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Ground Broken On Downtown Raleigh's Tallest Building

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RALEIGH, N.C. — In a few years, downtown Raleigh will get an addition to its skyline.

Ed Fritsch, president and chief executive officer of Highwoods Properties, and Scott Custer, chief executive officer of RBC Centura, hopped on Bobcat machines Tuesday to break ground on the 33-story RBC Plaza, a mixed-use tower in downtown Raleigh.

  • Images Of Tower

    "We've been looking forward to this day for many months, and the excitement of actually breaking ground certainly brings this project to life for us," Custer said. "We are proud to have RBC's name on this new building, which is sure to become a downtown Raleigh landmark."

    When it is built, the $100 million RBC Plaza will be 540 feet tall and will encompass more than 730,000 square feet of space, including office and retail space, parking and 11 stories of residential condominiums along Martin Street between Fayetteville and Wilmington streets.

    RBC Centura will be the building's anchor tenant, leasing about 130,000 square feet. The building will include 139 condominiums and 563 parking spots. One-, two- and three-bedroom condominium units are already for sale, starting at $200,000.

    Officials said they chose the site because of all the other projects happening downtown.

    "I hope it says we are making a statement about downtown, making a statement about our company," Custer said.

    "We believe in suburban infill not suburban sprawl, building locations in the Southeast that possess great promise for the long-term future," Fritsch said. "Downtown Raleigh fronting our new Fayetteville Street is exactly such a place of promise."

    Construction on the new building is expected to be complete by fall 2008, and about 2,000 people are expected to use the tower daily once open.

    City planners said the tower is going up 33 stories primarily so Highwoods can make the most of the building's small footprint -- it's being built on less than an acre -- than for bragging rights.

    "Today, it's more about economics, making sure you can lease up your commercial space and you can sell the condo units," said Mitch Silver, Raleigh's planning director.


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