The Willard Shows Plans for Hotel and Residential in Glenwood South

Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image. Read the post on the blog to see it.
Rendering of The Willard from site plan submission.

Plans submitted to the city for The Willard are showing a 7-story building for the southwest corner of Glenwood Avenue and Willard Place. It will consist of 121 hotel rooms, 16 condos, and ground-floor retail. The hotel will be an AC Hotel by Marriott brand.

Let’s get into the maps.

Map of The Willard from site plan submission.

Click for larger

Map of The Willard from site plan submission.

Click for larger

The brick office buildings and associated surface parking lots will be cleared out for The Willard. I want to say some residential units are here also but I can’t confirm. Maybe a reader knows more about the makeup of these current buildings and can share.

Willard and Glenwood, Nov 2017

The Willard will have its own parking with an attached deck containing 61 spaces. The entrance/exit will be on Willard Place in the rear of the building.

When looking at the site plan for the first floor, there’s a bit too many walls and glass for my taste. Glenwood South is one of our more intense pedestrian corridors so if this is the final layout I would consider this poor support for street life activity.

Here it is below with only the lobby and one 3,100 square foot retail space on the corner of Willard and Glenwood.

Rendering of The Willard from site plan submission.

Click for larger

I’ll admit though that I have no experience with this “higher end” brand of hotel. The bar/lounge area may be a site in itself so maybe it’s not that bad.

I’ve always felt that Glenwood South needs a solid southern bookend and One Glenwood is probably going to be it. The addition of a hotel on the southern end will help make the street feel longer with a variety of activity.

Here’s a bonus, a VR view of Willard and Glenwood from November 2017.

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  1. I think your assumption about the bar is probably right. There are lots of these upper middle hotels in Asheville and they all have nice first floor bars. This will be a huge improvement over the current set-up, from a pedestrian perspective.

  2. This is definitely going to be an attribute to the Glenwood corridor, we’ve stayed at AC Hotels in the past and they’re really well done/boutique style that are a smaller footprint and a bit more unique. If I had my way, snoopy’s and the convenience store (?) next to it would get razed instead of these pretty little brick buildings though! ;)

  3. @ Leo
    Thank you!

    You have to wonder if it’s the architects or the actual developers that keep coming up with these simple box like structures? Where’s the flair? The design that says that I am The Willard? Also, just like the One Glenwood, here is another example of separating parking from the building. Sad, imho:-(

    I think that I will change my handle to Arm-Chair-Developer :-)

  4. AC Hotels are usually extremely nice, and the branding is fun and modern. There is one going up in Chapel Hill. I think it will be similar to the Aloft in Durham at the DPAC. Plus it will encourage other things to go up around the hotel.

  5. I am extremely excited to see this coming to Glenwood South… however.. I feel it would be a huge miss if they do not put in more first floor restaurant / retail / bar.

  6. Unless/until something gets built of the same height across the street, those east facing condos on the upper floors are actually going to have some killer views. Most of Glenwood South’s major development is at its lower points but this one is near its apex.
    I agree that the Snoopy’s location is ripe for redevelopment but I do lament the possibility that these icons (Snoopy’s/Char-Grill, etc.)of a simpler time and reasonable costs being eliminated. I’ve been watching this transition happen on the bay side of South Beach and many of the reasonably priced lunch and dinner options have been obliterated for sake of high priced real estate development.

  7. Anyone know what is going on with the location between Snoopys and where this hotel is going in? They were working on making it into a new bar.. but then have stopped for a while. I hope it turns into something better than another “corner stone” type bar. We have enough of those. BTW – is there now going to be a 3rd cornerstone? They are working on the house/building next to it.

  8. It is tragic to tear down that beautiful historic brick three-story apartment building, with its original slate roof. It was built in the 1920s. Raleigh has so few of those fine old apartment buildings. Why do we keep tearing down our good buildings and leaving all the crap that we SHOULD be tearing down?

