Taking A Deeper Look Into Glenwood South Crime Data

Embedded above (or here on YouTube) is the video of Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson presenting some data and observations about crime in Glenwood South for this year. The numbers are up and it’s been leading to concerns from nearby residents and the council overall.

The News and Observer started things off nicely:

The chief showed crime data comparing the 10 months leading up the pandemic and the last 10 months. Since June 2021, there have been 76 weapon violations, including 64 concealed weapon violations. That compares to 16 violations from June 2019 to March 2020.

There also is a sizable increase in traffic-related violations, but Patterson said the department increased enforcement and the number of traffic stops during that time.

Raleigh police chief makes recommendations to address rising crime in Glenwood South via newsobserver.com

The N&O article also has a graphic showing year-to-date (Jan 1 to Mar 20) figures from 2019 to 2022. Drug-related incidents are up as well as larceny and assaults. As expected, there is a dip in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.

Looking at these figures, I just had to see more as data from 2019 to 2022, with a pandemic right in the middle, may not tell us the whole story.

The Data

I went to the dataset, showing datapoints from June 2014, and built up my own app with charts and tables. You can dive into that here.

The site I built does the following:

  • Shows the Glenwood South map and only takes in incidents that occur inside the boundary area
  • Year-to-date figures for top crime categories from 2015 to 2022
  • Displays Total Yearly Incidents by top crime categories
  • Displays Total Yearly Incidents for all crime categories
  • Pulls data nightly and updates the year-to-date figures

What I’m calling “Top Crime Categories” are the types of crime, as identified by the data, that when summed up, represent about 2/3 of the total incidents. The remainder incident types seem to be so few in occurrence that it’s hard to know if a trend is taking place. I’ll just remove those from the “Top” charts for now.

Top Crime Categories include:

  • Assault
  • Larceny
  • Drugs
  • Weapons Violation
  • Vandalism
  • “All Other Offenses”
  • Drug Violations

I guess I could have added up Drugs and Drug Violations but I kept the data “pure” for now. Also, I’m not sure what “All Other Offenses” means exactly so this one might qualify to be ignored. Take it for what it’s worth.

Last thing to point out, I start with 2015 as the dataset starts in the middle of 2014 so a partial year isn’t helping that much. 2015 is great as we get five full years before the pandemic lockdowns took place starting in March 2020.

Yearly Totals

Indeed, when we look at just the top crime categories as well as all crime categories, the number of incidents has been increasing since 2015. It actually went down in 2018, not by much, but continued on its trajectory in 2019.

Again, the big drop in 2020 is most likely due to the pandemic lockdowns and we can see the recovery in 2021. If we remove 2020, some items to note:

  • number of assault, larceny, and weapons incidents have increased
  • number of vandalism and drugs are more of less the same
  • “all other offenses” has gone down

I’m not sure we can figure out what’s going on but there are some things to note. Consider that since 2015, more development has taken place. The number of residents have increased and the number of restaurants and bars opened has increased.

A good figure to share is from the 2021 State of Downtown Raleigh report which I’ll add here.

Does increased food and beverage sales lead to more crime? Not necessarily but if we think for a moment that there are more people in Glenwood South, leading to more F&B sales, we could argue that more people in a district could lead to more crime. The above figures show a 29% growth in F&B sales from 2015 to 2021 for Glenwood South. In addition:

  • From 2015 to 2021, Glenwood South had an 18% increase in crime incidents overall
  • From 2015 to 2021, Glenwood South had a 36% increase in TOP crime incidents

The real comparison, saved for a later post most likely, is to compare this activity with other districts.

Year-to-Date Figures

The app tracking the data runs nightly so if you want to check back later this year to see how we’re doing, you can do just that. Here’s the snapshot up until April 12, 2022.

Year-to-date figures are pretty much in-line with everything stated above so I’ll leave it right there.

Final Thoughts

The police chief had some suggestions to try and curb this increase in incidents including adding metal detectors at bars as well as changing Glenwood Avenue to a one-way street to keep car traffic flowing more smoothly. A catastrophic incident is not something anyone wants so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the trends.

We’ll see if any changes come from the city to try and smooth down these numbers. What I really want to see is a comparison of this activity and the number of incidents to other areas to get a sense of context. That’s a post for later this year perhaps.

If you’d like to discuss more about Crime in downtown Raleigh, we have a thread for this on the Community.

The Alexan Plans for 187 Units for Glenwood South

Site plans have dropped for a new apartment building for Glenwood South. The Alexan plans for 187 units across seven stories between West and Harrington Streets. The Alexan will neighbor the Link Apartments to the south and The Metropolitan across Harrington. Currently, the site is surface parking.

This puts the development up against the train tracks, along its southern edge. Ground-floor amenities and lobbies will mainly be along West Street with the Harrington side having just a lobby. The site plans do not mention any retail space.

This area of Glenwood South is mostly residential so something like The Alexan compliments the existing area nicely. While nothing landmark here, the new project will add lots of new residents to downtown and replaces a surface parking. (always a plus in my book)

Nitpick on my part; I’ll be interested to see if the new sidewalk, as part of the project, could clean up the train track crossing a bit.

The Madison Drops Office and Residential at 600 Glenwood

Rendering by Cline Design

Located at the corner of Johnson and Glenwood are some single-family homes turned bars that pulse with Glenwood South’s nightlife. The properties have slowly been acquired and we now have renderings for a development that will include office space and residential.

