Plans for New Apartments Land on 501 Hillsborough Street

Site review plans (ASR-0059-2021) dropped onto the city’s website recently for 501 Hillsborough Street. The plans show apartments over ground-floor retail wrapping a parking deck, a common formula we’re seeing these days. Slightly different, different to me anyway, is the fact that the plans show an eight-story building. Most apartment buildings in downtown top out at six or maybe seven if built on a hill.

The architect is Raleigh-based Cline Design. The plans state there will be 233 apartments with a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units. What is typical here is that there are a lot more one-bedroom units planned compared to two and three. (202, 25, 6, respectively)

Ground-floor retail will line Hillsborough essentially replacing the old single-story storefronts that currently line the street today. At first, I wasn’t sure about a parking deck entrance right on Hillsborough but there’s a driveway there today so I guess that isn’t so bad.

The site currently has The Violin Maker, Meg McLaurin, AIA, Flex Nightclub, and along Morgan Street, Wilson’s Outdoor Equipment. There are other spaces that have been empty for some time, at least as long as I have been running this site, but overall, this has been a quieter block on Hillsborough Street.

Apartments should do well as residential capacity is at 95.9% as reported by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s Q2 2021 Market Report. (read here) As always, I’m happy to see surface parking lots developed into something more.

Let’s hope the businesses can find new homes if this project actually moves forward but indicators right now look good for it. The only other large apartment building being built right now is over at Seaboard Station and 615 West Peace.