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Long-planned Raleigh Project to Get Committee Scrutiny

Posted April 9, 2007

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— A redevelopment project in Raleigh that has been more than three years in the making will be under the microscope at a Tuesday meeting of a Raleigh City Council committee.

The Franklin Street project would drastically change the landscape on the north end of downtown, near Peace College, adding to the Blount Street redevelopment. It’s a project that neighbors have repeatedly said they would like to see go ahead.

Approval is not guaranteed, however. The city says drastic changes to the site plan may need to happen, covering everything from access points to tree locations.

As things stand now, boarded up apartments and former stores are vacant and an invitation for trouble, neighbors say.

"Just last week, we had to board up one of these units to keep some folks from taking up residence in there," neighbor Freddy Johnson said. "We'd like to see some progress here and look forward to something on this property.”

Developer John Holmes and Hobby Properties ordered the last tenants out more than a year ago so they could turn the rundown site into a 50-plus-unit residential community and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

Holmes has solid support for his plans.

"The neighbors come to every meeting and support at every meeting,” said City Planning Commission chair Jim Baker. "Usually when you have conflicts, the neighbors are saying ‘no’ to something. It's always interesting when you have neighbors in full support of the project."

In the last four months, the project has been funneled from planning to the City Council and now to the council’s Public Works Committee.

Arguments from the developer focus on what he describes as outdated city codes.

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  • Tax Man Apr 9, 2007

    How come when we have a project with full neighborhood support it takes our city so darn long to approve it? Seems like these buildings should have been done a few years ago, bringing in lots of tax dollars instead of breeding crime. C'mon Raleigh - move faster! No one appears to oppose this development so what is the delay? Why so many committees - can't you just say yes?