Pic of the Week

FNB Tower construction. August 2018.

The last time we checked in on FNB Tower, the crane had just showed up and things were getting started. Now, almost three months later it looks like the tower is making some real upward momentum with a floor being produced almost once per two weeks.

Next, we’ll have to take a look at how City Plaza looks and feels with all the properties around it being filled in. It’s exciting to see what will be Raleigh’s fourth tallest tower take shape.

For more frequent updates, the community is all over FNB Tower sharing photos from all different angles. Join us!

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.

First National Bank Announces Plans to Anchor 22-Story FNB Tower at 501 Fayetteville Street

Rendering of FNB Tower

Announced on Tuesday May 23, First National Bank will be the anchor tenant of FNB Tower, the former Charter Square north project that we have been tracking here on the blog. Jump straight to the press release for full details.

The key points to pull out from the release are:

  • 22-story development called FNB Tower
  • Ground-floor retail space
  • 240 residential units
  • First National Bank will occupy 40,000 of 150,000 square feet of space
  • LEED Platinum design building
  • Groundbreaking in December 2017, completion in Summer 2019

The Charter Square projects have gone through numerous changes but this feels like a solid enough update to instill confidence in seeing a crane set up on that site later this year.

This will be a good one to watch as this view from will drastically change. City Plaza is going to be one heck of an urban space in a few years!

Charter Square south tower completes construction

Click for larger, wider view.