Stadium at the Penmarc Site (Downtown South)

@dtraleigh Now that there is a specific proposal on the table to build a major development, potentially including a soccer stadium, at Penmarc, would it maybe be beneficial to create a new thread for all things Penmarc, including soccer stadiums, re-imagining S. Saunders St., and the larger (and IMO vastly more interesting!) mixed-use development being proposed for the rest of those 40 acres?


@daviddonovan note that the purchase didn’t include the Bain Water Treatment facility currently owned by Hatem. He’s been trying to figure out ways to activate that thing for some time now and this is likely going to help that cause.

Also, does anyone know who owns the property just south of Bain? That is a big piece that, if this happens, could be important as well.

@Loup20 You can actually go to and look up who owns any property in Wake County. If you’re looking in a particular area, is super useful.

According to county records. Malik doesn’t actually own any of this land, which is why he keeps using the phrase “under control” in interviews. He has some kind of agreement with the Penny family, which owns 40 acres in the area, and possibly a few other landowners, to develop the land. There’s no indication that he has any development rights to the Bain building, and it’s extremely unlikely that he would.

Everything else bounded by Fayetteville St., Water Works St., Bluff St. and the eastern edge of the Penny properties (the area south of Bain that you’re asking about) is owned by the City of Raleigh. Some of that is the Walnut Creek Trail greenway, which would not be developed, but much of that land does appear to be prime for redevelopment, and this might be an advantageous time for the city to sell up. Aqua Empire (Greg Hatem, essentially) also owns the triangle of land nestled between Fayetteville St. and Wilmington St. across the street from the Bain building. It’s possible some of that triangle might get used to extend Water Works all the way to Wilmington.

Something called Raleigh Reclamation LLC owns pretty much everything between Bluff St. and I-40. Duke Energy owns the six-acre plot on the north side of Water Works.


Yes. Let me pull out Penmarc site-specific chatter into it’s own thread. Will do that soon.


I believe I read/heard that Kane has it “under contract”.


It sickens me how much some people hate commuters. Or is it loathe? Pretty much the opinion of this forum is screw you and your commute, however many thousands of people who enter DTR from the south through this corridor daily, so we can have walkability and prettiness and more urban feeling or whatever. Look sometimes a road needs to be a road and get people from A to B quickly and smoothly. That’s what S. Saunders is. That’s what Capital Blvd is. Western Blvd. These are all arteries to get people in and out of the city. Turn them into one lane roads and all you will be doing is making gridlock worse. As long as humans live in Apex, Cary, Garner, Fuquay, Knightdale, these roads will be needed to handle large amounts of CARS. I know a dirty word, car. Once public transportation serves everything within 20 miles of DTR, then we can start talking about doing away major roads. :roll_eyes:


This is one of the most interesting types on interactions on this forum. There is a cohort/trend/something who want to live in the city and work there and experience good urbanism. They look around and say, how can we improve the experience of living here and walking to things. There is also a way of life/thought pattern or something where people enjoy their space and their neighborhood development and driving to work or to the grocery store or where ever. If you strive for that then some improvements to the areas where you work or go for entertainment are nice and cool to see, but not as nice for you if there is not much parking or if you sit in lots of traffic to get there. This road is a great collision of that thinking because it is used by lots of people to get to work sure, but it is also in the line of downtown growth where people could be living around. No one wants to live in and around a big old road made just for cars. In some ways the thinking with the road diet is the same as what you are thinking as a commuter. I need to get to this stuff, why are you making the road not work for me. If you live downtown and don’t want a car then you are thinking why is this big road not built for me, why can’t we make it so I can get to the new stadium/development/stuff. All that to say, when you say “it sickens me” I would try and think why would people think this way? Is there a non just mean person reason? What if they just want to improve where they are living and getting around. Something I have been doing lots of thinking around is your last statement about how public transportation is needed before we can do away with major roads. If you look at the other side of that coin. Because we keep building roads for cars we keep making public transit hard. I you live on on side of South Sounders and need to get the bus on the other side of the road then maybe changing up the road is a good move to then make transit great within 20 min of downtown.


Well, a counterpoint to that narrative is that it sickens me that some people think that communities have to be sacrificed for their commutes from the burbs. Frankly, we’re talking about 1 single mile of a commute into town. God forbid it should change for the better, add to the tax base, and require an extra 40 seconds to traverse by car.

Look, nobody is saying that they hate commuters. We are only looking for balance. Nobody is foolish enough to think that cars are going away.
For a good example of how we improve experiences, look at Hillsborough Street. By narrowing the road, putting in a median, & adding traffic circles, it’s an improved environment for pedestrians and drivers alike. Traffic circles reduce stop lights and keep traffic moving while reducing the speed of the drivers. Narrower lanes make it easier for pedestrians to cross, and medians provide a place for pedestrians to wait to cross the second lane of traffic without interfering with it. It’s a win/win.

