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ChiefJoJo

Progress Energy III (aka "Block B")

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What is planned on the block bounded by Wilmington, Martin, Blount, and Davie St? There really isn't much existing there beside Coopers BBQ, a couple of shops on Wilmington and some surface parking. It seems like a great spot--along with the old First Citizen's lot and the Lichten lot--for another tower/mixed use development, to connect the new Fay St redevelopment with the Moore Square area.

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I cannot seem to find the map, but I saw a city of Raleigh rendering showing the existing shops intact with a large midrise structure in the center of the block...maybe 8 stories or so. The city has made it clear they do not want a mega high rise there as it would overwhelm City Market's character. The row of shops, especially the oldest at the corner of Wilmington and Martin, are an important piece of history and essential to urban fabric so I was glad to see them left in place, at least on the drawing. I have heard no official news however.

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I thought Progress Energy owns thats land and had planned for a possible addition to their complex of buildings.

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I thought Progress Energy owns thats land and had planned for a possible addition to their complex of buildings.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

that is correct. they bought it from 1st Citizens a couple of years ago.

I had heard completely unsubstantiated rumors that they planned to build Progress Plaza Three-- a mixed use project with an office tower, street-level retail, and more condos. This is why I speculated in previous posts that RBC might be looking in this spot. It would provide a great link between Fayetteville Street and the City Market

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Well, it seems as though RBC is looking at the vacant parking lot at Fay St and Martin St plus the old Lichten site at Fay St and Davie. I think I remember that Progress owns much of the lot to the north of their current HQ, and had a long range plan for a Progrees 2 bldg with a new Coopers BBQ, and other retail at the street level.

. The city has made it clear they do not want a mega high rise there as it would overwhelm City Market's character.

It seems like Progress could still fit a mid-rise on the Wilmington/Davie st corner near Progress 1 (away from city market) add in some 3-4 story condos with street level retail back toward the Blount/Martin st corner and still maintain the character of the city market. Heck, it would add a lot of activity to that area.

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Well, it seems as though RBC is looking at the vacant parking lot at Fay St and Martin St plus the old Lichten site at Fay St and Davie. I think I remember that Progress owns much of the lot to the north of their current HQ, and had a long range plan for a Progrees 2 bldg with a new Coopers BBQ, and other retail at the street level.

It seems like Progress could still fit a mid-rise on the Wilmington/Davie st corner near Progress 1 (away from city market) add in some 3-4 story condos with street level retail back toward the Blount/Martin st corner and still maintain the character of the city market. Heck, it would add a lot of activity to that area.

Yeah, I think similar ideas have been discussed...it is called tent design, with the tallest buildings along a spine and stepping down to midrise and finally transitioning to the surrounding historic neighborhoods on either side.

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It's about time!!

Three issues addressed:

1. Apartments for downtown

2. Retail for downtown

3. Nice to see good infill on a huge, open parking lot

Can't wait to hear more...

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While I don't want to "stand in the way of Progress" :) , the ONLY THING that concerns me here is the loss of the good facades of the Wilmington St. businesses, more specifically the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Someone on here and I both agree that Charlotte has clear-cut too much of downtown and has lost so many of their old buildings that there isn't quite enough character. I really don't mean to sound like a whiner and it probably isn't cost effective at all to save the fronts of the stores in a new building, but that is a retail strip that, while the stores are pitiful, has some old city charm.

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^

It would be neat if they could gut out the older buildings and spruce them up a bit and build bigger behind them. It would be interesting to see how others may have incorporated a new project with older store fronts. I just don't see it happening though.

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While I don't want to "stand in the way of Progress" :) , the ONLY THING that concerns me here is the loss of the good facades of the Wilmington St. businesses, more specifically the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Someone on here and I both agree that Charlotte has clear-cut too much of downtown and has lost so many of their old buildings that there isn't quite enough character. I really don't mean to sound like a whiner and it probably isn't cost effective at all to save the fronts of the stores in a new building, but that is a retail strip that, while the stores are pitiful, has some old city charm.

I agree totally. Especially the four (well 3.5 now) buildings at the NW corner of this block are some of the oldest left in the city. I have targeted their construction date definitively between 1872 and 1884 based on Dries painting and Sanborn insurance maps. The window surrounds on the outer two buildings are identical to those on Second Empire (1879) and Estey Hall (1874). I went so far as to mail a package of information last year to the head of Raleighs Historic Commission to plea for an attempt to save these buildings and received no response. I know of only 4 other commerical buildings in Raleigh built between the civil war and 1880...Seaboard Building (1862), Helig Levines main building (1870) Prairie Building (the half that remains 1871), and Briggs (1874). You are reducing your commercial inventory from this period by half...oops forget one the Mahler Building on Fayetteville St (1876). The old Domicile store on Hillsborough St is also threatened with demolition and was the c. 1875 Whitaker Residence. If these structures were in Oakwood they would be preserved but nobody is taking notice when one of Raleigh big cheerleaders (Progress) steps up to the plate.

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While I don't want to "stand in the way of Progress" :) , the ONLY THING that concerns me here is the loss of the good facades of the Wilmington St. businesses, more specifically the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Someone on here and I both agree that Charlotte has clear-cut too much of downtown and has lost so many of their old buildings that there isn't quite enough character. I really don't mean to sound like a whiner and it probably isn't cost effective at all to save the fronts of the stores in a new building, but that is a retail strip that, while the stores are pitiful, has some old city charm.

And also, I know I antagonize you a bit regarding changing of street names....I would say my desire to keep these old storefronts and keep the street names the same well-up from the same part of my soul...I appreciate your appreciation of these old girls too...

