I spent some time this week with a survey from the city about possible plans to reconfigure North West Street between Peace Street and Wade Avenue that could accommodate bike lanes, walking paths, and a different parking layout. If that excites you, jump right on over to that survey here to let them know what you think. If I still got you, I wanted to revisit the plans for more bicycle infrastructure along West Street, how it’s going, and what we might expect in the future.Continue reading →
Raleigh Magazine had a great event earlier this month in downtown Raleigh. While this post is not about the event exactly, you can’t help but spot the urbanism that took place during it. A parking lot was taken over for one night to bring people together to celebrate Raleigh’s hospitality industry. Easily, over 100 people were in this space, covered by a tent, where about a dozen or so cars typically park. I attended the event and couldn’t help but notice that this space works much better for people rather than for cars.Continue reading →
There certainly are a lot of rezoning requests going on for the downtown area these days. One in particular that I think is interesting to pay attention to is for a collection of properties along the 700 and 800 blocks of North West Street. This is mainly the properties to the east of West Street and north of Peace Street. Raleigh Development Co. has acquired a set of properties here and is requesting a rezoning to increase the maximum height allowed from 12 to 30 stories.
To zoom in, you can see a detailed map of the properties on iMaps here. Right now, a mishmash of warehouse buildings, built throughout the mid-1900s, dot the properties. The buildings also have plenty of surface parking. This is typical on this section of West going all the way up to Wade. Very little sidewalks exist and West really loses that urban feel that it has south of Peace.
Industrial is the theme here on this part of West Street. It’s not really a place to walk to or shop. That of course may change in the near future. To the east of the property is the pigeon house branch creek and there are plans for a future park on the nearby former city parking lots. The city is currently going through the planning process of that park, which is still years away, and you can follow that here as well as watch a cool video about it here.
To the south is Smoky Hollow which probably needs no introduction. Smoky Hollow is adding retail and restaurants as you read this and there is still has an empty property along Peace which may add more development to this area in the future.
This North West Street “wedge” of a property could produce a very interesting building or set of buildings due to the future park nearby and the fact that the land is at a higher elevation compared to the nearby area. The views of downtown should be fantastic on the upper floors.
Discussion on this rezoning will start at the Planning Commission meeting on October 25.
It’s all concrete over at 400 Hillsborough. The mixed-use tower is starting to show it’s presence as it rises out of the ground. We’re still 12-18 months out from opening but maybe it’ll top out before the end of the year? Happy new year indeed.
In walking around the area, it reminded me of a 2018 post about South West Street and a 2016 post about North West Street. I have to say that West Street may be a critical street for downtown Raleigh in a few years as new projects have been announced. I’ve added a follow-up post on my to-do list so stay tuned for another walk of West Street.
The land at 600 South West Street, formerly a grassy lot with a few trees, has been cleared away. Work will start soon on a set of eight luxury townhomes, the Dukes at Cityview, that come with a laundry list of amenities. The estimated starting price will be in the $900,000s.
The townhomes are located on the southwest corner of West and Lenoir Street, within smelling distance of Sam Jones BBQ. Dukes Properties & Construction LLC are building the homes and Cline Design are the architects. The eight units will be split between two buildings with a driveway along West Street.
Zooming out a bit, the area has seen a lot of change over the past few years, primarily on the residential side. The Fairweather condos anchor the area, joined by several new single-family and townhome builds lining Lenoir and West Street. As mentioned, Sam Jones BBQ and Hartwell opened in 2021 and Vault Craft Beer should be opening soon. That gives one of my few loves, Boulted Bread, some new neighbors.
There’s still a nice-sized hole at 600 West South Street, formerly The Lynde, a property that has gone through a few rezonings and can’t quite seem to get any construction going. A neighborhood meeting for yet another rezoning took place in December 2021 so another request may hit the city soon for that property. Maybe 2022 will be the year for that one.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Next to Raleigh Station, you can see how the grid is still aligned and the West Street tunnel would make the grid connect.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Either way, West Street will continue to grow and play an important role for downtown in the coming years.
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.
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.