A 2022 Dive Into Seaboard Station

I’m kind of piggybacking off a post from two weeks ago but either way, I decided to dive deeper into Seaboard Station this week. There’s a lot of moving parts there with a project under construction as well as plans making their way through the approval process for more development. Consider this post a quick catch up and overview of the northern side of Downtown Raleigh.

As always, we’re following Seaboard Station in-depth on the Community, thread is here, so lurk as much as you want but all are welcome to join the conversation.

For me, it’s got to start with a map and I’ve doctored up one such map that I think will help show where we’re at here.

It’s also important to list out what we’re talking about as well as what we are NOT talking about. The map above, modified from the Seaboard Station website itself, shows five key components as to the future development of Seaboard Station. Let’s put a chart together.

LocationWhat’s There NowFuture Plans
Block AFormer Sunflower’s location has been demolished. Empty lot todayHotel, Apartments, Retail
Block BCurrently under constructionHotel, Apartments, Retail
Block CRestaurants and Retail including Galatea, Night Kitchen, and Marigold ParlourHotel, Apartments, Retail
Block DRestaurants and Retail including Ace Hardware, O2 Fitness, and Peace ChinaNone
Logan’sLogan’s Garden ShopRezoning request in progress

As of this writing, these are the only properties we’re talking about. What’s NOT included is the single-story retail strip with shops like Mon Macaron, Hunky Dory, and Sola Salon as well as the Shell gas Station that faces Peace Street. There are also some smaller buildings and lots that are either owned by others or next door William Peace University. There are no plans for those properties as of this writing.

Block A

Block A kind of started things off in 2018 after the sale of Seaboard Station from nearby William Peace University to a developer. Plans included a hotel and apartments, which the website still states is the case. Construction hasn’t started on that however as the pandemic of 2020 made new development take a pause. What was a more solid bet, and still is, was housing which made Block B, with plans for only apartments, more attractive.

I’m speculating here but that seems to be what’s happening now. The former location of Sunflower’s was demolished and Block A is basically a storage yard for nearby construction.

Block B

Block B is close to topping out. About 300 apartments with ground-floor retail should open later this year. This is the first development of the new era of Seaboard Station. The units on the east side looking at the university should have a nice view.

Block C and Block D

Block C and D are still in the planning phases. I got nothing on Block D as the attention has mostly gone to the other areas.

Site plans have been submitted (see ASR-0033-2021, pdf link) to the city for Block C showing another apartment over retail building with around 220 units. However, there is still active retail on this block. I’m hoping that spaces in Block B are offered and time is given to the local businesses to move over.

Logan’s Garden Shop

Logan’s has hit the news recently with an announcement of moving their business in the future. This is a “years from now” announcement and no changes will take place soon. However, in the background, the developer has filed for a rezoning. (see Z-5-22, pdf link) The current zoning has a seven-story heigh limit and the owners want to increase that to 20.

The local controversy here is the train depot building that once served the Seaboard rail line. The new development suggests the replacement of this building. However, no site plans have been submitted as the rezoning really dictates what can be built here or not. It’s my understanding that the building has no historic status and therefore can be demolished today, rezoning approval or not.

At the same time though, the building is in great shape from what I can see and would be a nice touch to an area that will mostly feature “by-the-book” 5-over-1 generic buildings.

The Logan’s property is mostly surface lots around the station including the train canopy and yards that currently serve the garden shop. New development would be a significant boost to the area. Building massings, such as the one below, are being worked on but no definitive plans have been put out there.

I tend to take the contrarian route on most “historic preservation” issues. I say we give them all the height allowances with the stipulation that the station must be preserved. At the same time, if hundreds more residential units or office spaces are built at the expense of the station then I won’t cry over that. I see no way Downtown Raleigh loses here.

Seaboard Station, a glorified shopping center really, is going through an urban transition. The residential units are welcome, especially at a time when there’s a housing crunch in Raleigh, and I can’t think of any better way to make urban retail work then to stack hundreds of residents on top and around you. That’s really what the downtown Raleigh of the future looks like to me.

You can also insert a lengthy argument about putting tall buildings around future transit lines here which I’ll save for another day.

Seaboard Station is on the path for more people spaces with less car spaces. I think this future Seaboard is going to look great.

Pic of the Week

The first major building of the future Seaboard Station has really been moving. I believe this is the first residential building for the area in quite awhile, maybe ever. Seaboard Avenue is a mess right now and with future construction planned, might as well get used to it.

More rezoning requests are in the works for the western part of the Seaboard Station area as well so we may have a crane over us for a few years each time you visit Seaboard.

A Cranetastic Year for Downtown Raleigh

An easy thing to notice from following developments, not being in the industry by the way, is that a lot of planning goes into all these things. It’s probably an underappreciated aspect of building larger structures but of course it is; there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. When it all starts to come together and construction starts, that’s when it feels real.

In just a few short weeks, new tower cranes have popped up in downtown. We’re still building stuff and that’s great for downtown’s vitality and future. Investments continue and that’s a sign for optimism for downtown Raleigh. Let’s recap the things we can actually see being built right now.

Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites

Shown in the foreground of the above photo, a new hotel is coming to the corner of McDowell and Davie Streets. The building will have two brands which include a Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites. That’s 259 additional rooms within walking distance to Fayetteville Street, the Raleigh Convention Center, and the Warehouse District.

The Hampton Inn on Glenwood is Hilton’s first presence into downtown Raleigh so this would make it their second offering. I imagine a variety of brands is great to see. Plus, another rooftop bar option isn’t bad either.

400 Hillsborough

400H for short, the tower crane at 400 Hillsborough was met with lots of excitement on the Community when it went up around Thanksgiving 2021. 400H is a true, mixed-use project with office, retail, and 242 apartments in a 20-story building.

