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In the past few weeks I have been complaining a lot about the new Convention Center Hotel and I am sure lots of forumers thought I lost hope about DT Raleigh's potential. While I maintain the same [negative] opinion on the approval of a smaller hotel, I also recognize the city's efforts to bring the most important of all the "success factors" to the center: the people.

There should be little doubt about Raleigh's efforts to fight sprawl and minimize the damage done in the past. Currently, there are several on-going projects, mixed-use, commercial and residential, most of them located in the heart of the city, but this new proposal is about to remain near the top of the list, right behind Two Progress Plaza. The new project will be located close to the "border" between Glenwood South and the Warehouse District, and will feature a 14-story residential tower, with a 7-story structure attached (5 floors for a parking deck and 2 for office use). For the record, I will be very happy if I see something around 10-stories being delivered. I expect the usual scale-down and I doubt that the developers will be able to deliver a residential project that goes as high as 14 stories. I just doubt it very seriously that the demand is there, although the price is definitely right.

Enough of me talking...The following article is from today's (January 29, 2004) News & Observer and explains better what the project will be like:

Office-condo plan clears hurdle

By SARAH LINDENFELD HALL, Staff Writer

RALEIGH -- A father-and-son team's request to rezone one acre for a 14-story office and condominium building west of downtown received a swift and unanimous endorsement from the Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Ted Reynolds and his son, David, said they want to build 75,000 square feet of office space and 61 condominiums at West Jones and North Harrington streets.

The City Council, which makes the final decision, will consider the request Tuesday.

"I've been here since '59 and we have always been downtown," said Ted Reynolds, who owns Second Empire restaurant, after the commission vote. "We are very committed to doing everything we can to continue good development."

The project sits next door to the Reynoldses' office building and a block from Second Empire.

The Reynoldses said they have three "quasi-government agencies" interested in the office space, though they declined to name them. The condominiums, to be priced between $175,000 and $250,000, are expected to draw single professionals and state legislators.

The Reynoldses requested the rezoning because it will allow them to construct the building closer to the street. The existing zoning requires buildings to be set back at least 30 feet from the street on the front yard and at least 10 to 20 feet on the side yard.

The rezoning request requires that developers design the parking deck on North Harrington Street so it could be upgraded to allow for shops or restaurants on the ground floor.

The project is one of several downtown, where officials have focused redevelopment efforts. Crews are building the 19-story Progress Energy office tower with condominium and retail space. Gregg Sandreuter recently broke ground for his condominium project on Dawson Street across from City Hall. And developer Vaughn King is working on turning the former Hudson Belk department store on Fayetteville Street Mall into condominiums, restaurants and shops.

David Reynolds said he sees his project as a bridge between the Glenwood South section and other parts of downtown.

"We are very excited about it," said Octavia Rainey, chairwoman of the North Central Citizens Advisory Council, a neighborhood group that has unanimously endorsed the project.

If the council approves the rezoning, developers will still need the council to approve its more detailed site plan, because the Reynoldses are planning more than 10 housing units per acre.

The Reynoldses submitted their site plan to city planners this month. It shows a building shaped a bit like a chair, with the 14-story tower facing Jones Street and a seven-story section along North Harrington with five levels for parking and two levels on top for offices.

A public hearing on the site plan is expected no earlier than March.

The Reynoldses hope to start building in June. The project could take 20 months to complete.

"This project is real," said Tom Worth, a land-use lawyer representing the developers. "It is not a speculative project."

__________________

Raleigh Metropolitan Area

Raleigh/Triangle/North Carolina images

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There is a new proposal for a 14-story mixed-use tower, in Downtown Raleigh, between Glenwood South and the Warehouse District. Here is some more information on this tower, named Reynolds Project:

Mixed-use development, on the intersection of West Jones Street and Harrington Street.

Cost: $30 Million.

Developer: Reynolds & Reynolds.

Size: 14 stories, with ground floor conference center, retail/gallery and banking lobby; 6 stories of office, 7 stories residential (61 housing units) on top, 373 parking spaces; 263,500 total square feet.

Timeline: Construction is expected to begin on Summer of 2004.

reynolds.jpg

You can all imagine my excitement about this great opportunity to see another tower being built, in an area that desperately needs a pilot project, such as Reynolds Project. I am always happy when great projects get proposed and approved. To be honest, the City Council must approve the rezoning before the green light is given for construction, but the city's Planning Department has already voted [unanimously] in favor of this project. Given the fact that NIMBYs don't live close by, there should be no objection, but I won't cheer before I see this tower actually being built.

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Thanks monsoon... You guys have done an outstanding job in maintaining and improving this forum. I can't say enough good words. According to Netcraft, this site is also running on Linux/Apache... That's why is VERY fast :)

As far as the new tower is concerned, I have lowered my expectations... No, I am not being negative, but I want to be prepared, in case the developer decides to scale down, as it always happens. If they deliver anything like 10 stories and above, I will be satisfied. If they manage to build a 14-story tower in that location, then I will create a poster of them and put it in my office :) I think that the rendering shows a well designed building and I hope that the developer doesn't back out of this deal. Going back to several years ago, I remember them proposing a 25-29 stories tower, across from the Second Empire and the Clarion Hotel, on Hillsborough Street. This project included a luxurious hotel, with residential space on the top floors, and retail on the ground level. Paul Coble, then Raleigh's mayor, encouraged them to deliver the entire project, but Reynolds & Reynolds backed out, due to the lower demand for downtown residential space. They actually wanted to scale the project down significantly; I am glad it wasn't built as a smaller version of the original plan. It was a wise move on their behalf to leave that lot alone for future development. Who knows, they may deliver the [old] proposed tower if Reynolds Project succeeds. The area is so much different now that I won't be surprised if they go back to their old proposals in the next 3-5 years. With Dawson and Paramount under construction, Deveraux Park already a major success, and the TTA's plans for renovating parts of the Warehouse District, there will be a great connection between DT Raleigh's two major entertainment districts: Glenwood South and Warehouse District. Any new proposal in that area may prove to be a gold mine.

