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Raleigh Planning Committee Approves Coker Development Project

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RALEIGH — City council members in Raleigh took an important step Tuesday toward deciding the future of the controversial "Oberlin" proposal.

Members of the comprehensive planning committee voted 2-1 in favor of the Coker project. John Odom and Kieran Shanahan voted for the project while Benson Kirkman voted against the project. The committee will now send their recommendation to the full city council.

The proposal includes residential and retail space at Wade and Oberlin.

Residents who oppose the project have nicknamed it "Coker Towers," because they say developer Neal Coker's plan is too big, but Coker says he scaled back his plan to include just 150,000 square feet of retail space.

"If you want to do this kind of development, take it out to an interstate or put it downtown near a rail line where it can enhance its environment," says Russ Stephenson, who opposes the project.

The full city council is scheduled to vote on the project at its regularly scheduled meeting next week.


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