Local News

Developer Wants To Expand What Will Be Raleigh's Tallest High-Rise

Posted April 25, 2006

— A project involving what will be Raleigh's tallest building is getting bigger.

Developers of the $120 million 42-story high-rise called the Soleil Center, which will sit next to Crabtree Valley Mall on Glenwood Avenue, are in the process of buying the Capital Bank building right next door to the construction site.

Demolition is currently under way at the site to clear an abandoned motel. In about 2½ years, developers plan to open the 480-foot Soleil Center, which will include condominiums, a luxury hotel and a spa. The project is expected to bring about 150 jobs to the area and an annual tax revenue of about $4 million.

Developer Dicky Walia says the second building, Soleil II, would be 18 stories tall and consist mostly of office space. It would connect to the Soleil Center and complete the ensemble

"Clients coming in to meet the tenant there can be put in the hotel," Walia said. "And all the studies we've done show that offices that are connected or adjacent to luxury hotels tend to do very well."

The newest phase still needs to be approved by the Raleigh City Council. The first phase was approved last November even though critics argued such a tall building did not belong outside of downtown. The new section, about a third of the height, isn't expected to generate the same controversy.

"I think there is ample opportunity in Raleigh for quality development both downtown and in other focus areas," said Raleigh City Councilman Tommy Craven.

Together, the two projects will cost an estimated $185 million -- all private money.

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