The State of Hillsborough St.

Hillsborough St. gets my vote as being one of the most important streets for downtown. From the Capitol building out to Glenwood, the first six blocks will be a major route that connects Glenwood South and Fayetteville St. The zig zag route should become the spine of activity for downtown. It is pretty clear that Fayetteville St. and Glenwood South are already budding entertainment centers but Hillsborough St. is on the rise.

What Is Planned
The weak economy and I’m sure a couple other factors have held back some of these projects and they are currently on standby. It is still a bit exciting to see these proposals because if all are eventually built, Hillsborough St will be its own urban corridor.

Winston Hotel Tower

A 25 story hotel and condo tower will occupy the block shown above.

The Hillsborough

Another 25 story hotel and condo tower. It is currently on hold because of the bad credit market.

Campbell Law School Relocation

Classes should start in summer 2009. I think this a key move that should create traffic on Hillsborough St. I’m worried though because there is a serious lack of rentable apartments nearby and students will be prime renters.

HBS Properties Tower

HBS Properties has bought up a majority of this block. Last I heard, they were floating around the idea of a 10 story tower that would wipe out this streetscape.

The Potential

There are a couple of empty lots and surface parking lots that are in prime locations. There may be controversy in the future over established churches and businesses versus developers willing to offer big money for these lots. However, we are still not there yet so let’s save that argument for later.

I see this stretch of Hillsborough St. becoming a hotel row. Two hotels are in the list above and The Clarion is already in service in this location. This is a central, easy to get to area and with a wider street, it is car traffic friendly. It connects our two major entertainment centers and any visitor has an easy walk to either one.

I also think that the triangle near the Hillsborough/Edenton merge could be something really unique for downtown. I had an idea once.

Credit Slowing The Raleigh Skyline

The Hillsborough site remains the same since January

I wanted to highlight this interesting article in the Triangle Business Journal that gives you an idea of the problems that the lagging developments in Raleigh are facing. Some are related to downtown.

“It’s just a lousy environment,” says Reynolds, who along with his father, Ted, is trying to finalize an agreement to buy the rest of the city-owned property on which The Hillsborough tower would rise at the corner of Hillsborough and Dawson streets.


Not all new developments are affected however.

Full speed ahead; double cranin-it at The Hue

CON-struction and D-struction

The early winter sunsets are really cutting into my weekday opportunities to go out and take pictures of things downtown. I really think pictures help to add more to the story but we’ve all got a life and a job to do. Anyway, today I have more quick news regarding construction downtown that may be worthy of a short golf clap.

  • Ann-Cabell Baum Anderson sends out a status e-mail about the West @ North tower in Glenwood South every now and then. I’m still waiting for some news on the retail going in on the bottom floor. Her recent update:

Exciting news… We are approaching topping-out!
The roof-level is being poured this week!
Also, large windows are being installed on the 5th through 7th floors and the exterior sheathing is now up to the 10th floor! Interior framing is up to the 8th floor and exterior framing is up to the 12th floor! West is well underway!

  • I jumped the gun too early this week and talked about 301 Hillsborough coming down. I thought it would be a slow process and parts of it would still stand for a month, maybe two but I was wrong. Half the building is gone and if this rate stays steady, the building will be leveled probably by the end of the day. Might be safe to assume all the debris will be hauled out before the end of the year. Enjoy your temporary new view, Dawson residents!
  • Big slabs of concrete are being brought to the site of the future “The Edison” project. Right now the parking deck for the block and RBC Plaza is being put together. Reminds me of how they put the 222 Glenwood deck together, like a Lego set, and if similar this thing will sneak up on you. Check the webcam for updates on that and RBC Plaza, which is now building the condo floors.

Reynolds Tower

WRAL has an article on the newest plans for ‘The Hillsborough’ that will be at 301 Hillsborough St. This is the same project that has been going on since the Reynolds, who brought us the Quorum Center, purchased the lot back in 2001. It was earlier called ‘The Raleigh’ but I think ‘The Hillsborough’ is still not an original name. Watch the video for picks of the renderings. I mentioned this project before in this post but have to ask, will this finally be the end and we will start seeing construction?

Raleigh — Plans have been filed for a 23-story mix of retail shops, a hotel and condominiums at the corner of Dawson and Hillsborough streets in downtown Raleigh.


Attorney Ted Reynolds is developing the $65 million project, which will include 17,500 square feet of retail space, a 136-room hotel and 26 condos on the top floors. He earlier proposed offices in the building but recast the project in recent months.

Hillsborough St. Gets Taller

I realized something yesterday as I was driving home on capital into downtown. There is no real skyline that greets you as you drive in on southbound capital blvd. The newly finished Quorum Center is up which is a plus and later on next year we’ll have the West at North condo tower over in Glenwood South but there are no significantly tall buildings close by and its hard to see the cluster of towers over on Fayetteville St. I realized that I was not thinking too deeply and all that will change in the coming years.

A new 32 story tower will be built on the Dawson/Morgan/Hillsborough block. It’s across the street from The Dawson, behind The Flying Saucer, and across the street from the Clarion Hotel. This tower will add to that northern skyline that I was talking about. I like the placement of the building because it helps to connect the areas of downtown better. If more density grows around it, it will create a lively scene from Fayetteville St. all the way to Glenwood.

The current residence at the site, set to be demolished this summer

The tower does not have an official name so everyone calls it the Reynolds tower. This is because the father and son developers, Ted and David Reynolds, are behind it. They were also behind the Quorum Center, so they have strong Raleigh ties.

The tower is mixed use with 133 hotel rooms, 25 condos, office space, and ground floor retail (3 shops to be exact). No word on the brand of hotel in the building or plans for the stores on the ground. There will also be a 5 story parking deck right up next to the building.

I really like this building and I think it is the one that I am most excited about. Now that the ball is rolling, this project will move fast. It has been an almost 5 year struggle for the Reynolds to land the property and get all the paperwork figured out. I believe because of the need for the office space by the city, the tower’s construction is on a tight schedule. We can all expect this building to be completed no later than July 2009!

N&O Article

the Clarion hotel won’t be the tallest in the area pretty soon

32 stories on the left, with a 5 story deck on the right

enjoy it while it lasts