Highline Glenwood and 404 Glenwood at The Creamery

I agree. A big key to connecting Smoky Hollow to Glenwood South is in the narrow properties on the west side of West St. Let’s hope that someone gets those right. Of course, there’s the whole HSR corridor to consider, but when is that actually going to happen?

I just can’t abide that short sighted instant gratification approach. If we want high speed trains in downtown Raleigh then this is going to be needed. Coronavirus doubtlessly set back these efforts, but just this year there has been a lot of momentum moving in that direction of late including Virginia’s recent efforts at dedicated funding for passenger rail and the local push to move forward with the S-line acquisition.

So, all considered, I’m thinking perhaps a decade before this gets moving seriously. 15-20 years until completion.

Best not to have a brand new skyscraper in the way.

The only acceptable developments on the blocks between West St and the RR tracks are:

  • Reuse of existing buildings as-is
  • Modest renovations with investment horizons on the order of 10-15 years
  • Modular buildings like shipping containers that are temporary and moveable
  • Basically things that make use of empty lots, but are not perceived as parks or recreational amenities - like pop-up stall markets, food truck rodeos, farmers markets, etc.

The SEHSR plan talks about building a new viaduct for two HSR tracks and leaving the NS and CSX tracks right where they are. My vision would be to build a new viaduct big enough for four tracks on this land, and close the existing NS and CSX lines to trains. There are lots of possible uses including light rail or expanding the street grid, but maybe my favorite idea is to turn one or both of them into promenades for pedestrians and/or bikes, like the Atlanta Beltline or NYC High Line.

The existing Norfolk Southern viaduct next to Glenwood South is generally about 100’ west of West Street, which is easily more than enough for a 4 track rail viaduct. The viaduct would be both wide and tall enough to accommodate ground-level retail uses beneath it, as is common in many places throughout the world. (<- Hiroshima, London, Chicago, Zurich, Tokyo respectively)

The trail itself over the historic trestles would necessarily be a bit on the narrow side, since getting a trail wider than 15, maybe 20 feet or so on top of the existing piers and beams of this old single track RR trestle would be tricky. Social distancing aside, though, that would still be plenty wide enough for an awesome experience.

On the other hand, the bridges over Capital and Peace on the CSX line are 66’ and 100’ wide respectively which is plenty of space for an “all of the above” approach. Could even fit light rail and a ped/bike promenade up there.

Things like this are not possible with a visionless, instant gratification approach. The sooner a vision like this is negotiated and articulated, the sooner developments can start taking it into account, with patios and retail spaces facing where the RR tracks are today. This could easily be one of our downtown’s signature features, our equivalent of the San Antonio riverwalk.


We’re currently talking about a property located between Glenwood and the train tracks, so West wasn’t included in my wishes for this property. Certainly I would advocate for taller, mixed-use towers along West in addition to these ideas.

The original post by @dtraleigh has a map of the parcels involved in this transaction, and it includes the lot at the NW corner of Tucker/West as well. That’s why I’m bringing this up.

Oh, right, I mentioned that parcel in my list. It’s too skinny/close to the rail tracks for a tower, and likely will be used for high speed rail in the future anyway.

I think it was a big miss not making Smoky Hollow II taller. Everything should have been twice the height there. I love it, but every time I look at it, I think it should be at least few stories taller. I personally think it would be strange to have random 40 story buildings with everything else at 5-12 stories. If smoky was around 20 it would blend so much better with a 40 story. I agree with @John I don’t think Glenwood is the correct place for a 40 story. I think keeping it around the heights of what they have done with Glenwood One and Two would be great then have taller buildings fill in on West.

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For the corner of Peace and West, I think it would be cool to do a building similar to the Flatiron in NYC or the Phelan in SanFran. It know the lot isn’t exactly a triangle, but a building similar (wider on the south and skinnier on the north). They have a not so great building like this in Cary that Spirits Pub & Grub is in. So similar shape to that but with a look of a Flatiron or Phelan or something industrial.

Make it a 10-15 story boutique hotel with restaurant on the bottom floor, with a corner entrance.


Remember that even a 21 story building requires 40 story zoning. Even if they are considering rezoning to 40, doesn’t mean they want something 40 floors.


I think that this has come up before and there was a conversation about shipping container business/food truck rodeo location along that narrow strip along West St. Then again, this isolation/social distancing thing might just be getting to my brain. I dunno…
In any case, I love the idea of a really cool shipping container community there with some parking spaces for food trucks. It could be such a cool connector between Smoky Hollow and Glenwood South.


Well said. Sometimes when I’m on this message board, it feels the needs of people with physical disabilities are totally disregarded if they at all conflict with the stylistic preferences of conventionally abled people. But it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who cares about making sure that public accommodations in our city are inclusive and welcoming to people of all sorts of physical abilities. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

Up until 2015, I worked in the 510 Glenwood Building next to the Creamery, and I always liked the Art Deco exterior, but I doubt I’ve set foot in there in five years, and I honestly can’t remember if it’s ADA-compliant or not. (And obviously I can’t go scope it out right now.) But my guess is that it could probably be renovated to make it fully ADA-compliant if the owners were interested in going that route. So it’s quite possible you could get a best-of-all-worlds scenario where the rest of the building can be redeveloped such that the aesthetically pleasing older elements are preserved while ensuring that people of all kinds of physical abilities can fully enjoy the facility.

But if it has to be an either-or choice, I too will take inclusiveness over aesthetics every time.

(EDIT: To clarify, the 510 Glenwood building is ADA-compliant; I can’t remember if the Creamery is compliant or not.)


Just to be clear - my comment was tongue in cheek. I care more about the old buildings than I do people with disabilities.


He was talking about the 1-story brick “Heat” gym building next to the Creamery - not the Creamery building itself. The Creamery is designated historic, and should not be touched no matter what.

EDIT: By “touched” - I mean it shouldn’t be demo’d/redeveloped. If it needs some interior renovation to make it ADA compliant, then by all means.

I appreciate the clarification! Yeah, under Title III of the ADA, owners of “public accommodations” (restaurants, retail shops, etc.) must make “readily achievable” changes; that is, one that can be easily accomplished without much expense, like installing ramps of redesigning doors. The requirement to remove barriers when it is “readily achievable” is an ongoing responsibility. Importantly for The Creamery, when alterations, including restoration and rehabilitation work, are made, specific accessibility requirements are triggered, and that’s true even if the building is deemed historic.

So if this building is undergoing extensive renovations, as seems likely, then that will trigger an obligation that the entire building fully complies with the ADA if it’s not already compliant. I’d need to go back and look at the building, but IIRC, this can probably be accomplished quite easily in the case of The Creamery with some simple renovations.

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510 is a fairly new building…are you talking about something else?

The 510 Glenwood mixed use condo building was built in 2001.

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Yeah, I worked in the 510 building from 2012-2015, and it had been around for a while even before that. When I got married in 2009, the bars and restaurants there were part of the pre-wedding festivities. (I can remember in 2012, we had a great view of the construction of the Hampton Inn out our windows.)

Huh…I guess I am surprised something built in 2001 isn’t ADA compliant, but i admit to not knowing how it is applied.

Ah. Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the 510 Glenwood building is ADA-compliant. The Creamery Building, I honestly can’t remember because it’s been so long since I’ve been there. If it’s not already ADA-compliant, then by law they’ll have to make renovations to make it so by the time they finish developing the rest of the property (which really shouldn’t be problematic).

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I miss both Bogarts and Red Room from 510 Glenwood.


I loved Bogart s, especially there fruit flavored Martinis! YUM! :innocent: