Pic of the Week

Boylan Flats under construction. March 2018.

Here’s the latest update on Boylan Flats. The project is still kind of a mystery with no confirmed report of what this 48-unit building will be. The strongest rumor is it is an extended-stay hotel.

That could be the case as there will only be 37 parking spaces, according to the site plan, which is below the residential requirement but above the hotel requirement.

I also think those northern units with the “out-the-window ordering” feature integrated with the McDonald’s drive-thru would not appeal to future condo owners.

We’ll wait and see.

[UPDATE: Mystery solved.]

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  1. I think a 48 unit apartment building downtown should only require 32 parking spaces according to the UDO. In dx zoning districts, urban frontage zones, and TOD overlays, the first 16 units are not counted toward parking requirements (as well as the first 10k square feet of ground level retail).

  2. I’ve been saying that this was going to be an extended stay hotel project for the last year, and I kept hearing that I was wrong. I am not sure that this usage conforms to the NX zoning, and as a resident who owns directly across the street, the city did not have any hearings to discuss a rezoning with the neighbors if it doesn’t conform. Does anyone know if this use conforms to NX per the UDO?
    I am not saying that I am particularly against having this across the street from me, but if the project does not conform and it’s going to pushed through in some underhanded way, I do resent the secrecy of the project and the process that brought us to where we are today.

  3. It’s being operated as a hotel. It may look like an apartment but it’s operated as a hotel. If this whole thing has been above board, then why all the secrecy about this project until it’s almost finished. Sorry, but this whole project smells fishy to me.

  4. @John532 Honestly, that seems incredibly unlikely that they would risk so much money violating the code in such an obvious way; but anyway, here’s the City’s contact for zoning enforcement if you want to follow up: Robert.Pearce@raleighnc.gov

    I suppose it could be some sort of hybrid model where it’s marketed as a hotel but the lease period is long enough to satisfy the code as an apartment, seems unlikely though.

  5. Question, does anyone know when The Morgan Street Food Hall will be open?

    Please and thank you!

  6. By the way, very close to this hotel/apartment/whatever project on Boylan is a project for a boutique hotel. The developer wants to rezone the corner of Peace and Boylan, next to The Paramount, to allow for a 4-story height limit. The current zoning is for 3.


    The developer initially wanted 5-story but due to neighborhood opposition (we’re talking a dozen or two people) compromised with 4. (neighbors still didn’t approve)

    This will be discussed during a public hearing at Tues (Apr 3) night’s council session. Let your councilors know how you think about this one.

    Amazing the process for one extra floor, right? When the paramount sits there with 9. (Sorry, John)

  7. Raleigh developer protip: If you want a 5 story building, propose an 80 story building. After 3 years the city will eventually allow you to build your 3 story building.

  8. We should all go to the meeting and ask for a higher number of floors. The neighbors would plotz.

  9. @Michael, I have been trying to find out detailed information about this project for more than a year. Even as it rose, all my inquiries were met with a dead end. The only piece of information that I was able to learn was through casual conversation with someone involved in constructing the project. He told me that it was an extended stay hotel. I tried to find out more but couldn’t validate anything. I wrote to the developer from their former cryptic website and received no reply. I spoke to local architects and people in the know in the city, still nothing. The developer of this project has NOT been forthcoming with any information and have essentially built a project with a non-conforming use under the guise that it’s an apartment. Unless there’s some loophole in how this is interpreted under NX, this is going to be very interesting going forward. Like I said, it’s not that I am particularly offended by the look of the project itself, and I do look right at it. It’s the secrecy and willful lies-by-omission that offend me. We were never given an opportunity to ask questions if in fact they have to go for a variance on the back end for their intended occupancy. We were never given the courtesy to engage in the process whatsoever. I’ll add that the same was true for the McDonald’s on that corner. That developer and the city completely bypassed individual notification to our building’s residents as was required by the rules/process at that time. So, here we are, 2 for 2 in projects directly across the street from our property that don’t conform to intended use/design/streetscape plan and we were completely excluded from engagement whatsoever per the city’s processes. That’s infuriating to me. Bottom line, if processes aren’t going to be followed, don’t have them and don’t set expectations with residents that processes even exist.

    As for the proposed boutique hotel project at the corner of Boylan & Peace, I am not opposed to working with that developer to a common ground where he gets extra floors for his project in exchange for us having a voice in the stepback/setbacks that face our building, the articulation of those facades, the placement of mechanical systems, trash bins, etc. So Leo, no need to apologize to me. I’m not against it because THE PROCESS HAS BEEN ABOVE BOARD and there has been a proactive engagement. I also think that there are a lot worse things that could go there that wouldn’t require the developer to talk to us at all. So, I see this as an opportunity instead of a crisis. Now, some of my neighbors don’t see it the same way as I do, but they can speak for themselves. :-) PS: the all caps was for emphasis, not for shouting.

    I am not an unreasonable person and I am not a nimby. Actually my entire job is in design/construction projects for my company, but we have engagement processes that we actually follow thoroughly. I know because I lead them, and I lead the design. I know how this stuff works and I live in the world of compromise as bounded by scope, schedule, budget and brand. I get it. I just want stated processes followed.

  10. The revisn website says that it requires stays to be 30 days or longer so regardless of branding, that probably meets the letter of the law in terms of it being considered an apartment building.

  11. John, all good points. I figured you were more on the fence actually about the boutique hotel. ?

    I will say developers lack a sort of salesmanship to their projects if they want to get rezonings approved. That’s essentially how the system is set up. I could be wrong on this particular project as I haven’t been to any of those meetings.

  12. The McD’s and Boylan Flats were already zoned for use & height so no neighborhood meetings were required. They are free to submit plans. The hotel on the corner has lots of issues other than the height. The driveway locations will cause further issues as the Paramount & McD driveways cause serious headaches as is. Now you will have another driveway on Boylan too close to Peace intersection and one on Peace. Will they meet parking requirements? Where is drop off/pickup? Then there is trash/dumpster location & pickup. To get a rezoning it helps that the adjoining properties are zoned for the same or close. None of the adjoining properties are. Paramount is residential and not commercial. With the new council I think the chance of this passing is slim. There are so many better locations for a hotel and this is not one of them.

  13. Interesting. My first thought was that it might be the hotel proposed at the old Alcatel lot next to the Wegmans up on Wake Forest Road near the beltline. That’s not downtown, but that doesn’t stop a developer from wishfully marketing it as uch. However, the room counts don’t add up (HI Express DT you linked to mentions 107 rooms; thea Alcatel site hotel was for 152 rooms.)

  14. And if that new retirement complex were built downtown it would be a three to four story building, if it were allowed to be built at all…

  15. I am really going to be interested in seeing North Hills vs Downtown in ten years. I would not be surprised to see the tallest building in Raleigh be in North Hills soon.

  16. Doubt it, Downtown Raleigh is building momentum. It’s almost April, the preliminary renders of the N&O site should be released sometime in the next 60 days. Could be 40 stories, could be the tallest. Who knows.

  17. Rumer-Mill:
    Now, anybody that knows me, knows that I was absolutely horrified and hurt beyond words when I watched in horror at the former 1898 First Citizens Bank building coming down in downtown Raleigh. So what I am going to say here is simply unpleasant and makes me extremely sad to say the least. First Citizens is talking with the city for a height variant (Is that the word?) for which they will be able to build a new headquarters building more than 40 stories high!
    I blanked a brick when the person first spoke of this …

    @ Dwight
    Could you please see if any of your friends at city hall could find out more? Please and thank you!

  18. I guess that I should have mentioned that I was referring to First Citizens building at NH’s…sorry about that.

  19. That’s confusing you mean a 40 story tower in North Hills? What a traffic nightmare. I guess there’s no point in visiting Charlotte anymore if I want a sterile beige getaway.

  20. @ Robert , Mr . Kane has a permit for a 33 story tower ! FNB is waiting for legal documents !

  21. @BC, the McDonald’s project at the corner of Peace and Boylan absolutely required notification of the Paramount residents individually per the process in place at the time. It simply did not happen.
    My objection to what was approved for that corner was not that it was a McDonald’s, it’s that it’s 99% a standard suburban McDonald’s with an encircling drive-thru traffic pattern on a prominent corner in the very center of a corridor in which the city had an adopted urban streetscape plan.
    The only hope for that corner is that the land becomes way to valuable for the McDonald’s operator to ignore and a more appropriate urban structure takes its place in the future.
    When I bought my condo in The Paramount, it was with the knowledge of the Peace Street Streetscape Plan that assured me that I’d have urban development as my neighbors. With the city’s capitulation, that didn’t come to pass at all.

  22. @ Robert: I have heard a rumor about the first citizens bank buildings getting torn down and the whole area being rebuild as a mixed use, with a new First Citizens tower, but I have not heard 40 stories. That would be pretty extreme.

  23. The North Hills 33 story building is “Tower 4” (residential/hotel) next to Captrust building. There is a proposed 20 story office building as part of the same project I believe (1 retail floor, 7 parking, 12 office). Wouldn’t been that hard to believe First Citizens moving 2 blocks to a new space to free up their block for redevelopment.

  24. @ mike: I mean it is a ton of prime land, whether they want to put their own tower on the space or redevelop it in the image of North hills.

    To be honest, I am waiting for that whole section of Computer Dr/ Barrett Dr, and Six Forks to get redeveloped in a similar fashion. If you get that whole section redeveloped along with all of St. Albans to Duke Raleigh, you are going to have one hell of a MidTown development.

  25. @Robert B… IMHO, that old office park you mentioned just across the Beltline from North Hills would be a great opportunity for Amazon/Microsoft/Apple to completely redevelop with higher density and put a few pedestrian bridges over I440 to connect to North Hills East. I know it is a dream, but it would be awesome to bring some height to ITB in that area.

  26. There’s little reason not to allow this type of development down Six Forks to Atlantic Ave and wrapping around to where the warehouse development and Penden (sp?) Steel development will be. There is a lot of old manufacturing and warehouse facilities with large footprints that are perfect for re-zoning and redevelopment. The only downside is the traffic situation at Six Forks and Wake Forest.

  27. @Nick: I thought the same thing. I can also picture light rail eventually snaking its way up there from DT as well. And as the Capital Blvd corridor expands, lots more urban development going along that route and connecting the two areas around Duke Raleigh.

    I mean like you said, most of this would be a dream, but if a large company like Apple redeveloped that area, it would spur so much growth, it would be crazy. I think of Tysons in NOVA as an example.

  28. RE the extended stay/615 Boylan, googling the current owner’s mailing address produces the result of B&B properties lcoated on Oberlin Rd. Seems to be a local property management firm, but of course that description is a catch-all for varying types of operations. Edit: Digging deeper still, the deed just three weeks before that was for “Dragonfly LLC”, when when googled, produces a former Beacon partner…I assume that’s the same group our own Gregg Sandreuter was a part of. That group is based in Miami, but has a red dot for Raleigh on their properties map too.

  29. @Drew 2-3 years is insane. However, I bet Kane gets it re-zoned faster than that, and breaks ground with in 2.

  30. He’s probably waiting for West St to get connected anyways. Kind of how Smokey Hollow (RIP) is finishing around the time the Peace and Capital road project is finishing.

  31. I would be surprised if it’s taller than 15 stories but Kane gets projects built but expect this to delay the Edison, 400H, and 301H even longer–I wonder which one will be the first to cancel and the property to be sold–my money is on 301H and the Edison will never be built. However, the Empire Development’s 12 story project is still in the works right next to Crankarm and don’t forget those 2 two-story buildings recently purchased that currently house Circa and the LGBT office. That developer is seeking permits to build 10 stories.

  32. $58 million 245 apartment mixed-use development on 865 W Morgan St (Goodnight Comedy Club) mentioned in the April 9th meeting. 3 acre site. A petition for the city to forgo the site plans from it’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The city’s plan is to extend Morgan St to Ashe Ave. Looks like Goodnight Comedy Club would stay as a tenant if the city grants their demand. Property owner is MMP, LLC.

  33. Kane’s newly assembled property is currently zoned for 7 floors. Give its immediate adjacency to single family homes on the eastern edge of Boylan Heights, I wouldn’t expect any change to the height, only the use. In its current zoning, IX-7-UL, the priority is for industrial in mixed use.

  34. @john532: I have a really hard time believing Kane will only build 7 stories. He has a lot of pull, and his projects tend to make statements, and usually are transformative. I would expect a building like the first phase of Smokey Hollow, if not taller, regardless of the neighborhood. I mean he is building a 32 story tower next to a neighborhood in North Hills.

  35. I would imagine his Cabarrus project would go hand-in-hand with a West St. tunnel connector–you have to think he’s pushing for that. I mean, if you look at his DT projects, they basically create a “Kane corridor” that is West St. Hard to believe he’d want this new development to be cut off from the rest by the tracks.

  36. @Will: I mean, in my experience with commercial construction, people like Kane don’t push forward with design, etc, unless they know they can do it, and have a good feel that they will be approved.

    My guess is Kane knows West St redevelopment IS going to happen, and has shown some preliminary designs of his new project and has gotten positive responses.

    Kane is the catalyst of change in Raleigh. Here are his Current and Future Projects:

    Smokey Hollow multi building project
    NH Tower 4 (32 Story and 20 Story joint tower)
    NH Tower 5 (12 – 20 Story on new NH annex)
    NH Tower 6 (not yet proposed, but likely 2 20-30 story residential towers in between Tower 4 and All Scripts).
    NH JC Penny Tower (Not yet proposed but mentioned)
    Cabarrus St Project.

    These are all the projects Kane has in the pipeline for the next 5 years that we are aware of. The area where Tower 5 is going is going to have another 6-8 buildings as well.

    If Kane wants to build something, he will build it. It makes me sad that he did not buy the N&O site.

  37. @Robert B, I think you underestimate the political will and power of the people who live in Boylan Heights. Rezoning taller next to them would be a really nasty and protracted fight. Pass the popcorn.

  38. I could see a 6-7 story building facing Dupont. And 12-18 story building toward the east side of the property. Seems like a reasonable balance between transition and density.

  39. I attended many of the public meetings surrounding St. Albans redevelopment. Set backs and easements are ways he was able to propose 20 story buildings next to the highway. While allowing a scaled-down affect approaching the single family homes with 6 story max.

    Almost identical to the property he just purchased downtown. I’m sure he will propose 20+ right up next the tracks, with set backs and accommodations to meet on middle ground with homeowners.

  40. I know it’s tough for the nimbys of Boylan heights, but I can see Dupont circle as being an awesome revitalized street. Would be better than what’s currently there… Run down industrial. That strip of old brick warehouses would make a nice revitalized retail area

  41. Will this news I can’t help but think of Kane’s stated vision with respect to Amazon HQ2 known as the “prime corridor”. Just sayin’ …


    “His plan, which ticks off all of Amazon’s requirements, would stretch from Dix Park to the bustling warehouse district, cross to Peace and West streets, include Capital and Atlantic boulevards, and eventually reach North Hills, his 100-acre development of shops, offices and apartments.”

  42. Damn Stew that is a scary reminder. If Amazon takes over that entire corridor, peace out Raleigh, I’m moving to DT Durham. If I wanted to be that intimate with Amazon I would have studied supply chain mgmt. and applied for a job there.

  43. I think the Prime corridor is Kane ultimate vision whether Amazon comes or not. He wants to connect DT Raleigh to North Hills. Amazon moving in would probably accomplish his goals in his lifetime, but that is Kane’s ultimate vision.

  44. It doesn’t have to be Amazon. Apple would qualify, any big tech company with the need for multiple offices and live/work amenities would qualify. They could even cannibalize RTP with it.

  45. I think that 2-3 year process includes all the time in Kane’s court as well. He likely has’t settled on a size so doesn’t know how much of a rezoning to ask for and also appears to keep is project pipeline flowing steadily. I’d guess he’d want this coming out of the ground around the time Smokey Hollow is coming out of the ground.
    RE the Charlie Goodnights land, I saw that rezoning sign last night and was concerned enough for the sweet old warehouse in the back of the parking lot. They better not tear down that beautiful art deco building that Goodnight’s is in. It’s a fabulous building. If you think 245 s%^& stick apartments are better than that building, then you aesthetics meter is essentially a zero. I mean, really. Oh well…I’ll be somewhere with some actual historic districts soon enough.

  46. @ Dwight
    Thank you for the update!
    However I really have to laugh at the “soon” part…
    First December, then January, and now end of May…???

  47. Kane, build those towers! build those towers! build those towers!

    A man that gets it done.

    Go Kane.

  48. That new property Kane got won’t be developed for the next 4 years according to the N&O. The current tenant is not planning to move for a while. So construction won’t begin until 2022 at the latest.

  49. I’m hearing the boutique hotel for Peace Street was kicked out two more weeks. There were concerns over the hotels rooftop bar causing noise. I’m rolling my eyes but will wait for the video. I’ll post that this week.

  50. @Leo, with all due respect, please respect that people live next door to property that is asking for variances in height, and that those people made decisions about where they live based on “promises” made by the city that are now being asked to be waved.
    The reality is that this is a process to ask for an exception in height and floors that affects peoples’ lives. I think that’s worth a little consideration.
    Like I’ve said previously, I am not necessarily against this variance to increase height for a hotel, but I think that the decision needs to be very specific because I know that every single, tiny loophole will be be exploited if it isn’t addressed in advance.
    You don’t even have to leave the building (Paramount) to know that that’s possible. Just consider the hotel that’s pretending to be an apartment across the street on Boylan.
    When you get to the very edges of DT, like in the case of The Paramount, it’s totally understandable that developers will try to push the boundaries while residents will resist/push back. I think that that’s totally reasonable and expected.

  51. Oh no we have a NIMBY among us! Scatter! Do you think you’re the reason why developers have to try tricks to get things done around here?

  52. John, I respect you and very much appreciate the fact that this affects you more than the rest of us. But you have to consider the fact that you don’t own the other property and that you chose to move into a downtown space. I wouldn’t want a rooftop bar next to or across from my house. But I also live in West Raleigh when I really am kind of jealous of your location. You can’t live in a vibrant downtown and expect every “promise” of zoning to keep your space just as you’d like it. Heck, I moved where I did with the promise of mixed use and retail, and the developers of that portion keep moving the goalpost. I do appreciate your concerns, I just think it’s hard to justify a hotel with a shorter height than your building, next to your building, in downtown, being a gamechanging bad thing.

  53. Some more info to share from the discussion last night. Here’s a rule:

    “If an active use is situated on the roof of any building, the following apply: (i) there shall be no outdoor amplified music; (ii) there shall be no overhead string (market) lights; and (iii) hours shall be limited to 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.”

    So the way I see it, there are already limits in place to try and cause a minimum amount of conflict. If there are problems, it’s simply an enforcement issue. Raleigh’s finest need to get invovled and offer an objective analysis if the hotel and residents are causing conflicts. Then permits can be pulled (or something else) to make the offending party get along.

    The fact that the council can’t decide because of something like this really makes me think that there is too much focus on the edge most corner cases. Respectfully, I think the paramount residents are thinking that way also.

