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ChiefJoJo

Hinsdale Row

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Thanks to Raleigh-NC at SSC for finding this. Here's the link (pdf) with info on the project. It looks like the developer has petitioned for the Five Points CAC's support before applying for a rezoning with the city (at least I think so). If so, I applaud the develop for going this route, instead of trying to ram something through the process.

Anyway, if that is indeed their presentation, they did quite a nice job of making their case.

  • 29 units

  • covered/hidden parking

  • urban street frontage all sides

  • rezoning only required for reduced setbacks (same height/density)

  • Peace streetscape improvements (Peace St Inspection site)

  • green bldg features + courtyard

Here's the site location.

Certainly, losing the Peace St inspection & lot is no loss--I wondered how long it would last there. Without taking a stroll through the Hinsdale St area, it's hard to say for sure what the historic impact would be, but this will take out quite a few rental homes on the street--something I'm not to fond of doing, even if they aren't in the best shape. As has been pointed out on this forum and others, at one time many great historic neighborhoods in Raleigh (Boylan, Oakwood, etc) were in various states of disrepair at one time (70s/80s), and now are thriving. I'm conflicted here...

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Interesting. This is the sort of project I have been hoping for....I have only one pang and that is that I like the two two-story apartment buildings on the site. You are also right Jojo, that some affordable rentals in this area really are needed. The others also have a nice character. I will add some tidbits I know....first notice the alley on the site...its alwasy been there and shows up on the deeds but is almost invisible now as a usable alley...they will build around and utilize this feature. The site of Peace St Inspection was the site of a Mordecai descendant's home. (I think I talked about htis recently?) As the original Mordecais died off their huge estate was divided up...one split left a huge mansion of about 1830 vintage about where Deveraux St is overlooking Pigeon House Branch. It was a division headquarters during the civil war occupation of Raleigh. When that family aged one child built a house around 1880 where Peace St Inspection is. As they aged, they divided up their land into lots and you get first Brooklyn (1905) then Glenwood(1907) neighborhoods. They kept the whole block that the house was on undeveloped as seen on the 1914 Sanborn map. By 1950, this block was subdivided and built out too...looks to me like 1920's and 1930's stuff except a couple facing Peace that look post WWII. So having said that, if you have to lose a block this is the best choice and the rendering over and over in the .pdf is somwhat close to what the old mansion looked like with the Second Empire style...though I have never seen a picture. Its footprint on Sanborn looked more like a Basillica (cross shaped) though. I expect signiicant opposition from the Glenwood/Brooklyn neighborhood because of the loss of contributing historic structures. But honestly...this is one I might be able to live with....maybe they could at least move the apartment buildings to lots in east downtown?

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I like it! I think it ties in with some of Raleigh's best looking historical properties while giving a nod to the look in Washington that never made is south of Richmond.

Here is what we'd lose (yes, all rentals. Most owned by Gaskill):

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I rather like the top two (along Glenwood.) The 1930s duplexes are ... eh. Wonder what they look like today (I think those pics are ~10 years old.)

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I've actually been inside the right side of the first duplex (third photo) in June 2006 when I was looking for a place to rent. It is indeed a Gaskill property, and as much as I love older residences, I have to say that this one would probably not be a huge loss. The floorplan is very odd and the property has been allowed to deteriorate, with the owners seemingly only doing the bare minimum to keep it rentable.

I walk in this neighborhood quite often and can say with certainty that the fourth pictured duplex with the doors very close together looks about the same as that photo, maybe even worse for the wear. If I'm remembering correctly, the last one is also looking quite a bit rougher than its photo. The other two don't seem to have made much of an impression on me, so it might be because they look completely different than the photos and I'm not making the connection. Many of the duplexes on that block and further up Boylan are in pretty bad shape.

The two larger buildings, while still not in the best of shape either, would be a shame to lose I would think. It would be great if some of these places could be moved and rehabbed a bit - not made into luxury units, mind you, just fixed up enough to keep them from being condemned ten years down the road. I know nothing about moving buildings, but I would imagine it would be very costly, if not impossible, to move that big brick quad.

I am completely opposed to entirely eliminating existing rental housing for middle income folks in this part of town (I am biased because I happen to be one of those people). It hits close to home because I live in a similar building farther down the road, and the thought of losing my rental that I love really irks me. I have also lived in a city that went condo crazy and eliminated a vast majority of middle income rental housing, and now that place is in a major real estate crisis, thus proving that ignoring certain socioecnomic segments, only to cater to the biggest profit, is not sustainable.

Nevertheless, I like the look of this project. While I continue to cringe at the amount of 'luxury' multi-unit residences going in the area that almost completely kick out the creative class, I do think that the ideas behind this project will improve that particular area. Maybe I'm just slightly envious because I know I'll never be able to afford to live there. :whistling: I would like to see projects pop up based on the same ideas but glammed down for the average joe. I would be far more interested in something like that than a condo, for sure.

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I too, am torn here. It's a really cool design and something that's definitely unique for Raleigh. The Peace/Glenwood corner especially looks interesting.

But...

I am completely opposed to entirely eliminating existing rental housing for middle income folks in this part of town (I am biased because I happen to be one of those people). It hits close to home because I live in a similar building farther down the road, and the thought of losing my rental that I love really irks me.

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I am completely opposed to entirely eliminating existing rental housing for middle income folks in this part of town (I am biased because I happen to be one of those people). It hits close to home because I live in a similar building farther down the road, and the thought of losing my rental that I love really irks me. I have also lived in a city that went condo crazy and eliminated a vast majority of middle income rental housing, and now that place is in a major real estate crisis, thus proving that ignoring certain socioecnomic segments, only to cater to the biggest profit, is not sustainable.

