City Council on Tuesday officially selected a developer for Stone’s Warehouse and a contractor for the Market and Exchange Plaza improvements project.
Four items were pulled from the consent agenda. Items 5.1 and 9.1, which concerned an easement setback reduction and a sewer replacement project respectively, were withdrawn. Items 2 and 9.2 were subject to further discussion.
Item 2 was presented to city council as an attempt to amend a section of the Unified Development Ordinance. The item would modify the public notice requirements for zoning map amendments, which affect more than 50 properties within Raleigh. The modification would allow the City to direct those affected to a website, rather than purchase an ad in the newspaper, a change that would save the taxpayers $200,000.
Councilors learned that those affected would still be notified by direct mail and would also have the option of calling the City office or going to the office itself. The item was approved without dissent.
Item 9.2 concerned drainage improvements in the Simmons Branch Watershed. Due to the failure of a very long culvert, the City had plans to replace an existing culvert between Pineview Drive and Merwin Drive with a larger one. Councilor Crowder expressed her desire for the project to move forward and it was approved.
The remaining items on the consent agenda passed with unanimous approval.
Two public hearings were scheduled for items submitted by the Planning Commission. The first concerned a city code covenant that would alter language related to the legal instrument required for shared devices belonging to a unit of government, and was scheduled for February 3. The second involved a request to rezone a property on Raleigh Beach Road and was scheduled for February 24.
Information about the Market Plaza and Exchange Plaza Improvement project was then presented to councilors. The scope of the project involves the corridors between Fayetteville Street and S Wilmington Street, along with improving the streetscapes at the junctures where the corridors meet those streets.
A detailed description and visuals were provided for both plazas that showed councilors what the plazas would look like when finished, in both daytime and nighttime. Commonalities between the two were outdoor seating, ‘light nets,’ and the ability to see from one end of the plazas to the other.
“This is a project I think we need to move forward,” Councilor Weeks said.
It was approved in full.
Councilors then took action on the Stone’s Warehouse disposition. It was stated that Transfer Development, LLC, had sat down with Rex Healthcare to determine how the company might help with the relocation of Rex to another location in downtown Raleigh.
“And I think, as I mentioned before, that we need to step up to the plate on this,” Councilor Weeks said. “I appreciate Transfer Company [sic] and Rex getting together, but there needs to be more discussion.”
The Council approved unanimously the recommendation of the Budget and Economic Development committee to select Transfer Development, LLC, for the redevelopment of the site and to authorize the preparation of a purchase agreement for the property.