Plans Show New Townhome Project for St. Mary’s Street

St. Mary's Street near Calvin Road. February 2018.

St. Mary’s Street near Calvin Road. February 2018.

Plans on the city’s website (S-050-17) show a small project that will include six townhomes for an area on St. Mary’s Street near the intersection of Calvin Road. (between Tucker and North) Three lots are being combined for the townhomes and currently, only a single house sits on these lots.

There were two other homes here but they were demolished sometime in 2016 so I imagine the last one, shown above, will come down with this project.

Preliminary site plans show the six units in one building with rooftop decks and parking garages located along an existing alley behind the units. The alley is currently accessible on Tucker Street and is mainly used by the residents in The Devon.

Map of proposed townhomes

Seems like a straightforward project and a product that’s much needed in and around downtown. I like the idea of further using an existing alley for additional vehicle access rather than creating new streets.

Rendering of proposed townhomes

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

Rendering of Hargett Place

More like Render of the Week.

Above is the rendering for Hargett Place, a group of 19 townhomes for East Hargett Street. I’m into this project because of the high-quality (perceived anyway) as well as unique townhome design shown in these renderings. This is a housing type that I think is hugely lacking around downtown Raleigh and I would like to see much more of it.

For sale, rather than for rent, units are also nice to see in a part of Raleigh where rentals dominate so some balance to the market always seems like a good thing to cheer for.

The rendering reminds me of brownstone rowhouses that you can spot in older cities in the northeast. I can see a very comfortable street face along East Street with these homes facing City Cemetery. Once new sidewalk trees mature it’ll be a nice place to walk in the future.

Person Street Townhomes in Blount Street Commons

The Townhomes of Blount Street Commons

As part of Blount Street Commons, Person Street is really getting a residential presence with these townhomes named The Wallace and The Anderson. The website is lacking a lot of key information but here’s where you can see more about them.

While nothing spectacular to look at, (The Ten looks much better and the units were priced a bit lower) I actually really like that we’re getting some of this type of residential around downtown. I hope one day for there to be a plethora of three or four story buildings like this scattered all throughout our urban areas. It’s also a great transition development from our core out into the neighborhoods.

The Townhomes of Blount Street Commons

Flurry of Activity on East Peace Street

Corner of Peace and Person Streets

Corner of Peace and Person Streets

I recently took a walk around East Peace Street and there is just so much happening here these days. On this particular weekday morning, the sounds of construction dominate. The hum of machinery, the beeping of vehicles, the hammering of nails are just some of the things you hear if you wander around Peace, Person or Wilmington Street.

These two blocks are just mushrooming with new developments. It’s not surprising that the new construction is predominantly residential as that is the current trend.

Townhomes at Blount Street Commons

Townhomes at Blount Street Commons

Built up now are some new townhomes and carriage homes at Blount Street Commons. A lot of land has been cleared along Person Street for even more of these.

Holy Trinity Church on Peace Street

Holy Trinity Church on Peace Street

Holy Trinity Church on Peace Street

You can now get a sense of the space that the Holy Trinity Church on Peace Street will take as the building shell is pretty much wrapped up.

Peace Street Townes

Peace Street Townes

Peace Street Townes

More townhomes at Peace Street Townes are moving along nicely with the entire site out of the ground now. A lot of brickwork has taken place and the first units are close to being ready.

Elan City Center apartments

Elan City Center apartments

Elan City Center apartments

Elan City Center apartments

The largest presence here is the Elan City Center project, a five-story apartment building with about 213 units. There isn’t any ground-floor retail here but with Seaboard Station just across the street and the non-active government district nearby there may not be a big reason for it.

I’ll be interested to see more about Elan City Center as the project kind of just popped up and I’m not sure what kind of local presence there is here. There are no plans for this on the city’s website and their website showcases it as a ‘North Carolina project’ rather than a ‘Raleigh project,’ mistakenly using Charlotte’s skyline on their website.

In a hot rental market, complacency in management is common, as I’ve heard is the case in some of the newer buildings in or near downtown. Hopefully that’s just a few isolated incidents.