Pic of the Week

The Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility is seeing some movement. There’s a combination of demolition and preservation taking place at the old warehouses along West Street. In the photo above, the metal braces are in place in order to preserve the brick fa├žade as it’ll be incorporated into the new development. This is at the corner of West and Hargett.

Some buildings are coming down, especially the ones facing the railroad tracks. You can see plenty of photos being taken by members of the Community right here and I’m sure there will be more so do follow along.

Park City South Phase 1 Clicking Together on Saunders Street

South Saunders Street doesn’t get to much of a mention here on the blog but that’s about to change. Today, the parking deck for Park City South Phase 1 is being put together on the east side of Saunders. Phase 1 plans for about 335 apartments and restaurant/retail spaces. It’s important to note that this project will compliment the nearby Rocky Branch Greenway with a bridge to a new walkway alongside the apartments and restaurants in the new development.

We can see those plans in the images below.

Park City South from the city’s website site plan and Design Workshop.

It’s all one structure but on the ground floor, we have separated spaces and walkways that should deliver an awesome pedestrian and biking experience. With the potential for food spaces, Park City South could be a nice pit stop while riding up and down the greenway. It even makes for a nice destination after spending time in Dix Park.

This is certainly a nice development to look forward to. If you’d like to see some aerials from a few weeks ago, hop over to the Community and follow the conversation. And here’s one more rendering of the development’s phase 1. We’ll save Phase 2 for a future post.

Almost 300 Apartments Planned for 401 West Cabarrus

West Cabarrus is buzzing. A developer from Durham, Elmwood Development, is looking to build about 300 apartments with the building shown in the rendering above. The new project will be located at 401 West Cabarrus Street and sits on the same block as The Fairweather condos. A block down the street, you also have more under construction projects such as The Platform.

The block, today, is mostly one-story office buildings of various types from a variety of decades with some surface parking. The brick boxes could be cool inside, I have never seen them, but from the outside looking in, it doesn’t appear we’re losing much here.

The site plans indicate some ground-floor retail space as well so this could be a pretty cool project at a great location.

Pic of the Week

The apartments at The Platform on Cabarrus Street are really moving. The Community, where I pulled the photo from, is all over this project so I encourage you to follow the thread for more regular updates.

What is cool about The Platform is how close it is to the Union Station train platform. From a train rider’s perspective, it’ll be one of the first (last?) things they see when riding in and out of Raleigh. I’m eager to see what this project looks like and if it does compliment the warehouse district feel with a modern edge.

North Carolina Railroad Working to Rezone The Depot, Offer a Mix of New Uses

A rezoning case (see Z-9-22 here) that’s been in progress throughout the year involves The Depot, the long warehouse situated at the end of West Davie Street fronted by the delicious Videri Chocolate Factory. Owned by the North Carolina Railroad, a desire to develop more of their properties seems to be part of their future. The rezoning would allow for up to 20 stories of new development and could possibly alter the layout of the existing Depot building.

To dive right into things, the presentation and discussion from the August 9, 2022 meeting of the planning commission, embedded below, (or watch it on YouTube) is the best place to start. The commission has recommended approval of the rezoning and it next goes to city council for overall approval.

Earlier in the year, the rezoning started at the Raleigh Historic Development Commission and that group recommended to deny this rezoning request. However, throughout the year, conditions have been added that would save some of the historic structures and possibly make the rezoning more palatable to city leaders.

Looking at the aerial photo from Google Maps as well as Exhibit A (above) from the commission presentation, we are actually talking about the The Depot building and the parking lot. The section where Videri is located currently is the head house of the building and plans are for it to remain. The rest of the Depot building could be partially or entirely removed as part of the future development.

For completeness, the request also wants to rezone a property on the other side of the tracks. If you look at the Google Maps aerial, you’ll see the former train station site. It has since been demolished and is a gravel parking lot now.

