Posts by Leo Suarez

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Pic of the Week

These bare trees are giving us a good view of the tower crane that’s putting together the office tower at the corner of Hillsborough and Dawson Streets. The foundation seems to be in place and concrete is starting to rise out of the ground.

Named Raleigh Crossing, phase 1 is currently being built and will consist of an office tower along Dawson. When fully built out, the development may also have a hotel and residential units. See more about it here.

It’s been a long story for this block since the original buildings were demolished in 2007. You can track the past development proposals through the 301 Hillsborough tag.

Lucky #13. 13 years of downtown Raleigh Blogging

Today marks 13 years of doing this blogging thing. I like to call the art of being a Raleigh Connoisseur , RalConography. That works, right?

In the last few years, I’ve been trying to get in touch with more people, more readers, and bring the conversation about downtown Raleigh into the real world. The audience, you all, have been incredible.

There are still some people that keep in touch, online and offline, that have been around since the beginning, 2007. That slow growth over a long time has led to a strong foundation of community. A huge thanks to those of you out there. I appreciate you sticking with me.

At the same time, it’s just this week that I met new followers. They have either just heard of this blog because they moved to the area or they want to get more engaged. Hat tip to the new folks as well.

I’ll continue to keep the blog rolling with quick hits and photos of what’s going on in downtown Raleigh. The Community has really turned into a deeper dive into Raleigh politics, development, transit, and other cultural topics. The discussion is in-depth and there are some folks that are really making thoughtful and insightful contributions. If you want to go deeper down the DTR rabbit hole, join us.

I try to only ask once a year but I do take donations for my work on the front here as well as the back end to keep these websites rolling. Any contribution would be appreciated. It also goes a long way as a few dollars could support a whole month’s worth of hosting.

This year’s goal is to get at least 13 donations of $13.

Here’s how you can contribute:

  • Contribute through Paypal.
  • Find me on Venmo as @DTRaleigh
  • Email me if you have other ideas.

Last, each year I dive into the photo vault and post an older photo. Above is the steel shell that makes the Nature Research Center’s SECU Daily Planet theater. I remember during its construction that some national blogs joked that Raleigh was building its own Death Star.

It’s Friday so a beer is on order at the end of this day. Cheers!

City Starts RFI Process for Multi-Use Development on Fayetteville Street

The city has started the Request for Interest (RFI) process for a new convention center hotel as well as added mixed-use development for properties they own at the southern end of Fayetteville Street. The conceptual rendering above is what could go on these sites as they are currently zoned for up to 40 stories.

A website has been put up with more details so jump right into here if you want more. If not familiar, this would be for the two surface parking lots sitting right in front of the performing arts center.

It looks like there will be negotiations going on all year with developers but the key takeaway here is that a large hotel is needed to serve the convention center. A hotel with 400 or more rooms is key as the large amount in a single building allows for larger conventions. It is preferable to get everyone together rather than spread all over town.

Some highlights from the RFI:

  • Right-of-way is mapped to extend Fayetteville Street through the property creating two sites, each about one acre.
  • The 500,000 square foot Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) and connected 401-room Marriott opened in 2008, and the market has since outgrown the available hotel room block within walking distance.
  • The 2018 JLL Destination Strategic Plan recommends a new 500+ room convention hotel that, when combined with the RCC optimization effort, could generate over 100K new annual room nights.
  • Raleigh’s projected population growth is nearly 70% over the next 25 years.
  • Downtown Raleigh attractions drew 3.4 million visitors in 2018. Visitation to downtown attractions is up by 47% since 2007.

In addition to the convention center hotel, an office mixed-use tower would be desired here. This would also extend Fayetteville Street between Lenoir and South Streets.

This is very exciting to see and hopefully interest is very high for something like this. There’s also a video associated to the effort which is embedded below. (or here on YouTube)

Pic of the Week

Steel is rising out of the ground at the Bloc 83 site. Two Hillsborough is now being built next to the already open One Glenwood. To the left of the photo above is the parking deck that will support the new building. This explains why Boylan has been closed here for awhile.

At the pace that the first building held, Two Hillsborough should be open this time next year. The space between them should also be something special as the website reps it as “Raleigh’s largest urban courtyard.”

Rendering for Downtown’s Home 2 & Tru Hotel

This month, the appearance commission will be discussing a proposed hotel for the corner of Lenoir and Wilmington Streets. Spying the agenda, we see some renderings and floorplans of the new 12-story building. It looks like a combined Hilton-branded Home2 & Tru hotel.

The bottom “half” is basically parking space with the hotel rooms above an amenity floor. The amenity floor is making space for things like an outdoor terrace, pool, fitness area, and conference rooms.

Duda Paine, also known for The Dillon, are the architects on this project. You may have heard of Narsi Properties, the owner and developer, as they have multiple hotel projects around the triangle.

It’s been years in the works on this one it seems so let’s hope for construction soon as downtown has a big need for more hotel rooms.

Next Reader Meetup is on Jan 29!

Need an ANOTHER excuse to come out to Transfer Co. Food Hall on a Wednesday night? Well, we’re giving you one this month. Our next reader meetup is on the calendar.

January 2020 Reader Meetup
Date/Time: Wed., Jan. 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where:Transfer Co. Food Hall
*Look for our City of Raleigh flag that marks the spot!*

No need to sign up or be on time. We keep these things real casual so come on by and say hello. Our hosts, in addition to myself, this time around include: