore. Chapel Hill is no longer just a college town and Durham is right on our heels as far as growth. Meanwhile, Morrisville, Apex, Cary and soon Garner are going to bulging at the seems with new construction and new residents. The point is, Raleigh should get out in front of this RIGHT NOW before its too late.

    And whether its MLB or MLS, Raleigh needs to start the lobbying and the discussions sooner rather than later or Charlotte will beat us to the punch yet again.

  14. Ps. Paul, was not calling you out specifically in the entire post. (sorry if it came off like that) Just referring to that study in the first paragraph. The rest of the post was for the whole community.

  15. @Paul, There’s actually a study done every few years (by Forbes, I think) regarding disposable income (which is probably a better metric than raw population) in a particular market, and not surprisingly MLB is by far the most expensive (81 games, v 40 for basketball, 8 for NLF, 16 I think for MLS, etc) and as of the last time there were I think 2 markets in North America that could support a team (by that metric). From that standpoint, filling an 18K seat stadium for 16 game is much easier than filling (or more likely, selling 2/3 of the tickets) a 40K seat stadium for 81 games.

    Also, regarding the Royals, they were on the proverbial chopping block for about two decades before 2014. Even that year they had trouble selling tickets for the first few months. It wasn’t until AFTER they’d made it to the World Series that they started selling tickets. Compare that to a place like Wrigley Field or Dodger Stadium, and the Royals don’t look so good.

    I also think it’s a little too early to start worrying about it being ‘too late’ for MLB. They’re eventually going to add 2 more teams, but I really don’t see that happening for a while. They added 4 teams in the 90s and two of those teams have a terrible time selling tickets, despite being pretty good franchises on the field (three Pennants, and 2 World Series wins between them).

    I’m also curious as to why this is so important. Obviously I mostly look at things from an economic standpoint; what value would and MLS or MLB team bring that doesn’t already exist with the Hurricanes and the Wolf Pack-Blue Devils-Tar Heels?

  16. 1). Raleigh nor Charlotte are large enough to vaibly sustain an MLB team. Even the older small markets like Milwaukee or Cincinnati still have metro populations a million people larger than Raleigh or “charlotte, USA”. You have to have enough people close to be able to attend a 40,000 seat stadium on a Tuesday. Plus, baseball is boring and dying a slow death in America…

    2). Publicly funded stadiums- those of you complaining about it need to recognize that’s the way it’s done in America. if you don’t invest, you will never be able to “play ball”. If you are looking for an ROI, consider Fayetteville or Hillsborough Streets makeover. There was a lot of complaining about spending money but the private investment yielded has been than 5-10X for these projects. A new stadium or arena would yield that or more in terms of new investment in the City.

    3). Major League Soccer is the most realistic target for Raleigh is the next best prospect for major league sports. We have an owner now. Need the stadium. If we don’t I can assure you that our emotionally insecure neighbor, “charlotte, USA” will try for MLS not because they like soccer…..but because they think it will make them look cool to the big kids….

  17. Uncle Jesse,

    1). The first part of what you said is true, the second part is debatable, but this isn’t the forum for that.

    2.) I guess this is mostly me you’re addressing. Can you validate the assertion that a new stadium would yield “more than” 5-10x the money invested? That seems like a rather bold statement. I’ve read articles from right-leaning to left-leaning criticizing the practice (I won’t include links here, but I’d be happy to do so if people really want to read it; a cursory Google search will bring up a number from across the political spectrum). And frankly, “because this is how it’s done” has never struck me as a good reason for doing anything.

    Also, on this point. Do you consider total private investment to be a good indicator of ROI? I’m thinking that we should look at tax revenue spent v. tax revenue generated, not tax revenue spent v. total private investment. Perhaps I’m unfairly biased that way, and I’d be interested to hear a counter argument.

    3.) I couldn’t agree more with this. However, would Raleigh be any different? Would we be willing to use tax dollars to build a soccer stadium because there’s an overwhelming desire to do so, or because we want to “beat” Charlotte at something? (That’s almost the exact argument being made in earlier comments). So I’ll continue to ask, why? What benefit is there?

  18. @ Uncle Jesse… Not sure where you pulled your population numbers from for Cincinnati or Milwaukee, but they’re way off. Either way I really don’t care about baseball or soccer, two of the most boring sports to ever exist. Football and basketball are all I care about and I’m fine just watching them both on TV.

