A Walk Up North West Street

Staring down North West Street at Hillsborough Street

On an early morning weekday, I went for a walk up North West Street to check out a few projects and take photos of the current state of the street. West Street is an important street in my opinion as it is a direct connection from the Warehouse District to Glenwood South. Right now, it is more of a go-through street (by vehicle or bike) as opposed to a pedestrian hub of activity. That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for a different face in the future.

There isn’t much to look at but the potential for new projects here is huge. There isn’t much retail or commercial right now. Some blocks of West are even lacking sidewalks.

While Glenwood Avenue is the primary pedestrian corridor of Glenwood South, West Street might do the heavy lifting with higher density projects in the near future as well as provide better connectivity in and out of the area.

Below is a map I made of highlights up and down North West Street. Let me know if a nearby project is missing and I can add it for completeness.

Open up the map yourself here.

At West and Hillsborough Street, you can already see the empty spaces ready for new uses. The mid-1900s storefronts along Hillsborough and the almost empty block at the corner of Hillsborough and West have been waiting for years. Would you consider this Glenwood South? I feel like this intersection doesn’t belong to either Glenwood South or the Warehouse District so the revitalization of those districts haven’t hit here yet.

Corner of West Street and Hillsborough Street

What could get this area moving are two, big nearby projects. One Glenwood and 301 Hillsborough are about two blocks along Hillsborough in each direction. Those two “bookend” projects could invigorate the street between them.

Heading north, the intersection of West and Jones could be much livelier in the near future. The Link Apartments has recently been finished at the Northeast corner and more residential units are planned at the Greyhound Apartments one block to the east.

The Link Apartments are now open at West and Jones.

The Raleigh Electric Company Power House building is an icon on Jones Street and we’re still waiting to see what comes of the space after Natty Greene’s lease was pulled last summer.

At the end of the block, we’re also waiting for the future offices of Google to open. It’s a high-profile company for sure but I still have mixed feelings against Google taking a great looking building and using it for offices and not something more active, especially in Glenwood South. We’ll see how it turns out.

Moving on, we pass multiple surface parking lots. I hope one-day that these lots will be replaced with more buildings that support more active uses.

The first example of when this could happen is at West and Tucker Street. The east side of West Street has had plans for years for more apartments. The West Apartments and West II Apartments have been in planning for awhile. I haven’t seen big changes to the plans but we’ve known about these projects since 2012. Hopefully, things will move on that in the near future as it is a big infill project as you can see on the map.

The West Apartments are planned for this surface lot.

A project that has been talked about for years, and is always worth highlighting, is not one around the street but under it. The Pigeon House Branch creek is buried below the area around North West Street. You can catch a glimpse of the creek about mid-block between Tucker and Johnson Street.

Creek to the left, street to the right.

Talks of opening up the creek have come and gone for awhile and it could be an asset in the newest Downtown Plan. The Glenwood Green district shows a plan for redevelopment in this area with a greenway that follows the creek path. It could be one of the most unique areas in downtown around that natural water feature.

Screenshot from the latest Downtown Plan.

West Street becomes more desolate around Johnson Street with the west side lacking sidewalks and more surface parking nearby.

Recently, news came out about the purchase of the buildings at 600 North West Street, the current location of Southland Ballroom and Themeworks. It was purchased by a joint effort involving Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building Co.

No plans are out yet for the site. Once the replacement of the Capital Boulevard Bridge is finished, the area will see a reconfigured Harrington Street that connects to Peace rather than bending over to connect to West Street. Those plans may have played a factor in the area’s attractiveness to invest.

600 North West Street, current home of Themeworks and Southland Ballroom.

Hitting Peace Street, the walk has to continue northward. I hadn’t noticed before but the pedestrian amenities are much improved at West and Peace.

North of Peace Street, West Street doesn’t resemble the straight-as-an-arrow urban street but changes to a swerving street as it edges up against the Pigeon House Branch Creek. This light industrial and commercial area is seeing some signs of new activity.

Renovation almost complete at the corner of West and Peace.

At the Northwest corner of Peace and West, the renovation of the building where Lighting Inc used to be looks to be almost completed. The Lundy Group has come in here and bought this building and a few behind it for future redevelopment. Technology companies will be moving in here soon once the former Lighting Inc. building is finished.

While the area gets less urban the more north you go, there is something to be said about the view. Best view of downtown, in my opinion. Who can build a condo here for me?

The land topography may prove to be more challenging for a new development but with a possible park to the south called Devereux Meadows (see the Glenwood Greens plan above) it’s just a matter of time before this area gets built up.

Along the 800 “block”, a fantastic warehouse renovation has taken place. At this time, Morehead Capital is the current tenant.

There are also plans for the house next door. Each are shown in this photo below.

Old house at 713 North West Street, next to the warehouse renovation at 801 North West Street.

Development plans are on the city’s website for The Cardinal (SR-20-16), a bar and lounge planned for the house there at 713 North West Street. The lot next to it will be paved for surface parking.

I finished my walk once I hit 1000 North West Street and decided that was good enough. It’s all industrial at this point and with West ending at Wade, there isn’t much traffic. That could change if, as part of the Capital Boulevard Corridor, West Street is extended northward to connect to Fairview Road.

