Decision on Stanhope Changes Delayed

The debate about the changes to a master plan for a future development on Hillsborough Street remains in a Raleigh City Council committee until a compromise can be reached.

Raleigh Planning Commissioners this week approved the amendments needed to begin the last phase of the Stanhope development, a mixed-use building of student apartments and retail space on Hillsborough Street.

City Council members delayed final approval last week in order to discuss the changes in the Comprehensive Planning Committee meeting.

The main point of contention between the neighborhood and the developer is the height of the building, which would go from the currently allowed 40 feet to 86 feet.

Complicating the matter is a debate between feet and stories when describing the height of a building. In today's code, feet are used, but the new Unified Development Ordinance uses both.

While the developer is looking at a seven-story building, neighbors are willing to compromise at five.

Robin Currin, an attorney representing the developer, said they are willing to come down to 79 feet, which would put the building at visually the same level as the 75-foot Kerr Drugs building, also part of the development. At 79 feet, the building could still house seven stories.

Currin said the developer has been meeting with investors who have expressed interest in a building at that height.

While the 79-foot-tall building might end up being five stories, Currin said that a limitation to only five stories isn't something the developer could do.

Planning Director Mitch Silver said that once a seven-story building is established, it becomes a mark that other developments can use in the future. He observed that if the UDO were in effect today, a five-story building would be 75 feet.

Resident Malissa Kilpatrick, a neighbor that lives close to the project, said the building will create a shadow over the area. It would also increase traffic to an area which, she said, is already plagued by problems.

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Stanhope Village, under construction on Hillsborough Street.

Mike Rieder, chair of the Wade Citizens Advisory Council, said CAC members support a five-story development and they gave the clear message that they wanted the building to match the Kerr Drugs building.

Councilor and Committee Chair Russ Stephenson asked that the case be held until the committee's next meeting Jan. 9 so that the developer could consider a five-story maximum height.

7 thoughts on “Decision on Stanhope Changes Delayed

  1. Excellent summary. This could set a standard if 7 stories is allowed. Three stories is the default (40′) and 5 stories is the maximum allowed with the new UDO. Hillsborough St is only 3 lanes wide there and can’t get any wider.

  2. Both Raleigh and NC State are growing, and dense development is a must. Hillsborough street is a very attractive area.

    Stanhope is student housing just one block from NC State, meaning the only significant traffic it creates (during the day on weekdays) will be pedestrian traffic. Placing student apartments in walking distance from NC State benefits Raleigh greatly…
    (1) The students’ quality-of-life increases. If students find Raleigh to have a high quality-of-life they will be more likely to stay in Raleigh after they graduate.
    (2) Diminishes the need to build apartments miles away, which result in higher traffic during daytime hours or further burden to Wolfline, plus negative environmental effects.
    (3) Spurs businesses; Hillsborough St could use a better restaurant and retail selection.

    The neighbors resisted Valentine Commons, so it’s no surprise they are resisting this good project. However, the city must look forward and be careful not to take an anti-development attitude, especially with a development so beneficial.

  3. I do very much look forward to development of the property on Hillsborough Street in front of Valentine Commons. We enjoy living in a neighborhood that includes students, and would welcome more retail and restaurants in the area. I understand that it is the reluctance of investors to finance a smaller development that is driving the request for a taller and larger building. It would be a shame to leave the property in its current state of disarray for lack of funds. However, it would also be a shame to have a temporary shortage of finances override the principles of good community design, developed with much input by both planners and residents. Hillsborough Street cannot be made any wider, so the limitation on building height is necessary to prevent the “urban canyon” effect and soften the transition from neighborhoods of single-family homes and small retail, to high-density high-rise development.

  4. My understanding is there is no “Kerr Drugs Building,” nor any plans for a Kerr Drugs to be established, and certainly no binding commitment to utilize past or future rezonings to build (or lease to) a Kerr Drugs or build what the average citizen would consider “mixed use” with almost all first floor space dedicated to retail/restaurant.

  5. re: WolfPack “However, the city must look forward and be careful not to take an anti-development attitude, especially with a development so beneficial.”

    Dear WolfPack,

    You are missing the point here. The development COULD have been beneficial to EVERYONE. Homeowners AND students. Did you ever see the original and approved Small Area Plan? Green Space, walkways, bike-ways, mixed use retail, and possibly a grocery. It would have been an incredible development. But instead, there sits a morbid hospital facade box that houses students and a parking deck that is literally hanging over our neighborhood. Bad design and greed ultimately, with time, benefits no one. How long before this prison-like structure starts to fall apart, it’s cheap materials begin to crumble? This is “Ikea Development” at its finest. Build it cheap, throw it away in a few months.

  6. Just as Mac Cady said, if Wolfpack had been following the actions of the developer in his dealings concerning the Stanhope area from the beginning of the Stanhope Small Area Plan thru his MP-3-02 and his SP-125-07 of which the developer had been involved in all 3, then Wolfpack would have seen that the developer has continued to change his own commitments to a quality mixed use community. The Stanhope Village was supposed to be a mixed use community with open spaces scattered across the 3 buildings with one deck and not just a student community. Students were to be in the tallest building near the railroad tracks across from the NCSU dorms with lower buildings in the other 2 sections for professionals and businesses. There were not supposed to be TWO huge decks in the Stanhope Village. However, the developer decided to put the 8 story parking deck within 40 feet of a 1925 single story home instead of the apartment building that the Stanhope Small Area Plan showed. The neighborhoods had only resisted those parts of Val Commons that did not match the developer’s commitment in the Stanhope Small Area Plan. Please get your facts straight. The way that I see it is if the developer really wanted to build a quality project in the last 2 sections of the Stanhope Village that he, the neighborhoods and the city could be proud of, then he could submit plan for a 3 story/5 story/ 7 story building in section A along Hillsborough/Concord and ask to add another story to his building in section B to compensate for the units that he is currently wants to have in section A. This would be a win-win solution.

  7. It seems like some people that live in what would be considered on most fronts as sub-standard living arrangements think they are living in a castle of some sort.

    When I first heard about this project i drove around and expected to see Mc Mansions boy was I wrong. the entire neighborhood would do good to get plowed under…..

    there is industrial and commerical and a darn giant cell tower in the back yards not to mention rail and future high speed rail…..

    this place is a win win for everyone in Raleigh not to mention the fees and taxs that the city took in.