Pic of the Week

Have you seen the First Citizens Bank building recently on the corner of Martin and Fayetteville? The building was undergoing a renovation for the last year and they really opened that building up. Significantly more windows have been added and the ground-floor lobby has a nice contemporary refresh.

Buildings along Fayetteville Street have been getting modern refreshes lately. This is probably a result of landlords attempting to lure higher paying office tenants as rents are much higher compared to decades ago when they were first built. Constructed in the 1980s One City Plaza was given a new facade and lobby in 2015. The lobby in the Wells Fargo tower, from the early 1990s, was given a refresh in 2019 and 333 Fayetteville from the 1960s is being renovated right now.

Back to First Citizens, here is a photo pre-renovation.

Demolition Underway at 400H Site

This week, the buildings along the 400 block of Hillsborough Street are being demolished to make way for the 400H development. This mixed-use project has been years in the making and you can check out former posts about it here. The new development will include a mix of uses with over 200 apartments, 144,000 square feet of office space, and ground-floor retail.

The building is expected to finish in Fall 2023.

In recent memory, I don’t recall that many occupants for the spaces on this block. There was a small gym and perhaps some offices but the larger space on the northeast corner of Hillsborough and West Street has been empty ever since I’ve started blogging. (since 2007 by the way)

If you like Raleigh history, you may be following Olde Raleigh, and have seen the post of the A&P Supermarket at the same site. From their post:

Pictured is the A&P Supermarket located at the northeast corner of Hillsborough and West Streets c. 1946. This building was constructed around 1929 and later burned in 1952, but the stout stone walls remained intact. Although the building has changed considerably since 1946, you can still see some of the original stonework on the western side.

See the post on Facebook
Photo by Albert Barden. From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. N.53.15.2412

The photo is from the Albert Barden Collection courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. You can browse the collection on Flickr.

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.