The downtown Raleigh skyline could be getting a new addition.
Planning Commissioners Tuesday approved plans for Charter Square, an 11-story building on Lenoir Street between Fayetteville and Wilmington Streets.
Developers purchased the land more than four years ago, but had trouble pre-leasing enough space to secure financing for the project.
The building will have about 243,000 square feet of office space and about 28,000 square feet of retail space that will be built on top of an existing underground city-owned parking deck.
Future residential development is planned for the northern part of the property.
Ken Thompson, with JDavis Architects, said he plans to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status for the project.
“We are striving to meet LEED Platinum which I think will be the first LEED Platinum office building in North Carolina.” he said.
Commissioner Eric Braun requested that the application for LEED status be noted as part of the approval by the Commission. Architect Neil Gray assured Commissioners that achieving LEED Platinum status is of the utmost importance to the project and agreed to the notation.
Gray also discussed the building materials and design, emphasizing their connection to the street and pedestrian friendly feel.
Commissioner Erin Sterling Lewis questioned the building’s height transition. The proposed 11-story building will be right next to a one-to-two story building. Sterling Lewis questioned the large height transition and whether or not the city’s code addresses such a drastic change.
Mitchell Silver, Raleigh’s planning director, said the transition between the two buildings was always part of the plan.
Because the building is being constructed on top of an existing parking deck, which is city-owned, it limits what developers can do on the property.
Councilors must still give final approval for the project.
New Members Appointed
In other business, the City of Raleigh Planning Commission has two new members.
Commissioner Joseph Lyle has an extensive background in land planning and development. His term runs through the end of June 2015. Lyle also serves as the county alternate on the Board of Adjustment.
Commissioner Rodney Swink is a developer and landscape architect with extensive experience in downtown development, strategic planning, historic preservation, and community organization. His term runs through July 2, 2015.