The block to the south of Nash Square, think Whiskey Kitchen, The Berkeley Cafe, and the former Firestone Auto, is looking a bit more airy these days. Bloc 122 (for the history buffs out there) has had plans for a pair of hotels in the works for awhile and demolition of the existing buildings look nearly complete.
Shown above is the southeast corner of Martin and Dawson Streets. The former buildings have been leveled and are now being shoveled away.
Past submitted plans suggest a nine-story hotel with outdoor terrace on the fourth floor. There haven’t been any announcements as to which hotel brand the building may be.
On the opposite corner of the block, the northwest corner of Davie and McDowell Streets has also been cleared out. Here, we’ve seen multiple renderings for a hotel and maybe that project will finally start in the near future.
You can jump back here to review the latest on this but the latest plans were for a 14-story hotel. This project has been around for over five years so maybe, just maybe it’ll start soon. The brands for this hotel were to be a Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites.
And while not quite demolition related, I wanted to throw up more photos of this block. As the former Firestone Auto has closed up, it’s left a little bit of a hole here especially with the removal of that classic sign.
We’re tracking these developments on the Community so follow along if you want to join in on the discussion.
In case you’ve missed it, a big piece of Chavis Park is getting a complete overhaul and there’s plenty to spy over the construction fencing these days. While you can’t exactly walk around the construction due to the creek, you can easily get a sense of how much is being worked on.
Some quick history, Chavis Park is being renovated with money from a previous parks bond. The scope includes:
Building a new gym
Building a new community center
Building a new central plaza with splash pad
Rebuilding the playground area
Renovating the original carousel house
During this phase (more construction phases to come in the future) the former splash pad and outdoor pool have been removed but a future aquatics center is planned.
Below is the front of the new community center as seen standing right next to the existing carousel house. The rendering and aerial shot come from the city’s website on the project.
The old playground is gone and the area seems to be used to hold equipment for now. Same goes for the parking lot.
The former carousel house has also been emptied out. Renovation work was much needed on this structure.
It’s been pretty obvious if you follow the news the Dix Park gets a lot of attention and people want to find ways to connect downtown Raleigh to Dix Park. They often overlook the immediate availability and access that Chavis has offered for years.
With a new community center, gym, plaza, and playground for kids, Chavis delivers that community space in the near future as Dix goes on its decades-long journey to become a destination park. It’s a perfect compliment to having spaces for all in and around downtown Raleigh.
Phase 1 construction is planned to complete in Spring 2021. Phase 2 funding is actually tentatively planned for a park bond this year.
Starting at the southeast corner of Hargett and Harrington Streets, a string of properties including some buildings that housed the former Goodwill are now being demolished. The lots will be a parking lot until future development plans are put in place.
For clarity, the building where the wine bar Vita Vite is located is unaffected.
Surface parking is a common tactic for property owners to hold on to property and still generate some revenue. This puts it in a position that’s shovel-ready (no buildings to clear) and no labor is needed. (a kiosk does all the work)
Highwoods Realty currently owns it and is using the same tactic on the southeast corner of Martin and Wilmington. Let’s hope it’s not parking for too long.
Working its way through the design process are some new developments for the 500 block of West Cabarrus Street. Brand new residential, office, retail, and dining options may come to an area that’s mostly empty. save for a few small offices.
First, across the street from the former train station, now a gravel parking lot, between West Street and Dupont Circle are plans for some much needed density and mixed of uses. Dive into the Appearance Commission’s agenda, AAD-6-20, to see the latest.
For clarity on the location, let’s look at a modified aerial from Google Maps. Click for a larger view.
The intersection of Cabarrus and West is going to get a lot livelier. The office tower pair shown in the renderings above are for the northwest corner which currently looks like this:
In addition to the office towers, residential and parking is planned for the western half. Named The Platform in the renderings, over 300 apartments and 1,000 parking spaces would be built to support the mixed-use development.
The second half of the area includes plans for a warehouse renovation across the street that could possibly bring a mix of retail and restaurants. The warehouse on the southwest corner will be renovated and the area between them could be a courtyard with lots of outdoor seating.
Kane Realty with architects Duda Paine (the office towers) and Raleigh Architecture Co. (warehouse rehab), who have worked on other projects together in downtown Raleigh, are behind the plans here. No rezoning is needed for these plans.
This is a great density boost for the area as putting hundreds of residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space near transit in Union Station and the future RUSBUS just makes sense.
The travelodge at Dawson and Lane is now in it’s next concept. The Longleaf Hotel is now open and taking reservations. Locals can also hang at the Longleaf Lounge for beers and cocktails either inside or outside on the patio.
The 57-room hotel building was formerly a Days Inn. Now, the hotel has come under Raleigh-based Loden Properties.
The second thing to look forward to here is Ish Delicatessen, the restaurant that will go right next door. At first, a renovation of the former deli space was planned but later it was decided to demolish the building and make more space for it.
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.
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)