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First, I just have to say that I'm in love with this rendering. I hope Raleigh Skyline updates their website soon with a new view of the proposed "money shot".

Going this big might dampen plans for other office projects downtown, but I don't think there are any "in the pipeline" not mentioned above, other than Powerhouse Plaza. Hopefully this will serve as a push for supporting hotels, apartments, or condos (if/when the financing for that market recovers). We could do a lot worse than be "Vancouver south".

Second, I don't think this will be that bad of a problem considering how they plan to build in phases until 2018. We'll surely have other projects going on (hopefully residential) at the time to satisfy demand and hopefully more people will want to bring their businesses into the downtown area. Raleigh is continuously booming with population and technological development is sure to increase as well, creating more jobs in that sector.

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Going this big might dampen plans for other office projects downtown, but I don't think there are any "in the pipeline" not mentioned above, other than Powerhouse Plaza. Hopefully this will serve as a push for supporting hotels, apartments, or condos (if/when the financing for that market recovers). We could do a lot worse than be "Vancouver south".

With vacancy at less than 5%, I would think this area could accept the current schedule, and probably more. Obviously Raleigh could never accept all 4 of those building (plus the others) coming online at once....without some major tenants coming in from somewhere else!

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Wow. I was taken aback at the increased scope of the project, and the design looks striking & attractive to my eyes (didn't think you had it in you, JDavis!). I read the paper today and knew right as I looked at the picture that the Coopers would have to go. I'm torn a bit by the impending sale and loss of that structure (& Reliable Loan) for an expanded Edison. I guess the sheer scope and positive impact of this enormous project will prevail.

Clearly, with the success of the RBC condos, there is still an untapped market for high-rise residential projects. With the hotel market booming and the office vacancy rate lowerthan has been seen in decades, clearly Edison seems to have the right mix. I wouldn't worry much about the schedule. The components will come online as the market allows, and can be adjusted forward if the need arises (residential boom or corporate relocation).

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Hey, I am all for downtown becoming the big player it deserves to be. JDavis though has yet to wow me with anything. They make sturdy, well built structures...I call them something like "safe"-modern....nothing edgy or different. Good urban form and usually pushing the limit of of what the market can handle at that point. Sandreuter and JDavis do a good job. Sandreuter though has always seemed to be aiming for that career defining project that Dawson couldn't be, West was not intended to be, and Powerhouse was just the getting-his-feet-wet-in-downtown project. Coopers building is a bit of a dump, I agree. But the ones at Wilmington-Martin are as old as Briggs Hardware, and Wilmington Street is your only long row of storefronts with any character, and you are shrinking that considerably. I just got back from Charleston SC, and King Street is a good mile of 100+ year old buildings with Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Gap, Abercrombie, Victorias Secret, even a Saks...not to mention a dozen or more restaurants.....Tall towers, career-defining or not, splashy on a post card or not, will never ever produce the streetscape and atmosphere you get when your historic district is left intact, and its full potential seen to by developers like Empire Properties, who are willing to set their ego and checking account balance aside and, create places people actually want to stay and spend time in. Congratulations Horwitz.....you finally got that big paycheck you were holding out for....

Go ahead and let the barbs rip, but that is just how I feel.

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Hey, I am all for downtown becoming the big player it deserves to be. JDavis though has yet to wow me with anything. They make sturdy, well built structures...I call them something like "safe"-modern....nothing edgy or different. Good urban form and usually pushing the limit of of what the market can handle at that point. Sandreuter and JDavis do a good job. Sandreuter though has always seemed to be aiming for that career defining project that Dawson couldn't be, West was not intended to be, and Powerhouse was just the getting-his-feet-wet-in-downtown project. Coopers building is a bit of a dump, I agree. But the ones at Wilmington-Martin are as old as Briggs Hardware, and Wilmington Street is your only long row of storefronts with any character, and you are shrinking that considerably. I just got back from Charleston SC, and King Street is a good mile of 100+ year old buildings with Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Gap, Abercrombie, Victorias Secret, even a Saks...not to mention a dozen or more restaurants.....Tall towers, career-defining or not, splashy on a post card or not, will never ever produce the streetscape and atmosphere you get when your historic district is left intact, and its full potential seen to by developers like Empire Properties, who are willing to set their ego and checking account balance aside and, create places people actually want to stay and spend time in. Congratulations Horwitz.....you finally got that big paycheck you were holding out for....

Go ahead and let the barbs rip, but that is just how I feel.

