Raleigh, N.C. — A developer of the North Hills community is making a new pitch to Raleigh city councilmembers to get their approval of a plan for taller towers.
A year ago, Kane Realty began its push to rezone land within the shopping center for buildings as tall as 12, 30 and 40 stories.
It’s faced a fight from neighbors ever since.
Along Rowan Street, Kane wants to build up to 12 stories. This would be the shortest of the towers.
The developer is now agreeing to “step-back” the building – meaning the tallest part would not be along the street, towering over these homes.
That’s what Larry Helfant hoped to prevent when he and his neighbors helped put together the Midtown-St. Albans Area Plan.
“There was just too much development taken as a project-by-project, and nobody was looking at the overall impact on the area,” Helfant said.
The Raleigh City Council approved the guide for growth just two years ago. It recommended infrastructure upgrades and limits of 20-story towers in new developments.
“It’s a great plan. It allows for proper zoning in the area and proper roadway construction,” Helfant said. “And it’s been ignored up to this date.”
Helfant sees that happening now with Kane Realty’s proposal.
The developer wants the ability to build up to 30 stories along Lassiter Mill Road and up to 40 stories along Six Forks Road.
In those tallest towers, Kane is now offering to include affordable apartments based on Midtown’s median-income to try to get this rezoning approved.
Jamie Schwedler, the developer’s attorney, described them to a city council committee as 600-square-foot “micro-units” renting for around $1,500.
“We think it really makes a meaningful step to not only providing affordable housing but housing affordability and attainability in a location the Midtown Area Plan and community has urged us to do,” Schwedler said.
Kane is also providing the city land for a bigger fire station, a new transit hub and a bikeway.
But there are no road improvements planned.
“We’re trying to strike the right balance,” said Raleigh City Councilmember Patrick Buffkin. “Make sure we have the infrastructure funding plans in place and ready to go as the developments come online.”
Helfant hopes the Midtown Area Plan doesn’t get scrapped for skyscrapers.
“You should adhere to that,” Helfant said. “Otherwise, anything can be built anywhere as high as a developer wants to build.”
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