Development Beat

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It’s a new year, and it’s time for a new start for the Development Beat. The column will continue to cover all major construction projects in Raleigh, but will now be published in a shorter, daily format. Unfortunately, it will still be written by Raleigh Public Record contributing editor James Borden.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The numbers are in!

2014 was a record-setting year for the overall value of construction permits issued in Raleigh, and while the overall value of real estate sales fell from 2013, it was still well above the five-year average.

Before we get into those yearly numbers though, let’s take a quick look at December – where the stats reflected the overall trend. There were 607 permits for residential and nonresidential construction issued with a total value of $177,052,074.

A rendering of the Cardinal at North Hills

Cline Design Associates

A rendering of the Cardinal at North Hills

The biggest single permit in December was for phase 3 of the Cardinals at North Hills retirement community, which was valued at $18.3 million.

The previous five-year average for December had been 383 permits issued with an overall value of $80,522,941, and the previous high for overall value was  set in 2009 at $106,776,604.

December’s real estate sales fell by more than $10 million dollars from the previous year, where the 1,074 transactions came in at an overall value of $423,725,497. The largest sale for last month was for the Crescent Cameron Village apartments to Berkshire Property Group for $76.8 million.

The Crescent Cameron Village Apartments

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Crescent Cameron Village Apartments

Now, onto the year as a whole.

2014 saw a total of 6,382 permits issued, with an overall value of $1,585,401,932. This reflects an increase of more than $500 million from the five-year average. The costliest permit of the year was for the Rex Hospital Heart & Vascular Center, issued to Skanska building company with a value of $130 million.

rex3

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

Work taking place at the Rex Campus

2014  saw a total of 7,613 real estate transactions with an overall value of  $2,811,744,752. This reflects a drop of almost half-a-billion dollars from 2013, although it does trump the five-year average of $2.1 billion.

The largest sale of the year was the aforementioned Crescent Cameron Village, a 282-unit apartment complex that opened in November.

Next week – we get rid of that opening paragraph! Plus, wonder of wonders, Raleigh is getting another apartment complex! Be sure to check back Monday to find out where.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The end is nigh for the former Milner Inn and Foxy Lady property off Capital Boulevard.

Councilors on Tuesday awarded a demolition contract for the space to Janezic Building Group that will entail the “asbestos abatement services, structure demolition and removal of the parking lot and access bridge that is located on the property.”
The former Milner Inn & Foxy Lady

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The former Milner Inn & Foxy Lady

The city will pay Janezic $180,876 for the job, which they bid on in late November. 

While flash-flooding this past summer drew attention to the dismal stormwater controls in place on the property, the city has long-planned to turn the space into a greenway.

Built in 1952, The Milner Inn and the adjoining gentlemen’s club Foxy Lady closed their doors for good late last year, after being purchased by the city in October for $830,000.

Although the so-called North Boulevard park that will replace the irreplaceable structure will be connected to the existing Greenway System, it still does not solve the problem of pedestrian connectivity between Capital Boulevard and downtown Raleigh. There is no safe, continuous path for a pedestrian to take down Capital that would lead into the city. There should be.

A new roundabout could be coming to the intersection of Dixe Trail and Hillsborough Street

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

A new roundabout could be coming to the intersection of Dixe Trail and Hillsborough Street

Capital Boulevard wasn’t the only part of the city to benefit from City Council on Tuesday though, as councilors also approved plans for the second phase of the Hillsborough Street Revitalization Project. Phase II will, among other things, create new traffic circle roundabouts at the intersections of Dixie Trail, Rosemary Street and Brooks Avenue.

Hopefully this will help to combat the increased traffic that the countless new apartments will bring to the street, but it’s unlikely. However, if there are more residents within walking distance, merchants may suffer less during the construction for this phase than they did during the first. 

A public hearing will be held in February to consider the improvements, which will also include bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

A new roundabout could be coming to the intersection of Dixe Trail and Hillsborough Street

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

A new roundabout could be coming to the intersection of Dixe Trail and Hillsborough Street

The other public improvement project discussed Tuesday was delayed by councilors, but it’s one that likely hits a little closer to home for the staff who worked on it – renovations and repairs to Market and Exchange Plazas on Fayetteville Street. Both are walkways connecting Fayetteville and Wilmington streets, and the latter serves as the courtyard for the city’s One Exchange Plaza offices.

The plazas were described as being in “varying states of disrepair.” Improvements will include new paving, planting, lighting and more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

At Monday’s discussion panel on Airbnb, one audience member pointed out there are less than a thousand hotel rooms available inside the beltline. For the curious – yes, that’s a pretty small number.

You’d think it’s something developers would be cashing in on – if Raleigh continues to grow at or near its current pace, there will surely be a strong demand. This is the justification behind the dozens of new multifamily units that either began or completed construction in 2014.

A rendering of the Aloft Hotel

A rendering of the Aloft Hotel

Yet for all this speculation, only one new hotel was granted permits last year – the Aloft on Hillsborough Street. Perhaps developers are waiting to see how the citywide remapping process plays out. Or they’re not sure if demand for temporary lodgings will be as great as the demand for full-time ones.

Either way, we predict 2015 will bring at least one new hotel project into downtown Raleigh, although if this turns out to be wrong, we can always come back and edit this post later.

With that being said, we’ve still got a bunch of permits to get through.

Any serious fan of proverbs knows that Luke’s “Physician, heal thyself” is one of the classics. Lesser known, however, is a passage from the Gospel of Nicodemus, where one of the disciples is quoted as uttering “contractor, repair thyself” after Jesus, the Son of God and a trained carpenter, remained steadfast in his refusal to repair a roof.

One Raleigh contractor has taken this obscure, deep-cut proverb to heart – on January 2, Riley-Lewis was issued permits for interior work at the offices of…Riley-Lewis. The $100,000 job (this is the kind of cost you get when there’s no competitive bidding process) is described on building permits as an interior completion.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but the employees of Riley-Lewis really do have a nice view when they leave work every day

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

This photo doesn’t do it justice, but the employees of Riley-Lewis really do have a nice view when they leave work every day

This reporter has only seen the exterior – and only from a distance of 50 feet, due to a restraining order – but the office already looks plenty nice. It’s near across the street from the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, so the restaurant’s amazing skyline view is accessible to them, as well.

On a much smaller scale, the always-popular Irregardless Cafe on West Morgan street is set to undergo a minor mechanical renovation – the replacement of an HVAC system. The $1,000 job is being handled by Allen Kelly & Co.

The Irregardless Cafe

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Irregardless Cafe

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome to the second edition of the new Daily Development Beat. One of the goals of having this column appear daily is to have even more timely updates on new permits, site plans and other development projects.

However, we’re still playing catch up on December’s data, so before we can jump into January and start looking at some new projects, we’ve got to clear out the backlog.

In the meantime, any suggestions for what should be covered here are welcome. Especially if those requests include a demand for more food reviews and James Joyce references.

Construction is underway at Duke Raleigh Hospital

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

Construction is underway at Duke Raleigh Hospital

Through November, Duke Raleigh Hospital had undergone around $1.7 million in renovations in 2014. December saw an additional five permits issued for a total value of $665,000. Riley-Lewis has been the contractor for all of this year’s projects.

Riley-Lewis has a long history of working at the hospital – city permits show the contractor has done work there from at least as far back as January 2001.

In September of last year, the Council of State approved a 10-year lease for 3200 Atlantic Avenue to serve as the new home of the Department of State Treasurer. The Class A office building is located in the Highwoods Office Center, not far from the beltline and not far from North Hills.

The x-shaped building will soon be home to the Department of the State Treasurer

Bing Maps

The x-shaped building will soon be home to the Department of the State Treasurer

The department will pay around $1.57 million to lease the 97,667 square-foot space.

Of course, bringing in any tenant this size – there are 475 workers in the department, currently spread across five separate sites – is going to require a few renovations, and on December 31 permits were issued for around $2.2 million’s worth. The job will be handled by Spec Con construction.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Welcome to the first edition of the new Daily Development Beat. It’s been a little while since we took a look at recent city permits, so we’ll dive right in to the final three weeks of December.

Not surprisingly, the rate of permits issued dropped significantly due to the holidays. There were no significant new construction projects – the only one labeled as such was actually just for a gazebo at The Greens Apartments.

Speaking of apartments, however, there were two significant apartment renovation projects – although one involves the transformation of a former multi-family into an office suite.

Sitetec Construction was granted $80,500 worth of permits to renovate the Avondale Apartments, located on Navaho Drive off of Wake Forest, not far from Bahama Breeze. All of the permits are listed at the same cost – $11,500 and are described as apartment unit alteration/repairs. As many of the units in the complex were built in the late 1960s, these repairs are likely to come as welcome news to existing residents.

apartments1

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Avondale Apartments, located off Wake Forest Road

The other apartment job involves turning the former Blue Dolphin Inn on Wake Forest Road leading into downtown into an office suite. The $238,095 renovation will be handled by Sigmon Construction.

The former Blue Dolphin Inn is being turned into an office suite

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The former Blue Dolphin Inn is being turned into an office suite

In more titillating news, the Hooters on Wake Forest Road in North Raleigh is scheduled to undergo $332,000 worth of renovations. Which is a smart move, because one of the chain restaurant’s main draws is its owl-themed decor, and improving upon it will surely improve upon the experience of all future patrons.

The Hooters on Wake Forest Road is known for its interior decor

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Hooters on Wake Forest Road is known for its interior decor

Tune in again tomorrow where we’ll touch on some of the other projects to receive permits in those final weeks of December.

 

One thought on “Development Beat

  1. “In more titillating news, the Hooters on Wake Forest Road in North Raleigh is scheduled to undergo $332,000 worth of renovations. Which is a smart move, because one of the chain restaurant’s main draws is its owl-themed decor, and improving upon it will surely improve upon the experience of all future patrons.” HAHAHA you can cut the sarcasm in this paragraph with a machete.