I was hoping that residents and workers in the proposed buildings would create enough of a market to put some of the tenants you mentioned into those old stores on the east side of Wilimington. Do you really think that tearing down the buildings that house Cooper's and Reliable would be shrinking that row of storefronts that significantly? Or is your complaint with the contrast in style, character and scale to the existing buildings along Wilmington? If Cooper's had to go (not sure about Reliable's building) then personally, I would rather see the space used for a J. Davis tower project bringing more workers, residents and adding retail to the area than anything else.

I do feel compelled to ask if each of the four buildings have to be mirror images of their neighbor to the north/south. I don't mean to sound picky, but it just seems like the "tweenkies" thing has been done before, and from a skyline perspective to have four buildings each with their own patricular design would add a little diversity and give each building its own identity.

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Personally, I'd much rather loose those buildings to a project like the Edison than to the someone's need for another parking lot. As for the buildings looking alike, that is for cohesion of the project. When things are too different, they don't come together visually as a project and it tends to look like a mish-mash of random buildings. Its no different than the WTC in NYC having twin towers. One project, one design.

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^^ I completely agree that if the buildings have to go, this is a great project to take their place. My complaint originates with the era the buildings on the Reliable Loan corner are from....I can peg them to the late 1870's or early 1880's with old maps and comparable architecture with known dates. Put back in the period windows, rip out the drop ceilings sand blast the layers of paint off and repaint a single coat and then you have preserved the history (only six older commercial buildings...Briggs, Mahler, Prarrie, Helig-Levine, Credit Union, Seaboard) and about 20 total that are older in downtown), and have also kept intact the scale of both that corner and both Martin Street heading east and Wilmington heading north. I am much less concerned with Coopers even though the media likes to focus on them...the building is a terra cotta capped brick facade with no ornamentation and built during a period (guessing 1930's) that still has numerous buildings all over town. The gorgeous gorgeous buildings that used to be all over dowtown....if Empire owned these buildings they would not have been sold but Horwitz only ever cared about his payday...he also owns most of the 200 block of south Wilmington so don't expect any fixing up of those buildings...just a bulldozer when the next tower comes calling...People I know from Boston, Philly, DC...they never ask "where is you 60 story building?" They always ask where is your historic district? I am embarrassed to say time and again we don't have one (Oakwood is nice but its not commercial so there is nothing to do for a visitor)

Again, Raleigh deserves this project, its been a long time coming. But it also deserves some respect for its old girls and there never has been any.

Edited by Jones133
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^^ I completely agree that if the buildings have to go, this is a great project to take their place. My complaint originates with the era the buildings on the Reliable Loan corner are from....I can peg them to the late 1870's or early 1880's with old maps and comparable architecture with known dates. Put back in the period windows, rip out the drop ceilings sand blast the layers of paint off and repaint a single coat and then you have preserved the history (only six older commercial buildings...Briggs, Mahler, Prarrie, Helig-Levine, Credit Union, Seaboard) and about 20 total that are older in downtown), and have also kept intact the scale of both that corner and both Martin Street heading east and Wilmington heading north. I am much less concerned with Coopers even though the media likes to focus on them...the building is a terra cotta capped brick facade with no ornamentation and built during a period (guessing 1930's) that still has numerous buildings all over town. The gorgeous gorgeous buildings that used to be all over dowtown....if Empire owned these buildings they would not have been sold but Horwitz only ever cared about his payday...he also owns most of the 200 block of south Wilmington so don't expect any fixing up of those buildings...just a bulldozer when the next tower comes calling...People I know from Boston, Philly, DC...they never ask "where is you 60 story building?" They always ask where is your historic district? I am embarrassed to say time and again we don't have one (Oakwood is nice but its not commercial so there is nothing to do for a visitor)

Again, Raleigh deserves this project, its been a long time coming. But it also deserves some respect for its old girls and there never has been any.

I kind of agree with you. I know Raleigh needs more historic buildings and maybe we need to start trying to preserve these buildings. Personally I would like to see the best of both worlds and have the old buildings moved somewhere else, though I don't know the way that it would be done, even if it was possible. I like the Edison simply because it will bring many more people downtown along with retail and offices, which the area needs to become a thriving place. But, if the buildings were moved, maybe on the fringes of downtown (hopefully replacing a parking lot) we could build up by height until you get to Wilmington Street and then work back down. Since those buildings are 2-3 floors, they could be several blocks away from the core of downtown but still allow retail and offices to be spread out. The closer you get to downtown, the taller buildings can get. I do want to see more preservation of historic buildings and perhaps restrictions on demolition. Of course there is probably no way to move these buildings and they will be likely lost, but what a great project to lose history to (I know that sounds kind of morbid, but it is a great thing for downtown)

We do need more of a historic district and having building preserved as well as new infill trying to fit in with older. I prefer the brick style, but I know glass seems the way to go these days. Still, Raleigh needs to work on preserving its history while still moving into the present day.