    Fran, let’s hold back on quick NIMBY labels here. There’s a difference between wanting something to be better and wanting something to not exist. I think it’s a subtle difference but overall, this community favors a better downtown, not a shrink-wrapped downtown.

  54. @Jeff I completely agree. Although I certainly respect @John532’s opinion and concern.. We can’t hold back Raleigh’s potential in a prime development space because of the condo building next door. If you are living in a building downtown, you shouldn’t expect nothing to ever be built around you. I certainly welcome a roof top bar to that location.. with the great weather we have during certain times of the year here.. I think we need more of them. I would love to see the new AC hotel have one .. those would be great views!

    To consider those in the condos next door, maybe they can design it so there is a tall wall at the top between the rooftop bar and the condos? But then I would assume some may complain its blocking their view?

  55. @Fran, if you go back and read all of my posts, you will see that I am not a NIMBY. @Leo, thanks for your defense. Wanting a reasonable engagement and process with a developer when they ask for a variance does not make one a NIMBY. As the city addresses these early variance requests, it will be interesting to see how far the city is willing to exceed their own
    UDO baseline. I think that’s especially true on the edges of the DT element where land use transitions to single family homes. I doubt that the city is going to be willing to let any developer go more than +2 in floors in such areas. There will simply be too much resistance and political risk to do so.
    Let me repeat, I am not against the idea of a hotel with an increase in height on our north side. I just strongly believe that it requires a balanced approach, and an above board engagement. Like I also said earlier, I don’t speak for everyone in the building; there are definitely some people in the building who don’t want the variance. FWIW, I don’t face that property.
    If there is anything about me that’s NIMBY, it’s the part of me that doesn’t want suburban development in my DT neighborhood. The nature of the proposed hotel is urban in form and I fully support that. Juxtaposed against the opposite corner where a suburban model McDonald’s exists, I fully support the design language of the proposed hotel. I want to see that entire stretch of Peace modeled more urban, even if it’s one small plot of land at a time. Think of Hillsborough Street directly across from NC State as the model that I’d like to see. Oh, and BTW, this is what was “promised” to me by the Peace Street Streetscape Plan that the city adopted a decade and a half ago. In fact, that Streetscape plan influenced my decision to buy at The Paramount in the first place.

  56. N&O reporting that another buyer is interested in purchasing the Sir Walter and keeping it ‘affordable’. What a HUUGE LOSS for the City if this is the case. Go build something close by with modern amenities that would serve these folks! Don’t take a historic property that could be converted into a grand hotel again and leave it low-income housing. What a wasted opportunity for the City if this occurs. John Kane, Greg Hatem, please sweep into the rescue!!! Your City needs your help on this one!!

  57. Real loss for DTR with that news. What a shame. Credit to whoever called this a few weeks back.

  58. It’s very important to think through developments and not just let developers come run roughshod over everyone. Call me a NIMBY and I’ll just laugh at you. I prioritize the big picture over any single project, and if you can’t see the big picture, or don’t share the same big picture as me, then heads will knock. Having said that, I will only point out, that the Paramount itself involved something of a battle to get built. I don’t know if it was a variance request or what (it predated the current UDO of course), but both the height and lack of ground floor retail were discussed/argued about. So Paramount won it’s height request by promising some retail. So that tiny little corner space was built with the broken blinds. There was never any attempt to lease it out…it looks like the HOA just uses it for storage. The folks living adjacent to the hotel proposal probably have no idea any of that happened so I can’t pin anything on them, however, Paramount set a precedent in the area that it seems only it wants to allow itself to get to participate in….many of those condos exist by defeating the concerns of neighbors. If it were up to my NIMBY-a$$, I’d go back in time and tell the developer of Paramount, we’ll only allow 3 story row homes there and nothing more, with an eye to a west Philly or DC style area buildout. What started out as an area full of small, affordable historic homes with bohemian shops and affordable restaurants, has mushroomed into a place where people with too much money are offered $6 bud light ‘specials’. The entire area is at-risk of losing the little soul it has left, but at this point, I am not sure how much I care…

  59. @ Thomas. That has to be the worst news I have heard recently about downtown. I hope someone intervenes. That building is screaming to be brought back as a hotel.

  60. @Mark, regarding that little retail space on the corner of the Paramount, I too would like to see this space become something real. As far as I know, the HOA doesn’t control that space. I’ve heard that it belongs to the developer. I could be wrong but am happy to follow up on it and find out more information.
    As to the variances required to build the Paramount in the first place, I’m pretty sure that nobody who lives there has any personal knowledge of that process/history. I know that I don’t. That said, the only adjacent neighbors to the building at the time were/are across Johnson street in a building that’s even taller than The Paramount itself. The next closest neighbors are behind the commercial strip on the north side of Peace that buffers the Glenwood/Brooklyn neighborhood. These residents are a block and a half from the Paramount and will have to contend with the future development on both sides of Peace. I would suppose that these neighbors don’t want to set a precedent with a 4 or 5 story hotel on the corner of Peace and Boylan. I suppose that they’d rather have a streetscape and scale that’s similar to the banner photo that’s used for this very blog! I know that that’s what I’d like to see for this stretch of Peace. If it’s good enough for the core of the city, it’s certainly good enough for the very NW corner of the downtown element. While I understand that the DT element will change & expand over time, I find it doubtful that it will expand into adjacent single family historic neighborhoods. So, in this case, the battle line is drawn at Peace Street.

  61. @Mark, the developer of the Paramount pulled a fast one on the City by promising 1st floor retail with no intention of leasing it out. The space is controlled by the developer.

    As for the corner hotel John532 is correct that zoning is meant to step down as you near residential areas. If one buys a condo/residential based on current zoning and the City allows +2 floors on top of current zoning with roof top bar then no one will buy downtown as you risk a bar staying open to 2 am 15′ from your bedroom.

    The hotel at Two Glenwood really needed to go higher and also the Willard. The Willard is slowly shrinking from 7, 6, now 5 floors. I have given up on the turn-key tire spot across from the L building.

  62. Mark,

    That part of Raleigh is not the only area losing its Soul. I can name them but won’t bother.

  63. I wouldn’t confuse nostalgia with soul and character. Rome was sacked and destroyed more than 10 times and trust me Rome has more character in one city block than all of modern Raleigh because of the layers of reinvention Rome had to go through. Raleigh is only 200 years old and mostly farm land just 30 years ago. We’re not Raleigh, we’re what will shape Raleigh.

    We’re only two generations away from Jim Crow, six generations from Slavery, what kind of soul are we trying to hold on to here?

  64. John I actually agree with the desire to have 2-3 story retail (residential over retail) on that block. I don’t care much for hotels all over the place. Visitor spending, sure, I get it. But a town is healthier with locals supporting their own town and not being subject to the whims of the traveler.
    I really am having a hard time conveying what I mean by ‘soul’ apparently. I hear people saying it’s ok to bulldoze anything we want in Raleigh because Rome is way older and Jim Crow happened yesterday. That is 100% irrelevant. I guess I can’t help you feel soul in a 100 year old victorian cottage next to a corner store, but I do. I am concerned with saving what is ‘good’ to me, and soul=good+history. The problem in this area is much of the new isn’t even good. Gramercy’s building sucks. Tearing down victorian cottages for million dollar townhouses isn’t my idea of good. And it all started off so well there, with the Creamery renovation (added apartments in the rear too), and Power House area renovation, and 610 Glenwood’s solid form, materials and orientation. 222 and Paramount ushered in a higher end, quick profit era. The original Devon bucked the trend for a minute with several retails spaces, concrete construction and huge artistic windows, but Tucker and St Mary’s Square both are flimsy like Gramercy. I was hoping the area would go the direction of the Blair Blvd area of Eugene OR but is instead turning out more like Rainey St in Austin where the old cottages are being replaced with things like their Skyhouse. Since I don’t live over there anymore you can’t actually call me a NIMBY, but I really wanted to double dog dare people too. I’m not some grey bearded professor who just wants to drink his tea on his breezeway without an office tower blocking out his morning sun…quite different…I am very angry at being pushed around by people with the most money, who so often don’t give two sh$ts about the quality of their product or effect on its surroundings so long as the investors are happy with the prospectus. I travel a lot and have compared a lot of cities and their neighborhoods and have developed in my head, and can articulate the elements of functional, healthy…”good” cities. I can discuss these things ad nauseum. I think many of you are captivated by things that are large, shiny and new and fancy yourselves as the visionaries. That’s all fine and good, but don’t come confidently sashaying in, telling me I am confusing soul with nostalgia.

