Living It Since 2008

The downtown condo supply has been slowly rising and we all have seen new buildings open up over the past few years. Help me out with the years if I’m off but

  • Palladium Plaza opened in 2007
  • The Quorum Center opened in 2006
  • The Dawson and The Paramount opened in 2005
  • The Hudson opened in 2005 (?)

There are other buildings that have been holding it down for longer then this but 2008 has to be exciting for the downtown condo scene as we welcome four newcomers to the party. As an extension to the WRAL article that touches this, here is the list.

RBC Condos

RBC is probably the most obvious and more unique of the group. It depends on your definition, but I think this is the first example of true high-rise living in Raleigh. Word is that all 139 condos have been sold.

Bloomsbury Estates

The seven story, 56 unit condo building is over half sold and should also open this year. Hopefully in the near future we will see the second phase of the project, which consists of the twin being built in the back.

222 Glenwood

The website is claiming that only nine units remain available in this building as of this writing. The location cannot get any better for fans of Glenwood South. The added retail presence along the street is a big welcome also. I heard from a friend that the views from the top are excellent.

West at North

This is a spacious building with a large footprint. The residents within the 170 condos will have a rooftop pool and easy access to Glenwood South. The ground floor retail will help West St. become Glenwood’s little brother.

Blount Street Commons Reservations

The first block of the Blount Street Commons project is slowly starting to sprout to life. The inner block, T-shaped road has been paved. From what it looks like there will be brick or stone placed on top of the recessed pavement. See the enlarged picture below. A point to note is that the fact that many trees along Person St have not been taken out, where townhouses are planned to be built.

Rendering of Person and Peace St.

Reservations for row homes and carriage homes will begin on April 19th. The details:

The State of Fayetteville Street

Inspired by the popular post “The State of Glenwood South”, I decided to hit Fayetteville St. and break down “North Carolina’s Main Street”. With the weather warming up, there has been more activity on the sidewalks and restaurants are serving it up outside. Also, I’ve noticed a jump in nightlife and weekend activity this year as compared to last. There is still a bit of a problem; a significant amount of places are not supporting downtown traffic at night and the weekend hours. Here is a block by block summary.


100 Block

The 100 block of Fayetteville St. offers a random assortment of shops for pedestrians. You can park here, get your eyes checked, plan a trip to that exotic country you’ve always wanted to go to, and all with a coffee in hand. The work week keeps this block alive, with lunch traffic and the Alexander Square parking deck full to the brim.

But when rush hour traffic dies down, this block mostly closes shop. Crema is a great place to for some food and coffee with the best hours here, open everyday. Café Carolina and America’s Pita Grille have yet to experiment with night and weekend hours. The Justice Building, Court of Appeals building, and Wachovia tower eat up a lot of space too, offering nothing to those walking by.

This block needs work.

200 Block

We are now getting into the meat of Fayetteville St and its 200 block is shaping into something really exciting. So far The Big Easy, The Mint, and Port City Java are open close to everyday. If you still have not been to the Raleigh City Museum, take the time and get out there. There is plenty of room for more and there are two renovation projects currently underway.

CVS still does not have a clue what is going on and has the worst hours. I have really noticed a significant amount of people that walk up to the door and are surprised that it is closed on the weekends (no, 9-1 on Saturday does not count). No kidding, I e-mailed them about this location’s hours, the downtown growth, and the constant complaints. Here is their response:

Thank you for contacting the CVS/pharmacy website. I am in receipt of your e-mail regarding the store hours at our Raleigh, NC CVS/Pharmacy. I am forwarding your comments to James Barefoot, the District Manager. He will review this with his staff at their next meeting.

We appreciate the time you have taken to share your comments with us.


Cynthia Azevedo

Customer Relations

This was three months ago and I see no changes. Come on CVS, get with the times.

This block is improving and showing growth.

300 Block

The 300 block is the tallest block in Raleigh all thanks to RBC Plaza. This building offers a lot of ground floor retail space and will hopefully be occupied when the building switches on later this year.

The 300 block is also the brightest block with the ABC news station on the ground floor of The Hudson. Sono and Yancy’s also add to the activity inside.

The weekday work crowd will always own this block because on the opposite side of the street, the courthouse and post office are buzzing during the work week only. On nights and weekends, you get a one-sided view with lights and activity on one side and closed up buildings on the other.

