Editor’s Note: This post has been amended from its original version to correct the name of the Pointe at Creedmoor Developer.
It has begun. On August 21, permits for the first phase of a controversial Hillsborough Street residential mixed-use development were issued to the DH Griffin wrecking company.
The three $8,500 permits will allow for the demolition of the existing structures at 2504, 2506 and 2508 Hillsborough. These properties, first built in 1948, most recently housed Two Guys Pizza, an empty storefront and Amina’s Café.
The much-discussed new development has been a flashpoint in recent months for arguments about the city’s new Unified Development Ordinance.
The developer, HBST, wanted the complex to have seven stories; the Future Land Use Map recommends a maximum of five for the area. Many of the people critical of the project at various city council and planning commission meetings noted they would be happy with the project if it simply adhered to the five-story maximum.
Both the planning commission and the city council voted in favor of allowing the project to move forward; their desire to increase density along a key transit corridor and provide more housing for NC State students outweighing a concern over what some saw as a technicality. The future land use map may call for a cap of five stories, but it also calls for buildings to max out at 75 feet, a rule the development does adhere to.
Some contention among city councilors led to the project’s approval vote being stretched across two different sessions – they need a two-thirds majority to pass an ordinance on first reading – and such friction is likely going to be a cornerstone of any new developments that don’t strictly adhere to the UDO.
One such example, the Publix in North Raleigh, has had a much rougher go of things than the Hillsborough development ever did. It hasn’t even been brought to a vote before the planning commission yet, as squabbles over details such as what constitutes a “superstore” and what kind of stores should be allowed on properties designated neighborhood mixed-use have been fought on a number of fronts, including most recently at the Comprehensive Planning Committee meetings.
But this column has discussed both the Hillsborough and the Publix projects ad nauseam, so we won’t dedicate too much more space to this. Except to say – longtime Raleigh residents who have enjoyed Hillsborough Street the way it was should appreciate what’s left of it while it’s still here, as 2014 alone has seen the demolition of a number of long-standing institutions, most notably Sadlack’s, but also the former homes of Katmandu and Pantana Bob’s and soon, of course, Two Guys Pizza.
The Hillsborough Street of 2015 will likely bear little resemblance to the one of, say, 2010 and whether that’s a good thing or not largely depends on one’s love of large-scale apartment complexes with ground-floor retail, which the street will soon have no shortage of.
Some downsizing of the construction variety is coming to Cameron Village, where a portion of the space once occupied by the Village Draft House will be split off in order to house a new, unannounced tenant. Two permits totaling $203,500 were issued August 19 to MP Construction allowing work to begin on the project.
Two new structures at the currently underway Pointe at Creedmoor shopping center at the intersection of Creedmoor and Millbrook, less than a mile from the Crabtree Valley Mall, received their construction permits August 21. Work at the center has been underway for some time, and York Development Company of Charlotte – not to be confused with Raleigh’s York Properties, a mistake this reporter is now amending – originally purchased the land back in 2009 with plans to develop a pharmacy on the site. When the Walgreens opened across the street, these plans were scrapped and in 2013 York announced that Harris Teeter would serve as the center’s anchor tenant.
A rendering of the center available on York’s web site indicates the grocery store will be joined by A Suite Salon, Mod Pizza and Supercuts. In addition to the Walgreens, the shopping center across the street also includes a Food Lion, Max’s Pizza and Grill and a nail salon. The mirrored developments will likely see a battle over shoppers emerge in the coming years, although the existing center has one major advantage – a FroYo shop.
This column has struggled before with the notion of irony – the idea of what makes something ironic as opposed to unfortunate or mildly humorous has been a point of societal contention ever since the release of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” in 1995. But if permit number BL-15902, issued on August 20 to builder Donald E. Couture isn’t ironic in the true sense of the word, this reporter gives up.
The permit will allow for $11,500 worth of work in a space at the Brennan Station
shopping center in North Raleigh. And it will create something of an oddity – a physical travel office for online booking service Expedia. It is, of course, companies such as this that have driven many traditional travel agents out of business, leading to many a shuttered storefront. Expedia opening a travel office is the rough equivalent of Amazon opening a brick and mortar bookstore.
A new restaurant should be opening soon in the Poyner Place retail outlet near the Triangle Town Center Mall, as permits for the fit-out of Organic Festival were issued
August 19. The shop will offer, shockingly, farm-fresh, locally sourced organic food. This reporter is of the mind that the more chemicals pumped into and the further away the origin of the food, the better. At least the shop claims on its web site that it will offer homemade cakes and pies a la mode, which is almost enough to offset the fact they will be offering a dish known simply as the “Antioxidant Salad.”
Raleigh will soon be welcoming yet another indoor trampoline park, this one to be located off of Hilburn Road in the Grove Barton shopping center. Permits for the $697,000 renovation to the 33,518 square-foot space were issued August 19. A sign in the window indicates that the “Launching Pad” will be coming soon, although the labelscar from the building’s previous tenant, Linens ‘N Things, is still visible on the façade. Combined with the recently opened DefyGravity and the upcoming SkyZone, scheduled to open in mid-September, the city will soon have a total of three trampoline parks, which is not nearly enough.
As this was yet another week without a planning commission or city council meeting, we will once again devote this space to answering a reader question, this time about North Hills Tower II.
Designed by Duda Paine architects of Durham and scheduled to be built by Holder Construction of Atlanta, the 18-story, 300,000 square-foot office building was originally set for a groundbreaking in mid-August. Permits allowing for this work to begin have yet to be issued.
A representative from Holder said the construction should begin “soon” and estimated that it would last about 16 months, although he stressed this was just an approximation, as construction timetables are notoriously difficult to pin down. Apologies to reader Mike for not getting a more specific answer, but at least this means the construction is still on track and more or less on schedule.