Local News

Raleigh Housing Heads in New Direction

Posted January 24, 2007 5:38 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2007 9:56 p.m. EST

— After years of residential developers focusing on north Raleigh, thousands of high-priced homes are headed to the south side of  the city.

Two major housing developments slated to break ground this year will add more than 3,500 homes in an area not accustomed to large subdivisions with expensive homes.

"We expect a lot of growth in that area over the next 20 years — at least 40,000 units being added in that arear over the next 20 years — which means, once the homes go in, you'll see the retail and other amenities follow," Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said Wednsday.

The developers behind the successful Wakefield Plantation project in north Raleigh are building Renaissance Park on 200 acres off Tryon Road. They say they plan to break ground within the next month, and they have set aside land for about 280,000 square feet of retail space in the project.

Meanwhile, development at Olde Towne, a golf course community on 600 acres at Rock Quarry and New Hope roads, is expected to begin in the fall. About 500,000 square feet of retail space will be included in that project.

Both subdivisions will have houses ranging from $150,000 to $400,000.

South Raleigh has become more attractive to developers because land on the north side of the city is becoming scarce. The developers of Renaissance Park and Olde Towne also pointed to easy access to a growing downtown, Interstate 40 and little traffic congestion as selling points for the projects.

Many people expect these projects to have a major impact on the revitalization of south Raleigh. Mayor Charles Meeker mentioned their importance in his State of the City address on Monday.

"Often times, a three- to five-acre deal is tough to impact an area. But you take two large projects like Olde Towne and Renaissance Park, and you can really start to change the perception of an entire area," said John Myers of Wakefield Development Co.