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Thanks monsoon... You guys have done an outstanding job in maintaining and improving this forum. I can't say enough good words. According to Netcraft, this site is also running on Linux/Apache... That's why is VERY fast :)

Ah yes, another tech head! Red Hat actually.

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Nice building for DT Raleigh. For some reason it reminds me of that new office tower in San Diego...although I'm not sure exactly why.

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As a little update on this project, let me share a rendering of the proposed building:

reynolds.jpg

Also, from a personal discussion with someone from the Planning Dept, it seems that the developer has the financial backing to deliver the entire project, as planned. Certainly a breath of fresh air for DT Raleigh. We need people who can actually deliver, not just give us a few nice drawings. The following picture shows the location where the proposed tower will be built:

25578463.jpg

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Sounds like good news for Raleigh. It's nice to hear that the condos will actually be affordable too. It seems like the vast majority of these projects are being built for wealthy people.

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Its going to replace that building? I dont know about that then.

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I agree with you, Mayor Davis... God knows DT Raleigh needs every tower it can get. The area where the proposed tower will go is not rich in high-rises. In fact, only the 20-story Clarion Hotel is nearby. The benefit from having such building there is that the tone will be set for similar developments in the future. Once this one goes through, I expect to see more coming. The selling point of this tower is affordability, and I hope the developers deliver on this promise, otherwise I do not see any hope for more. The biggest challenge DT Raleigh faces in bringing more people to the center is the lack of affordable housing. If Reynolds Building fills the gap, more similar projects will follow.

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M. Brown, this is not a historic house, or anything really worth saving. In fact, it used to be a real craphole. They did some renovation, but still, it is more of an eyesore. The proposed building is by far a better deal for that area. Besides, the house that you see doesn't really fit with the rest of the neighborhood. To the North, there is a bus station (Greyhound lines), just to give you an idea. On the other hand, the existing building doesn't look bad in the photo, which may "fool" people.

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Yeah, I was going to say that the building didn't really loook like it fit in with it's surroundings just because of the background. Besides, I'm sure there are many nearly identical houses elsewhere. It's not like a historic event took place there or anything.

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Mike, here is a small collection of pictures to show you the area:

3.5 blocks to the West of Reynolds Building. The tower will be visible to the right of this photo, in the background:

24718930.jpg

Diagonally across, to the North-West:

24719135.jpg

The proposed tower will be built across from this building; right behind, as you look at this picture:

24719141.jpg

A couple of blocks to the West of the proposed tower. The tower will be located to the far left of the picture:

24719445.jpg

This building sits at the block directly to the West:

24719478.jpg

Right to the South of the proposed tower is this brick building. The developers have an office on the ground floor:

25578117.jpg

Now, let me show you the other side of the story. These are areas that have "redevelopment" written all over them. Reynolds Building may bring more similar investments (10-15 story towers) along these streets:

25578396.jpg

25578453.jpg

25578459.jpg

Picture the tower in front (and a bit to the left) of the round building to the right of the picture:

25578399.jpg

I think that these pictures demonstrate clearly what the area looks like. By the way, to the East lies the Government Complex. It is a denser area that has no retail, entertainment, or residential elements in it. To the West is Glenwood South, a truly mixed-use district with focus on entertainment, and to the South is the Warehouse District, mostly an entertainment venue with some residential. The last few photos show the area to the North of the proposed tower. The "house" you saw earlier is totally out of place.

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Once again I'm proud of our state capitol with its up coming projects. mixed-use is the way to go!

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I see now. That house doesnt fit at all. Nice pics though.

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heres some renderings i found on the architechts website garyhandel.com. This is the first time i saw some different renderings of the building. Im used to just seeing the last pic i posted.

heres the pics

westjones2.jpg

westjoones1.jpg

westjoones3.jpg

I think this will be a nice addition to raleigh, atleast were getting some development.

Some notes on who the tenants will be

The building will serve as the new corporate headquarters for a regional bank and the offices of a local public agency (North Carolina league of municipalities). The conference center will serve various office tenants.

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Thanks for posting the rendertings.

Now, if we can just get Ted Reynolds to build the 37-story building nearby, we'll finally be getting a decent skyline.

I'm hoping that these recent projects will become a catalyst for downtown development in Raleigh.

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The rumor mill has been churning on the tall Reynolds proposal. I've heard 32 stories as a more final figure lately, but on the same note I've heard 34 stories tossed around twice recently. Hopefully it will go public soon.

If the roof feature/spire is tall enough, Raleigh could have the second tallest skyline in the state. :)

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Might I ask how you are getting this information? I'd like to keep up on this development, too.

Thanks.

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cool, nice building. I like Raleigh allright, I just wish they (the legislature) would be a little more supportive of Charlotte's ambitions, but that is off topic :)

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