Pic of the Week

Corner of Bloodworth and Hargett Streets

Corner of Bloodworth and Hargett Streets

The Hargett Place townhomes on East Hargett Street are pretty much a wrap from what it looks like. I imagine a form of this is the exact high-end product that balances urban living with convenient car access. Each side of the block has a driveway and each unit has a garage yet you can still exit through the front door and step down to the sidewalk.

While I love the historic rowhouses in other cities and wish to see a modern version of them here in town, this style of home is probably symbolic of our time. It’s a product of our built environment and how residents get around the city. That’s not a jab at it at all but rather an observation of current trends, a trend I think will continue for some time.

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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.

Pic of the Week

Rendering of Hargett Place

More like Render of the Week.

Above is the rendering for Hargett Place, a group of 19 townhomes for East Hargett Street. I’m into this project because of the high-quality (perceived anyway) as well as unique townhome design shown in these renderings. This is a housing type that I think is hugely lacking around downtown Raleigh and I would like to see much more of it.

For sale, rather than for rent, units are also nice to see in a part of Raleigh where rentals dominate so some balance to the market always seems like a good thing to cheer for.

The rendering reminds me of brownstone rowhouses that you can spot in older cities in the northeast. I can see a very comfortable street face along East Street with these homes facing City Cemetery. Once new sidewalk trees mature it’ll be a nice place to walk in the future.

Hargett Place Planning Townhomes on East Hargett Street

400 Block of East Hargett Street

Corner of East and Hargett, March 2016

New development plans for Hargett Place, a 19 townhome project, were submitted to the city. After a successful rezoning in July 2015, the plans are moving forward to wipe out the surface parking lot on the 400 block of East Hargett.

The one acre lot will consist of 2-bedroom units spread across four buildings. The site plan below shows the makeup of the townhome buildings.

Hargett Place Site Plan

The plan doesn’t show much but I want to say these will be similar to Peace Street Townes, at least in the building configuration. Vehicle driveways will be on Hargett and Bloodworth. As Hargett is identified as a key bicycle route, having the vehicle driveway doesn’t quite make sense. At the same time, 19 townhomes probably won’t generate that much traffic to make a difference so for me, not too worried about it.

Not much else here, except to reiterate the fact that I love seeing surface parking disappear. Bring it on.

East Hargett Street Rezoning Case to Watch

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Corner of East and Hargett

A rezoning request was submitted to the city for a few properties around the 400 block of East Hargett Street. This is directly north of The Lincoln apartments. (which is almost finished) It’s mostly surface parking and some bare land that used to be a small playground. In recent weeks, that playground and fencing has vanished.

Jump to the city’s development activity page for more.

Case Z-27-15 wants to have a zoning for neighborhood mixed-use with a maximum height of 4 stories. The urban limited zoning suggests buildings that go right up to the sidewalk with parking, if included, behind the building.

Not much else going on here but it’s one to keep an eye on. A little birdy told me to expect residential here. Given that the parcels in this request add up to only 1 acre, I would guess that townhomes similar to Peace Street Townes or The Ten could be it.

Click for larger

By the way, it’s a joy to see surface parking vanish also.