Local News

New Buildings in Works for Downtown Raleigh

Posted January 4, 2007

Plans are in the works to demolish nearly an entire city block in downtown Raleigh for new development.

Progress Energy bought most of the buildings bounded by Wilmington, Blount, Martin and Davie streets five years ago with the intention of redevelopment. However, a new multimillion-dollar project may soon take over the space.

The energy company plans to sell the property to a developer. Five groups, including local and national companies, have submitted proposals.

The plan submitted by the Ghazi Co. of Charlotte envisions a mixed-use entertainment complex with a theater, similar to the developer's EpiCenter in Charlotte. Hines Interests in Houston would develop a mixed-use project that encompasses office, retail, condominiums and a hotel.

Hamilton Merritt of Raleigh wants to build condominiums, an office tower and street-level retail, with possibly an urban grocer. Post Properties of Atlanta would construct mostly luxury urban apartments with street-level retail and a small condo project.

White Oak Properties of Raleigh plans to build apartments and condos with street retail and a small office component.

Progress Energy could pick a developer within a month. Company officials said they don't want to just sell the land because they said they have a keen interest in what is built next door to their headquarters.

“We have been intimately involved in the redevelopment of downtown Raleigh and want to be involved in how that continues to play out,” Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said.

Jones Barber Shop has been at its location downtown for 33 years. Barber Linwood Monroe has cut hair in a window seat the entire time.

“I don't think you'll ever find a better location than Wilmington and Davie,” Monroe said.

The building occupied by the business is one of a few properties on the block not owned by Progress Energy. The building owner said he may sell to the chosen developer if the price is right.

That would likely end three decades of haircuts on the corner.

“You want to live in a fine city, but yet you don't want to lose what you have either,” said Carlton Nicholson, the owner of the barber shop.

Two of the buildings aren't owned by Progress and aren't part of the development project. The owners of Coopers Barbeque and Reliable Loan and Jewelry say they don't plan to relocate.
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  • atc2 Jan 4, 7:16 p.m.

    I applaud Progress for their downtown vision, now it's time to think very big.

    The Charlotte developers bid (similar to the EPI Center)is ideal and the only choice for this piece of real estate, especially since it is in the heart of downtown (and it will compliment the Progress HQ facility). Very tall buildings, a true entertainment district, theaters, shops, residential and room for more Fortune 500 companies. We do not need anymore local developers who (by their proposals) are thinking very small and generic as usual, ENOUGH. I am a longtime citizen, businessman and advocate of downtown Raleigh, but there is not a true centerpiece or heart of downtown Raleigh (one that all visitors recognize as Raleigh). THINK LARGE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER that we can be proud of (Gaslamp District in S.D., Georgetown in DC, LODO in Denver, Sixth Street in Austin, but with a big thinking approach that has Raleigh written all over it)!