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Rebuilding Capital Boulevard starts with demolition

Posted January 22, 2013
Updated January 23, 2013

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— City planners hope to roll a strike by replacing a former bowling alley on Capital Boulevard with green space that could spur more investment in the area.

Dotted with warehouses, abandoned buildings and nondescript structures, the Capital Boulevard corridor isn't the most attractive gateway into downtown Raleigh. Starting with a stretch just inside the Interstate 440 loop, planners said they want to let the area go back to a "natural state."

"This is an area that's in the floodplain, and it frequently floods," Deputy Planning Director Ken Bowers said Tuesday. "We need the floodplain to do its natural work of cleaning the storm water and providing a place for floodwater to go so it doesn't damage private property."

Crews will raze the former AMF Bowling center at 1827 Capital Blvd., between Fenton Street and Crabtree Boulevard, as well as an access bridge to the center that crosses Pigeon House Creek. The demolition is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

The city bought the AMF property last year for $1.1 million.

In the future, Bowers said, Raleigh plans to buy and demolish nearby buildings on Capital Boulevard and create a park in the median of the corridor, which would eventually connect the Crabtree Creek Greenway to the north with downtown Raleigh.

Pigeon House Branch in Raleigh Green space could spur redevelopment of Capital Boulevard

The green space will help filter storm water runoff and cleanse Pigeon House Branch, which ranks as Raleigh's most polluted creek, and Bowers said planners envision it sparking redevelopment of the corridor.

"We do think the amenity this will provide will cause a lot of people to look at the corridor much more favorably for new investment," he said. "It'll be a model for green infrastructure, it'll be an economic development project and it'll be a great gateway into downtown Raleigh."

Mark Cabot, the owner of Mission Bungalow, said he supports the city's efforts. His furniture and lighting business has been on Capital Boulevard for about a year.

"You'd like to have it be beautified," Cabot said. "You'd like to see them do this as a gateway (similar to) what you see happening in downtown and Glenwood South."

17 Comments

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  • cynda-ur-way Jan 23, 9:26 p.m.

    They are building a salvation army building there. Not sure if it houses anyone though.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jan 23, 5:53 p.m.

    "Homeless Shelter? Hello? City couldn't turn that bowling alley into something useful? Put a bus stop in front of it. Is that too much to ask, Raleigh? - Cleanup"

    You don't think a homeless shelter is useful?

    I guess we each see things a little bit differently.

  • Mon Account Jan 23, 3:28 p.m.

    "Homeless Shelter? Hello? City couldn't turn that bowling alley into something useful? Put a bus stop in front of it. Is that too much to ask, Raleigh?"
    Cleanup on Aisle Cool

    This sounds pretty useful:

    "This is an area that's in the floodplain, and it frequently floods," Deputy Planning Director Ken Bowers said Tuesday. "We need the floodplain to do its natural work of cleaning the storm water and providing a place for floodwater to go so it doesn't damage private property."

  • cynda-ur-way Jan 23, 2:39 p.m.

    I live along this area and am very excited about its future. I will miss the dunkin donuts and Saltwater seafood. I hope they relocate."Cleanup on Aisle Cool" why would they put a bus stop in front of an empty bowling alley or turn it into a homeless shelter if they are trying to revitalize? It is impossible to walk capital blvd in that area once you get past crabtree blvd there is no where to walk safely till past 440 ramp.

  • SaveEnergyMan Jan 23, 1:40 p.m.

    That corridor has been ugly for 40 years. With real estate prices relatively low, it seems a good time to buy up some abandoned buildings and land.

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 23, 1:29 p.m.

    Go ahead and level Mini-City too while you're at it

    heck no... no jamaican food (lee's) or BBQ (BBQ lodge)would be a sin!!!

  • Cleanup on Aisle Cool Jan 23, 1:06 p.m.

    Homeless Shelter? Hello? City couldn't turn that bowling alley into something useful? Put a bus stop in front of it. Is that too much to ask, Raleigh?

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Jan 23, 12:29 p.m.

    Compared to the mess that is Capital Blvd for those heading north from the beltline, Capital heading south is a breeze. There are a few lights, with the double set of lights at Yonkers/Capital & Hodges/Capital and the light at Crabtree/Capital. From there, you have no lights until you get to downtown. Exit & entrance to Capital is handled via ramps and lights, so it actually flows rather well.

    I know this because I drive Capital Blvd between Wade Avenue & 440 every working day, and I can't remember the last time I was stuck on Capital without any movement or taking more than a single light cycle to get past an intersection.

    It does need to look better, though. The area is very industrial, and it feels run down. But leave the traffic flow alone.

  • daddyankee Jan 23, 11:32 a.m.

    Go ahead and level Mini-City too while you're at it

  • me2you Jan 23, 10:44 a.m.

    That ugly area definitely needs help..all the way into the city.

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