City of Raleigh Municipal Campus


Here are the meeting minutes from an Economic Development and Innovation Committee meeting about the possibilities of the City’s planned municipal campus. They have various scenarios, including a no-build option, here and they include tower scenarios at 14, 17, and 20 stories. It also has scenarios whether to continue to use the current Raleigh Municipal Building or not.

I skimmed it and will deep dive into it later but, in short, I see this:

New City Hall – Phase I

  • Option #1: 20 stories (above capacity)
    ** 420,000 s.f.
    ** Capacity*(at 300 gsf/person): 1,400 ppl
    *** Full capacity by 2037 (14 years) at 1.5% growth rate
    *** Full capacity by 2032 at (9 years) at 2.0% growth rate
    *** Estimated cost: ~$190 million
    *** Effective rent over 30 years: $15.08/sf

  • Option #2: 17 stories +/- (at capacity)
    ** 360,000 s.f.
    ** Capacity* (at 300 gsf/person): 1,200 ppl
    *** Full capacity by 2027 (4 years) at 1.5% growth rate
    *** Full capacity by 2024 (1 year) at 2.0% growth rate
    *** Estimated cost: ~$165 million
    *** Effective rent over 30 years: $15.27/sf

  • Option #3: 14 stories +/- (below capacity)
    ** 300,000 s.f.
    ** Capacity* (at 300 gsf/person): 1,000 ppl
    *** 40,000 s.f. deficit at move-in with 1.5% growth rate
    *** 50,000 s.f. deficit at move-in with 2.0% growth rate
    *** Estimated Cost: ~$140 million
    *** Effective rent over 30 years: $15.55/sf
    *Capacity does not include Phase II (RMB or new facility).


Before anyone starts to fret about the “do nothing option”, please note that that option is always on the table when one is creating scenarios for capital funded projects. The “do nothing option” is always paired with the impact/risk of that choice vis-a-vis the other options.


I attended the meeting in person, and did my best to record it. I have the video unlisted while I try to get the slides from the city and improve the audio.

The meeting went into a lot of detail. Honestly, I’m in favor of them demolishing the building in question and going with the 21 story tower option. Provides enough space to fully house all city staff, so that if phase two occurs they won’t need a temporary building to relocate.


Thanks Very Much Leo & Raleighite for this great information on The Central City Campus potential project ! Both comments are great & very informative ! I did watch some of the YouTube Video & will go back when I have more time to watch the 54 minute video . I sure hope for the 21 story option !


I did watch the entire video & very glad to see all 4 councilors favoring option # 1 !


Yup. “do nothing” provides a baseline to compare against and provides immediate justification that *something should be done to alleviate an anticipated or known problem.


Check this out… Imagine a scaled down version of this for the new Municipal Campus in DTR. This is the same architectural firm working on the site concept if I remember correctly.


I may be alone on this, but I would love to see Raleigh’s new city hall designed in a classical manner, reflecting the permanence and stature of the city. It could still be fully functional and with all modern amenities. I just dont think of post modern glass and steel building when I think of government buildings. Ideas:

or image or


I’m with you. Some, like Philly’s, have great public spaces inside/behind the main face of the building too.


I’d love that — something a bit more grand and elegant than another glass-wrapped box. The Buffalo City Hall (last picture) is definitely something Raleigh’s should be modeled after, complete with an observation deck.


Let’s not forget our neighbor to the north. The old city hall in Richmond, VA has been one of my favorite municipal buildings for a long time.


Those sorts of buildings are not going to happen, so please nobody set their expectations for that!
Municipal buildings are publicly funded and all politicians who would spend the sort of money required for such a fundamentally expensive project would be politically crucified.
The best that we can hope is to have a really good modern design that responds to its context, the public experience, and its stated mission in the best possible way.


These are FANTASTIC buildings. I really am enjoying these photos. However, I’m not sure we’re going to get anything that looks like that when built in the decade of 2010. (or 2020) I’m going to have to disagree that I don’t want a modern building built with historical characteristics.

For example, the NC State Bar building on Blount and Edenton has a classical look but falls flat. It just LOOKS fake to me.

I think what we’re looking for is a timeless look rather than something that gets dated very quickly.


Fiberglass will certainly emanate that fake feeling. I bet if we dig around enough in the swamps along Crabtree Creek, we might find some of our old classical column drums laying there waiting to be reused…possibly the Dix, New Bern Ave or Dunkin’ landfills too.


The use of EIFS on the State Bar building is what gives it that fake feeling, because it is… fake. Unfortunately, they aren’t super common, but there are examples of modern buildings built in the last 10 years in the classical tradition that will look just as good in 100 years because they use real materials. I know it’s a long shot, but I did read somewhere that the cost difference isn’t actually a thing, that a lot of modern steel and glass buildings are in some cases much more expensive than traditional buildings.


The-Hub-2 I can see this as a new City Hall Plaza.


I typically prefer more classic architecture, but the second pic with the angled glass and steel buildigns would also make a very memorable City Government Complex in DTR.


A feux-classical building would make Raleigh an embarrassment from an architectural perspective, and anyone hoping for that from an internationally renowned architecture firm like SOM is going to be disappointed.

This kind of pastiche is not appropriate for a civic/municipal building in Raleigh anyway, as the message it would send is that of a city looking to the past and idealizing an antiquated architectural language of centuries ago, rather than a progressive city secure in itself and looking toward the future. I hope we can all just enjoy and preserve the beautiful classical buildings that exist, but not cheapen their value by producing fake knockoffs. Let our Capitol be a shining example of the architecture of its era, and let our modern civic buildings be representative of theirs.


SOM will do its own thing, that’s what they’re paid to do.

Personally I would love to see aesthetic requirements that fit with the region. Right now we have New York developers building New York style brownstone townhomes. Yuck. Keep that trash in New York. Imagine an entire neighborhood that is designed with buildings styled like the Estey Hall but with modern design principles like larger windows? I rather have a hundred Estey Halls than a single brownstone.



Hi everybody,
Can someone please refresh my memory? Wasn’t this project supposed to include mixed-use or just the City of Raleigh? It would seem to me that the city could help offset some of the cost by including some form of housing/hotel/office/etc…?