Even though the barricades are still up, I’m calling the renovations and maintenance that took place at City Plaza as complete. Most of the pavers are now looking straight, the water feature was removed, and all the planters have been completely refreshed with new bushes and tress.
The pedestals for art are still blank so perhaps new pieces will be added sometime soon. That could help as the plaza is pretty lacking right now and is visually uninteresting. What’s needed are people and lots and lots of chairs!
Fencing has popped up around some portions of Seaboard Station. A demolition company has put up it’s sign around block B. I take it to mean that the central building, shown above, is about to be demolished.
Block B plans for a residential building over retail, described in more detail in this August 2020 post. Block A also has fencing around it as well. Residential is still a hot commodity in Raleigh so leading with this development over the hotel portion makes sense for this year if that’s what we’ll see take place.
I’m sticking with the same Smoky Hollow location as last week. This time, we’re looking at the office tower at 421 North Harrington Street. The nine-story building looks almost complete when looking at it from the outside. Since the nearby Peace building across Johnson is open to provide parking, I would think the building could be up and running pretty soon.
Assuming companies are still wary to come back to in-person working, the office scene may stay quiet for the rest of the year. Still, this building will be among a few new office additions to downtown as we watch Bloc 83 and Raleigh Crossing rising up.
Over by Smoky Hollow, The Line apartments are really showing their presence on West Street. This is over 280 apartments in a key part of Glenwood South and part of the overall Smoky Hollow project.
Once open next year, this will project will really help solidify Glenwood South as the most densely populated area in the Triangle. It could probably use some sidewalks along West Street if that’s the case, am I right?
Starting this week, the city is having protected bike lanes installed on West and Harrington Streets as part of the Downtown North-South Greenway Connector. This will be downtown’s first protected bike lane which connects the warehouse district to Smoky Hollow. You can already see parts of it along West, shown above.
Along West Street, bicycle traffic can start from Union Station and head toward Smoky Hollow in the protected lane until North Street. If heading the other way around, you can get back to the warehouse district riding down Harrington Street.
The placement of the lanes is also nice as there are several Citrix Cycle stations along them including Union Station, across from Morgan Street Food Hall, Hillsborough Street, and at Jones Street.
This is excellent to see as it is a foundational route that one day could connect to a greenway heading north along a Devereux Meadows park in north downtown and to a greenway to Dix Park which is to the south. The lanes should be 100% by October.
The demolition continues on Caswell Square, this time with the Oral Hygiene building along Dawson Street coming down. By the time you read this, it is most likely gone.
The demolition on the square itself started in March 2020, see this post, and no plans for the land have been announced. If I recall correctly, this is the last building to be removed from the square.
I said it before and I still continue to think that the state government needs to improve the management of their own properties as the loss of these buildings, with private interest in rehabilitation, is a loss for downtown Raleigh.
We’re getting reports that Publix, located along Peace Street at the intersection with West Street, is set to open in early September. This makes the road work nearby feel practically complete as crews just need to put the finishing touches on the bridge over Peace Street. Publix is more reason to celebrate almost four years of road construction finally ending.
Throughout the 2000s and early 2010’s, a downtown grocery store was one of those key reasons folks said they wouldn’t seriously consider living in downtown Raleigh. They are now here so if Weaver Street didn’t get you packing, Publix should seal the deal!