City Land Holds Potential For Downtown-Raleigh Development
Posted April 11, 2006 12:22 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Sixteen acres of land sit in the shadow of a downtown district on the cusp of re-creation.
Located at the corner of Peace Street and Capital Boulevard, the undeveloped city-owned property is considered prime real estate in downtown Raleigh. It is not up for sale -- at least not yet.
The real estate is currently home to Raleigh's sanitation fleet, but city sources tell WRAL that they have had interest from potential investors as recently as last week who are ready to pay high dollar amounts to develop the property.
"This is the main corridor coming in," said nearby business owner Ed Brandle.
He thinks the city land is the definition of development potential.
"A lot of great ball players played down there, and it was just nothing but a field," Brandle said.
More than 30 years ago, several of Raleigh's minor league baseball teams played in the area when the land was known as Deveroe Meadow Park.
Brandle watched as the city took over the land in the 1970s to house everything from sanitation trucks to a salt barn.
Now, the view out of his window could be changing again.
"We've had several expressions of interest," Assistant City Manager Julian Prosser said.
Prosser said Raleigh has received nearly a dozen requests over the last six years from developers who are ready to turn dirt and turn the property into a mixed-use commercial Mecca.
"I wouldn't say it's inevitable," Prosser said. "But I would say it's highly likely considering all the development that's occurring downtown."
To sell the land, the city would have to move its maintenance fleet.
A study due within the next three months will give the City Council options to do just that. One of those options is to break the sanitation hub into several different precincts and create a coverage zone similar to a police department. Doing so could also improve efficiency ratings.
"I would welcome development there," Brandle said. "I think it would be a great thing for Raleigh."
With a sale price of $16 million, Brandle and the city could get quite a site.
Several other Raleigh-owned lots are also the target of developers. City leaders say the next to change hands could be a parking lot at the corner of Wilmington and Cabarrus streets. The plan is to turn it into a mixed-use development, including commercial and residential space. A decision is expected in 4-6 weeks.