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^^ I completely agree that if the buildings have to go, this is a great project to take their place. My complaint originates with the era the buildings on the Reliable Loan corner are from....I can peg them to the late 1870's or early 1880's with old maps and comparable architecture with known dates. Put back in the period windows, rip out the drop ceilings sand blast the layers of paint off and repaint a single coat and then you have preserved the history (only six older commercial buildings...Briggs, Mahler, Prarrie, Helig-Levine, Credit Union, Seaboard) and about 20 total that are older in downtown), and have also kept intact the scale of both that corner and both Martin Street heading east and Wilmington heading north. I am much less concerned with Coopers even though the media likes to focus on them...the building is a terra cotta capped brick facade with no ornamentation and built during a period (guessing 1930's) that still has numerous buildings all over town. The gorgeous gorgeous buildings that used to be all over dowtown....if Empire owned these buildings they would not have been sold but Horwitz only ever cared about his payday...he also owns most of the 200 block of south Wilmington so don't expect any fixing up of those buildings...just a bulldozer when the next tower comes calling...People I know from Boston, Philly, DC...they never ask "where is you 60 story building?" They always ask where is your historic district? I am embarrassed to say time and again we don't have one (Oakwood is nice but its not commercial so there is nothing to do for a visitor)

Again, Raleigh deserves this project, its been a long time coming. But it also deserves some respect for its old girls and there never has been any.

good points. i know that we need a much "fuller" downtown and this is the type of project that will build it up. but i do wish some part of the history of raleigh stayed. what effect will the edison have on city market? theres no chance that will get sold/demolished/replaced with a tower, right?

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good points. i know that we need a much "fuller" downtown and this is the type of project that will build it up. but i do wish some part of the history of raleigh stayed. what effect will the edison have on city market? theres no chance that will get sold/demolished/replaced with a tower, right?

I personally doubt the city would allow for the demolition of city market. I also think that as popular as it is, that there would be a huge public outcry if there was even a proposal to do so and that would be hard for city council to ignore. I would imagine that most, if not all of city council enjoys its presence as well. Personally, I think that city market is one of those cool, neat little things about our city that adds character and screams Raleigh :) . Its one of those spots I think could easily attract tourists visiting the city if it was marketed in that manner. City market kind of reminds me of the little markets I hit when I was in Europe that have a unique charm all of its own. Many large cities in the US no longer have these type of things, as they have gave way to large commerical projects. As Raleigh grows larger and larger, city market becomes more and more a unique feature for a city of its' size.

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FYI, here's Edison's new site plan, encompassing the entire block.

I'm very much torn on this. The site was always going to be an appropriate and desirable site with which to do something on a large scale, and I thought the previous plan acheived a great balance of preservation and new construction. Clearly, Sandreuter could have done something just as large on the 3.6-acre footprint (smaller deck/more tower footprint), or could have designed the current parking deck to allow for vertical construction to be built above it (air rights) at the proper time--something I'd always favored. I guess the RBC Plaza schedule and cost may have played a role, or maybe they didn't consider it. Clearly, having the entire block is easier to work with and probably cheaper, but just like the Wake Justice Center, individual decisions on these projects do not tell the whole story.

Raleigh needs more historic buildings

I know what you meant, but they aren't making any more of 'em, which is why this is important. IMO Raleigh needs to strengthen it's historic preservation element in the comp plan and give the HDC a more proactive role in dedicating and promoting our important landmarks and our existing turn of the century architecture (such as Reliable Loan). If these buildings are to be saved, better get them designated very soon.

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thanks for posting the site plan.

i do not like that all 4 corners step in. i like real corners that maximize the amount of window shopping you can do before you have to make a decision. the stepped in corners obscure entrances and sometimes signage. i really hope they change those corners!!

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FYI, here's Edison's new site plan, encompassing the entire block.

I'm very much torn on this. The site was always going to be an appropriate and desirable site with which to do something on a large scale, and I thought the previous plan acheived a great balance of preservation and new construction. Clearly, Sandreuter could have done something just as large on the 3.6-acre footprint (smaller deck/more tower footprint), or could have designed the current parking deck to allow for vertical construction to be built above it (air rights) at the proper time--something I'd always favored. I guess the RBC Plaza schedule and cost may have played a role, or maybe they didn't consider it. Clearly, having the entire block is easier to work with and probably cheaper, but just like the Wake Justice Center, individual decisions on these projects do not tell the whole story.

I know what you meant, but they aren't making any more of 'em, which is why this is important. IMO Raleigh needs to strengthen it's historic preservation element in the comp plan and give the HDC a more proactive role in dedicating and promoting our important landmarks and our existing turn of the century architecture (such as Reliable Loan). If these buildings are to be saved, better get them designated very soon.