  19. I’m not a sports enthusiast either, but with such a large (and growing) Hispanic population in the Triangle, MLS may have a much bigger draw than we think. Soccer is HUGE in Latin America. If Raleigh could get a MLS team (downtown or elsewhere), that MAY help lour large companies from Central America looking for a US headquarters in the Southeast….

  20. Nick , The Charlotte plans calls for app. 11,000 seats . MLS now requires 20,000 seats & does not want to share their stadium with any other sport . At least this is what I have been told .

  21. @Dwight,

    I believe you are correct that the MLS criteria is 20k for a stadium. But I also think they can share with other sports as long as revenue streams from concessions and parking go to the ownership group of the MLS. So the Railhawks would be able to loan their stadium out for concerts, women’s professional soccer, high school sports, collegiate athletic events, international soccer, or even professional and amateur lacrosse, as long as the proceeds from the concessions, parking, etc., go to the MLS owners.

    @Everyone else,

    It’s possible to have a public-private partnership deal with the stadium. That way the burden isn’t solely on the tax payers. This would also help speed up the process and give the city a say in the design.

    The MLS is booming now. Soccer has already passed the NHL as one of the “Big 4” sports in the US. Now’s the time to invest. There are only a few remaining spots in MLS expansion – about 4-6 – and cities all over the country are competing for those spots (Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix, Sacramento, Detroit, Indianapolis, and San Diego to name a few). Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, and LA (2nd team) were the cities most recently chosen for expansion. Now Carolina has a geographical and demographic advantage on much of the competition. The only thing that is really holding up our expansion is a Downtown Stadium. Charlotte has made a big push in recent years and the MLS said they are “monitoring the situation”. Raleigh was delayed because of the past ownership group’s legal troubles. But they’ve sold the team to owner and now we’re back on track. Let’s make it happen!

  22. Paul,
    Even public/private partnerships are bad for tax payers. Look at Miami, Arlington, Cobb County. No tax money should be going to build a stadium for a league that generates $9 billion a year. Even if it looks like a good deal, “oh, only a few hundred million thrown at this stadium, ok sure”, that’s a few hundred million being taken away from an actual need.

    Also, economic studies show sports arenas don’t generate increased tax revenue for a city. Fans spend money at a stadium that they’d spend elsewhere in a city, like at the movies or going to a concert or eating out. And many time, cities hand out tax breaks to team owners, so the city loses money!

    If MLB wants add a team in Raleigh, get someone with at least $1.5 billion dollars in their pockets (minimum expansion fee and stadium costs), unless Raleigh agrees to pay for a new stadium. It will be a while though, as MLB has said they’re looking at Montreal and Mexico City as their next expansion sites. And the commissioner has stated that the teams in Oakland and Tampa Bay need their stadium issues resolved, and he wants to keep them in those areas (and let’s be honest, Oakland and Tampa Bay are more desirable markets for baseball than Raleigh, those teams are going to relocate here).

    As for MLS, expand WakeMed or let the new owner build his own stadium with his own money. The league seems to be expansion happy, so that’s the more likely option anyway.

  23. A stadium built at the Gateway Center site would be a terrible waste of resources in my humble opinion. For starters the opportunity cost is too high. Tax proceeds from high density development would certainly bring in much greater revenue for the city. I also don’t think a stadium would increase property values in adjacent areas by that much either. It’s already a high-dollar area.

    For a public/private partnership to work there needs to be a good payback for taxpayers. I’ve said this before but I think the Cargill site makes a lot more sense. The facility is an eyesore and brings down the entire area. Put the stadium here and you will change the character of the area for the better. It’s not that far from the downtown core (1.6 miles to Moore Square). There’s room for a fair amount of parking plus the site is rail connected for future mass transit.

  24. @Stew,

    I agree that the Cargill site would also be a good option for a stadium. It would help expand downtown’s footprint and improve the view of Raleigh for those traveling on 40.

    If I’m not mistaken, the plant is only used for storage now anyways. They closed down all other operations recently.

  25. If public financing of stadiums is such a bad use of funds, why has every city in North Carolina, except Raleigh, built a publicly financed stadium downtown in the last 10 years? Asheville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and even fayetville is going to do it for a minor, minor league baseball team. In every instance where a publicly financed stadium was built, simply look at the private development around it for your ROI. In some cases the tax revenue generated alone exceeds the cost to build.

