Pic of the Week

Raleigh Crossing has been slowly rising up. The crews at 301 Hillsborough Street are still working on the parking deck portion of the office tower. You can’t help notice this project when walking or driving through the area as it is starting to show its presence.

There are some details that can be picked out from seeing the site. The lobby will have some nice tall ceilings. There will also be plenty of retail along Hillsborough and Dawson. The building should add some great sidewalk activity all around it.

This has been a great development to watch go up and while the office market has some question marks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m hoping Raleigh Crossing still commands some attention in the future.

Pic of the Week

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.

Pic of the Week

The surface parking lot at 301 Hillsborough has now been closed. That’s because construction will be starting on Raleigh Crossing, the new building planned for this site. This is the same one we’ve seen renderings of throughout the year.

There was a ground-breaking ceremony last week which included folks from Pendo, the Raleigh-based company that will primarily occupy the office space of Raleigh Crossing.

We’ve been following this site for years, practically since the beginning of the blog so I’m pretty excited to see something rise out of the ground at this space. Plan to watch it rise throughout 2020!

Next Phase for 301 Hillsborough Shows a 20-Story Office Tower

Rendering of the office tower at 301 Hillsborough.

301 Hillsborough should hold a special place in the hearts of longtime readers. Exactly 12 years ago, I had a blog post about plans for a 32-story tower at the site but the impending recession basically wrecked it.

The former buildings on this site were demolished in 2007 and when no development plans took place, the site was made into a surface parking lot years later. It’s remained ever since.

Surface parking at 301 Hillsborough in 2019.

Plans have come and gone and this time, the latest owners have submitted plans for a 20-story tower with 300,000 square feet of office space. The rendering, shown above, is of the first phase of the project as the owners own the majority of the block. (minus the southwest corner where The Flying Saucer runs out of)

Later phases could include a hotel and apartments but this first phase is planned to start later this year. With no rezoning needed, the process should move quicker especially with the developer planning to build on spec. (no tenants lined up)

With the DRA’s 2018 State of Downtown Raleigh report saying that the downtown office occupancy rate is at 94.7% that probably means we have a healthy office market and developers can take some risk here.

Great to see progress here on this block. It’s been a long-time coming.

The Apartment Mid-rise Boom is Fading in Downtown Raleigh

The Dillon Apartments on Hargett Street

It hit me recently during a conversation in a downtown coffee shop that The Metropolitan apartments would have seen residents moving in this month. If you don’t know the history, the project, while under construction, met an unfortunate fate and went up in flames in March of this year.

The developers plan to rebuild and the site is currently being cleared.

If it wasn’t for the fire delaying the delivery of The Metropolitan, we could easily see the end to the multi-unit, mid-rise apartment product line in downtown Raleigh. At least for the foreseeable future.

Site of The Metropolitan Apartments fire site.

Site of The Metropolitan Apartments fire site

Barring any new project announcements, the apartment pipeline would have ended with The Dillon opening in 2018. Taking a look at the latest list of projects released by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, we can see that there are no planned projects similar to these.

To be clear, I’m referring to the 5-7 story, wood-construction buildings with a larger footprint. Typically to make these work, developers have had to acquire multiple properties and combine them.

That’s not to say the residential projects aren’t flowing. The product is just changing.

Smokey Hollow plans to bring 445 residential units in a 12-story building on Peace Street. FNB Tower will mix up office and 247 residential units across 22 stories. 400H will also mix office and 220 units in a 20-story building. Details are still light on 301 Hillsborough but with a similar style to the other projects there’s no reason to guess that more residential units could be included.

That’s 900 units across three projects right there.

Rendering of 400H

Most recent rendering of 400H

The other side of the picture is the rise in townhome projects. These are adding infill to the periphery of downtown. Currently under construction, we have:

115 townhomes are in the works and more are in the planning stages.

Perhaps we’re at a point where combining multiple parcels for large footprint developments isn’t economically feasible for mid-rise buildings. There could be other changes in the market that are affecting this. Downtown could also be much more livable than before, enticing buyers to purchase units than rent.

Maybe there is a hold on projects as plans for a downtown soccer stadium and big infrastructure changes to Capital Boulevard need to pan out for developers to pitch new projects.

You could look at it from a lot of angles. It’s certainly a great topic to discuss.

Rendering of 301 Hillsborough Shows Double Tower Development

Rendering of 301 Hillsborough, provided by The Lundy Group.

Click for larger

Posted here is the latest rendering of 301 Hillsborough, which comes courtesy of The Lundy Group. It was released a few weeks ago so it may not be new to some readers but I’m putting it here for posterity.

For reference, in the foreground you’ll see a gray box of a building. That is where The Flying Saucer (and a plate with my name on it!) currently reside. Morgan Street is going from bottom center towards right center of the rendering.

To see more detail, check out this November 2016 post.

Revisiting 301 Hillsborough Street and Plans For 20-Story, Mixed-Use Building

Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image. Read the post on the blog to see it.

Looking at 301 Hillsborough Street from across Dawson Street.

Recently submitted site plans for 301 Hillsborough give us some more details as to what might come for the surface parking lots along Hillsborough and Morgan Streets.

SR-93-2016, listed on the city’s development page, shows almost a full-block development consisting of a “mixed use building with approximately 220,007 sf office; 242 residential units; 40,832 sf retail, 176 hotel units, and structured parking (991 spaces)”

SR-093-2016 map

Click for larger

Mixed-use indeed.

The site plan shows a floor plan that will encompass practically everything on that block except for the 3-story brick building at the corner of Harrington and Morgan Street. You can kind of see the new building coming up against the old so perhaps it’ll blend right in.

All the existing surface parking will be gone. In addition, the two-story house at the corner of Hillsborough and Harrington will also be removed. That house seems like a perfect candidate for a relocation.

House being used as offices for a Raleigh law firm

House at 327 Hillsborough being used as offices for a Raleigh law firm

There are a couple things we can see from looking at the site plan. Remember that it is preliminary so things may change but from my assessment Morgan, Hillsborough, and Dawson will change dramatically.

Along Morgan starting from the west:

  • Service driveways, garages (trash, service unloading/loading, etc.) are planned approximately across from the ones in The Dawson.
  • A parking garage entrance will go along Morgan also.
  • In between, there will be retail space.

Along Dawson:

  • Retail and lobby space only.

Along Hillsborough starting from the west:

  • There will be primarily retail and lobby space for the hotel and residential units.
  • A parking garage entrance closer to Dawson.

Overall, the parking garage entrances on Hillsborough and Morgan line up and on the inside of the building, there is a roundabout for hotel parking. You can also access the upper levels of the parking deck from here.

Just a detail, the site plan also shows 30 foot planters along the sidewalks of Hillsborough Street and with numerous bike racks. That’s a nice enhancement to the pedestrian space as well as supporting the dedicated bike lanes along Hillsborough Street.

I’m definitely excited for this one as an infusion of this many different uses is sure to add activity on the streets and sidewalks to all different times of the day and week.

Corner of Morgan and Harrington Streets

Corner of Morgan and Harrington Streets. Flying Saucer will be getting lots of new neighbors.

SR-093-2016 map

Another site plan map. Click for larger.