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Was down the street today and made it over to take a look at the site... pics are taken starting from from Glenwood/Hinsdale and then west down Hinsdale St, ending at Hinsdale/Boylan:

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I'm beginning to feel inclined to give the developers the benefit of the doubt on this project given (1) the apparent quality of the product (green features, concealed parking, site layout, etc), (2) the relative uniqueness of the product in our marketplace (row homes), (3) the lack of very high quality of displaced historic housing stock on the site (in my judgment), and (4) the manor in which they are approaching the project--attempting to work with the community FIRST.

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I feel about the same way. Its not very green to demolish stuff that is still in decent shape though. I wish they would move the apartment buildings to say, the site of looks like it'll never get built Glen on Peace or to east downtown. Octavia should welcome some affordable apartments. Or maybe wedge them in behind Jackpot...dunno....even Preiss managed to save that house on Peace and move it to Linden Ave....surely this is doable.

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Here is info on the rezoning case. Maybe I spoke too soon about the developer's plan of action. The rezoning petition was submittted on October 18, 2007, was heard by the Planning Commission in January and is now in committee.

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I like the green thinking behind this project, and it's a very pleasant design. I also like that there is a focus on making the corner at Peace and Glenwood very pedestrian friendly and inviting, which it certainly is not so much right now. There's a few elements here (the green roof, for example) that I think could set an example for future similar developments.

That being said, I agree that it comes at the cost of losing yet more affordable housing with good proximity to downtown. Myself, it's not practical to live downtown based on my personal needs (although I would if I could), but even if I could - I can't afford it.

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The two apartment buildings are pretty nice. The row of rental houses look architecturally more crappy than they would otherwise because of upscale slum lord Seth Gaskill's old policy of ripping the porches off all his houses ( guess he was afraid the tenants would put sofas and refrigerators on them) and giving them that dreadful faux colonial look (he bought most of these houses in the 70s, when the Williamsburg look was all the rage). I guess I should be more grateful, because Gaskill saved those houses from declining into even worse condition (as you can see from some of the extensive rebuilds that have been necessary for non-Gaskill houses in that neighborhood), but the houses he owned (he's dead now, but not before inflicting that awful French Chateau building on Clark Avenue in Cameron Village on us) now stick out like a sore thumb due to the lack of porches on houses obviously designed to have front porches...

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Word on the street is that they don't want to demolish the homes - they want to "deconstruct" them (not demolish) and have the materials donated to Habitat for Humanity...

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^ Good deal on recycling. As I said before, it appears as though the developer is taking a proactive stance on this project (and Saunders) by meeting with the HOAs first, and I think taking steps like that will ultimately help come approval time. It sends a message that on potentially controversial infill projects, that they are willing to follow a good public process, instead of trying to ram it through.

From the N&O article this morning, we have this tidbit:

Johnson is developing the Saunders Street project with partner John Taylor. The partnership planning Hinsdale Row has separate investors, including Cary developer Craig Davis.

Units in that $22 million project will be 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 stories high and range from 2,000 to 3,700 square feet. Prices will be $600,000 to $1.1 million.

Ouch babe. Those are some high prices, but also pretty enormous units for near-downtown standards. You can't find many original pre-1950s homes ITB with 3,700 sf. I suppose if you look at it from a per sf basis, they aren't all that unreasonable.

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While the loss of middle-income housing in the area does concern me slightly also, I think this will be a good project overall. While most of those rentals are fairly old (all of them date from between 1925 and 1935), the only two that seem worth getting upset over are the 1925 duplex on glenwood and the big brick building on the corner of Glenwood and Hinsdale. As has already been said, the brick 4-family would probably prove impossible to move in any cost-effective fashion, which is sad since it's probably the best one of the bunch.

I do like the design of the new townhouses, though, and while it may be slightly incongruous to have brand-new townhouses next to the "Historic Glenwood-Brooklyn" sign, the project looks like a good fit for the area. I also appreciate that the project doesn't take up the entire block, mainly because it allows those businesses to remain and because 614 Peace (the gray 2-story on the corner of Peace and Boylan) is much too nice to lose.

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This is before the city council today:

Z-12-08/SSP-1-08 - Hinsdale Street, south side, west of Glenwood Avenue intersection, Conditional Use **(Pigeon House)

This request is to rezone approximately 0.92 acre, currently zoned Residential-30 and Special Residential-30. The proposal is to rezone the property to Residential-30 Conditional Use with Pedestrian Business Overlay District.

CR-11183 from the Planning Commission finds that this request is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. However, based on the Findings and Reasons, the Planning Commission recommends that this request be approved in accordance with conditions dated April 7, 2008 and the Hinsdale Street Streetscape and Parking Plan dated April 8, 2008.

Interesting and not terribly surprising that it's not in keeping with the comp plan, considering it's nearly 20 years our of date ('89). Anther good reason to have a modern comp plan... developers/staff/council have a legitimate guide to follow that can keep up with market trends.

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Stephenson commented that the applicant has done a great job of working with the neighbors on this project.

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I'm liking this project more and more... it is much better than the present corner (the inspection station) and will hopefully bring more life to the neighborhood. Hopefully the project turns out as good as the renderings... one thing I am concerned about is if the mature oak trees will have to be removed to start construction. They add so much to the neighborhood and it would be a shame to see them go.

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