  26. I’m with You on this Uncle Jesse ! Minor League Baseball is not dead yet for Raleigh . There is still talk going on behind the scenes . I have had two positive phone calls the past two weeks concerning down the road possibility !

  27. The availability of corporate money drives a lot of the decision to expand in a particular area, rather than raw population. If you think we have a lot of corporate dollars for those suites, sponsorships, etx you’re wrong.

  28. Exactly, David. Raleigh doesn’t have any Fortune 500 companies. Surely if MLB were to expand to NC, it would choose Charlotte.

    That’s why I’m advocating for the City of Raleigh to embrace MLS expansion. The Duke University study claimed this area could financially support MLS. The MLS has said this area is a “Hotbed for Soccer”, so there is some mutual interest there.

    Until then, Go Railhawks!

  29. Technically at the moment, we have 1 Fortune 500 company headquartered here- Quintiles.

    Advanced Auto Parts (while technically headquartered in Roanoke Va) have their entire senior corporate staff based in Raleigh including the CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.

    There are multiple companies on the verge of the Fortune 500 List based here: Cree, Red Hat, Martin Marietta to name a few.

    This said, charlotte and Raleigh are both simply too small to sustain an MLB team. 40,000 seats on a Tuesday @ 2:00PM? both cities are approximately the same size (despite the insecure delusions of ‘charlotte usa’).

  30. @ Simon , Raleigh Public Record is reporting that Charter North Tower was approved by all of the planning commission members last Tuesday ! The plans shows , 23 stories / 290 ‘ tall , sky view pool , plus other info. !

  31. 290 is decent height. 255 seemed odd for a mixed use tower with 23 stories. Start the building. This will be good for downtown.

  32. @ Dwight, that is great news! Thank you very much for sharing! I will check out that page, too. I’ll take 290′ over 255′ any day. It should be a solid addition to the skyline. Fingers crossed it gets off the ground soon.

  33. Any news on the Edison office tower? Reliable Jewelry is planning to vacate their space there in a month, which should be the last impediment to starting demolition and construction. But there’s been almost no informative updates about this project for ~2 years.

  34. @Jeff, Pure speculation on my part but with Charter South still not filled out and the Dillon beginning, I would imagine Charter North and Edison may be in a wait and see mode. I hope not but with available office space in Charter North, Wells Fargo Building (last I heard) as well as the Dillon, I don’t know there is enough demand to begin 2 more commercial high rises. I know Charter North is only partially office but maybe someone has some insight that I don’t. I’d like to know the status of Edison as well.

  35. After a quick search and some calculations, there is apporximately 72k sq feet still available in Charter South AND 200k sq feet available in Wells Fargo. WOW!

  36. The Dillion already has at least one decent size company signed up. Not sure how much room they will take up though.

  37. I apologize for hijacking this topic with my rambling but I misspoke earlier re: Wells Fargo vacancy. Some of the listed floors were duplicated so the actual vacancy of WF is 145k. Still over 200k vacant square footage between Charter South and Wells. I really hate that because it has to make a developer take a step back before starting a project.

  38. Raleigh’s Site Review Plans , SR-45-16 , shows One Glenwood South , Morgan St. / Hillsborough St. Project @ 10 stories / 155 ft. !

  39. @Dwight, just as interesting, is the note on the ‘future phase’ area that says parking deck wrapped by hotel with ground floor retail. I personally like having hotels sort of dribbled around the area instead of one big dedicated area for hotels. Those sorts of setups tend to get bland and lack any real feel for what a city is like. A hotel in this spot would be an easy walk to Trophy Brewing and the stuff by the roundabout, Moonlight Pizza, or a relaxing stroll through Boylan Heights. This sounds a million times better than being stuck in the convention area of a city…but I digress…just like where they’re heading with this, though I imagine some Boylan residents may be concerned about offices and hotels on their doorsteps.

  40. There was a very encouraging article in the N&O yesterday about the Railhawks game vs. West Ham United. Record crowd, sold out, 10,125 screaming fans in attendance with many traveling from outside the region to witness the game.

    I know many here have a distaste for soccer but I believe an MLS franchise is our most realistic hope of getting a stadium downtown. Raleigh has become an international city of sorts. There is a built-in fan base as the recent RailHawks game attests.

