Pic of the Week

Readers have seen site work taking place at 200 West Davie Street, the location for a long-time planned Hilton Garden Inn hotel. Plans go back to even 2015 but earth is being moved at the site and sidewalk fencing was added about a month ago. I may be stretching a bit but perhaps construction will start on the 13-story, 259 room hotel here, which was covered in this 2017 post.

The hotel amenities also list a rooftop bar and restaurant facing McDowell street. Parking is also included in this project. There’s no indication of ground-floor retail but that’s not surprising as the The L building’s retail across the street has never been 100% full. It would be great for the hotel to support nearby activities such as new retail/restaurants and conventions.

Hopefully the next update is a crane in the air at the site.

Pic of the Week

The Willard hotel, or the AC Hotel, on Glenwood is nearing completion. Sidewalk pavers were being installed this past weekend and the place is nicely lit up at night. You can even make reservations on the Marriott website.

The 146-room hotel is missing it’s name though. “The Willard” must have been a local name for the construction project but Marriott seems to prefer “AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown” going forward. It’s a great location though and I’m sure visitors staying here will have a fun time.

Pic of the Week

Demolition is taking place along the 500 block of west Cabarrus Street. The single-story office buildings that lined the street are now mostly gone. In addition to some extensive utility work on Cabarrus, this will clear the way for a new mixed-use project.

My guess is the residential piece will go up first as that’s the safest bet these days. You can refer to this February 2020 post for more details.

Rendering of the Week

Site plans for RUSBus, or the Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility, have been submitted to the city. Plans show a 34-story residential tower plus a 15-story hotel. The latest rendering, above, shows you an aerial of the site and a concept of what it could look like. As always planned, the towers would be built over a bus station that would connect to nearby Union Station.

We’ve covered the ground floor a bit in a previous post so I won’t get into that today but seeing the towers now is pretty exciting I think. There is an affordability component to the residential units as a means to secure some government funding for the project. A hotel would be great but I wonder if that one will actually happen as you can point to a few cleared sites in downtown with hotels announced but construction yet to take place.

Construction is planned to start in 2022 and my guess would be the residential tower goes up first.

Pic of the Week

The residential building over at Seaboard Station is starting to rise out of it’s hole along Halifax Street. The underground parking deck should be done (or at least poured) and we will now get to watch the ground-floor amenity and retail space take shape.

This site is just called Block B according to the publicly released plan for the entire area. Block A, at the corner of Halifax and Peace, had plans for a hotel. It’s not surprising that hasn’t started due to the pandemic and uncertainty around future travel. New housing seems to do well in downtown so the additional 180 units would be welcomed.

Checking in on West South Street

South Street seems to come in waves here on the blog. This time around, we have a few items to mention as the Western portion of the street has new activity worth mentioning.

First, plans have popped up on the city’s website for a new apartment development. Named 320 West South, 296 apartments are planned for the corner of Dawson and South in a 20-story tower. The new development would be situated right next to the storage building.

The plans show mostly one-bedroom units and ground-floor retail space facing Dawson. Parking entrances would be along Dawson and Lenoir with a bike room on Lenoir. I love that these bike rooms seem to be standard at this point.

The plans also mention 396 parking spaces which comes out to almost 1 per bedroom. (201 1br, 92 2br, 3 3br) One space per bedroom might be the level that the market dictates in Raleigh I feel.

Going west down South Street, there are two renovations worth mentioning.

The old First National Bank is being converted into a craft beer shop and bar appropriately called Vault Craft Beer. The small building holds a little historic significance as Vault’s website states:

Settled between The Raleigh Convention Center and historic Boylan Heights resides a historical building constructed in the late 50’s. Designed by locally famous architect Fred Carter Williams, 518 W. South St was once one of the first ‘drive-thru’ banks in the area and home to First National Bank. The building served the community with streamlined banking for 25 years and our goal is to continue that service to the community with ten of the eighteen taps dedicated to the great beers of North Carolina, all while staying true to the original mid-modern century architecture.

