Local News

Downtown Raleigh eyesore part of larger redevelopment plan

Posted January 9, 2013

— A demolition site at the corner of Wilmington and East Martin streets is expected to become part of a new redevelopment project, but right now, the mountain of bricks, wood and debris is the furthest thing from a downtown Raleigh beauty shot.

"It hasn't been the prettiest thing to look at," said Alan Horwitz, who owns Reliable Loan & Jewelry, two doors away.

Crews began tearing down what used to be the Lucky Street Sweepstakes Café, at 301 S. Wilmington St., last month after a city inspector noticed cracks in the front of the building that put it in danger of collapsing.

"If it could've been done, they would have saved the building," Horowitz said. "But they had no choice. They did what had to be done."

For years, the 142-year-old building sat vacant while developers worked on a plan to build a 23-story, 320-unit high-rise apartment building, called Skyhouse Apartments, about a block away at the southwest corner of Blount and East Martin streets, across the street from Moore Square.

Construction could start later this year.

Plans also include another building or an open-air market and more retail and office space.

"The portion that now is being demolished was supposed to be part of the retail office development," Raleigh city planner Mitch Silver said Wednesday. "That now, of course, is going to be re-thought with the demolition of the building."

Silver said, however, developers still plan to move forward with the apartment building and that the debris, as unsightly as it might be, is just temporary. It's expected to be cleared within the next two weeks.

"(There will be) more people shopping, walking, just enjoying themselves," he said. "So, it's really going to transform this entire area."

22 Comments

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  • lighter22 Jan 11, 11:03 a.m.

    I'm not really anti city. You can have your cities. Just as you may not be able to live with conditions like having to drive 15 miles to the nearest grocery store, I may not be able to live next door to a grocery store. There is nothing like living and growing up in rural America. Folks that live in the city may not even know who lives 20 feet away from them. I know my neighbors even if my neighbor is 2 miles away. I can run my saws at 2 in the morning outside. There is nobody within earshot to complain. I can use my firearms right out the front or backdoor. I can fish off my back porch. Some people are just not dependent on living in the government's bedroom. I'm not. Every day it's something else with the Wake school board. We don't have that garbage in rural America. Concrete stompers, if you don't like dirt under your feet, keep stomping concrete. I'm cool with that.

  • idontthinkso5 Jan 11, 9:58 a.m.

    (Second part from below) They are destroying forests and leveling trees just to build your suburban/country neighborhoods. The suburban sprawl covers more land so it affects more creeks, rivers and lakes with pollution. More sprawl means the more roads and infrastructures to keep up with, who do you think pays for that? More sprawl means more vehicles on the road and greater chance of people getting killed in car wrecks and more chances of people driving drunk. Should I keep going or do you “anti-city” ignorant people get it yet? We our destroying our country!

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jan 11, 9:29 a.m.

    Downtown Raleigh is and will always be the beating HEART of a the Triangle. It is the political, cultural, and social center of a diverse group of one million people.

    The next time they feel a hole in their cultural hearts, I urge Superman and ConservativeVoter to keep their promise and stay away - we will be fine downtown, thank you!

  • idontthinkso5 Jan 11, 9:17 a.m.

    Most of the people who hate cities are just ignorant people that think that all cities are bad and full of crime. Do you people realize that cities are the future? Why do you think this country is failing? It’s the people going away from their European roots and moving into suburbs and into the country. They tend to be more obese because of the lack of exercise, in cities we are not vehicle depended. The more obese people the more we pay for health insurance. They consume more gas driving to a strip mall to their McDonalds drive thru, which are 10s of miles apart. They consume more water to water your yard in the summer; it’s just grass, why are you wasting our limited supply of drinking water for grass. They are creating more pollution and greenhouse gases, because they tend to drive a big SUV or pickup truck for no reason. They are causing our gas prices to go up; those V8s are thirsty, supply and demand that’s the name of the game. They are destroying forests and leveling tree

  • mmtlash Jan 10, 4:41 p.m.

    "why are you folks so anti- downtown?" -oakcity

    I've long has a sneaking suspicion that alot of the commentors on Golo are from the exurban counties around the Triangle and not necessarily from the core of the Triangle itself (Wake/Durham/Orange)...there are just way too many ultra conservative, anti urban viewpoints for alot of these ppl to be in the urban areas of the Triangle, especially when one considers the Triangle is considered the most progressive and liberal region of the state... I'm not saying anything bad about any1 specifically so no need to attack my viewpoint, I'm just stating my opinion :-)

  • redapace Jan 10, 3:32 p.m.

    "god forbid!!!! you had to PAY for parking?"

    The entitlement crowd wants everything for free.

  • oakcity Jan 10, 2:34 p.m.

    "You'd be set upon by homeless vultures and/or mugged before you made it 10 feet, then stumble back to your car to find a ticket on it! Ahh, downtown Raleigh."

    no. you would not.

    i've lived in or around downtown for almost 20 years. yes, bums have approached me, i tell them i don't have money to give them and they leave you alone, that happens anywhere.

    why are you folks so anti- downtown?

  • oakcity Jan 10, 2:10 p.m.

    "You'd be set upon by homeless vultures and/or mugged before you made it 10 feet, then stumble back to your car to find a ticket on it! Ahh, downtown Raleigh."

    you've never actually been downtown have you? or maybe just paranoid?

  • oakcity Jan 10, 2:08 p.m.

    "I've been downtown three times in the last four years. Once was for jury duty, once was to vote early, and once was to take my mom to the probate clerk. I had to pay to park two of the three times."

    god forbid!!!! you had to PAY for parking? thats unheard of ANYWHERE, i mean those folks up in NYC never pay for parking, neither do the folks in Atlanta, DC, Richmond, or Charlotte. Its all free.

    In fact, downtown Raleigh is the only place in the whole country that you have to pay for parking.

  • Hans Jan 10, 1:07 p.m.

    "downtown parking is free evenings and weekends....there are also about 1/2 a dozen parking decks downtown if you are willing to walk a block or so to your destination..." - mmtlash

    You'd be set upon by homeless vultures and/or mugged before you made it 10 feet, then stumble back to your car to find a ticket on it! Ahh, downtown Raleigh.

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