Development Beat on Hillsborough Street

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Vertical construction on a controversial Hillsborough Street development — a phrase that is becoming more redundant by the day — began last week, meaning that the mixed-use Stanhope Center, which will offer student housing along with retail space, should be on track to open for the 2015-16 school year.

The development drew the ire of local residents when the plans for one of its buildings – similar to another project proposed for Hillsborough Street – called for a total of seven stories within a 75-foot structure. A compromise was eventually reached and it was decided that the building would max out at five stories, leaving future students plenty of room to live comfortably beyond their means before graduating into a bleak, unforgiving world, saddled with heavy debt and slim job prospects.

Hillsborough Street 2

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The permits issued April 22 indicate a total cost just north of $120,000,000 for the project, which will house a projected 800 students, allow for 30,000 square feet in retail space and contain a parking deck, also slated at 30,000 square feet.

Happening Now-ish

Teenagers, and adults with a severely underdeveloped sense of a humor, who are looking to stock up on black-light posters and mildly offensive T-shirts at the Triangle Town Center Mall will soon find their wares in a newly renovated, 1,815 square-foot Spencer’s Gifts. The $75,000 job is being handled by a general contractor based out of New Jersey because, well, of course it is.

On the opposite end of the taste-spectrum, renovations have begun at Raleigh’s illustrious Cardinal Club – located on the top floor of the Wells Fargo building on Fayetteville Street – for a total cost of $1,375,000. The project will consolidate the Cardinal Club and the nearby Capital City Club, both of which have seen declining membership in recent years. The space will include two new restaurants and “work zones.”

cardinal club

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Crabtree Valley Mall will soon be welcoming Luciano Pizzeria to its food court, although whether it will ever live up to the high standards and world-class pie once offered by the now-departed Sbarro’s remains to be seen. Another new pizza joint, Papa’s Pizza & Subs, will be opening at 7713 Lead Mine Road, once the $75,000 interior renovation is complete.

In a welcome sign that its $2 out-of-network ATM fees are finally being put to some good use, the Wells Fargo at 7500 Six Forks roads is set to undergo an $88,166 renovation of its 4,954 square-foot space. The work is being handled by respected local firm McKenna Construction, whose owners are still refusing this reporter’s casual requests for a blueprint of the bank’s vault.

We Messed Up
In the headline and opening paragraph for last week’s Development Beat, it was stated that yet another controversial new apartment complex on the 2500 block of Hillsborough Street had been approved for development by Raleigh’s Planning Commission. Like most of the information found in these columns, this was, at best, misleading, and at worst, an outright falsehood. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling Planning Commissioners.

Although last week’s piece also stated that the complex would require City Council approval before it could be built, one of the Planning Commissioners reached out to The Record with concern that the phrasing implied the Commission had more power than it actually does. The thing is, the Planning Commission doesn’t actually approve or disapprove projects – it simply makes recommendations to the City Council on what actions should be taken. The Council can choose to wholly disregard said recommendations.

Moving forward in this column, the phrasing for Planning Ccommission’s determinations will read something like, “The PC voted to recommend approval of the rezoning application.”

Much less dramatic that way, but the truth often is.

By The Numbers

To paraphrase Teen Talk Barbie, math is tough! That’s why the numbers that follow cannot be guaranteed 100 percent accurate. Maybe 99 percent. The data was drawn from Raleigh’s permits and Wake County’s real-estate transaction reports. Should any errors arise, this reporter would like to share full blame with Microsoft Excel, which was used to compile all of said data into one place.

wells fargo ground up

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

From March 30 through April 26, there were 382 permits issued for residential and non-residential construction projects – this includes everything from new hotels and retail fit-outs to residential bathroom renovations and in-ground pool installations.

The most expensive project for this period was the above-mentioned Stanhope student-housing development on Hillsborough Street, and the smallest was a tiny, $100 residential demolition project on Reaves Drive in the Five Points area. The total cost for all 382 projects was $209,074,922. By comparison, 457 permits were issued from March 2 through March 29 for a total cost of $122,002,117.

April 1 through April 28 saw 568 residential and non-residential real-estate sales within the city for a total of $144,543,000.The cheapest of these was a $500 residential property on Caramoor Lane in North Raleigh, the low price a result of its sale to the Neighborhood Stabilization Properties program. The program was established to acquire and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned homes. The most expensive transaction in April was also for a residential property in North Raleigh – although this one was located in the Hamptons at Umstead subdivision and sold for a cool $1,152,500.

Located near the Umstead State Park, this subdivision is not to be confused with Hampton Park Estates, the Hamptons at Preston, Hampton Park, Hampton Oaks, Hampton Ridge, Hampton Pointe or Rockhampton. For the curious, there are a total of nine subdivisions in Wake County with the word “Hampton” in the title. Yikes.

The priciest non-residential transaction this month was the $890,000 sale of an office building at 2725 South Saunders Street in southwest Raleigh. Home to the Crawford Sprinkler Company, the sale was made to Crawford Real Estate Holdings, so any significant changes to the building are unlikely.

By comparison, there were 800 property sales in March, at a total of $324,227,500. A significant portion of that sum – $81,051,000 – can be attributed to just three transactions: the sale of the Glenwood Hills Nursing Home property on Blue Ridge Road for $10,500,000 and the sales of the Carrington and Waterstone apartment complexes at Brier Creek, for $38,419,000 and $32,132,000, respectively. Unlike the brand-new Cottages at Brier Creek complex, neither the Carrington nor the Waterstone has been felled by a strong gust of wind.

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