Pic of the Week

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It looks like the storage building on South Street is basically completed. The ancillary retail space was empty last I checked but since it will support the storage building, it won’t be anything too exciting. (except for maybe the professional organizers in the house)

These storage buildings are cheap to run and it’s not too surprising to see them close to our urban centers as empty nesters are moving into downtown. I want to think that this demographic is downsizing on space but not their stuff.

Join the discussion about self storage in and around downtown Ralegh on the DTRaleigh Community.

A Walk Down South West Street

Looking South down South West Street.

Looking South down South West Street. January 2018.

As a compliment to a 2016 post on North West Street, today I wanted to take a look down South West Street. West Street through downtown is becoming an important corridor and from one end to the other, there are projects taking place that may make it a pretty desirable street in the future.

In case you weren’t aware, the directional prefixes for streets running north and south start at Hillsborough Street (west of the Capitol) and New Bern Avenue. (East of the Capitol) Hence, we start our walk at Hillsborough Street.

New developments and businesses are great but we always have to give a nod to the old favorites that have been threw a lot. I want to give a quick shout out to The Roast Grill, having been at this spot on 7 South West Street since 1940.

Photo of The Roast Grill.

The Roast Grill, open since 1940.

Will they make it to a hundred years? Time will tell but I certainly am pulling for them. The TBJ has an article (subscription required) that suggests they aren’t selling out. However, the pressure may rise as nearby developments take shape.

Heading towards the 100 block of South West brings us to the Morgan Street Food Hall. Food halls are a trend that’s happening around the country and Morgan Street will be our first (first, right?) food hall in recent memory. Plan for them to open this Spring.

Construction continues on Morgan Street Food Hall

Construction continues on Morgan Street Food Hall. January 2018.

Citrix employees should be food connoisseurs after that place opens.

The food hall will also get a nice infusion of nearby residents from the residential portion of The Dillon. Residents should be moving in this year and the developer has already landed a few restaurants and retail for the ground-floor spaces. Announced so far, we have:

And there’s plenty of space for more.

The residential units of The Dillon on South down South West Street.

The residential units of The Dillon on South down South West Street. January 2018.

As you walk by the residential units of The Dillon along the 200 block, there’s a sharp contrast between the life that will soon pop here and the still empty warehouse building on the west side. Plans have seemed to come and go for this huge warehouse.

Another Citrix-like rehab could be a decent proposal for this site as it has a large-footprint but hopefully a more mixed-use repurpose can be done. At this time, no plans have been announced.

The office portion of The Dillon.

Looking up at the office spaces at The Dillon. January 2018.

The end of the block approaches the office tower portion of The Dillon and Raleigh Union Station.

West and Martin Street will be a cool intersection I think. The Dillon’s 18 floors will draw activity here during the work days and the retail spaces, CAM, and Union Station will fill in the off hours a bit. I think it’ll feel lively and offer great views towards the downtown core.

Some warehouses nearby are also getting some renovation love. Father and Son’s newest location, the former Flanders Gallery, and the next-door neighbor have visible signs of upkeep.

Union Station is set to open early this year and I think you’ll see a small uptick in visitors as people from all over will come down to check it out. I remember when Fayetteville Street first opened in 2007 and on the first Sunday night after opening (when everything was closed) the street was jammed with cars filled with curiosity.

I think the same thing will happen this year.

Looking at Raleigh Union Station from West Street

Looking at Raleigh Union Station from West Street. January 2018.

Renovated warehouse along West Street.

Renovated warehouses along West Street. January 2018.

New train platform that will serve Raleigh Union Station

New train platform that will serve Raleigh Union Station. January 2018.

At this point, West Street ends but my walk does not.

The city is studying plans to make West Street tunnel beneath the train tracks and connect to itself at Cabarrus Street. The street currently goes below the tracks and turns into the Union Station parking lot so some of the work is already done.

Looking at Raleigh Union Station and The Dillon over West Street

Looking at Raleigh Union Station and The Dillon over West Street. January 2018. Click for larger.

Next to Raleigh Station, you can see how the grid is still aligned and the West Street tunnel would make the grid connect.

West Street across the train tracks

West Street across the train tracks

At Cabarrus, there is the old Raleigh Station, waiting to be demolished sometime this year. The future of this property is still up in the air as Amtrak services and offices will relocate into Union Station.

The 500 block of South West transitions us from the warehouse district into a more residential area.

Condos are planned at the corner of West and Lenoir. The Fairweather plans 45-units in a five-story, modern building. Construction hasn’t started just yet but the announcement of the project claims an early 2019 opening.

Worth mentioning again, one Raleighite has an idea to save two houses on this block of West. When pitched at a city council meeting in December, the idea didn’t fly with some councilors due to the fact that he sits on the city’s planning commission.

Old homes along West Street, planned for demolition.

Old homes along West Street, planned for demolition.

