The Iron District?


#1

As we keep looking into a lot of interesting developments downtown and in North Hills, I’ve wondered why the Capital Blvd./Atlantic Av. area hasn’t gotten much attention -despite being a terminal stop for one of the proposed BRT lines.

Turns out, I was dead wrong.

Do y’all think the Iron District(?) could be the next big thing in Raleigh development? And what could it mean for downtown, since it’s right next door?

Just to catch everyone up to speed, this is where I’m talking about -and it’s not too far off from several hotels, a Costco, and the Ritz.


#2

With all the realignment of Capital Blvd and the wetland/stream restoration that is coming with it, I think that this particular swath of ITB land has a bright future. I had never heard about the Iron District but I’ll be looking into it some more now that I know.
Thanks.


#3

Iron district?? I’m a little rusty…


#4

image
:joy:


#5

So the Iron District isn’t catching on… maybe Atlantic Ave Area North of Downtown… AhAhAhNoDo ?

In actuality it’s not going to be much of a district as most of the attractions are going to be spread out and pretty much (as currently constituted ) only accessible by car. Dock 1053 is great and the IronWorks are going to be awesome as well but good luck getting there without a car and good luck getting between the two with current traffic on Atlantic. I’m sure they’ll put in a crosswalk but they really need to create something to get people between the two without having to cross traffic. Although they still haven’t done this for North Hills so I wouldn’t hold my breath. (And I get that each side in each place is owned by different entities but you think it would be in the best interest of everyone involved)

Developments like these and the abundance of redevelop-able land ringing downtown is one of the reasons why we don’t get as much height with our buildings downtown. However I do think developments like these will eventually help downtown as these are essentially suburban styled developments closer to downtown. It brings more people in and helps with the density overall.

All in all I’m excited for the IronWorks and Gateway Plaza mostly because I play hockey over that way and am always looking for places to hang out for beers post game :slight_smile:


#6

The Atlantic Ave bridge over the rail tracks is a big deterrent to bike/pedestrain traffic from the neighborhoods to the south as well.


#7

I see this cool bike/pedestrian bridge over train tracks every time I’m in Odense. If only I was a philanthropist millionaire, Raleigh can’t even fix broken bridges (Lake Dam Road Bridge).

Odense_Bridge_Aerial_art


#8

Man that’s pretty. It even has elevators.

So here’s the map from the Capital Blvd Corridor Study. Eventually there will be some greenway trail to carry us along Capital, but it still doesn’t help connect to Whitaker Mill or Atlantic very well.


#9

Following up on myself, there’s actually an Appendix to the study that looks at pedestrian connections along this corridor. It starts on page 63 of the study (PDF) but here are some highlights:


#10

The developer of the Peden steel site and the Dock 1053 have plans for a elevated pedestrian walkway over Atlantic Ave to connect the two sides.


#11

I’ve heard that, too. Something about moving a bridge built with Peden steel back to Raleigh. I just wonder how that’s going to play with the power lines along Atlantic.


#12

That whole area - Capital, Wake Forest, Atlantic, Whitaker mill is just a huge cluster - even for vehicle traffic. Can’t imagine what’s it’s like for people on foot / bike.


#13

Missoula MT has one too but more compact.


#14

What it can be is the real design problem to be solved!
It’s simply too good/convenient of a location for it not be solved. From Wade Ave to the Beltline, their needs to be a rebirth of the Capital Corridor. The “Iron District” is but a small piece of the puzzle.


#15

I don’t see what the interest would be in this area. It’s 95% light industrial. Many construction businesses have their shops in this area. Yeah there are a couple top notch breweries in the area, and Dock 1053, which to me isn’t anything special, but I haven’t really been there much. Just seems like a weird hipster spot. Anyway, couple of other small businesses and that’s it. It’s a mess and isn’t all that interesting or pretty. When did industrial zones become the hip place to hang out?


#16

Industrial areas evolving into places to hang out is an international and historic trend. This is the path that the Warehouse District, American Tobacco Campus in Durham, and hopefully Cargill etc. took/will take, so it’s not like it’s a ridiculous idea.

Besides, my point in making this thread in the first place wasn’t to critique what’s there now -but instead, see what could happen (if anything at all?) in the future.


#17

This is a fair question. If the BRT does actually spur development on Capital, we’ll see a lot of these light industrial places sold off to the highest bidder. I imagine the South End in Charlotte was pretty similar before the Blue Line was built.

Dock 1053 is only about 1/3 of a mile from Capital, depending on where they put the BRT stop and what pedestrian infrastructure they build, this could be a very transit-oriented region in the future. Granted that will be many years from now.


#18

Someone correct me if my line of thinking is wrong, but I think it works something like this:

The people who make an area “the hip place to hang out” are typically creative types like artists, musicians, brewers, etc.

These creative types usually don’t have a ton of capital to pay high rents in places that are already fancy. So they seek out inexpensive areas that they can afford. These areas tend to be places that the average person deems undesirable or places that others wouldn’t think of for such uses (hence the affordability).

At least that’s how I see areas like this transitioning. The creatives seek out underutilized, undesirable areas for affordability, and they’re the ones that make these places cool. Then developers take notice that these once-forgotten places are cool and start buying the properties, eventually pricing the creatives out. Then the cycle continues somewhere else.


#19

This was Downtown Durham and Glenwood South/the Warehouse District -and now it could be this new area. I wouldn’t say it’s an endless cycle, but it’s totally a self-reinforcing system.


#20

If we wait long enough the suburbs are going to be the hip places to hang out eventually!