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High Life: Raleigh Skyline Grows With Taller Buildings

Posted April 23, 2007

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— Giant construction cranes are becoming a routine site in downtown Raleigh, where developers are thinking big -- or tall -- to accommodate interest in both residential and commercial space.

Five years ago, only 5 percent of Raleigh's development occurred downtown, according to city estimates. Downtown building is now closer to a quarter of the city's overall growth, Planning Director Mitch Silver said.

"It's probably the biggest downtown boom we've ever seen," Silver said. "We changed some of the rules. It's now easier to build taller in downtown, and it seems Raleigh has gotten over its concern about height."

The revitalization of Fayetteville Street, the new downtown convention center set to open next year and growth in nearby entertainment districts like Glenwood South are credited for increasing interest in downtown living.

About 13,000 people move to Raleigh every year, and developer John Bruckel said it makes more economic sense to build up rather than out.

"You have to go up. The land is becoming more expensive. You can get more units per acre the higher you go. It's a natural economic phenomenon," said Bruckel, whose Bloomsbury Estates condominium project is one of nearly a dozen residential high-rises under development.

"It's going to be a drastically different skyline a few years from now," he said.

Seven tall cranes working downtown are making that happen.

"We're seeing a nice mix of new uses coming to downtown. Because of the scarcity of land, vertical is an option," Silver said.


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  • RC Apr 24, 2007

    If you read my entire post you would have seen where I said Raleigh is a fine small city. It is all these clowns trying to act like we are Dallas, Atlanta or Miami that bother me. Raleigh is small and that is fine! I'll take Mission Valley over Glenwood South anyday. Then again, why pay $8 for a $4 drink? Oh, because that's what downtowners do. If Paul Coble was still mayor.........

  • 2 Apr 24, 2007

    [link]http://www.raleighskyline.com/[/link]great site, just in case anyone is not familiar with it...

  • 2 Apr 24, 2007

    well said... totally agree (even with the rivers/streams part)

  • YeahWhatever Apr 24, 2007

    It's fascinating how some people (consistently) like to rain on a parade. I see the same user names making the same negative and completely unsupported by facts comments on a remarkable number of articles.

    The downtown development articles in particular seem to draw a crowd that either 1)Has not been to downtown Raleigh in 5 years and so don't really have a clue. or 2)Have a specific destination they go to/from in downtown Raleigh and have never explore the many other streets.

    Right now you are looking at over 100 restaurants, probably 15-20 clubs and some seriously quality entertainment in many venues public and private.

    As more of these developments are built, you are only looking at an increase in density and the ability to support more and more activities. It's good to see growth up and not just out. Our streams and rivers appreciate it too.

  • iumat21 Apr 24, 2007

    If you like it...move downtown...if you don't like it...move somewhere else where you don't have to see it. It is great to see the downtown area finally show so growth and urbanization. Those of you who don't like it...there is Johnston County, Chatham County and plenty of other nearby places to live with no skyline.

  • dnelms Apr 24, 2007

    RC, just curious. Did you see the article sometime last year where the Wall Street Journal did a piece on the best bar/restaurant areas? Glenwood South was named one of the best in the country.

  • ralwood Apr 24, 2007


  • Myword Apr 24, 2007

    Excuse me while I kiss the sky....while I can still see it!

  • wjcspanteach Apr 24, 2007

    Let it grow - let it grow! It will be great to see Raleigh get the recognition it deserves for being a premier city. Now all we need is decent public transit (a subway sounds WONDERFUL -- and I already have at least 5 of the stops planned out -- I'll never drive again!!!)

  • 2 Apr 24, 2007

    RC, infact some people do move closer to downtown for Glenwood South, Museums, Convention Centers, NCSU, Cameron Village, 5-Points, etc. I know I did a few years ago and my house appreciated considerably in that short time frame. I have since moved and miss downtown considerably.