[UPDATE 6:58pm]222 Is A Key Player In Glenwood South

Walked down Glenwood South recently? 222 Glenwood is putting the finishing touches on and is only a couple months away from completion. I’m pretty eager to see this condo building up and running; as well as getting the sidewalk back. This building is a key part of expanding the entertainment factor for Glenwood South as well as helping to connect the district.

Parking options will increase with the addition of 222’s deck. All the residents will have their own spaces and the rest should be used by the public. However, it is yet to be determined whether spaces will be used for valet or for business purposes only. If available for the public, I would expect a small fee during peak nightlife hours. The deck has two entrances/exits but the traffic pattern is yet to be known either. See the picture below for possible ways in and out.

222 almost covers the entire length of the block and there is a good stretch of windows that give any pedestrian some eye candy as they stroll by. There appears to be retail/restaurant space on every stretch of the Glenwood sidewalk, besides the small space for the resident lobby. The “window shopping” effect will be attractive to people walking by and I expect this part of the street to get some good foot traffic.

Lastly, 222 will help bridge Powerhouse Square and the rest of Glenwood South. The zigzag walk down West and up Jones St. is lined with Blue Martini, Napper Tandy’s, 42nd St. Oyster Bar, Prime Only, 518 West, Mosaic, and Turkish Delights. This building will fill the gap up to Lane St., where Zely & Ritz, Sushi Blues, Hibernian, Cody’s, and The Rockford get things started again.

For Glenwood South to grow, we need to fill the gaps that it has with pedestrian oriented buildings and shops. 222 hits it dead on.

[UPDATE 6:58pm]
I noticed some commenters were not so happy with the look, especially the color. I just noticed this today and had to throw it up to get some opinions. Check out the paint job on the parking deck seen from the back, West St.

RBC Deck Facade Does Not Impress

The RBC Deck is being built pretty fast so of course, we already need another update. The construction has topped out and now reached Blount St. At the current pace, this end of the deck will probably be done before April. There is enough of the brick facade up that we get an idea of what we are going to see. I’m really not too impressed but looking at all the other city decks around downtown, should I really expect something great?

This end of the deck has some advantages from what I can see. Blount St. is a one way street and this may prove favorable with traffic flow as cars can only take right turns into and leaving the deck. At first I was shocked at how wide the stairwell was but I’m going to guess there will also be an elevator. The center space will be for RalCon offices retail and in my opinion this is not a bad spot to set up shop. City Market and Moore Square are just across the street and there is no reason to complain about parking here with 1500+ spaces right above.

EnviroCon: Green Square Project Moving Forward

Here is a sleeper project that I think is not talked about much. The Green Square project will involve two new buildings and a parking deck on the south side of Jones St. between Dawson and Salisbury St. The billboards placed around the site give the following details:

  • Headquarters for the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • The Nature Research Center, an expansion of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
  • Visitor and employee parking deck
  • Retail store and restaurant

They also mention the following actions in the near future:

  • Sustainable demolition of three existing buildings
  • Reuse of demolition materials
  • Recycling of construction material
  • Applied energy-efficient building technology
  • Monitoring for potential wind and solar energy
  • Monitoring for rainwater retention and runoff

A friend of mine is involved in a small aspect of this project and he told me that these buildings will be coming down very soon. So for those that want to see these brick boxes for one last time, you better make your way out there. Here are the three buildings being demolished and an area map in Google.

View Larger Map

From what I’ve heard about this project is that both buildings will be connected with a walkway over McDowell St. The Nature Center will also be connected to the existing Natural Science Museum with its own glass walkway over Salisbury St. There are no new renderings available except this one on the city’s Livable Streets website, which may be a little old.

Looks like this old rendering during “Bugfest 2004” supports some of the stated bullets. You can see a couple wind generators and lots of green rooftops. The rumor is that these buildings are seeking a Gold LEED standard. I really doubt that a couple of wind generators will be running this building; these will probably be on display as part of the museum. Just my guess though.

At this point, the only thing I’m curious to know about is the parking deck. Will it be well placed behind the office buildings such as The L? If it is put directly next to the sidewalk, will it have retail space on the street? We’ll wait and see.

CON-struction and D-struction

The early winter sunsets are really cutting into my weekday opportunities to go out and take pictures of things downtown. I really think pictures help to add more to the story but we’ve all got a life and a job to do. Anyway, today I have more quick news regarding construction downtown that may be worthy of a short golf clap.

  • Ann-Cabell Baum Anderson sends out a status e-mail about the West @ North tower in Glenwood South every now and then. I’m still waiting for some news on the retail going in on the bottom floor. Her recent update:

Exciting news… We are approaching topping-out!
The roof-level is being poured this week!
Also, large windows are being installed on the 5th through 7th floors and the exterior sheathing is now up to the 10th floor! Interior framing is up to the 8th floor and exterior framing is up to the 12th floor! West is well underway!

  • I jumped the gun too early this week and talked about 301 Hillsborough coming down. I thought it would be a slow process and parts of it would still stand for a month, maybe two but I was wrong. Half the building is gone and if this rate stays steady, the building will be leveled probably by the end of the day. Might be safe to assume all the debris will be hauled out before the end of the year. Enjoy your temporary new view, Dawson residents!
  • Big slabs of concrete are being brought to the site of the future “The Edison” project. Right now the parking deck for the block and RBC Plaza is being put together. Reminds me of how they put the 222 Glenwood deck together, like a Lego set, and if similar this thing will sneak up on you. Check the webcam for updates on that and RBC Plaza, which is now building the condo floors.

Wake County Wants In, Builds Downtown

Hopefully by now we are all done mourning the loss of King’s on McDowell St. I hate that an original place and music venue was destroyed to make room for government offices, but I guess that’s progress.

Anyway, King’s has been demolished and there are plans for the site at the corner of Davie St. and McDowell St. A mixed-use building with offices and ground floor shops will occupy the space. Here is some information from the city’s website:

The project would be on 1.74 acres in the northeast quadrant of the downtown block bounded by Davie Street on the north, McDowell Street to the east, Cabarrus Street on the south and Dawson Street to the west. Planned are a 989-space, nine-level parking deck and a mixed-use development consisting of 109,513 square feet of office space and 11,341 square feet of retail space. The site currently is mainly composed of surface parking lots, although a few buildings would have to be demolished to accommodate the project.

I remember the original plan included some condos but that has changed. I like the fact that there is ground floor retail, rather then a solid wall adding nothing to the street presence and livability of downtown. With a good mix of shops, this site could be the spot to pre-game before clubbing in the warehouse district. No plans for the shops have been announced but it is still early. Below are some updated pics of the demolished site as well as the renderings of the finished project, the deck should be open for use late 2008 with the entire project finished sometime in 2009.

The view walking down Davie St.

The view off of McDowell St.

Large parking deck upgraded to Massive

About a week ago, the city council amended an agreement between the city of Raleigh, Highwoods Properties and Progress Energy to build a parking deck to support RBC plaza. They also selected Stewart Engineering to be the technical engineering rep for the parking deck. The deck will sit mid-block on Martin St. and will have retail space facing the street. Here is a list of the changes to the agreement.

  • The eight-story parking deck will now have 1,242 instead of 1,050 as originally agreed upon
  • The deck will be built for future abutting developments.
  • Total cost increases from $14.17 million to $20.93 million.
  • The city will own two shelled spaces instead of one, probably for storage purposes.

Why do we care about this?

This is the first development that is moving forward on the PEIII block and future development must work around this huge parking deck. As was posted earlier this week, demolition of the old buildings here has already begun. I hope the rise in the number of spots for the deck is there for whatever is built around it. This will allow more room for developers to work with as they do not have to incorporate parking into their designs.