Checking out the Recent Demolition work Near Nash Square

The block to the south of Nash Square, think Whiskey Kitchen, The Berkeley Cafe, and the former Firestone Auto, is looking a bit more airy these days. Bloc 122 (for the history buffs out there) has had plans for a pair of hotels in the works for awhile and demolition of the existing buildings look nearly complete.

Shown above is the southeast corner of Martin and Dawson Streets. The former buildings have been leveled and are now being shoveled away.

Past submitted plans suggest a nine-story hotel with outdoor terrace on the fourth floor. There haven’t been any announcements as to which hotel brand the building may be.

On the opposite corner of the block, the northwest corner of Davie and McDowell Streets has also been cleared out. Here, we’ve seen multiple renderings for a hotel and maybe that project will finally start in the near future.

You can jump back here to review the latest on this but the latest plans were for a 14-story hotel. This project has been around for over five years so maybe, just maybe it’ll start soon. The brands for this hotel were to be a Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites.

And while not quite demolition related, I wanted to throw up more photos of this block. As the former Firestone Auto has closed up, it’s left a little bit of a hole here especially with the removal of that classic sign.

We’re tracking these developments on the Community so follow along if you want to join in on the discussion.

Rendering shows off newest Nash Square condo tower

Rendering of The Nexus mixed-use project along McDowell Street

Details have come out about a new condo tower for downtown Raleigh. Part of The Nexus, The Nash will include over 100 condos overlooking Nash Square.

The Nexus is a multi-tower, mixed-use development planned for the former site of The News & Observer. The tower on the left in the rendering above is The Nash and you can see more about it over on their website.

From the press release:

The Nash will offer buyers a variety of floorplans, ranging from one bedroom homes to penthouse suites, and will feature an array of hotel-style amenities, including concierge services, that cater to urban lifestyles.

The architect for The Nash is Elkus Manfredi of Boston.

No word yet on a construction start date but deposits for units will be accepted in 2020. For the zoning geeks in the house, no rezoning is needed on this one.

With The Fairweather currently under construction, the addition of condos in The Nash is a positive sign that condo construction may be making a return to downtown Raleigh.

Moore and Nash Need A Haircut

While downtown Raleigh continues to go through a sort of ‘urban renaissance’, there may be some elements that are overlooked. We all love tall buildings and the convenience of being close to everything but, where in all this density is there any room for parks and open spaces for us to relax in? Moore and Nash square are our tickets for just that, but as downtown changes I believe that the squares need to change as well.

Moore Square

Nash Square

To get more people to spend time inside our open spaces they need to be more inviting and currently Nash and Moore are not quite the best hosts to visitors, Nash especially. At a comprehensive plan presentation I went to a couple weeks ago, they touched on the layout of the two squares. A big detail that was mentioned that I never thought of before was that there are too many trees. Sounds odd right? If you think about it though a public square is more inviting if you can see all the way through it. It is even better if you can see buildings above the trees and street activity while being anywhere inside the space.

I went to visit Philadelphia in March 2007 and when recalling the trip, I remember that we spent some time around Rittenhouse Square, one of the city’s urban parks. (map) It has become one of the city’s most desirable areas and the park is a great example of what Raleigh should strive for. There is a great combination of pedestrian elements, like benches, wide sidewalks, statues, and fountains, mixed with nature. The trees do not overpower visitors or give anyone a slight sense of claustrophobia. Sunlight still comes through during the day while city and building lights brighten the space at night. Here is a picture I took during the trip.

Wintertime, so no leaves, but use your imagination

I really believe that Nash and Moore need to get a haircut. Even with the leaves gone, Nash square is still a rat’s nest of vegetation. The picture above will show you that you cannot see through the square and being inside can feel a bit crowded. Moore square does a better job but could still use some work. This may be a touchy subject but in the end, I believe it will get a lot of support because of the idea of preserving open spaces. Our two downtown spaces need a makeover and I’m not afraid to say it but many branches and some trees may have to get the ax.