It may not look like it but West Street could be poised for something big and the pieces just feel like they are coming together for this very important downtown street.

The Link Apartments Tops Out

The Linnk Apartments under construction

Well almost topped out. I took a walk around the site of The Link and this apartment project is currently in the “beehive” construction phase. The eastern most side of the building is topped out with the western half almost there. Last time we talked about The Link on the blog was in November 2014 and the building wasn’t out of the ground yet.

This building has a real impact on the intersection of West and Jones Street which should see a real uptick in pedestrian activity due to all the new residents in the area.

Nothing thrilling to report really but it was time to check in on this one again.

The Linnk Apartments under construction

Glenwood South Construction Photos, November 2014

This week I went on a walk up and down Glenwood South and took some photos of random projects in the area. I just wanted to share some of them for those that haven’t been in that area recently.

The Link Apartments at the corner of West and Jones Street.

Corner of West and Jones Street. The Link Apartment projects will be going here.

Corner of Glenwood Avenue and Tucker Street.

Carolina Ale House sign is up at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Tucker Street. The building will house another restaurant in addition to the Ale House, which is planned to open before the end of year.

Construction takes place at the Raleigh Beer Garden.

Work continues on the Raleigh Beer Garden.

606 Glenwood Avenue November 2014

606 Glenwood is under heavy renovation.

Crash of the Resident Wave, The Link Apartments Dig in on West Street (3/10)

The Link Apartments construction site
This is part 3 of a 10 post series, rolled out all week, on residential projects in downtown Raleigh. Go here to see all the posts so far.

It’s just a hole right now but not for long. The Link Apartments will bring 200 units between West and Harrington Streets along the north side of Jones Street. For the last few years, there have always been multiple residential projects under construction in Glenwood South. Unique about The Link, they brings options to the east side of the district.

What was once called Powerhouse Plaza, plans for an 11-story mixed-use tower were changed to meet the huge demand for rentals and that’s where we are today.

Construction Starts on 200 Units at The Link Apartments in Glenwood South

Construction at The Link Apartments

There’s finally construction starting at the corner of West and Jones Street on the upcoming 200-unit apartment building called The Link Apartments. It’s not exciting to look at yet but what has been an empty lot since January 2009, should start to really fill in.

The demolition of small buildings here took place over five years ago for a much grander project called Powerhouse Plaza. The mixed-use office and hotel tower never happened and the lot sat empty for awhile.

During construction of the nearby Green Square project, consisting of the Nature Research Center and the newer Department of Environment and Natural Resources offices along Jones Street, this site was used for construction staging.

Today, it should be no surprise that the apartment boom is continuing and The Link Apartments will add more units to the downtown residential base.

A Year Later, Ground Breaking Approaches on The Link Apartments

Intersection of West and Jones Streets.

Intersection of West and Jones Streets, January 2014.

It was practically a year ago that we heard that the on-hold Powerhouse Plaza, an 11-story tower with hotel and office space, switched to an apartment project. The rest of 2013 was pretty quiet about this upcoming residential building but now, according to this TBJ article, Grubb properties wants to break ground sometime this Spring.

Snooping around the internets for more information, Cline Design has a rendering of the building that will sit at the northeast corner of West and Jones Streets. Named “The Link at Glenwood,” this project infuses even more residents to Glenwood South. See their rendering below along with description.

Cline Design - The Link at Glenwood

This 203-unit, wood-framed, multi-family project is part of Grubb Properties’ Link apartment brand, and located in the vibrant Glenwood South district, a growing urban living community in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. Within walking distance to several shops, restaurants, and clubs, situated on a two-acre infill site, a density of over 101.5 units per acre is achieved with and integrated below and above grade parking deck for approximately 187 cars. Six floors contain a diverse mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units. An integral Clubhouse & Leasing center contains ample space for resident gatherings, a complete fitness center, and a large outdoor pool & terrace area with a summer kitchen pavilion. The architectural design blends contemporary forms with durable, traditional materials such as stone veneer, cementitious siding and stucco, creating a well-balanced transition between the commercial and residential uses on Glenwood, Jones, Harrington, and West Streets as well as the immediate surrounding contextual area. Jones Street will be maintained as a “green street” by providing new tress and pervious paving along portions of the sidewalk. In addition, new trees will be provided along West and Harrington Streets.

*Cline Design – The Link at Glenwood

Maybe a few power lines could stand to be buried, you think?

Powerhouse Plaza Flips From Hotel and Office to Apartments

Corner of West and Jones Street.

Surprise, surprise. Another on-hold project, Powerhouse Plaza, goes the apartment route. The once planned 11-story mixed use building for Glenwood South, at the corner of West and Jones Street, was planned to have retail, office, and possibly a Hyatt hotel. The rendering for the old building still exists on Cline Design’s website so take a peak before it’s updated.

A preliminary site plan was submitted to the city back in December and reveals just a few details about the 203 apartment building, called Link Apartments at Glenwood South. Search the city’s website for “site plan 057-12” or get it direct here. (pdf) [1-31-14 – UPDATE: broken link]

No renderings are included and the overall site plan, of just the first floor it seems, doesn’t show anything too exciting. It’s still early in the process though.

203 apartments directly in Glenwood South is a nice boost of residents and a great way to use the under-utilized space. I’ll be following it.