I like those buildings also, but those buildings can't compete with a project this wonderful. Just look at it like this. The generations after us will probably appreciate the architecture that represents our time right now. ;)

"Look at the historic Edison! Built in the good ol year of 2010!"

Edited by serapis
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There ARE some nice old buildings in downtown. I just don't count these among them. And I find the "historical" moniker to be applied excessively; sentimentality is not history. Raleigh's not a place steeped in history or architectural tradition, compared even with Wilmington, much less Charleston or Savannah. I think a criterion of aesthetic potential should be applied instead, and the lots in question just don't have a lot IMO. Some old cars deserve preservation, some are just junk. Calling the junkers "antiques" doesn't change what they are.

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thanks for posting the site plan.

i do not like that all 4 corners step in. i like real corners that maximize the amount of window shopping you can do before you have to make a decision. the stepped in corners obscure entrances and sometimes signage. i really hope they change those corners!!

I have a feeling these places will be bars and restaurants. So this space would be for outdoor seating. Of course, anything could happen over the next ten years.

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Personally, I think that city market is one of those cool, neat little things about our city that adds character and screams Raleigh :) . Its one of those spots I think could easily attract tourists visiting the city if it was marketed in that manner. City market kind of reminds me of the little markets I hit when I was in Europe that have a unique charm all of its own. Many large cities in the US no longer have these type of things, as they have gave way to large commerical projects. As Raleigh grows larger and larger, city market becomes more and more a unique feature for a city of its' size.

I totally agree with you on this. I have said many times that Raleigh should do more to revitalize and market this area for what it is.

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I was noticing on the plan that the two taller towers are to be 574' tall. It looks like they have done as much as possible to maximize the height, but does anyone think it would be too out there for them to be raised to 600'+? Not that I'm dissappointed at all with the plan but just something to ponder over. I'm really excitied to see this project moving forward.

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I was noticing on the plan that the two taller towers are to be 574' tall. think it would be too out there for them to be raised to 600'+?

I did a size comparison on some of the tall buildings in Raleigh including a fictional 600' tower to get a feel for what it would look like. I don't think that a 600' building is out of the question, however for this project I think the height is fine when considering that they still have to fill all that space with tenants. They could definitely break the 600' barrier if they just took a floor or two from the smaller towers and added it to the larger ones. However then I think thinks will start looking disproportionate. Check out the attached image to get a feel of it.

post-15616-1213686551_thumb.jpg

In any respect, I'm happy with the size of this project.

Edited by DPK
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There ARE some nice old buildings in downtown. I just don't count these among them. And I find the "historical" moniker to be applied excessively; sentimentality is not history. Raleigh's not a place steeped in history or architectural tradition, compared even with Wilmington, much less Charleston or Savannah. I think a criterion of aesthetic potential should be applied instead, and the lots in question just don't have a lot IMO. Some old cars deserve preservation, some are just junk. Calling the junkers "antiques" doesn't change what they are.

Again I am just speaking to the Reliable Loan corner....they were built between 1872 and 1888 (I haven't done deed research but have maps to verify). In the end its a subjective contest even though there are already objective measures for making it onto National Register. The fact that Raleigh is not steeped in architectural tradition is even MORE reason to keep 4 (really three and a facade) of our last 19th century commercial buildings. Small Southern Capital is what we represent (like Columbia SC) in history and so did our architecture in many ways.

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Thanks to ChiefJoJo for posting the site plan. Can anybody who is familiar with the interim downtown framework tell us if the retail proposed in two sides (and not four sides) of this structure matches up with the retail "A" streets in the downtown plan? Or have they put the retail on the "B" streets?

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Again I am just speaking to the Reliable Loan corner....they were built between 1872 and 1888 (I haven't done deed research but have maps to verify). In the end its a subjective contest even though there are already objective measures for making it onto National Register. The fact that Raleigh is not steeped in architectural tradition is even MORE reason to keep 4 (really three and a facade) of our last 19th century commercial buildings. Small Southern Capital is what we represent (like Columbia SC) in history and so did our architecture in many ways.

Why do you think Raleigh doesn't have a historic city center? I live downtown and I find the city still has an abundance of historic buildings versus cities such as Charlotte or Greensboro downtown. It's not Charleston or DC, but it never was.

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post-15616-1213686551_thumb.jpg

I don't think it is fair to show the RBC tower as being that much taller than the shorter two depicted. That number is the spire height, and as most of realized, the bulk of this new building is not appreciably taller than the other two tall towers we have. Edison's currently planned height of 574' would appear significantly taller than RBC Plaza.

What I'd like to see is the Edison's four towers all being slightly different heights.

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