Local News

High-End Development Planned For Downtown Raleigh Site

Posted April 13, 2006

— Crews are still cleaning up the site of the old Convention Center in downtown Raleigh. City leaders chose to build an underground parking deck at the site because they knew the land above would be valuable and attractive. They were right.

A group of four local developers has come together to pitch the largest mixed-use development to date in downtown. The project could cost $100 million, and would be 20 percent larger than the new Raleigh Convention Center.

"They've seen it in other cities and now they'll see it in Raleigh," said developer Roland Gammon.

Residents may see two new high-rises with pools on top, one 14 stories, and the other 20 stories high.

The plan includes another downtown underground parking deck, retail on the first floor, 300,000 sq. ft. feet in office space and 160 condominiums. Thirty of them would sell in the million-dollar price range.

"People want to live high and want to live on the top floor. They want a great view. If you start on the 16th floor, everybody has a great view," said Gammon.

The group of local developers behind this plan has experience building downtown. They say the city's investment in downtown development was a huge incentive for a project of this magnitude. The developers are East-West Partners, Craig Davis Properties, Beacon Street Development and White Oak Properties.

The project now is just known as "Site 1". It would be built on nearly two acres of city land that Raleigh would sell for more than $5 million.

"It's exactly what we want," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

Meeker said the city has hoped for a mixed-use development to feed off the new Marriott hotel, the new Convention Center and Memorial Auditorium. Meeker says the office component is also key.

"There will be office space for the next headquarters for a company that wants to come here," he said.

Developers are working on including a movie theatre and workout facility on the first floor. The project will go before the City Council Tuesday for initial approval. If it receives a green light, construction will come in stages, with the entire plan being finished by the end of 2008.


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