There is a risk of losing these homes that well represent Raleigh’s former Fourth Ward neighborhood, and in addition a plan to offer some affordable housing unless something happens in the near future. Jump back to the full story on this here.

At the corner of West and Lenoir, across from the future Fairweather project, is an old gas station that is planned to be renovated for a restaurant. No work seems to be taking place on the exterior at the moment so perhaps it’s all inside work right now.

Service station with plans for a restaurant.

Service station with plans for a restaurant at the corner of Lenoir and West Streets. January 2018.

Along the 600 block of West, the townhomes called West + Lenoir are wrapping up. These are some of the earliest townhomes to be completed in this area as nearby Fourth Ward and 611 West South have not really begun yet.

West + Lenoir Townhomes

West + Lenoir townhomes. January 2018.

West Street ends at South Street and so does our walk.

Along South, more demolition and construction is taking place as the area turns over. The South Street Market was just recently demolished and the storage facility has recently topped out.

Click here to view the map on Google.

Now that we’re familiar with West Street, I’d like to zoom out a bit. Above is a map of South West Street with highlighted locations from this post. In my opinion, the momentum behind Dix Park and downtown Raleigh put the affordable housing units of Heritage Park in the crosshairs.

I just can’t imagine the investment of over $10 million for a West Street tunnel, “bridging” just two blocks into downtown, is worth it if there was not some other driving force behind it.

When you look at it on a map, there’s no denying the temptation to push West further south, maybe even trying to connect it to Lake Wheeler. That would be a great downtown connection to Dix Park. With current politics, pushing aside Heritage Park wouldn’t be popular. However, from a strictly planning point-of-view, it’s worth a look.

I’m not advocating it. I do think there might be plans for a major road shakeup in this area in the next 3-5 years.

The end of South West Street at South Street.

The end of South West Street at South Street. January 2018.

Either way, West Street will continue to grow and play an important role for downtown in the coming years.

Pic of the Week

West South Street looking east

It may not be officially complete as of today but as far as we’re concerned the two-way conversion of South and Lenoir Street is now finished. I say that because the streets are now running as two-way streets compared to their former one-way. The new bike lanes are in and landscaping is done.

According to the city’s website at the time of this writing there is still some drain work to wrap up. Drive/ride away, I say!

Let’s get plans for a Jones/Lane Street conversion going as well!

Fourth Ward Plans 10 Townhomes For South Street Area

Corner of Dorothea Drive and Saunders Street, April 2017.

Corner of Dorothea Drive and Saunders Street, April 2017.

At the corner of Dorothea Drive and Saunders Street, ten 2-bedroom townhomes are planned for an area that’s seeing a lot of new residential. SR-036-17 shows two buildings with five units each at the corner with a driveway along Dorothea.

The property is actually much bigger than this actual townhome cluster with some of it being used as a riparian buffer to the nearby stream. (if I’m reading this site plan correctly)

Site plan

Click for larger

Site plan

Click for larger

The property is mostly wooded with a pair of houses along Saunders that are set to be demolished.

Houses along Saunders Street, April 2017.

Houses along Saunders Street, April 2017.

With the amount of activity in this area, the Fourth Ward units aren’t alone so I created a Google map showing the activity taking place in the area. If you can’t see the map, click here.

Let me know if you think of anything else to add in this area. I’ll update it as announcements come out. This also does not include any onesie-twosie house renovations that are taking place nearby in Boylan Heights and Rosengarten Park.

New Townhomes at West and Lenoir Called West + Lenoir

Rendering of West + Lenoir Townhomes

Submitted rendering of West + Lenoir. Click for larger.

Now for sale are the 12 townhomes that we’ve touched on before in the West South Street area. The West + Lenoir Townhomes are billed as luxury homes with a long list of amenities including a private rooftop terrace. Location is the key selling point here, according to the realtors. The location puts you close to downtown Raleigh as well as the future Dorothea Dix Park.

The 12 units range from a 1,300 square foot, 2-bedroom, 2.5 bath with 2-car garage to 1,729 square foot 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath with a single space garage. Prices range from $469K to $579k as you can see below.

Rendering of West + Lenoir Townhomes

Submitted rendering of West + Lenoir. Click for larger.

Rendering of West + Lenoir Townhomes

Submitted rendering of West + Lenoir. Click for larger.

Rendering of West + Lenoir Townhomes

Submitted rendering of West + Lenoir. Click for larger.

Rendering of West + Lenoir Townhomes

Click for larger.

Those rooftop views look great but may get crowded if the plans at 522 Harrington take place.

Townhomes seem to be the luxury item right now in downtown Raleigh. I recall downtown condos being the “luxury” item in the mid 2000s with lots of rentals following afterwards. Perhaps we’re at the beginning of a townhome boom. Or maybe not.

Current site at West and Lenoir, February 2017.

Current site at West and Lenoir, February 2017.