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RBC Plaza opens for business in downtown Raleigh

Posted October 2, 2008

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— Despite the struggling economy, there is good news on the economic front in downtown Raleigh: The banking business is thriving.

That's according to RBC Bank officials, who celebrated Thursday the opening of the RBC Plaza – the city's tallest, newest landmark that serves as the bank's U.S. headquarters.

"Even though these are uncertain and anxious times, our company is very strong and stable," Gord Nixon, president of the Canadian-based bank. "I hope that our company represents that in some way."

Although rules and regulations in respect to real estate are different in Canada, the company is not immune to struggles in the U.S. market.

But it has not seen the same negative financial impact as many American financial institutions, including Charlotte-based Wachovia, which reached a buyout deal this week with Citigroup after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. required the bank to sell itself..

"We take a longer term perspective, and in the long term, the U.S. economy will recover and business here will be solid and strong," Scott Custer, RBC Bank chairman and chief executive officer said. "We think having a flagship building like this is going to serve us extremely well."

Banking isn't RBC Plaza's only business. The 33-story, $136 million investment is also leasing space to several offices and retail shops and has luxury condominiums.

Three other downtown high-rise developments are also scheduled to be completed this fall – the $221 million convention center, the adjacent Marriott hotel and the Hue condominium building.

Business leaders say more than 1,000 people could soon be living in the condominiums or staying in the hotel.

The Red Bull Air Force daredevil team planned a parachute jump from the building to celebrate the tower’s grand opening. Citing the possibility of poor symbolism, however, bank officials decided to cancel the jump.

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  • chfdcpt Oct 2, 2008

    Canadian airborne? Oh great!!! I have always said that it is a Canadian conspiracy. Why is it that US banks are going down the toilet, but the Royal Bank of Canada is not? It is part of the conspiracy. They start with little things and move on to bigger targets.

    One day I will have to put up a blog with my "The Great Canadian Conspiracy".

    Y'all enjoy the snicker. :)

  • ncwebguy Oct 2, 2008

    There were several condos for sale for less than $500k in RBC Plaza, and there are still some avaiable and you can move in today in Palladium Plaza, on Blount behind the Progress Energy building. Or in the Hue, which is not a "skyscraper" at seven stories, but will be right between the warehouse district and the Fayetville Street corridor.

    With Wachovia being bought out by Citibank, I'll probably transfer my money to new accounts at RBC and BB&T in the next few days.

  • nosuchmiracles Oct 2, 2008

    I cannot wait to see what The Edison does to the skyline!

  • monkeyboy Oct 2, 2008

    If those parachutes were golden, it would make perfect symbolism for the screw job wall street has given the rest of us.

  • StraightNifonged Oct 2, 2008

    I'd like to pack their parachutes for them with overdraft letters and see their faces on the way down! haha

  • Heel from Hell Oct 2, 2008

    Should have Canadian paratroopers jump from the sky and land on Wachovia tower. That's the real message Custer is sending to his "troops" right now.

    Beautiful building and a nice enhancement to the skyline. All 139 condos have been sold since they were announced...apparently to real residents too ("speculators" were barred). Can't be bad having and extra 1,000 customers patronizing downtown Raleigh.

  • nyrmessier Oct 2, 2008

    I love the look of this building. It's something that can be seen from Capital Blvd and Garner. It's a great symbol of downtown.

    Keep building downtown! The more we build, the better downtown will become.

    And those of you that don't like downtown...GOOD! Stay out. It means I will be able to still drive through there, without having to deal with idiot drivers that don't understand how to drive anyway.

  • 1Rx4FN Oct 2, 2008

    I wonder if the poor symbolism is in relation to the stock market crash of the late 20s and the reports of financial employees leaping to their death from building windows.

    The convention center as a major high rise building?

  • lma1973 Oct 2, 2008

    Wow, i dint realize the convention center was a "high-rise" building. But then again this is Raleigh not Charlotte eh? Weird what qualifies as "high-rise" here. LOL

  • wralfan Oct 2, 2008

    What would be the poor symbolism?

    The Wall Streeters are the ones that made all the money from this while putting the rest of the country in the toilet.

    Congrats to RBC on a great building to our skyline.

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