Rockway (formerly Park City South) - Saunders/Lake Wheeler Apartments and Retail

A small tangent but last week we received a notice about a proposed zoning change at South St, Dawson and McDowell from IX3 - RX3 to Planned Development District. The property in question was supposed to be depicted on the back page but I either lost it or it was never there. I contacted the developer to see if they could provide me with an image. My best guess is its the triangle of land south of Red Hat Amphitheater.
The developer is The Five Horizons who did the 10 Arros project. Neighborhood meeting for the zoning is 10/3 630p - 8p at 929 South Saunders in the Wheels for Hope.
I’m curious as to what could go here. I’m guessing some sort of mixed development with some residential.
Just thought I would share.


That’s pretty interesting. It’s the main entry point to downtown so they better make sure they get it right.

1 Like

That triangle is zoned DX-20 already. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense to develop the land south of the railroad?

I was just guessing on which parcel it is… upon further reflection maybe it’s somewhere in this area?

Heritage Park and Gateway Park are right there and already zoned for RX-3. I wonder if that’s it.

I’m guessing it’s the lots at the top of the hill, it’s the only land that is near all three roads and made up of RX3 IX3.

Here’s the area to be rezoned per the developer.


Five Horizons is typically a townhouse/SFH developer. Is that what we expect here?

I would hope there’d be a mix of different types of buildings, housing, retail, etc as this is a big area but maybe they’re not developing the whole area… idk… I’m sure there are people on here that know more about the re-zoning process.

A Planned Development District is defined as the city in part below:

The PD District is intended to be used to achieve a higher quality of project design than
could be accomplished through the strict application of a general use district or set of
general use districts, without adversely impacting the adequate facilities required to serve
the property and surrounding area.
In other words, the PD District offers applicants additional flexibility on certain development
standards in return for projects with higher quality design.

Kind of intriguing…


Moving this to its own topic so we can follow it. Development here is not unexpected as proximity to Dix will be an obvious selling point.


It was an African American neighborhood but was mowed down for the Dawson Street extension similar to how the Durham freeway was plowed threw black neighborhoods.


This makes me slightly worried about how gentrified it’s going to get around that part of town…

What kind of people live and work in that part, between Union Station and Dix Park? I feel like the people and the land there hold the key to a lot of how development moves forward around here.

It will be interesting how this gets developed given that Gateway Park, just north of it, is developed in a typical suburban model with multiple buildings and a vehicular oriented site plan with surface parking lots. To its south is single family neighborhoods. In between these two areas are industrial uses that, if redeveloped properly, give the greater community there the opportunity to have some sort of central gathering place/hub with services and resources. Of course, doing so will drive values up and push out possible long term renters in the SFHs. Does anyone know what the distribution of owners vs renters is in that community?


This area is part of the Southern Gateway Corridor study area (deemed the Old Saunders focus area in the SGCS Final Report). In the report (page 90), this particular property looks to be visioned as new multi-family residential development and new office development. However, development here was suggested as phase 2 after a phase 1 that was to include supporting existing businesses and neighborhoods by implementing improvements to pedestrian safety and facades. I’ve seen no movement on that yet.


I was told there are plans for sidewalks on Lake Wheeler (but not where on Lake Wheeler) but I haven’t seen any movement on that. There currently are sidewalks that go up South Saunders on one side towards the Former Ray Price/Earps etc. but getting around once you get across/under Western by anything other than a vehicle is inconvenient and potentially dangerous. I’m assuming the developer will be responsible for sidewalks on the side they’re going to be developing.

They can’t put sidewalks on Lake Wheeler fast enough! I’ve walked between Murray’s and Boylan Heights when my car was being serviced, and the sidewalks on Saunders are alright (with definite room for improvement), but the Saunders/Lake Wheeler intersection could use some serious help from a pedestrian perspective.


When we walk to Trophy, we use the back side of Dix and then sprint across Lake Wheeler and walk down the street through all the Baker buildings. It’s certainly not ideal. The drivers coming down Lake Wheeler and South Saunders seem like they’re openly hostile to pedestrians, I agree that intersection needs to be improved.


I believe it was Matthew Urbanski with Michael Van Valkenberg Assoc. who used the term “Pathologically Uninviting” to describe the section of Lake Wheeler that runs along Dix and the farmer’s market.

Some of the chain link fencing separating Dix from Lake Wheeler has come down, which is a start. I don’t expect there will be any major improvements along there until the final Dix master plan is revealed/adopted and work begins.


Most of the people moving in work nearby

The drivers in Raleigh are hostile to pedestrians in general.