I’d really like for the city to think about how to seriously overhaul S. Saunders because it’s a tired model that’s imbalanced, ugly and potentially dangerous for a growing city like Raleigh.


Luckily the completion of 540 will provide some relief for commuters from southern wake and johnston county. The south saunders / 40 interchange should’ve been reworked during the crawl-eigh ordeal, too much is going on in such a tight area. Overhead signs on S Saunders would be a quick fix, as well as lighting under the bridge for pedestrians. The lack of a proper east - west “blvd” in the stretch between MLK blvd and ten-ten also contributes to the madness, Tryon rd being the only alternative to I-40. Don’t get me started on the underutilized rail lines.

I think we are all on this forum because we all have an interest in urban planning/development or at the very least want to be “in the know” about the goings on in our city. Raleigh is going through an impressive growth phase as we speak, and each of us have ideas of how we would like to see our city evolve. Our ideas are, of course, influenced by our own personal perspectives and experiences. The purpose of this forum is to basically bounce ideas off of one another. At times there does seem to be a bias against cars, either intentional or unintentional, but at the same time, one has to remember this is an internet forum, where a post can be taken one way by one person, and differently by another.


I think this is probably the case. Some people on this forum, several people, come across as extremely selfish in regards to transportation in the city, particularly towards cars. Some of these ideas I’ve seen are just nuts like no street parking, or not very well thought out. I don’t know if they are selfish or just thoughtless. I do not disagree with the ideas in a perfect city. But Raleigh is not a perfect city.

I live outside Raleigh mostly due to $$$$. I get more for less. So people who don’t have the economic mobility as people who live downtown should just be screwed over? These are your (not you literally but the forum in general) ideas for improvements? So do these ideas come from thoughtlessness? Selfishness? Or I’m better than everyone who doesn’t want to or can’t live in downtown?

If you want to calm traffic on S. Saunders, great and it certainly needs beautification. What’s the alternative route then? I say the same thing on discussions of Dawson/McDowell. Don’t like a “freeway” through DTR? Propose an alternative that doesn’t affect travel times. Rush hour in that stretch is bad enough.

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Since WW2 ended, nearly everything that’s been done in our built environment has prioritized the car. You can’t hardly building anything, anywhere without providing (often free) parking. Decades upon decades have passed with nary a protest over road projects that keep feeding the same development methodology.
So, yes, there’s some hostility toward cars here because they have always come first, and their priority was mostly unquestioned.
The reality is that this is a community that’s focused on Downtown Raleigh, and a growing number of people realize that there needs to be a significant disruption to the “cars first” narrative. To be clear, the post WW2 history of cars in our urban centers only prioritized newly minted suburbanites’ ability to get into and out of the city for work via private automobile, and urban renewal projects often bulldozed neighborhoods (usually poor and minority) to provide highways and boulevards for them. This cycle needs to be broken & re-balanced, and I don’t apologize for having that opinion.
If we do not change the model, we don’t end with the walkable, dynamic, and interesting urban environment that most of us want to see.
Oh, and yes, there will still be cars. They just won’t be used all the time for everything, have all the priority, and only be considered.


You can’t disrupt The “cars first narrative” without providing a reliable alternative first. The vast majority of people working in DTR get there by automobile, like it or not. If I’m reading your response correctly, in essence you wan’t to “penalize” those who use a private automobile into using an alternative mode of transportation. This type of social experiment could ultimately steer business away from relocating into downtown. You have to provide a number of reliable transit options and let the individual decide what is best for them.

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Japan almost didn’t have a high speed rail system as well. Same arguments the US has. Look at them now.


With Baker Roofing moving their offices to Garner, their land could be huge for adding some urban area connecting the stadium district to Dix Park.


High speed rail works in Japan particularly well due to its long narrow geography. Also, having almost all of your infrastructure obliterated is a good reason to reevaluate your transportation network. Not to mention the kaiju that periodically trash the place.

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This is true and that would be true of the East Coast corridor. They’re the same size.


Apply all the arguments against high speed in the US and those were the same arguments made against Japan’s high speed rail system by the Japanese people and the Japanese government themselves. Japan’s Shinkansen didn’t just happen, it was fought for and in hindsight it was a good idea. But it wasn’t a good idea to most people in Japan at the time.

This can be applied to biking and pedestrian infrastructure.


I have no problem with biking or pedestrian infrastructure whatsoever. I think they both need to be explored and implemented to the fullest extent within reason, particularly where we are essentially redoing multiple corridors into the city.

Yes, I agree. I was supporting your statement.

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Nope, I heard a wall will be built to keep you crazy people and your disgusting cars out of the DTR promise land. Go find a job in Apex to feed your family. Lol

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