For new office space to be built, I just can’t emphasize enough the optimism for downtown Raleigh here. Not everyone is working from home all the time and I believe innovation and creativity takes place more easily in-person.

The residential portion makes sense to me as downtown Raleigh is near capacity as far as residents go. We should be seeing the building open up in late 2023.

Platform

A crane is up on East Cabarrus to build Platform, a new residential building for over 430 units. That’s downtown’s largest complex yet!

Playing off the proximity to Raleigh Union Station, the building will have an excellent view of the rail lines going through the Boylan Wye including the station itself. Train-themed designs will probably be used to give it that modern warehouse feel.

Raleigh Magazine has an excellent writeup on what’s to come here so I’ll bounce you over to them.

Seaboard Station Block B

Already well into construction, Seaboard Station‘s first new building in a long time will be Block B, a 298-unit apartment building. In addition to ground-floor retail, this building starts a multi-project overhaul of Seaboard Station itself. There are plans for more residents and hotel units for Seaboard in the future so what once was a district of shopping may grow into a much more active district on downtown’s northern end.

You can check out what’s planned at Seaboard Station here.

Coming Soon

Not quite crane-worthy, or at least not yet, but dirt, concrete, and wood is being moved at a few other spots in downtown. We’re keeping our eyes on a few other spots as well.

  1. Dukes at Cityview – townhomes are being built on South West Street
  2. 615 Peace – Condos are almost sold out along West Peace Street
  3. Person Street Apartments – A construction site is being prepped for about 100 apartments on Person Street

Seems like the name of the game is all about residents. In this post, I’ve mentioned projects that will deliver over 1,000 homes that are currently being built in downtown Raleigh. My long-time hope is that retail truly follows rooftops and downtowners can then support a thriving shopping scene.

Cheers to 2022!

Pic of the Week

The residential building over at Seaboard Station is starting to rise out of it’s hole along Halifax Street. The underground parking deck should be done (or at least poured) and we will now get to watch the ground-floor amenity and retail space take shape.

This site is just called Block B according to the publicly released plan for the entire area. Block A, at the corner of Halifax and Peace, had plans for a hotel. It’s not surprising that hasn’t started due to the pandemic and uncertainty around future travel. New housing seems to do well in downtown so the additional 180 units would be welcomed.

Pic of the Week

The demolition at Seaboard Station continues. The site with the former Sunflower’s Cafe is no more. Mixed-use buildings with a possible hotel, apartments and ground-floor retail are in the plans for the future.

The area looks huge after the removal of all the buildings and surface parking. It really shows you how much more you can do when you remove all the land dedicated to parking cars.

We’re tracking this development in-depth over on the Community starting with some great aerial photos.

Pic of the Week

Fencing has popped up around some portions of Seaboard Station. A demolition company has put up it’s sign around block B. I take it to mean that the central building, shown above, is about to be demolished.

Block B plans for a residential building over retail, described in more detail in this August 2020 post. Block A also has fencing around it as well. Residential is still a hot commodity in Raleigh so leading with this development over the hotel portion makes sense for this year if that’s what we’ll see take place.

Seaboard Station Block B Plans Show more Mixed-Use, Underground Parking

During the Aug 20 meeting of the Raleigh Appearance Commission, a request for an alternate design came up for what’s being called Block B of Seaboard Station. The six-story building planned for this site is a mixed-use building with residences over retail. Above is a concept rendering

A bit unique to the building, and very welcome in my opinion, is that the plans show parking being underground. You don’t see too much of that with the development of the last few decades as a plethora of new buildings have been built over a parking deck or have the deck wrapped in the interior.

The site of Block B at Seaboard Station would loosely be over the current tennis courts along Halifax Street between Seaboard Avenue and Franklin Street.

It doesn’t look like the building would go all the way to Abe Alley so perhaps the remainder of that block is still being worked on.

The plans show about 180 units and all four sides of the building have an active use for either retail or residential. There’s just one parking entrance along Halifax.

Those are some of the high-level takeaways about this project from this request. If you’re curious about the request itself, the summary says:

The building meets the build-to requirement for much of the site but is missing build-to requirements along Halifax Street. A major Duke Energy 115kV transmission line and easement extends through the property along the entire Halifax Street frontage. Buildings and other permanent, above ground structures are not allowed within Duke Energy’s transmission line easements.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

Seaboard Station Plans for new Apartments and Hotel

Corner of Halifax and Peace Streets. January 2019.

The latest submitted plans (SR-034-19) for new development at Seaboard Station have been submitted. The plans are for a new 7-story building at the northwest corner of Peace and Halifax. Currently here is the building with the Sunflower’s cafe and other surface parking.

Apartments and a hotel would take up this entire block, named Seaboard Station Block A for now, which is bounded by Peace and Seaboard Avenue, Halifax and Seaboard Station Drive.

Aerial of Block A from Google maps.

The new building would be 7-stories and include parking with some spaces partially underground. It’s interesting to see the development proposing 236 parking spaces rather than the required 171. However, with 96 apartments and 150 hotel rooms, that may leave plenty for residents, overnight visitors and daytime, nighttime restaurant-goers.

The plans don’t list any retail or restaurant space other than the hotel bar and kitchen. The ground-floor spaces may be used for parking instead.

Cline Design, architects behind Peace and The Link, are working on the design for the new building.

Finally, the northern side of the block has a very generous sidewalk and converts the striped “turn in” parking to off-street, urban style spaces. The northern side may be the “front-facing” side as it supports the Seaboard Station area. The site plans suggests some public art here as well.

The plans are currently under review by the city so no real timeline is out there yet. When news hit about developing these sites, there was mention of sooner rather than later so hopefully, we’ll see things move soon on what is currently an under-used portion along Peace Street.