A new hotel will soon be constructed directly across from the Bell Tower at N.C. State University.
Commissioners this week approved plans for an 94,400-square-foot hotel on Hillsborough Street between Maiden Lane and Enterprise Street. Local landmark Sadlack’s Heroes currently stands on the property and will be demolished as part of the project.
The hotel will contain 135 rooms and 6,600 square feet of retail space.
The University purchased the property several years ago for future investment, and N.C. State officials decided that a hotel would be the best use of the property.
Project Developer Joe Whitehouse spoke to Planning Commissioners about the project’s challenges.
“How do you design a building that meets this historical nature of the environment that’s in the oldest part of the University, this iconic bell tower,” Whitehouse said, “but also reflects a lot of the culture and change that the university has itself looking towards the future?”
During the meeting, area resident John Wardlaw expressed concerns about adding additional traffic to an already congested area.
“It’s good. I like it. I like being in the area with this, but what are you doing with traffic?” Wardlaw said. “Traffic is really a problem here.”
While traffic is a concern on Hillsborough Street, Commissioners felt the hotel might actually relieve some of the congestion.
Commissioner John Buxton was pleased with the plans.
“It is quite refreshing to have a project come before us that has a narrative to it that incorporates public art that reflects its surroundings,” he said.
New Family Dollar Planned for Southwest Raleigh
Family Dollar is coming to Lake Wheeler Road in West Raleigh. Commissioners approved plans for the store on Lake Wheeler Road near Tryon Road.
Because the 8,300-square-foot building will be constructed within 400 feet of a residential neighborhood, plans requires Planning Commission approval.
Area resident Mary Belle Pate voiced concerns about potential noise, and said residents were told the property was going to be used for offices.
“We were hoping for doctors, dentists offices, not a Family Dollar because there is a Dollar General in the shopping center across the street,” Pate said. “The adjacent neighbors were very concerned about the noise.”
Site plans include constructing a closed fence on both the northern and southern boundaries of the property.
New Convenience Store and Gas Station for Tryon Road
Commissioners also approved plans for a gas station and convenience store to be constructed on Tryon Road near Lake Dam Road.
The entire project will be about 4,200 square feet.
Attorney Robin Currin said the plans received unanimous approval from residents in the Southwest Citizens Advisory Council and that they expressed excitement about the redevelopment of the property and the services it will provide.
Pate also spoke about this project and discussed the lack of services in southwest Raleigh.
“I spend, sadly, at least 85 percent of my disposable income in Cary,” Pate said. “Nobody wants to put anything closer to us that will keep us and our dollars in Raleigh.”
Ray Watson, the civil engineer on the project, said developers plan to install bike racks and will include a transit easement on the property.
Watson also said that the property owners were flexible with the hours of operation to help ease concerns of area residents, but no decision was made.
Landmark Drive Rezoning Delayed
A request to rezone a 34-acre property has been delayed.
The Villages of Lake Boone Trail apartment complex currently stands on the property, located on Lake Boone Trail between Blue Ridge Road and the Beltline.
Attorney Michael Birch, representing the applicant, cited a strong need and a pent-up demand for retail services within walking distance in this area of Raleigh.
Commissioner Adam Terando asked about the pattern of redeveloping older apartment complexes and the availability of affordable housing.
Due to the complexities of the rezoning request, Commissioners voted for to hold off on the application to give the City Attorney’s office time to review the conditions of the case.