Vault Craft Beer

Last I heard, they were aiming to open this Fall.

Over by Boulted Bread, another renovation is taking place. The future Hartwell building is being upfitted to host a variety of community uses. Plans for the space seems to be fluid and will have a retail section for local makers and artists. The gathering spaces can be rented out and there will be ongoing pop-up events inside and outside.

They have partnered with the Raleigh Night Market if that gives you a sense of items they will feature. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and sign up for their newsletter.

Last, I can’t help but mention The Lynde condos across the street. This development has changed hands and stalled for years and, no surprise, continues to sit empty. No update on this but it’ll definitely be a Pic of the Week once, if, this project ever gets going.

Warehouse District Potential Rises With a Pair of Approved Rezonings

I propose we rename the warehouse district to the rezoning district. I’m kidding of course but with a pair of approved rezonings earlier in July of this year plus plenty of cases in the recent past, you can’t deny the potential for multiple new projects adding a lot of new space to the area. It’ll be quite a change!

Approved recently were two cases around the intersection of Hargett and Harrington. Mentioned earlier this year, the “Legends block” was approved for a max-height of 40 stories. Across the street, now a parking lot owned by Highwoods Properties, is another piece of property with a similar 40 story max zoning.

There’s not much else to add about the Legends parcel in that it includes the entire building, front and back bar, and the small parking lot along Harrington. No details as to what is planned have been released. The owners of the property is CityPlat, a local commercial development company.

The owner of Legends was quoted in the News & Observer that the deal here was a positive thing for the business.

“The deal with CityPlat ensures the long-term survival of Legends as an on-going business and an opportunity to collaborate for future development,” said Tim Bivens, one of the club’s owners, in an email. “We are coming up on our 30 year anniversary and plan to be around for another 30.”

Downtown Raleigh LGBTQ club Legends sells property for $4.3 million – link

The Highwoods Property on the other corner was mostly surface parking. The surface parking expanded with some buildings being demolished in February 2020. It’s not even fully paved, a move Highwoods seems to be fond of like their property on the corner of Wilmington and Martin. Similar to Legends, no details on future plans have been announced.

What gets me excited about this potential is the possible future for a nice two-block street of retail and restaurants. 300 and 400 West Hargett could have retail facing each other on both sides of the street on their ground floors. That’s actually quite rare in downtown outside of the Fayetteville Street core and Glenwood South.

Long term, we have planned bus-rapid transit and an already running train station nearby with plans for commuter rail. Office, residential, or even hotel uses could be nicely served by these alternative transit options.

We’ll have to see what’s announced in the future.

The Madison Drops Office and Residential at 600 Glenwood

Rendering by Cline Design

Located at the corner of Johnson and Glenwood are some single-family homes turned bars that pulse with Glenwood South’s nightlife. The properties have slowly been acquired and we now have renderings for a development that will include office space and residential.

The Madison will consist of around 200 apartments and the typical laundry list of amenities that you see with the newer developments like a pool and fitness center. On the same property, 603 Glenwood will have 114,000 square feet of office space. There will be a parking deck as well to handle the residents, office tenants, and interviews mentioned plans for public parking here as well.

The new development does plan to offer ground-floor retail space which I hope fills in quickly as the pedestrian counts are pretty high on this street.

The new development would remove the four 100+ year old homes that are currently operating as bars and a parlor. Nothing has been announced yet whether the homes will be moved but if you ask me, I’d be impressed if someone steps up to save the houses.

I’m ecstatic for more office for Glenwood South as that should add some midday traffic to the area and businesses may start expanding their hours. Smoky Hollow is also adding office space a few blocks away and of course Bloc 83 on the southern end has already been doing this.

If it’s not clear already, Glenwood South is by far the densest residential area in the city. With the addition of office space, it would be a pretty mixed-use area justifying it for future transit improvements and perhaps less need for structured parking, something we don’t see happening anywhere else in Raleigh.

The new development plans to break ground in 2022.