Posts by Leo Suarez

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Pic of the Week

After demolition in September, construction is really humming along at 400 Hillsborough. As you can see above, I felt like the northwest corner has a nice view when looking southeast. I’m sure the ninth-floor terrace, or the Skyhub as the website calls it, will have a real nice view.

On the site for 400H, it looks like foundation work is taking place right now. Perhaps by the Spring, this project will start to go vertical.

Local Developers Join Forces to Bring a Hotel and Apartments at The Acorn

Collaboration happens in all kinds of ways and in development, it’s great to see a sharing of space and resources. Two local developers, Williams Realty & Building Company Inc. and Summit Hospitality Group, are planning to build a seven-story apartment building and adjacent 138-room hotel. The site of the new development is at 415 South Blount which currently sits as a parking lot between Blount and Person Streets.

The property cuts the block in half with one side facing Blount and the other Person Street. On the Person Street side, the eastern side, will be the The Acorn apartments, shown in the rendering above. There will be 106 units on floors four through seven.

Facing Blount Street will be the hotel. A Marriott TownePlace Suites branded hotel will have rooms on all floors. The hotel and residents will share a 200-space parking deck on floors one through three below the apartments.

There’s not much to say about the property in it’s current state. It’s a surface parking lot surrounded by a chain-link fence. That’s it.

Construction is planned to start this December with the hotel portion coming later, planned Summer 2022.

Pic of the Week

More demolition this week. However this time, it’s the buildings along Jones and Dawson Street, damaged from the 2017 apartment fire, that have come down. Half a city block has been cleared as a result.

The site had three, low-rise office buildings built in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The NC League of Municipalities has owned all three lots for over 20 years.

Demolition sometimes means change is coming but at this time, no plans have been made for these lots. The site is currently zoned for buildings up to 12-stories tall. What might be built here in the future is anyone’s guess.

Bloc 83 Momentum Continues with New Mixed-Use Projects

The finishing touches were put on the Bloc 83 project earlier this year but the growth around Morgan and Boylan doesn’t seem to be over yet. Two projects worth following are planned along Boylan Avenue between Morgan and Hargett Streets. They both will be bringing more office space, more residential units, and probably just enough parking spaces that FINALLY, we can do away with the complaint that you can’t park in downtown.

First, let’s map it.

Shown in blue are the Bloc 83 projects that are already up and running. These include the office buildings, One Glenwood and Two Hillsborough, the Origin hotel, and two parking decks.

For the future, another office tower is trying to get built at the corner of Morgan and Boylan, shown in red on the map. The rendering at the top of this page is for this project and shows off the 11-story building. To provide even more parking for the building, the red portion on the map to the southeast would add structured parking to an existing surface lot. The building will also provide ground-floor retail space.

Next door, another developer has plans for Bloomsbury, a 135-unit apartment building. This will be at the corner of Hargett and Boylan. Studio, one, and two-bedroom units will be offered over ground-floor retail spaces. The building will be seven stories tall.

The 100 block of South Boylan will feel entirely different after this infusion of mixed-uses. Currently, the eastern side has a few one-story brick warehouses used for retail and two older homes that, to the best of my knowledge, are broken up into a few units. There are no definitive plans of moving the homes, which look great by the way, so let’s hope someone steps up to move them. They would fit in nicely in Boylan Heights.

Construction probably won’t start until 2022.

Video of the Week

This is a bit of a different post this week. Below is a video of a presentation I gave to the downtown Raleigh Rotary Club. After introducing myself, I made a list of 10 interesting things I’ve noticed after blogging for so long. It’s a presentation I need to refine and improve so hopefully putting it out there helps myself for future presentations.

Leo Suarez – Rotary Club Downtown Raleigh – June 2021 from Leo Suarez on Vimeo.

Enjoy the video and email me any feedback.

Pic of the Week

Have you seen the First Citizens Bank building recently on the corner of Martin and Fayetteville? The building was undergoing a renovation for the last year and they really opened that building up. Significantly more windows have been added and the ground-floor lobby has a nice contemporary refresh.

Buildings along Fayetteville Street have been getting modern refreshes lately. This is probably a result of landlords attempting to lure higher paying office tenants as rents are much higher compared to decades ago when they were first built. Constructed in the 1980s One City Plaza was given a new facade and lobby in 2015. The lobby in the Wells Fargo tower, from the early 1990s, was given a refresh in 2019 and 333 Fayetteville from the 1960s is being renovated right now.

Back to First Citizens, here is a photo pre-renovation.

Demolition Underway at 400H Site

This week, the buildings along the 400 block of Hillsborough Street are being demolished to make way for the 400H development. This mixed-use project has been years in the making and you can check out former posts about it here. The new development will include a mix of uses with over 200 apartments, 144,000 square feet of office space, and ground-floor retail.

The building is expected to finish in Fall 2023.

In recent memory, I don’t recall that many occupants for the spaces on this block. There was a small gym and perhaps some offices but the larger space on the northeast corner of Hillsborough and West Street has been empty ever since I’ve started blogging. (since 2007 by the way)

If you like Raleigh history, you may be following Olde Raleigh, and have seen the post of the A&P Supermarket at the same site. From their post:

Pictured is the A&P Supermarket located at the northeast corner of Hillsborough and West Streets c. 1946. This building was constructed around 1929 and later burned in 1952, but the stout stone walls remained intact. Although the building has changed considerably since 1946, you can still see some of the original stonework on the western side.

See the post on Facebook
Photo by Albert Barden. From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. N.53.15.2412

The photo is from the Albert Barden Collection courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. You can browse the collection on Flickr.