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this is great news for downtown! I especially like the attention to another demographic -- the young, urban renter crowd. Nice to think that there will be a multi-dimensional downtown population, and a stock of affordable housing supply in downtown.

This block would be perfect for an Earth Fare or an HT Express concept, don't you think?

Pity about the old store fronts. But hopefully the new development will be contextual and re-create an improved street scene that takes its cues from what's there now.

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It is good to see more "what if"s becoming reality!

This is an ideal space to do it -- the bridge between city market and fayetville street, and in the shadows of Progress II and the new RBC buildings. I think they would be crazy not to incorporate the look and feel (if not part of the structure itself) for what goes in there. The existing "raised" parking lot half way down the block seems structurally unsound and can go. The second door of the block going south along Wilmington hasn't had a roof in years and is only being held up by steel, and the Elevataor company building looks like it has been mothballed for a while too. I don't know what purpose the long building fronting Blount serves/served. The mini mart, pawn shop (whose owner has collected parcels and is ready to sell), and bail bondsman can all find space somewhere else. I don't know how poor people could afford to shop at Looking Good, but that quote sounds like sour grapes. The big loss will be Cooper's, but I would like to see them move into space on Fayetville Street or in City Market, next to the Mexican restaurant or part of the Greenshileds building (one Raleigh institution replacing another). I don't know what rent would be but it would go a long way toward preserving downtown's charm.

A HT express would serve residents within that block, above RBC, in the Hudson and Founders Row (to say nothing of the office workers and convention goers and the Moore Sqare bus station nearby) would be nice. If done correctly, this block could be the linchpin in downtown's success and having something for everyone.

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this is great news for downtown! I especially like the attention to another demographic -- the young, urban renter crowd. Nice to think that there will be a multi-dimensional downtown population, and a stock of affordable housing supply in downtown.

This block would be perfect for an Earth Fare or an HT Express concept, don't you think?

Pity about the old store fronts. But hopefully the new development will be contextual and re-create an improved street scene that takes its cues from what's there now.

I think HT Express will eventually be downtown. A mail-box shipping store would probably be a nice addition to the residents.

There is a good shot of this lot in one of RBC's new renderings.

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I think HT Express will eventually be downtown. A mail-box shipping store would probably be a nice addition to the residents.

There is a store nearby already -- a UPS store has been open on the Wilmington Street side of the Hudson for about a month or two now. There is a "coming soon" sign for the deli next to it, but not much else as of a few weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how high development will go on this block, and if it will contribute to any "money shots" other than ones looking from the east. I got a digital camera for christmas and really need to test it out...

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Where is Palladium Plaza in relation to this lot?

This is the lot I had picked for a grocery store too maybe with 4 or 5 stories of apartments above it as well. Palladium Plaza will be on the dirt strip facing blount just south of this lot between Founders row and adjacent to Progress II.

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Hmmm. I wonder if PE would ever consider doing without those lots fronting Wilmington St? Doubtful, but if there were a groundswell of support, maybe there'd be a chance to save 'em. It's got me curious. I'll have to check them out to see what my stance would be on whether they'd be worth saving.

If they acquire the entire block, that's a huge amt of space to develop (~4 acres). I would like to see some very high density there, as it's one of the better opportunities for some real additional highrise development--with some stepped down bldg heights transitioning towards city market. Maybe the block could be developed gradually as the market warrants it?

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Any idea on what height these new buildings may reach? How many stories would 250 apartments get you? I think this is an opporutnity for a truly highrise apartment building. Downtown needs the rooms for those who fit that profile. Raleigh also needs not "waste" such prime real estate for tall buildings.

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Start with 5-7 story parking deck surrounded by on-street retail + 250 aptmts + 135k sf office over a 4 acre site (city block) wouldn't have to be overly tall to fit. By comparison, RBC HQ has 710k gross sf (29 stories) on only 0.83 acres. If the average apartment unit is ~1000 sf, you'd have ~300k sf for residential + 135k sf office => my guess would be around 16-18 stories including parking.

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I wouldn't want any tall buildings in that lot anyway. They wouldn't show up in most Raleigh pictures, unless they were 40+ floors, which we're not going to get for a while.

What's going there is ideal for downtown's needs.

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Start with 5-7 story parking deck surrounded by on-street retail + 250 aptmts + 135k sf office over a 4 acre site (city block) wouldn't have to be overly tall to fit. By comparison, RBC HQ has 710k gross sf (29 stories) on only 0.83 acres. If the average apartment unit is ~1000 sf, you'd have ~300k sf for residential + 135k sf office => my guess would be around 16-18 stories including parking.

It sounds to me that they may just build a parking deck/w some street retail closest to the RBC building and then build apts/condo's on the remainder. I hope that I am wrong and that they build them the way that you stated. The project would be taller and look better I believe. :unsure:

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I went by there today after my earlier post and on second thought, I actually don't like the storefronts on THAT ONE PARTICULAR block. These are not ornate or even unique. I now feel like they could recreate these particular storefronts in a new design with absolutely no problem.

I'm in a hurry now, but I took some quick cellphone pics and posted them in my article at raleighing. BUT!!!! I stand by what I said about tearing too much of the old stuff down!!

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The good news just keeps on coming for the city. However Progress being the beast they are should really try to work something out with Coopers Resturant. Albeit too greasy for my taste, several people here at the Firm where I work in the Bank of America Building (Formerly One Hannover) Swear by the place.

Otherwise I can't wait for this and all dowtown projects to come to completion.

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