    With regards to a stadium I think the city could justify financial support by declaring the Cargill Site a redevelopment area. Clearing out that mess would stimulate private investment in the south giving the city (and taxpayer) a good return on their investment.

  41. @ Stew , On yesterday’s agenda for the council workshop 4 pm meeting 7-12-16 did state that The Planning Dept. will ask the council for guide lines for The 2030 Comp. Study on location , funding , ect. for a sports stadium .The sites that I have heard about is The Cargill Site , North of Hammond Rd. / 440 area , & 440 / S. Sanders St. area .

  42. I wonder of Cargill could be classified as a brownfield if some sampling was done of the soils. I mean, its was just soybean processing so probably not, but there are nice grants for brownfield redevelopment, so you know, if…
    Also, lifetime soccer player here…most certainly would support an MLS team. I can understand if you never played soccer, perhaps you “don’t get it”, but MLB and Golf are waaay more boring from an action standpoint, yet people poop their pants over Top Golf coming here and love taking in a Bulls game which is 90% talking to your friends and 10% something actually worth watching action-wise. What you like personally may not represent lots of other people and may or may not be the best sports option for this area.

  43. Cargill site makes the most sense if you can’t feasibly make the gateway site work but man, just doesn’t feel like downtown in that area. Might as well just expand what you have in Cary

  44. I think that the Cargill site being activated in to something useful to the public (like a stadium) would really liven up the space between it and downtown.

  45. (thinking about sites…)Return the Western/MLK and Dawson/McDowell interchange to an at grade intersection. Drop West street down to an intersection with Western. Now use the West/South/Dawson/Western block for your stadium site. Use the Saunders/South/Western/West block as a buffer block with midrise apartments and offices. Relocate Heritage Park to the SE corner of of the Western/Dawson-McDowell intersection with modern buildings that mix subsidized and market rate units like Chavis, Halifax and Walnut Terrace all have now. Put in proper sidewalks along Dawson/McDowell and Western/MLK, make greenway connections etc…ya know, proper downtown type stuff that should have been done a long time ago….essentially combine “downtowning” the area and get a stadium site out of it at the same time.

  46. The Kindley Dr. site really works the best IMO. You essentially extend downtown by one block vs. trying to infill several blocks between the Cargill site and downtown. You get access to hotels, restaurants, bars within walking distance. You make it a “walkable” attraction for those who live downtown or who use the R line. Plus, you could make a centralized transit station there that would serve the stadium, Red Hat Amp, and DECPA–kind of an “entertainment district.” Finally, it would only displace the fewest existing structures!

  47. Will , Would you consider sending this info. to The Planning Dept like you did The Railhawks info. that you sent a few months ago ? Also , I had two councilors email me last weekend to say that they would support a city baseball study !

  48. Even though stadium guidelines was on the agenda for council’s workshop meeting this past Tuesday , council did not get to this part of the agenda . I talked to a senior city planner today & she said that a stadium is not a near future planned project even though it is mention in the 2030 Comprehensive Study .

  49. Happy to see more discussion regarding the MLS expansion to DT Raleigh. The MLS has stated that Raleigh will only be considered if it can secure a downtown stadium site. So the expansion of WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary is not really an option if the goal is to get a top-tier soccer franchise in the Triangle.

    MLS will expand to NC. It’s just a matter of who wins out, Raleigh or Charlotte. Right now, Charlotte certainly has the lead, as the city has publicly stated that it’s interested in MLS expansion. Raleigh was stalled due to the legal issues of the Railhawks previous owners. But they’re back on track and hopefully can catch Charlotte.

  50. SO….!!! What’s Wrong with a MLB team in Raleigh. New Guy here so don’t beat me up. You got the Carolina Hurricanes, they are indeed a NHL team. Horray.!!! Stanley Cup Champs I might Add, so why not a MLB Stadium Downtown, Can you Imagine the revenue that would bring to the Downtown Area. That would Shut Charlotte the Hell Up Once and for All. Yeah, You got College Sports, and that’s good, But that should not be the Only thing for Raleigh right now. Also You need more Theatre Downtown as Well, Wouldn’t be Nice to See a Play Downtown other that the Duke Center for Performing Arts. Raleigh is Indeed one of the Fastest growing Cities in the USA right now and will Only grow faster in the coming years. I predict that We will reach 2.5 million by 2020 if not Sooner. But Again, that’s just my two cents here.

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