Plans for up to 40-story buildings in downtown Raleigh and North Hills were met with different reactions from city leaders Tuesday night.
The Raleigh City Council agreed to rezone the southeast corner of West Davie and South Dawson streets to allow up to 40 stories. But another 40-story rezoning request for 11 acres in North Hills was put on hold when the City Council asked the developers to take another look at the project.
Plans for the first property, currently the Benchwork Autoworks site in the Warehouse District, have not been revealed. But the rezoning allows up to 398 residential units and 209,000 square feet of office space. The owner, NCR Hospitality Corp., bought the land in 2015 for just over $2 million.
While a hospitality group, the developers are “not limiting themselves to a hotel,” said Mack Paul, one of the attorneys representing the developers.
The City Council also voted to rezone about 1.5 acres between Wilmington Street and the Stronach’s Alley, near the Pope Museum House and FNB Tower, to allow up to 20 stories. The site is currently a parking lot and was bought by Tidal Real Estate Partners in late 2021.
“Tidal intends to build a mixed-use development on the site, anchored by a multi-family residential project, with street-level retail serving downtown and the surrounding community,” according to statement by Tidal. “Development will begin as quickly as possible once the rezoning is approved.”
North Hills Rezoning
The plan to rezone lots in North Hills by owner Kane Realty Corp. raised concern about building height and a desire for firmer plans about community benefits like providing land for a transit center, fire station and affordable housing.
The request was to rezone property along Six Forks Road to allow up to 40 stories, up to 30 stories on Lassiter Mill Road and up to 12 stories along Rowan Street. The property currently has retail stores and parking lots and makes up about 10% of North Hill’s total acreage, according to Kane’s presentation.
Among the conditions included in the rezoning were separated bikeways, land for a city transit center, bikeshare stations and land for a new fire station.
One of the main issues for council members was the inconsistency with the Midtown-Saint Albans small area plan, which called for a maximum of 20 stories in this area.
“I have come here tonight to say this case isn’t ready to be approved, or at least not ready to get my support,” said Council member Patrick Buffkin.
“I think we have some work to do on building heights, step downs,” he continued. “The housing affordability is a really key piece, an important part of this case. I know this applicant can do it. I understand it may be difficult or inconvenient. But I know the can do it.
Only the applicant spoke in favor of the project during the rezoning public hearing. Community members spoke against it.
“The primary issues before you today is building height, density transitions and affordable housing,” said Larry Helfant, chair of the Midtown Citiziens Advisory Council. “All of these inconsistencies cited by the planning staff were major parts of the midtown area plan. All were left on the table.”
The developer agreed to keep working on the rezoning, including new conditions for approval.
The public hearing was continued until Aug. 16, which is the next City Council meeting.
This story was originally published July 6, 2022 8:11 AM.
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