The Madison will consist of around 200 apartments and the typical laundry list of amenities that you see with the newer developments like a pool and fitness center. On the same property, 603 Glenwood will have 114,000 square feet of office space. There will be a parking deck as well to handle the residents, office tenants, and interviews mentioned plans for public parking here as well.

The new development does plan to offer ground-floor retail space which I hope fills in quickly as the pedestrian counts are pretty high on this street.

The new development would remove the four 100+ year old homes that are currently operating as bars and a parlor. Nothing has been announced yet whether the homes will be moved but if you ask me, I’d be impressed if someone steps up to save the houses.

I’m ecstatic for more office for Glenwood South as that should add some midday traffic to the area and businesses may start expanding their hours. Smoky Hollow is also adding office space a few blocks away and of course Bloc 83 on the southern end has already been doing this.

If it’s not clear already, Glenwood South is by far the densest residential area in the city. With the addition of office space, it would be a pretty mixed-use area justifying it for future transit improvements and perhaps less need for structured parking, something we don’t see happening anywhere else in Raleigh.

The new development plans to break ground in 2022.

Glenwood South Townhomes Planned for Boylan and North Streets

16 townhomes are planned for a corner spot along Boylan Avenue and North Street. The fantastic corner location, as seen in my brilliantly picturesque photo above, is just a block away from the bars and restaurants of Glenwood South.

Some of the combined properties are currently empty but two existing single-family homes will be demolished for the new townhomes. One includes a smaller home from 1900 with a fantastic collection of palm trees out front. If you know me, I have an eye for our frondy friends around Raleigh. It’s sad to see them go.

The townhomes will be 3-stories tall with rooftop terraces. The rooftops are definitely what’s in these days, becoming almost the standard of any new townhome built in and around downtown in the last five years.

The developers of this project are White Oak Properties and CityPlat. JDavis Architects are the designers and Glenwood Agency is the realtor.

A Walk Around The Creamery block in Glenwood South

In March of this year, New York City-based Turnbridge Equities bought some property in Glenwood South, the key building being The Creamery on the 400 block. While plans haven’t been submitted, renovations to the Creamery and development of the surface parking lots nearby are planned.

This map from Google, with my edits, show the properties involved in the sale.

The Creamery building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the latest plans state that they intend to preserve it as part of the new development. The more modern addition, the apartments and retail spaces, will most likely be torn down.

There’s plenty of surface parking on this block and it is likely that the developers plan to submit a rezoning for larger buildings here.

The brick, one-story buildings on the corner of Glenwood and North Street would also likely come down.

The site is almost 2.4 acres and if the Creamery is kept, which is great, I would expect some pretty tall buildings around it. The sale of the land was for $34.7 million and it’s possible the developers will go for the highest rezoning allowed, the 40-story max height.

What is desperately missing from Glenwood South is daytime activity from office workers and this site could inject thousands of daytime workers with a few office towers.

It is also located very close to a future bus-rapid transit line so I’m hoping a mammoth parking deck can be avoided but that’s how things are these days. Parking has been a sore point for Glenwood South businesses so maybe getting a large one here for daytime office workers and night life could be beneficial for this dense business area.

No plans for a rezoning have been submitted so we’ll wait and see how that progresses with respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

Glenwood South’s Tin Roof Bar Overlooks Lane Street

Glenwood South is getting a Tin Roof bar at the corner of Glenwood and Lane. The live music bar has over 15 locations in the US and you can see the second floor and outdoor space coming together in the photo above.

Having never been but eager to check it out, I see the place also serves food as well. The bar plans to open “late summer” which is great timing for the nice fall weather.

Plans Submitted for Bar Renovation at 612 Glenwood

612 Glenwood. May 2018.

612 Glenwood. May 2018.

The 600 block of Glenwood South just might become the densest cluster of bars in downtown Raleigh.

At 612 Glenwood, currently shown above, submitted plans to the city show a proposal for adding a second floor to the building for outdoor bar space. The outdoor bar is basically the roof of the building and is mostly open to all views.

In addition to a second floor, most of the outdoor space around the first will be cleaned up. According to SR-042-18, the “10 existing parking spaces to be obliterated…” Basically, the rear parking lot and driveway will be paved over and an outdoor bar will be built towards the back.

Here are the renderings as part of the plan submissions with an aerial view from Google Maps as a reference.

612 Glenwood. May 2018 via Google Maps.

612 Glenwood. May 2018 via Google Maps.

Plans for 612 Glenwood, SR-042-18.

Click for larger

Plans for 612 Glenwood, SR-042-18.

Click for larger

The retailer, Feelgoodz, is moving (has moved?) from the space as retail struggles in Glenwood South these days. This makes sense that 612 Glenwood could be a bar for a while as the biggest use here is nightlife. Even with so many residents, perhaps the district hasn’t hit critical mass to really land some solid retail.

Who knows though as the dynamic could change in the future with even more residents coming nearby at Smokey Hollow. It shouldn’t be too surprising to see even more development along Peace so retail might have a chance in the future. If only office space could land along Glenwood, then the dynamic might really mix up.

Pic of the Week

Rendering of 510 Glenwood

Rendering of 510 Glenwood

Work has already begun on some exterior renovations to the ground-floor facade of 510 Glenwood. Less columns and a more defined outdoor seating space seems to the be at the core of the plans. The original design made the entrance ways darker and less inviting, in my opinion, and I bet the new design hopes to remedy this with a more open approach.

510 Glenwood, May 2017

510 Glenwood, May 2017