  65. I’m curious. How many commenting here are residents within the city’s actual downtown element? I”m not talking about people who live just outside its edges in places like Oakwood, Boylan Heights, or other residential neighborhoods that are adjacent to it. I just want to understand the context of the viewpoints.
    Mark nails it on the head when he describes the challenge to create desirable living experiences for residents in DT proper. We can’t want to have more people living downtown and then not give a shit about their quality of life once they are there. Whether renters or owners, these residents are paying top dollar, and likewise contributing top tax dollars into the city’s coffers. I’m not saying that these people need to be exclusively given consideration because they paid a lot to live in DT, I’m only saying that you can’t dismiss their concerns and desires to have lives that are devoid of debilitating circumstances. If you (or your baby) can’t sleep at night in your own bedroom, there’s an issue.
    The perception might be that any concern raised is NIMBYism, but I can assure everyone that residents in and around the northern end of Glenwood South have been cooperative with our entertainment oriented neighborhood businesses by proactively engaging and coming to agreements about a friendly process when things get out of hand. It’s not the intention to kill the good times of others who are mostly visiting our neighborhood for fun. We get it, we live here for the convenience of the fun too. However, this does not mean that developers and business owners should be allowed to do whatever they want to do.
    While this comment section has often targeted residents as the villain of the narrative, keep in mind that DT properties are marketed and priced based on the UDO and what it will allow a buyer to do. To push for more than the UDO is not motivated by anything altruistic; it’s motivated by money and profits.

  66. I’ve been an owner on Fayetteville Street for the past 2 years and previously rented at 712 Tucker (facing Boylan Ave) for 3. One of my favorite stories about the adventures of living downtown is that I was woken up one Sunday morning at 5:30am to an individual who was standing on the corner near the Paramount not singing.. but yelling gospel hymns (pretty sure he wasn’t a Paramount resident). This continued for about 45 minutes until I guess he fulfilled his Sunday obligations.

    Very much respect the discussion happening here on all sides of this issue. Choosing to live anywhere is going to have it’s own set of unique trade offs. Living downtown offers accessibility to a lot of great businesses and amenities – and every time something new is built it provides the opportunity to further that benefit even more. Increased density is going to lead to increased noise, and honestly I’d rather see a classy boutique hotel in that space rather than Cornerstone Part Deux.

    Hotels are sorely needed Downtown and would love to see more boutique ones open up to offset all the Marriott and Hilton brands planned. Hoping we can come to the right compromise through the next Council agenda and not lose this over a rooftop.

  67. Thanks Leo for posting this video. The biggest issue seems to be the roof top bar as 4 floors plus a roof top bar is 5 floors as it is occupied space. I also think people considering moving downtown will see that zoning for 3 floors and no bar may be easily changed resulting in a residential space where you could never open your windows. As for the developer whining about the cost of rezoning he should have made that a condition on the purchase of the property before he closed. This site isn’t close enough to be considered downtown. You can walk but it is 25 minute walk or take the bum line aka R-line.

  68. I’m excited for FNB. If you’re a dork like me who pays attention to these things, Raleigh has three towers 400 feet or higher, then a handful in the 200-299 range. FNB (and Tower 4 at North Hills, plans say it’s 379 ft.) will help fill the ‘missing middle.’

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