City Plaza is getting some work done. All the planters have been emptied and currently the fountain is being taken apart. It will be removed entirely with new pavers put in place. The existing planters are undergoing maintenance and new plants will eventually be put in.
There does seem to be a change against fountains over at the city as the fountains in front of the convention center and performing arts center have been drained and filled with plants over the past year or two. I’m not sure if it’s a cost-driven move, green approach, something else or some combination.
Not that any of them were particularly amazing but I’ve always been a fan of water features in a city. Perhaps this will allow for more diverse uses in the future.
This month, the Raleigh City Council has moved forward with adding much nicer bus shelters to our existing system. This was a result of a design competition that was held a few years ago. The design has changed since the competition but the result is still a stark difference from our current design.
You may have already seen the concept shelters as some are installed outside of the NC Museum of Art. Now, we’ll be seeing more around the city.
The video above from the March 3 council meeting has the history and latest discussion on this topic.
From the beginning, finding a way to elevate the GoRaleigh brand was important. Bus shelters can be seen as the “front door” to transit so the difference between the current shelter and this new one helps show a greater commitment to transit by our city.
Last year, the council lowered the requirement (based on daily riders) for a bus stop to get a shelter installed. That change made about 200 stops now eligible for a bus shelter. The city hopes to have this built out by 2023. That would mean that 85% of riders would have access to a shelter.
The use of the new shelter would result in a 14.6% increase in the cost to install a bus shelter. ($28,300 vs. $24.700, based on averages)
I think they look great and the branding behind them is worth the extra cost.
Starting at the southeast corner of Hargett and Harrington Streets, a string of properties including some buildings that housed the former Goodwill are now being demolished. The lots will be a parking lot until future development plans are put in place.
For clarity, the building where the wine bar Vita Vite is located is unaffected.
Surface parking is a common tactic for property owners to hold on to property and still generate some revenue. This puts it in a position that’s shovel-ready (no buildings to clear) and no labor is needed. (a kiosk does all the work)
Highwoods Realty currently owns it and is using the same tactic on the southeast corner of Martin and Wilmington. Let’s hope it’s not parking for too long.
Working its way through the design process are some new developments for the 500 block of West Cabarrus Street. Brand new residential, office, retail, and dining options may come to an area that’s mostly empty. save for a few small offices.
First, across the street from the former train station, now a gravel parking lot, between West Street and Dupont Circle are plans for some much needed density and mixed of uses. Dive into the Appearance Commission’s agenda, AAD-6-20, to see the latest.
For clarity on the location, let’s look at a modified aerial from Google Maps. Click for a larger view.
The intersection of Cabarrus and West is going to get a lot livelier. The office tower pair shown in the renderings above are for the northwest corner which currently looks like this:
In addition to the office towers, residential and parking is planned for the western half. Named The Platform in the renderings, over 300 apartments and 1,000 parking spaces would be built to support the mixed-use development.
The second half of the area includes plans for a warehouse renovation across the street that could possibly bring a mix of retail and restaurants. The warehouse on the southwest corner will be renovated and the area between them could be a courtyard with lots of outdoor seating.
Kane Realty with architects Duda Paine (the office towers) and Raleigh Architecture Co. (warehouse rehab), who have worked on other projects together in downtown Raleigh, are behind the plans here. No rezoning is needed for these plans.
This is a great density boost for the area as putting hundreds of residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space near transit in Union Station and the future RUSBUS just makes sense.
The travelodge at Dawson and Lane is now in it’s next concept. The Longleaf Hotel is now open and taking reservations. Locals can also hang at the Longleaf Lounge for beers and cocktails either inside or outside on the patio.
The 57-room hotel building was formerly a Days Inn. Now, the hotel has come under Raleigh-based Loden Properties.
The second thing to look forward to here is Ish Delicatessen, the restaurant that will go right next door. At first, a renovation of the former deli space was planned but later it was decided to demolish the building and make more space for it.
These bare trees are giving us a good view of the tower crane that’s putting together the office tower at the corner of Hillsborough and Dawson Streets. The foundation seems to be in place and concrete is starting to rise out of the ground.
Named Raleigh Crossing, phase 1 is currently being built and will consist of an office tower along Dawson. When fully built out, the development may also have a hotel and residential units. See more about it here.
It’s been a long story for this block since the original buildings were demolished in 2007. You can track the past development proposals through the 301 Hillsborough tag.
Today marks 13 years of doing this blogging thing. I like to call the art of being a Raleigh Connoisseur , RalConography. That works, right?
In the last few years, I’ve been trying to get in touch with more people, more readers, and bring the conversation about downtown Raleigh into the real world. The audience, you all, have been incredible.
There are still some people that keep in touch, online and offline, that have been around since the beginning, 2007. That slow growth over a long time has led to a strong foundation of community. A huge thanks to those of you out there. I appreciate you sticking with me.
At the same time, it’s just this week that I met new followers. They have either just heard of this blog because they moved to the area or they want to get more engaged. Hat tip to the new folks as well.
I’ll continue to keep the blog rolling with quick hits and photos of what’s going on in downtown Raleigh. The Community has really turned into a deeper dive into Raleigh politics, development, transit, and other cultural topics. The discussion is in-depth and there are some folks that are really making thoughtful and insightful contributions. If you want to go deeper down the DTR rabbit hole, join us.
I try to only ask once a year but I do take donations for my work on the front here as well as the back end to keep these websites rolling. Any contribution would be appreciated. It also goes a long way as a few dollars could support a whole month’s worth of hosting.
This year’s goal is to get at least 13 donations of $13.
Last, each year I dive into the photo vault and post an older photo. Above is the steel shell that makes the Nature Research Center’s SECU Daily Planet theater. I remember during its construction that some national blogs joked that Raleigh was building its own Death Star.
It’s Friday so a beer is on order at the end of this day. Cheers!