Bloc 83 - One Glenwood, Two Hillsborough, and Phase 3

These building heights are a result of UDO constraints. This area is zoned to 12 stories or 150’. If I read the plans for Hillsborough II correctly the height of this 10 story building is 150’-7". I guess the extra 7" isn’t enough to quibble over.

It’s hard to know for sure but it seems the developer found it better for his case to build up to the current height maximum vs. deal with applying for a variance. Considering Glenwood One is the same situation it seems plausible building heights are being constrained by Raleigh’s UDO. Too bad … We’ve got to get more density in this town!


These height restrictions in all of downtown and surrounding areas is a joke, remove the restrictions, these restrictions are wasting valuable land in downtown.
I am hoping we do get Amazon and they build 40 stories and taller everywhere.

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I’m probably in the minority here, but I feel like 10-12 stories is reasonable for that part of the city. There needs to be a gradual transition to the mid-rise developments on Hillsborough Street nearing NCSU, or there’d be such a harsh drop-off in scale. Density from the pedestrian experience via creating a continuous and vibrant street edge > height, imo.

I’d love to see more height in the downtown core along Fayetteville and Salisbury though. Also, Gensler does good work and I’m optimistic that we’ll get a thoughtful design for this.


You’re not alone, at least, elevatoroperator. The mindless drone about needing height in every corner of downtown, all other considerations be damned, is driving me crazy. Instead of pushing for height variances how about pushing for a proper City configuration outside of our current postage stamp sized proper configuration? Rip out some of the soulless crud outside of downtown instead of screwing up the limited supply of character laden areas we have left.

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Also only just looked at the siteplan and realized this is at the corner… Gensler’s office is in that building lol - even more incentive to push for a strong design.


I know I’d rather have six 10-story buildings rather than a 60-story tower. I want more city, not more skyline.


You hit the nail on the head. The pedestrian environment is much more important than the scale.

It doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Height restrictions downtown are ridiculous. So someone puts a 14 story building down instead of a 10. Who cares? There’s no reason to limit this except a misguided small town mentality that we need to engineer our downtown in this way.


That works both ways. If someone comes to you with a plan to build a 10-story tower, and you say “thanks but no thanks, we’re holding out for 14” then you wasted an opportunity there, too. Raleigh is still one cycle behind most major cities in its urban form growth, we need to keep this in mind. The 10-story Two Hillsborough is going to replace two squat office buildings. That’s progress no matter how you slice it. There will probably even be space for Dram and Drought in one of the shipping containers. I’ll be sad to see the service station go, too, but there is no shortage of good rehabs in this city.


Cul-de-sacs are misguided. Relying on one road for 50,000 employees to get to work everyday is misguided. 40 acre shopping centers with a single ingress/egress are misguided. Not allowing a 60 story building next to a 1907 historic district is steady handed planning.
A well balanced city would be almost entirely square grid and all building heights from 3-12 stories, mass transit within a half mile of every residence, most blocks being mixed use, many buildings being mixed use, and public parks being the dominant green space over personal yards. That’s how cities used to be. It worked. And because it works you see historic areas all over the country revitalizing. Fishtown. Over the Rhine. Seminole Heights. I actually think there is a looming problem with large vacant office buildings blighting cities as the traditional office work mode slowly goes out of style, and out of feasibility. We’ll see I guess.
Two Hillsborough is more or less fine. I’d personally rather see it stepped down to a six story apartment building and let that office demand get absorbed elsewhere downtown.


Don’t get me wrong,10 story buildings have there place. Next to existing neighborhoods perhaps? But I’d rather see that 10 story office building sitting atop that 9 level parking garage with some retail and a restaurant on top with a view…:blush:

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Yeah if all of downtown were zoned for unlimited height and somebody proposed a 10 story building here I’d be completely fine with that. If that’s what the market will support, or if there’s a particular tenant looking for a particular amount of space in a new building, or whatever - then go ahead and build it. But the obsessively sculpted skyline promoted by the current zoning is too fussy. I don’t consider mid-rises like this to be a waste of space - But the fact that so many proposed buildings are butting up against the height limits for their respective zoning districts really makes me think that developers would be building taller if not for the zoning.


@elevatoroperator I can pretty much stop posting in the community because you say almost everything that I’d want to say in a post! :slight_smile:

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Gensler’s office is in building across the street.

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You’re right, my mistake.

Really wish they could find a way to incorporate the old gas station (currently occupied by Dram and Draught) into the building design rather than tearing it down and replacing it with this design using lots of cargo containers. Don’t get me wrong, I like the industrial look that cargo container structures have been used for recently, but like all design trends it will eventually age out. That old gas station is something unique that no other space has downtown, and once it’s torn down it’s gone forever. The owners of Dram and Draught spent a lot of money getting the 1930s Esso station fixed up and restored. I’m sure they’re getting enough money from the sale to cover that loss, but is there really no way to incorporate the building into the new design?


Additional details on this project from an article in TBJ. Construction may start by the second quarter of 2019.

“We’ve got to get more density in this town!”

That’s literally what these projects are accomplishing. They’re about to cram at least 20x more people onto this block.


I hope they don’t go with the used shipping container look. I have seen it in Vegas and elsewhere and it is not a good long term look.

A friend pointed this out recently and I just went back to the plans to double check. Under one of the notes for Two Hillsborough, it says:

“All parking to be provided in parking deck located at 701 Hillsborough Street. Site plan for parking deck to be filed under separate case # and trans #.”

That means we have more demolition coming. 701 Hillsborough is the service station across the street from Dram and Draught’s location now. Snapshot from google maps:

The property at 701 Hillsborough Street is 0.43 acres and is zoned for 7-stories. The site plan for Two Hillsborough has 487 parking spaces required. I THINK a deck could fit here to accommodate 487 spaces.

We’ll wait for that site plan but hopefully this deck will be wrapped with retail or something around it.