Pic of the Week

Steel framing of the office building coming to Smokey Hollow phase 2.

Steel is rising up on Harrington Street for the office tower component of Smoky Hollow. It seems like it was only weeks ago that the site was flat. At this rate, the nine-story tower will be topped out sometime in the Fall.

It’s such a dramatic difference compared to how the area was built up before. Surface parking in front of one-story office buildings lined Harrington Street for years. Traffic was nonexistent.

Now, with a little imagination, you can envision the street with a lot more life and active uses. Harrington has been connected to Peace Street and there will be a lot more residential and office space in the area.

There’s a lot to look forward to with Smoky Hollow!

Pic of the Week

Moore Square is now open!

The downtown square on the east side of downtown Raleigh has finally reopened after years of planning and construction. The square went through multiple iterations of various plans with a wide stakeholder group but we’re finally here.

The former square design consisted of many paths and pockets to hang out where the new design has fewer but wider paths for strolling. Seating is plentiful along low walls and there’s no reason not to lay out on the grass.

On the edges, you’ll notice short barrier walls that encourage visitors to use the paths as a way to protect the roots of the old oak trees. There are lots of newly planted shrubs that will look great after a few years when they’ve matured a bit.

In addition to a community table and child play area, the plaza has a splash pad and outdoor seating. With the kiosk nearby, this will be the square’s hub of activity. Square Burger has set up shop in the kiosk and is serving burgers, fries, and shakes.

I expect the square to be quite busy when the fresh Fall weather hits downtown.

Pic of the Week

Photo by @oakcitydylan

Demolition is taking place on the western half of the site named Bloc 83. By the time you read this, the site along the southern side of the 600 block of Hillsborough Street may already be cleared out.

This is the second-half development that will pair up with the already open One Glenwood. For a refresher of what is to come here, jump back to this November 2018 post about the development named Two Hillsborough.

I’m certainly missing the Esso Gas Station that stood at the corner and had one of my favorite bars, Dram and Draught. However, I’m happy to see new urban-style development that should be a part of the Raleigh of the future which makes transit-use more feasible and even brings about even more retail and restaurant space.

Dram and Draught has moved into One Glenwood and should re-open soon.

Finally, for nostalgia’s sake, I’ve got a snap of the Esso Gas Station in 2015 after it was renovated but before the bar set up shop in it.

Corner of Hillsborough and Boylan. August 2015.

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.

Pic of the Week

First to be used in the country (yes, that’s right) the new Molok trash containers are being installed at the corner of Wilmington and Hargett Streets.

Each partially-underground container holds the equivalent of 20 trash bins of waste. This reduces the need to make as frequent pickups, currently at twice a day, and could potentially remove the trash bins that clutter the sidewalks near this intersection.

Nearby restaurants, and pedestrians, can just dump their trash directly instead of using the roll-out carts. Emptying a trash bin only takes minutes so in under 20 minutes, the six containers should be emptied.

Pic of the Week

The old Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street has now been removed.

Torn apart and dismantled during the night throughout the last few weeks, the bridge that was close to reaching its end-of-life and has stood up over Peace for over 50 years is no more.

The “square-loop” traffic pattern is more and more coming into place around the new bridge, which already has traffic flowing in both directions. With the northbound exit to Peace now open, the next major connection should be the new Peace to Capital on-ramp (and Cotton Mill entrance) road.

I’m really hoping to see this project wrap up this year as was planned.