The strip of Glenwood Avenue encompassing Crabtree Valley Mall — already one of the most congested areas in the region — is about to welcome Creekside at Crabtree, a new, multi-family complex on Crabtree Valley Avenue, behind the mall and down the street from McDonald’s.
Scheduled for completion in 2016, Creekside will feature 34 townhomes alongside 301 apartments, which will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The property is connected to the upper-level parking deck of the mall, near Belk’s, through an existing bridge.
Although Crabtree Mall opened in 1972, residential development in the area had been taking off since the mid-1960s. The wooded, architecturally unique Brookhaven subdivision, for example, located on the north side of Glenwood just past the intersection with Creedmoor, saw many of its houses built in the late 1960s.
As the mall grew, the surrounding area grew with it. In addition to commercial and office spaces, which draw the most traffic, residential properties began cropping up: duplexes, townhomes, single and multi-family.
The specific area in which Creekside is set to be built is already well represented in the residential real estate department. Crabtree Woods, just behind the parcel, was largely built in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There’s also a number of multi-family and senior living facilities nearby, and right down the street, there’s another new community coming in. That one, called Crabtree Village, will also include retail and office spaces alongside a 293-unit luxury apartment complex.
One of the largest concerns — aside from the fact that, like the mall, these new developments are located in a basin prone to flooding — is the potential impact on traffic in the surrounding area. During the morning rush, 8,000 cars pass through the area each hour; 10,000 per hour pass in the evening. So the next time you’re stuck at the Lead Mine/Glenwood intersection at 5:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, take comfort in the fact that your misery is shared among 9,999 other unfortunate commuters.
When Creekside was brought before the Planning Commission in 2011, the developer presented a traffic study that estimated the development would have a total of 12,947 “trips” per day, although the plans for the site at the time also included office and retail space.
Given the property’s location, much of the new traffic flowing out of it will likely filter onto Creedmoor Road, and not directly onto Glenwood, as much of the current mall traffic does. Whether this will alleviate any of the added congestion brought by the hundreds of new residents remains to be seen.
Check out this excellent timeline our City Hall Bureau Chief Ariella Monti put together last August for more on the history of this stretch of Glenwood Avenue.
There is one obvious fix to this ballooning traffic problem of course, and if the City Council would only open their eyes to the possibilities afforded by a genuine, bona fide, electrified six-car monorail …why, I swear it’s Raleigh’s only choice. Plus, the area’s brain-dead slobs could all be given cushy jobs. And to those who say they’re awfully loud – they glide as softly as a cloud. (Simpsons references aside, didn’t somebody actually just propose this by NCSU? Or was the Indy pulling my leg?)
While Creekside – referred to as the “Crabtree Place Apartments” in permitting documents – was, at a cost of more than $36 million, the largest project to get the final go ahead for construction from the city last week, it was far from the only significant residential development to receive permits.
The Villages of Swift Creek in southwest Raleigh will soon be adding three new townhomes. Sunnybrook Estates in southeast Raleigh will see an even bigger expansion; 17 permits for new townhomes, which will cost between $54,000 and $69,000 to build, were issued last week.
The CVS at Glenwood and Millbrook is set to begin a $9,301 repair project to repair damages inflicted to the exterior when an errant driver struck the pharmacy with his car earlier this year. These kinds of accidents are more common than most might think. This reporter recently witnessed the aftermath of one out in the barren suburban wastelands of Cary, when a driver mistook the lobby of a nail salon for an indoor parking space. No one was injured. The driver claimed his brakes went out. Naturally.
Perhaps there would be fewer incidents involving cars crashing into large, immobile structures if more drivers had attended places like Country Day Montessori School as children. Known for its unique approach to early-childhood education, the school is building a new location on Kent Road, just off Western Boulevard before the entrance to the Beltline. This reporter understands the desire of parents to give their child every possible advantage, so if that includes sending them to a place where you need to develop an entirely vocabulary of jargon just to follow along, so be it.
Glenwood Avenue – the nightclub section downtown, not the mall area – will soon be adding another restaurant this reporter has no desire to ever visit. Shucker’s Oyster Bar – seriously, it’s like eating slime, and that’s coming from someone who enjoyed escargot – is getting built out at 510 Glenwood at a cost of $11,800.
Not a bad price, but there’d have to be a lot more cash on the line for this reporter to even consider eating one of those horrible sea monsters. Those things can fertilize their own eggs, and that’s the *least* disgusting thing about them.
In tastier news, Glenwood Avenue – the Pleasant Valley area in north Raleigh near that aforementioned CVS – will soon be home to a new First Watch, a breakfast, brunch and lunch chain. Instead of serving up cold, mucous-y Crassostrea gigas, First Watch features menu items such as the Chickichanga tortilla and Key West Crepeggs.
First Watch may not be at a Denny’s level of cleverly named breakfast items – Moons Over My Hammy, anyone? – but judging by the company’s website, the food itself certainly looks like to be of a higher caliber. And if there’s one thing you can trust, it’s the menu photos on the websites of chain restaurants. The Glenwood location is one of five First Watches scheduled to open in the region.
City Council didn’t deal with a significant amount of planning or new development this week, although they did give their approval to two oft-delayed projects during the public hearing phase.
The first will allow for 48 apartment units spread across two buildings, plus an additional community building to be built off of Tryon Road near Lake Wheeler. The case was a continuation of a hearing held June 3, which was continued to June 17, then to July 1 and finally July 15. The delays were due to issues relating to the property’s frontage.
The second case was one we’ve mentioned a few times, most notably here, and would allow a bail bonding business in south Raleigh to continue operating. Bondsman David Beasley brought along his friend and neighbor Doris Burke, who spoke on his behalf at a CAC meeting last week and did so once again in front of City Council, extolling the virtues of allowing the business to continue operating. The Council voted unanimously to approve Beasley’s request.
A River Wild
As anyone who’s recently driven around the Triangle knows, Charlotte’s Got A Lot™. Part of that “lot” includes the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a spot this reporter has visited and the sheer awesomeness for which he can personally vouch. Whitewater rafting in a semi-controlled environment! People falling out of kayaks! Ziplining over the rafting rivers! Kevin Bacon! Well no, but considering how things turned out for Meryl Streep and David Strathairn, that’s probably a good thing.
Plans for a whitewater park of Raleigh’s own, the Falls Whitewater Park, have been brewing for years. Recent discussions among City Councilors regarding the parks bond have signaled that none of the money will go toward the project.
Let’s face it though – outside the former party mansion in north Raleigh and a couple of downtown museums, Raleigh doesn’t “got a lot” to offer tourists. Would this park draw mostly tourists of a regional variety, the way the museums do? Probably. It’s hard to imagine someone flying into RDU and braving the drive down 70 just so they can go rafting. But tourists are tourists. And tourists are easy marks for an experienced grifter like this reporter, so the city should really do any and everything it can to draw them in.