This block has shown the most growth.

400 Block

Right now, Fayetteville St. ends here as we wait for the Marriott Hotel to open and then it will continue to Lenoir St. This block supplies a lot of visitor traffic from the Sheraton. Chick Fil A offers weekday lunch and the Sheraton also has a restaurant and bar inside.

City Plaza will hopefully save this block from being voted most boring block in downtown. The barber and flower shop are in a very small building on prime land. I would not be surprised if this small parcel along with some of Progress Energy’s land behind it is razed for something tall but that is just my prediction.

Besides the NC Opera Company moving here, there has been little change. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens throughout the year.

This block has shown no real change.


So there it is, covered fully from end to end. To sum it up shortly, I think the government buildings are an obstacle to downtown growth and pedestrian activity. Still, Fayetteville St. is growing, slowly, and going through a painful process to get away from the 9-5, Monday to Friday scene that it has become so accustomed to for over 30 years.

Slow Goings At The Atrium

The Atrium is still not complete. It is actually in standby mode and there has not been work here in months. I do not know of what will eventually happen here but it is not looking good so far. Could this be another dead project?

Anyway, I wanted to highlight the facade change. Here are two pictures; a before and after sort of speak. I think they went from plain/boring to dull/”red brick again?” I’m sure they were just trying to match the 112 property next door but instead failed miserably to create anything exciting.

Oct. 2006

Mar. 2008

How would you feel if 112/114 Fayetteville St. were torn down for something taller?

Hinsdale Row Nestles Into The Neighborhood

The Hinsdale Row project is on the edge of our downtown but is still important none the less. It borders Glenwood South and if built, will no doubt influence the area around the Peace and Glenwood intersection. For those that like to dive right into a huge pile of details, click here for links on the Glenwood/Brooklyn neighborhood website.

The original plan, according to this presentation, will consist of 29-31 townhouses with pedestrian entrances street side and a garage in the rear. There will be a mix of 2 ½ and 3 ½ story townhouses which will blend in with the surroundings. The Peace St. side will have some retail to stay in tune with the Streetscape Plan. Offices and residential units are planned for the spaces above the retail. The inner space of the block will also have a raised courtyard.

A rezoning proposal on the lots on Hinsdale St. is currently being pursued. If approved, it will allow a reduction of the setbacks. The data is in the presentation, page 14, and clearly shows how this change would continue to blend in with the neighborhood.

More key points to highlight:

  • New sidewalks will be built and trees planted
  • New street lights will be installed, matching the ones currently on Glenwood South
  • Streetscape will also creep down Boylan Ave.
  • There will be no parking in front of buildings on Hinsdale St.
  • Materials will predominantly be brick, no vinyl siding
  • All residents will have a covered porch or entranceway
  • At least 5 commercial spaces will be available

To further the developer’s point that this project will play nice with the neighborhood, two key items were highlighted in the Standards for site plan approval document:

(4) The plan contains adequate measures to mitigate the impact of the development on nearby residential neighborhoods from incompatible characteristics such as:
a. Building scale;
b. Architectural character;
c. landscaping;
d. amount and placement of impervious surfaces;
e. placement of structures and vehicular surface areas; and
f. orientation of uses and entranceways.

(6) The plan provides for a unified development within the site and with adjoining properties when such properties are either:
a. under similar ownership as the site,
b. are being developed in a coordinated manner with the site, or,
c. the site shares a common relationship with the surrounding properties, where establishing similar architectural elements, landscaping, shared access or signage will promote good order, convenience and safety.

So while this project gets tweaked to satisfy the neighborhood and the city council let’s take a look at what is currently on the block. Here is the list of the nine properties that will be affected by this project. I did not see any plans for relocation, sustainable demolition, etc. so their fate is yet to be determined.

I am very impressed with the extreme attention to detail that the developer has taken with making this project blend in with the neighborhood. This is certainly a quality development we have on the horizon.

Site One Is Now Charter Square

I want to link you over to Gogoraleigh’s post about Site One, now called Charter Square. There, you will find a great write up on what is to come on the south end of Fayetteville St.

Please note the label change from Site One to Charter Square.

Along with Gogoraleigh, I want to encourage everyone to check out the other local blogs and websites highlighted in the links section in the right sidebar. Ever since I have started following the Raleigh online scene about three years ago, a lot of good content has come out since then so make sure and support your “other” local media!