If approved in its current form, the rezoning conditions around the Depot would preserve the head house as is and any new additions to it must have complimentary materials. There also must be a 30 foot wide pedestrian walkway between Davie and Cabarrus street. That could look something like this.

The architect, Gensler, proposes a mix of uses and buildings that compliment the Depot as well as the rest of the warehouse district. A “strong retail base” was mentioned in order to support active uses along the pedestrian walkway, shown in the proposed site plan above.

The rezoning hits the city council starting at their meeting on September 20.

My thoughts on this are evolving. If you watched the commission video above, members of planning commission were definitely feeling emotional trying to find a way to preserve the building that the entire historic district is named after. It is called, “The Depot Historic District” after all so demolishing most of it seems unfortunate.

I have however always disliked the surface parking lot and welcome the new buildings and the pedestrian walkway. The Depot can be pretty active on nights and especially on weekends but I’m just not sure it’s being used to its full potential.

It always seems like it’s the parking in new developments that take up the most space and cause older buildings to be demolished. The new proposed site plan replaces the majority of the Depot with structured parking underneath new apartments. I can’t help but to continue to roll my eyes at the thought of this. Realistically, even though we don’t require any parking in downtown Raleigh, the city is just too car-dependent for new projects to offer less parking or none at all.

I do think that nearby project The Dillon gives me hope that a new development could be built that keeps some of the character in place and creates a whole new pedestrian experience with active uses. I also think being such a big transit supporter that I can’t fight more density near our Raleigh Union Station.

You also have to consider that as of today, if they wanted to, North Carolina Railroad could demolish everything and build from scratch. There are no protections in place. However, in exchange for an increasing in zoning allowances, the head house would be incorporated into the new development.

It’s not great but it feels like a strong compromise.

Pic of the Week

Demolition is taking place at the now former home of the North Carolina Association of Educators building at the corner of South and Salisbury Street. The one-story campus with surface parking was tucked off the street some so it had always been something that you could easily miss. Even now, you have to zoom through the trees and bushes to see the pile of rubble that has to be taken away.

Coming soon will be Salisbury Square, a mix of apartments and office buildings. See this July 2020 post for a recap.

Pic of the Week

Seaboard Station is really humming. In the foreground above, Block A has been cleared even more with the former parking lot stripped away and trees removed. This piece will have hotel and apartment units.

In the background, Block B is getting bricked up and looking real nice. I expect the crane to come down soon but maybe it’ll be moved to Block A. Just a guess here.

Block C, not shown above, has fencing around it so perhaps demolition is upcoming. For a refresher on the layout of Seaboard Station, see this March 2022 post.

After Successful Rezoning, Legends to go up to 30 Stories for Residential

An administrative site review has hit the city with high-level plans for a new tower along Harrington Street. The Legends nightclub at 330 West Hargett Street (corner of Hargett and Harrington) would be demolished to make way for a new tower and parking deck, the site plans show.

The new tower would have 372 apartments, ground-floor retail space, and a parking deck. The plans show all these offerings in a 30-story tower. The building where Legends is located isn’t the only one getting the “demosh” as the tower actually goes along Harrington between Hargett and Morgan. Two buildings along Morgan, being used as office space today, will also be demolished for the new tower.

With a narrow lot, we’re getting a pretty thin tower compared to the current downtown Raleigh building stock. The parking entrance/exit will be along Morgan and the service/loading entrance is along Hargett. This shifts the ground-floor activity up and down Harrington Street. That seems necessary with a tower this size but is disappointing as Hargett was identified as a key pedestrian-retail street per the 2015 downtown plan.

Below is the view, from the site plan, staring at the tower from Harrington Street followed by the view from Hargett. (as if you’re looking at Legends’ front door)

That block will be pretty built up with over 600 homes, probably, when you include The Dawson and The Hue. Nearby, The Dillon has over 500 units and construction is starting on another residential tower over at the future Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility.

The latest news has construction starting at the Legends lot in early 2023.