Hello All - TBJ just posted an article about NC plans to sell former Rex Hospital site inside Raleigh Beltline. Anyone know anything about this?
TBJ is also reporting the former Rex property where the current Division of Employment Security Commission occupies will be put up for sale. 16 acres near Downtown! So there’s a lot of potential there as well.
Coker Towers 2.0. I have big dreams for this property, but know it will be a battle with the nearby neighborhood. I lived in Cameron VIllage during the Coker Towers fight, I remember it well.
Looks like the property is currently zoned OX-5. I wonder if the city will consider changing that. The buildings across the street are OX-7.
I have had two people tell me that this area was proposed to Apple, and it is in consideration… What ever that means.
Edit to add: Apple supposedly like the architect/developer… Which is interesting if this really is the same developer who designed that tower next to the Dillon with the Apple store on the bottom…
No way this will happen. the Hayes Barton crowd would go insane at the prospect of Apple opening a ‘campus’ for 10,000 people next to them. The zoning fight would be epic! I live in 5 points. Can you imagine the traffic on Wade Avenue? I would think Dorothea Dix is much more likely ‘urban’ option. The farmers market is going to be a bunch of NIMBY’s.
Roberts post is about the S. Saunders site, not Wade/St. Mary’s
Yes when the threads about the old Rex site and the S Saunders site got split, some wires got crossed. The Apple rumor applies to S Saunders, not this.
If you all recall, the eventual outcome of Coker Towers was Oberlin Court. While not great, and I’m no fan of the parking lot in front, it could have been worse. It actually was a step forward for Raleigh in terms of mixed use development- it was one of the first large mixed use complexes in the entire city and if I recall, the first outside of downtown.
As a previous poster mentioned it is zoned for 5 stories but honestly the lot is big enough that I would expect some sort of PD request, although I would not expect something iconic here. Max 7 stories. Mostly or entirely residential.
Oh, the “Coker Towers” fight…I remember that insanity well.
Instead of getting a walkable, experience laden development for CV residents, they instead got another giant car centric crappy apartment project.
I’m afraid I wasn’t following development at that time – can you describe the original proposal?
Oh my gosh, let me reach into the faded memories. From what I recall, it was proposed to be a dense mixed use development with residential, retail, offices and a luxury brand hotel. The “tower” part that rankled people was ( I think) largely driven by the hotel and offices. I can’t recall just how tall the “towers” were but I think the project was in the 12-18 story range, and I think that it had two of those.
I also seem to remember that the proposal included a multi-screen cinema in it.
As would be expected, and as it always seems to be the case, the resistance to it from a broader perspective was largely based on traffic fears, though the immediately adjacent neighborhoods were more concerned about how it would destroy their specific neighborhoods.
At the time, I thought that it was a terrific proposal, but mob mentality set in, and once the moniker of “Coker Towers” was slapped onto the proposal, it was all but dead.
If anything over 5 floors is proposed for the old Rex site, expect a similar reaction by the neighborhoods.
What Kane is doing downtown reminds me somewhat of Coker’s proposals had in it.
I seem to remember something about the proposed buildings would cast shadows over the neighboring houses too. I was all for the project, but as a poor college student, I had no voice at the time. I agree that what was ultimately built in its place is an autocentric monstrosity.
If you google it, you can still find a few WRAL stories from around 2001. But I haven’t been able to find any renderings of the proposed development. I am kicking myself for not keeping all those newspapers with huge renderings in them. I held on to them for years, but tossed them when I moved to VA.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll go look for articles.
As for the shadows, that was the concern from the immediate neighbors. They painted the picture of these looming towers over their neighborhood.
Are there renderings for Coker Towers? I haven’t been able to find any anywhere. Just old news articles about the project fight and none really about the development itself.
It would probably help us if anyone can remember the actual name of the project, instead of just Coker Towers, which was a pejorative used to describe it by the residents. I’ll continue digging.
Okay…so, the project was proposed to be called, “Oberlin”. Before is was eventually killed, developer Neal Coker scaled back the project by half of the initially proposed retail. The neighborhood still bitched. I still can’t find any photos online or even site plans.
Okay…I only found this, but it’s not that great. When I link to the story, the image disappears. It sure doesn’t look all that different from the other stuff in CV these days. Maybe it’s a few floors taller. I am not certain if this particular image was pre or post size revision.
Bio of John Rex at https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/rex-john.
Hey thanks! Way before my time though I remember Raleigh back then. I did find all of those articles interesting to read and see how much we’ve changed since then.
My takeaway from it was fear on part of the residents of development of this scale.