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$130 Million Office, Condo Project OK'd For Downtown Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh city leaders unanimously approved a massive private development in downtown, which would bring shopping, condos and offices in two towers.

In the move Tuesday afternoon, the Raleigh City Council tentatively approved a company, TMC Development Group LLC, to develop what would be downtown's largest mixed-use project.

The 661,000-square-foot project would be built on land purchased from the city in the convention center area on downtown's south end. The city and TMC Development will now draft a formal development agreement, which would need City Council approval.

TMC Development is proposing an approximately $130 million mixed-use office, retail and residential complex on a 1.8-acre city-owned parcel just east of the old convention center site. The complex would consist of a 20-story tower and a 14-story tower with 154 condominiums, 284,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of restaurant space, ground-floor retail fronting Fayetteville and Wilmington streets and possibly a movie theater.

There also would be an underground parking deck with 636 public spaces.

TMC Development is proposing to purchase the land from the city for approximately $5.2 million, subject to completion of an updated appraisal within six months of closing. The City Council will conduct a public hearing on May 16 on the proposed sale of the 1.8-acre tract.

TMC Development's proposed 661,000-square-foot mixed-use project would be larger than the 500,000-square-foot convention center that is currently under construction downtown. The convention center is scheduled to open in the spring 2008. TMC Development's proposed project would open by the end of 2008.

Under the project, TMC Development would connect its underground deck to the city's underground parking garage that is currently under construction. TMC Development would lease its deck to the city on a long-term basis, and the city would operate both facilities as a single deck to provide additional parking downtown.

The city's underground parking garage, which will be in the 500 block of Fayetteville Street on land previously occupied by the old Raleigh Convention and Conference Center, will have 906 parking spaces when the first phase is completed in 2007. The second phase would be the additional 636 public spaces built by TMC Development. This would give the underground parking deck a total of 1,542 spaces when it is completed in 2008.

As part of its mixed-use project, TMC Development would do streetscape improvements on Wilmington and Lenoir streets and sidewalk improvements on Fayetteville Street that are not constructed by the city.

In the summer 2005, the city received three development proposals for both the 1.8-acre parcel that TMC Development is proposing to develop and a 0.51-acre tract that also is owned by the City.

The .0.51-acre parcel also is on the south end of downtown on Salisbury Street, just northwest of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The city currently is negotiating an agreement with Empire Properties regarding development of the 0.51-acre parcel.

Empire Properties has proposed an 80-room boutique hotel and 40 luxury condominiums for the site. Both city-owned tracts have been targeted for redevelopment in the city's strategic development plan for the Cultural/Convention District.

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