  9. Clearly you have a different view of historic and tragic than many people. These ugly old brick buildings and parking lot are ripe for demolition. Glad something of value that will continue to connect Glenwood to the rest of downtown is being built. Also, I’ve been to the rooftop bar in the AC Hotel in North Hills and Asheville. Both are very nice, as are the hotels themselves. Hope this project breaks ground soon. Is there any indication when that will be?

  10. This is great addition and hopefully this will push the hotel at Two Glenwood to start now instead as phase 2. Also there is the hotel north of the Paramount in rezoning and another looking at 400 Glenwood area. There are a few hotels downtown that are taking forever.

  11. @BC – any additional information you can provide for the hotel “looking at 400 Glenwood area”?

  12. I worked in one of these buildings for about ten years. The landlords were great people, but it was clear they were waiting for an opportunity like this. In the nicest terms possible, it was a sh!thole.

  13. I have to admit that I am most impressed that they are offering condos in this building. I would love to know how long it takes to sale them and how much they go for?

  14. @ Robert

    Judging from some of the other condo projects going up in the area, I would say 75% sold by the time this is built.

  15. By Jeff’s Logic, there are no buildings in Raleigh worth saving. Shiney and new is appealing to Jeff, anything old is past its useful purpose and should be torn down and replaced with tawdry shite because like jeff and his ilk (which is 90% of this town), they are completely banal and common stock. I guess that is what people like.

    The best cities and the best areas of most cities are old. Raleigh is not and never will be the best and we are rapidly destroying the best of what we have.

  16. @Matthew Brown,
    Which buildings do you think we should be tearing down? I don’t see anything historic on this block, so I’m curious where you draw the line?

  17. @Robert B… According to the Charlotte Business Journal, that just means Charlotte. Reading essentially the same article from the Triangle Business Journal and the Charlotte Business Journal is hilarious. Just goes to show how highly they think of themselves.

  18. you should see their video where the “highlight’ their community college as their educational institution. If that isn’t sad enough, what’s even more laughable is that they claim it’s the largest CC on the ‘east coast’. Wake Tech is the largest in North Carolina and has been so for years. No clue who is the largest on the east coast but I’m guessing it ain’t CPCC (or whatever its called).

    The rest of the video is like “we have football! we have basketball!!….so you should pick us because we have that!”…………..along with virtually every other city bidding on this thing.

  19. @uncle jesse

    I believe it’s Miami-Dade College. They’re between 90-100k students if I recall correctly.

  20. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s historic. It’s an ugly old brick building. Happy to see it go!

  21. Jeff, Paul and Steve, I am 100% on Matthew Brown’s side. In Raleigh, the fact that so few of these buildings were built, and even fewer are left, would have it meet criteria C to get on the national historic register…if someone took the time to write it up. You shiny building lovers will wreck a city in a heartbeat. I *get* density. I actually *like* new, modernist architecture and clean line styled stuff. I *know* we need hotel rooms. I *get* that Glenwood has cache (not sure why but it does). But at the expense of perfectly usable…better than usable…if this building were restored to residential it’d be top dollar stuff like the Cotton Mill because of the rarity of the 90 year old building materials and techniques involved…at the expense of this, the hotel becomes an utter sh%^ project money grab in my mind. Also before you question Mr Brown’s authority on what is historic, you should probably read some of his work

  22. @Mark,
    Really, we’re going to wreck the city? What planet do you live on? It’s fine to debate the merits of saving a building, but cut out the childish personal insults.

    Also, I resent the implication that because we don’t think THIS property has historic merit we’re just itching to level Oakwood. There’s something called nuance.

  23. Raleigh has some cool old houses, the funny buildings on Fayetteville St, and some other things I’m probably forgetting. I just find it laughable that some residents in our little city think everything old is “historic.” This isn’t Boston. Very few of the old buildings left here are anything special. They just haven’t been replaced yet because Raleigh didn’t have much going on for a long time. My only consolation is that, fortunately, the vocal minority that complains on here, New Raleigh, etc. every time something new is built… Well, they can’t stop it, and all they have left is bitterness and complaints. I say “fortunately,” because if it was up to them, Raleigh would be the undesirable place it was in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. I moved here 8.5 years ago specifically because of Raleigh’s growth and potential. It cheers me every time I see something new being built in this city (and Durham).

