Pic of the Week

The Sir Walter Apartments, June 2017

The Sir Walter Apartments made news recently. An Ohio-based developer is planning to buy the property and convert it to a hotel or some other use. The lease with HUD will expire in 2020 and the renovation should start at that time, if all goes to plan.

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    None right now. Must be a new project.


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  1. A very beautiful building indeed. I wish that all of these 5-6 story apartment buildings downtown where more similar in height and design to the Sir Walter. This to me, looks more like what “my” Raleigh was and should be rather than the more nondescript “could be anywhere” buildings…sorry for the rant, just venting. :-)

  2. This is a perfect example of how a ten story building can be impactful to our city. While other lament the DX12 and DX20 zoned properties, I am more than encouraged by what the city can become.

  3. I’m sure the project will be a boon the gentrification work in downtown Raleigh & I’ll like it. We’ll get another nice dining spot, bar & street level retail in a prime location. We’ve come a long way over the past 2 decades. But for the 100 or so residents that have called this building home, this sucks. Where will they go? I’ve seen a lot of affordable housing ITB torn down, but never any new affordable housing.

  4. Some of the residents will be dead by then, because they’re old. The rest will be assisted to find somewhere else to live. Not trying to be harsh, but just because you’re poor and old and living in publicly subsidized housing, you’re not guaranteed the ability to live in this small, expensive section of a very (geographically) large city.

  5. The developer should restore the Sir Walter as Raleigh’s grand historic hotel, which is an essential element of a respectable city! Richmond has the Jefferson; Atlanta has the “Ellis,” Norfolk has the “Tazewell,” Charlotte has the “Dunhill,” Nashville has the “Hermitage,” Charleston has the “Francis Marion.” Raleigh has boring generic chain hotels.

    Our city government should help by finding or funding new homes for the current residents.

    Downtown Raleigh lost its historic City Hall, historic Court House, historic movie theaters, historic opera house, and historic art museum. We lost most of our historic hotels, but now is our opportunity to restore the grandest of them, the Sir Walter. It has a gorgeous lobby and ballroom. It is a quick walk from the Convention Center and other attractions. It would present a much more interesting and sophisticated welcome to our visitors than bland chain hotels.

  6. @Matthew Brown, exactly! Without the Velvet Cloak, this is Raleigh’s last chance to restore a historic hotel to glory. The city should be doing everything it can to ease the transition for residents so the buyer can make this happen.

  7. Heck, I live in Garner and I would still spend a night at the Sir Walter if it were converted back into a grand hotel!

  8. Agree with everyone about this needing to be restored to its glory as a hotel. Even the name brands the city. Anything short of this would be a huge blow and a travesty.

  9. The developer should buy the little building next door with the crappy stucco facade and lame bar, demolish it, and build a glass high-rise that connects to the Sir Walter. Your could have premium rooms that 1/2 are circa 1915 and you walk over a line to an uber modern hotel room, circa 2021!

  10. Find a suitable place for the residents and get that beautiful hotel restored ASAP. The city and the prospective developer cannot drop the ball. Has anyone been to the Brown Hotel in Louisville? These old grand hotels are priceless to a city’s downtown. Think Driskell in Austin and Menger in San Antonio. Almost every city has one. Raleigh is wasting their own version.

  11. My idea for the residents was/is for the DHIC or RHA to buy the NC Association of Educators property (on South Street) and build a complimentary structure along side the Exploris Middle School next door. Recreational facilities can be shared. Walking paths, gyms, etc. A retail space could even be added for a pharmacy to reproduce the Sir Walter/CVS setup..which would also make South Street feel more properly urban. Also this would be just a short move from Sir Walter. Hell, sell the building on Glenwood (which I think RHA actually owns), and use those funds to build a joint venture project (DHIC+RHA) to house all of the residents from those two projects in a large, efficient, and still downtown setting. Do senior activities at Dix and have shuttles hop over there. Have the R-Line stop there. Give the residents a section of seats at shows at Duke Energy Center next door with a huge discount on tickets. Generally I see this as very much in keeping with the new downtown plan’s vision for that area of town.

  12. @Andrew. That would be really cool. All in all, this building still has its dignity and I hope it keeps it for many years to come.

  13. @Mark RE: build a complimentary structure along side the Exploris Middle School…

    Love that idea.
    Who pays for it?

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