Pic of the Week

Photo by Jeff Gimondo

The buildings are starting to come down to make way for The Willard hotel. Located at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Willard Place, the brick buildings formerly used as office space and the surface parking lot will have a new hotel in the future.

At one point, the planners suggested condos on the upper floors but it’s been awhile since so it’ll be great to get an update on the plans. The lots are zoned for a maximum of 7 stories.

Moore Square’s Grand Opening is on August 3

Final touches being applied to Moore Square. July 2019.

Moore Square is getting close to wrapping up its makeover as the city has announced a string of events to celebrate the reopening of the downtown square. The grand opening party is on August 3rd but there will be events the night before as part of First Friday.

Moore Square Grand Opening Celebration
Date/Time: Sat., Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Moore Square Park
226 East Martin Street

The full schedule is here. With live music, a playground for kids, and a movie, the events should test out the square’s ability to play host.

In addition to the square, the house at 226 East Martin will be the Moore Square Visitor’s center. The center will sell local merch in addition to “a history exhibit detailing the historic significance of the Square and surrounding district to the city of Raleigh.”

226 East Martin. July 2019.

Soccer Stadium Plans Show Off Mixed-Use District named Downtown South

A little outside our typical watch area, last week, Steve Malik, the owner of the North Carolina Football Club, and John Kane, a Raleigh developer, announced a $2 billion vision for the area near South Saunders and I-40. Downtown South would be a mix of office, residential, and hotels around a 20,000 seat soccer stadium.

All the details are over at visitdowntownsouth.com.

Recall that a downtown soccer stadium was proposed in July 2017 as Major League Soccer was touring cities as possible expansion teams for the league. This time around, Malik says that a pro team is not needed for the area’s success.

The stadium could be used for NC Courage and NCFC games as well as events. The area would be supported by mixed-use development including:

  • 125,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space 
  • 1.6 million square feet of office space
  • 1,200 hotel rooms
  • 1,750 residential units

A huge kicker to all this is the need for public funding. The group will be pursuing $13 million a year for 20-25 years which is typically funded from the Wake County room occupancy and prepared food and beverage taxes.

Assuming the county backs the request for funds, the group claims construction could start in 2020 with the stadium and first phase completed in 2023.

The current site is actually a bit empty with a few businesses and one-story buildings. The group has rights to develop land between Saunders and Wilmington. Note, this does not include the Bain Water Plant located along Water Works Street.

Current aerial of Downtown South site. Click for larger.

While not downtown proper, a large project like this has the potential to stretch the urban grid south towards the highway. It’s only 1.5 miles from the proposed soccer stadium to the Raleigh Convention Center or the big field in Dix Park.

The future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line is planned to use either Saunders or Wilmington which would be a great service for events as well as commuters to the new office space. It would be great to get out in front of the development and encourage transit-friendly integration and lower parking requirements.

The street grid between Downtown South and the core business district isn’t as urban as it should be and historically has been widened for faster car travel. If Downtown South is built out to it’s fullest, future planning may couple the two areas closer together setting off more urban development in-between.

This one will be fun to watch so make sure to let your representatives know what you think as the developers claim this vision won’t happen without those public funds.

Glenwood South’s Tin Roof Bar Overlooks Lane Street

Glenwood South is getting a Tin Roof bar at the corner of Glenwood and Lane. The live music bar has over 15 locations in the US and you can see the second floor and outdoor space coming together in the photo above.

Having never been but eager to check it out, I see the place also serves food as well. The bar plans to open “late summer” which is great timing for the nice fall weather.

Smokey Hollow Phase 3 Wants to Bring Signature Tower to Peace Street

Current site of Smokey Hollow Phase 3 along Peace and Harrington. April 2019.

The Smokey Hollow project along Peace Street is moving right along in waves with plans for phase 3 already coming to council soon. The developers, Kane Realty, are requesting a rezoning for the site called phase 3 and the request is to increase the height limit from 12-stories or 150 feet to 40-stories or 500 feet.

The request, found consistent with our city’s comprehensive plan and land-use map, has already been approved by the planning commission and will be coming to city council for approval in May or June of this year.

An extremely talented photographer and regular contributor over on the Community provided this aerial of the sites. I’ve reposted with edits and permission to show the scale of everything that’s going on in the area.

Click for Larger. Reposted with permission.

For a recap on phase 1, check out this post here.

For phase 2 details, jump here.

Kane Realty’s rezoning jumps from the 12 to 40 story height limit. There’s a 20 story limit as well so we can assume that their plans consist of something between 20 and 40 stories.

For more in-depth, jump on to the Community as we’ve been following everything but at this point in the development process, we can expect:

  • A large parking deck about 5 or 6 stories tall
  • The parking deck would be wrapped with apartments facing Johnson, Harrington, and Peace
  • The parking would be exposed to Capital but screened to make it better from an aesthetics point-of-view
  • A single mixed-use tower would sit on top with a combination of office and residential

With so much infrastructure here including road capacity, brand new sidewalks, a future cycle-track, and an upcoming bus-rapid transit route, there is a very strong argument for higher-density in this area.

It’s definitely part of a project that will make an impact and is single-handedly multiplying the resident and job count to this area by a factor of 10.