It often appears that most new residential development takes the form of either high-density suburban townhomes or high-density downtown apartment complexes. But in many parts of the city, low-density is how housing’s done.
One such low-density development appeared before the Planning Commission this week in the form of case Z-14-14. It calls for the development of 43.7 acres in northeast Raleigh, some of which are in a watershed protection area.
The acreage is described in zoning documents as a “mostly rural, wooded area” that is “divided by un-named tributaries of the Neuse River” and has a “scattering of single family homes” in the vicinity.
Low-density residential and low-impact commercial are the only types of development currently permitted in the watershed areas, as they create less impervious surface area than most other types of development. Want to know what low-impact commercial means, or learn more about watershed development? Thankfully, Ariella wrote about it, so I don’t have to.
One thing this case does have in common with most others is that, at its heart, it is a request for higher density than is currently allowed.
Chiefly, it would permit the development of six units per acre, up from the current four, with a maximum 300 total units, up from 190. As the total acreage is made up of three different properties, portions of it are zoned differently, and would allow for higher density than others. Staff concluded this would allow for the construction of a 100-unit apartment building on a portion of the acreage.
Although a decision on the project was deferred at the applicant’s request – a number of zoning issues must be addressed – a provision requiring a minimum house size was scrapped over concerns that it could set a bad precedent.
A new shop specializing in the sale of a product described in the novel “Ulysses” as “the corpse of milk” will soon be opening in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. Permits were issued last week for the $11,000 fit-out of the 580 square-foot space that is to become Six Forks Cheese.
Impressively, the store’s founders, as of Wednesday, had brought in $6,316 in donations through online fund-raising site Kickstarter. In return for helping to finance the store, donors received gifts ranging from subscriptions to a cheese-of-the-month club to having their name etched on a “Founders Plaque.”
The PF Chang’s at Crabtree Valley Mall – which specializes in providing slightly above-average Chinese food at well above-average prices – is set to undergo $300,000 in renovations to its main dining area. Texas firm Harrison Construction is handling the job. Yee-haw.
The State Employees Credit Union’s downtown building is set to undergo renovations on 10 of its floors at a total cost of $4.1 million. How a bank can come up with this kind of cash is puzzling.
Mattress Firm will soon be opening what, according to the company’s web site, will be its 11th Raleigh location. Located in the Plantation Square Shopping Center off Capital Boulevard near the Triangle Town Center Mall, it will be the company’s fourth Capital Boulevard location. For the curious – of the 10 existing Mattress Firms, only two are found inside the beltline.
Amidst all the talk of new downtown apartment complexes and low-density in the exurbs, there has been scant mention of new townhome developments in the downtown area, save perhaps the Ten at South Person. Although it’s not necessarily part of the immediate downtown area, Wade Avenue’s new The Townes on Wade townhome development is being built much closer to the city than most of its suburban counterparts. It will feature 10 “luxury” 1,600 sq-ft +/- townhomes. Permits were filed for all 10 homes last week, at a cost of $150,000 each.
The other case heard by the Planning Commission this week was Z-8-14. It would create more allowable space for retail in an office building near the Crabtree Valley Mall. The goal of the property owner is to have the entire ground floor of the building dedicated to retail, which would not be permitted under the current zoning.
As the building itself, located at 2209 Century Drive, was constructed in 1972, there are a number of zoning codes it would not be in compliance with if it were rebuilt today. However, a provision states that the owners must bring the building up to these standards if they make “substantial” improvements, classified as anything more than 50 percent of the tax value of the structure.
In this case, the ground floor would require a “substantial” amount of flood proofing. Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend the project for approval.
Less than three months after we first wrote about the site of the old Capital Plaza Hotel, the property’s owner has begun marketing the site through a Raleigh real-estate broker.
Although the original plan had been to renovate the existing hotel, the broker told the Triangle Business Journal that there are now a number of options on the table, although nothing definitive yet. Among the possibilities are a church, a waterpark/hotel and a disaster response center.
The property’s owner paid $1.8 million for it at a 2011 auction, and is currently spending about $43,000 a year in property taxes.