  24. My question is, if the financial crisis never hit, and Raleigh went through a huge building boom after 2006, would we be saying the same thing about these buildings? I mean they were crappy then, and they are even crappier now. They are just 10 years older now.

  25. @Steve – So the historic buildings of Oakwood are the only ones with any merit?

    My biggest problem with this project is that we are demolishing something that has infinitely more character and urban appeal that what it is being replaced with.

    Will anyone in 50 to 100 years care if The Willard is put on the chopping block? Will any recent development in Raleigh have historical merit when its time comes?

  26. To answer your question, all of the buildings at this site are commercial/office and most are empty now. We moved our office from 21 Glenwood earlier this month to Hargett Street.

  27. @Les – I don’t believe Oakwood is the only area that has historical merit.. BUT.. the building they are taking down isn’t much to talk about.. plus its sitting on a nice large footprint that we can utilize more by taking it out. That section of Glenwood is a deadzone.. and bringing in a hotel or restaurants, etc.. will help out Glenwood South a ton. My dream is to one day see Glenwood Towers gone…

    I do agree and have said this in the past as well.. most of the buildings they are putting up around here are terrible.. boring short buildings.. that when you look up at them 50-100 years from now.. they won’t say much. That is why I love the Dillon so much.. its something different.. and it keeps the character of the building and of the area. My hopes are Kane will continue down that path or we get someone in here that adds true architectural value.

  28. I believe Matthew Brown is misguided on this particular building. Trying to cling on to an older blah junkie building solely because Raleigh lacks an abundance of older “historic” buildings, is foolish. If this building had some historic value or uniqueness to it or was in an area where the new architecture would be out of place, I could see your point, and may want this building preserved. However, someone is willing to build a brand new boutique style hotel. “Old” in this case is not worth preserving. And I come from the preservation school of thought.

  29. @Les,
    I honestly can’t tell if you’re willfully misinterpreting my comment or not, but it sure feels that way.

    No, of course there are other buildings worth saving outside of Oakwood, it was just an example. I was responding to the blanket assertion that anyone who doesn’t think every single old building is historic is somehow against all historic preservation. It was a silly accusation that didn’t add anything of value to the discussion.

  30. So long as we’re talking about historic buildings, I want to get something on everyone’s radar. The beautiful old brick building that 5 star restaurant is in, across from Citrix and The Dillon, worries me. 5 Star’s lease runs through the end of 2018 and all the other spaces in that building are vacant. I swear, if a developer tries to pull a “Dillon” on that building, or if citrix expands their campus into that space, we will have a very hard time justifying the term “warehouse district”. Does anyone know if that warehouse is protected in some way?

  31. I’ll follow my comment by saying that there’s no historic overlay or landmark designation on iMaps, but it is owned by the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority

  32. @evan
    Beautiful old building? It’s a brick rectangle with barely any design elements whatsoever. It’s almost assuredly going to be redeveloped.

  33. Evan, that building doesn’t fall in the boundaries of the Depot Historic district so I’m going to assume it has the same “potential” as the Dillon or Citrix site.

  34. @APB – I didn’t name that area the warehouse district, the city did. If they want that to make any sense at all, then we have to keep these 1920’s warehouses. Yes the inside of 5 star is beautiful, and I hope that whole warehouse is retrofitted for restaurant/creative business space. These types of spaces create a feeling that you cannot replicate with modern building techniques. As someone commented on here once previously, imagine Raleigh Times in a brand new building. It wouldn’t be Raleigh Times.

  35. Not to be sarcastic but last time I was in NYC I didnt have a problem with the Meat Packing District’s lack of operating slaughterhouses.. its a name the speaks the the historical relevance of the area. Many of these buildings have little future potential so its unlikely that many of these buildings will be there for 10 more years.

