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.

Plans for New Apartments Land on 501 Hillsborough Street

Site review plans (ASR-0059-2021) dropped onto the city’s website recently for 501 Hillsborough Street. The plans show apartments over ground-floor retail wrapping a parking deck, a common formula we’re seeing these days. Slightly different, different to me anyway, is the fact that the plans show an eight-story building. Most apartment buildings in downtown top out at six or maybe seven if built on a hill.

The architect is Raleigh-based Cline Design. The plans state there will be 233 apartments with a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units. What is typical here is that there are a lot more one-bedroom units planned compared to two and three. (202, 25, 6, respectively)

Ground-floor retail will line Hillsborough essentially replacing the old single-story storefronts that currently line the street today. At first, I wasn’t sure about a parking deck entrance right on Hillsborough but there’s a driveway there today so I guess that isn’t so bad.

The site currently has The Violin Maker, Meg McLaurin, AIA, Flex Nightclub, and along Morgan Street, Wilson’s Outdoor Equipment. There are other spaces that have been empty for some time, at least as long as I have been running this site, but overall, this has been a quieter block on Hillsborough Street.

Apartments should do well as residential capacity is at 95.9% as reported by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s Q2 2021 Market Report. (read here) As always, I’m happy to see surface parking lots developed into something more.

Let’s hope the businesses can find new homes if this project actually moves forward but indicators right now look good for it. The only other large apartment building being built right now is over at Seaboard Station and 615 West Peace.

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.

Pic of the Week

A building that probably wants the least amount of news now has a reason for you to look up at it. The AT&T building on McDowell Street will be getting a mural. The infrastructure building, from what I’ve been told, has very few employees in it but lots of telecommunication equipment inside. As for the aesthetically dull outside, you can see it doesn’t contribute much to the landscape.

Make sure to keep checking over the coming weeks as the new mural is painted. Kudos to those behind the project!