    Everyone likes to hate on the Raleigh sprawl but at the same time lament the issues that come with building density. We are going to lose many of these buildings but the focus should be on preserving the ones of significance not every one.

  36. If you want to talk density, then let’s talk height restrictions within our “financial district”, rather than building mid-rise mediocrity on the edge of downtown in place of a 100 year old brick warehouse in our Warehouse District.

    And of course I am talking about using the space for small, artisanal businesses, not a functioning Warehouse

  37. Ahh, that’s pretty cool – Glad they’re keeping the original facade and adding on to the back. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Steve, *I* think *your* opinions on the situation ~wreck~ the City. This opinion of mine applies to ~every similar opinion on this topic~….not just you….this is not a personal insult. But you are advocating the removal of buildings I think demand preservation. You get a new toy. I get mine taken away. Who really should be on the defensive here? Don’t try and turn around who is under attack here. “I can’t build what I want where I want without someone saying something from the anti camp!! Gasp!!” The objective points cannot be argued….the buildings in question were built with materials and building techniques no longer in use. Virgin wood floors were still being installed in the 1920’s. Plaster walls. Structural brick. The scale, largely isn’t entertained with new projects. A similar building is also being demolished behind Bruegers on Hillsborough St. There are perhaps a dozen such buildings that will remain after these two come down. For the record I don’t think everything that is “old” is historic. If something was built with modern building materials and techniques, I think there is less merit in saving it. The Garland Jones building comes to mind….beautiful though it was, it can easily be built again today. Obviously I strongly support keeping the old Broughton Publishing (Father and Sons) and Five Star warehouse (discussed above) using the same logic…and my very deep seated personal preference. For those who think brick boxes are not worth keeping, and low rise development from 90-125 years ago is worthless, I suppose this street scene is worthless to you as well ?,-79.9745945,3a,75y,180h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sX3AO-RTDO3Z-mEEozgaayA!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656

  39. @Mark,
    Alright, it’s possible I over interpreted what you meant. Internet comments are a pretty imprecise thing, so I apologize for that. I certainly don’t want you (or anyone else) to feel like they’re under “attack”.

    Regarding the substance of your comment, I don’t think most people view historic preservation the way you do. I think it’s usually judged on how much “character” the building has, not the materials used. And yes, I’m sure some historic preservation commission has some set of guidelines about preserving historic materials, but I honestly don’t care about that. I am, however, a strong advocate for reusing building material.

    For me these buildings just don’t interact with the street very well. They’re suburban, uninviting, and really boring. You even had to use a much more interesting picture to make your point. So, yeah, I think it’s a bit melodramatic to claim that we have to save these (and similar) buildings or the city is going to be “wrecked.”

  40. Oh, and I should also say, I respect the obvious passion you have for this topic, even though I disagree with you on this particular case. It’s very easy to forget that everyone here cares a great deal about this city, and everyone wants what they think is best for it.

  41. In a CNBC report on Amazon HQ2 bid, the report, “Can NC make the grade ” it showed the report card grade, Population A+
    Stability C+
    Talent C-
    Location B- ( lack of public transit )
    I looked at the link posted by Robert B, pretty interesting. well we can blog all we want and things will still be the same, So..why don’t we as Citizens boost Raleigh/Triangle region by 300% and show Amazon that we can meet the challenge instead of building low rise offices in Downtown Raleigh. Overall I love the Triangle and I love Raleigh, so much potential here, why waste it on red tape nonsense. Amazon is looking at us right now, so let’s show what we are made of.

  42. The warehouses in the warehouse district should be protected. End of Story. They require no defining characteristic or detail other than being warehouses which are generally – brick boxes. And they are amazing. And worth saving. Build your towers with their amenities in North Hills or Crabtree.

  43. While I do like the idea of preserving the charming old warehouses in the Warehouse District, I think that as they are now, they are not living up to their potential. I think that the District can truly become a new center of activity, and it is developments like these that add to the area but preserve the historic character (hopefully) that will bring that around.

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