I am just very curious about this as I was perusing developments in cities like Nashville and Austin, each has multiple buildings under construction or purposed in the 4-500 foot range. Now Austin is significantly larger than Raleigh but Nashville is not too much bigger and yet seems to have much taller development. Is Raleigh’s lack of height coming as a result of zoning rules? Or is it that a project of that magnitude is not quite economically feasible? Now I know Raleigh does not need more projects like this to be better but I know it is something a lot of us would want to see. I am very interested on what people’s opinions are and I did not really see a good spot to comment this.
I believe it’s a zoning limitation, right? Is there even a zoning option for larger than DX-40?
That is what I always suspect but I also feel if a developer was really trying to go big having to ask for rezoning would not be that big or a deterrent. Unless they felt it would have no chance of getting approved which may be the case.
I think having 2 other high employment centers (RTP & Durham) siphon off potential DTR jobs; as compared to Nashville. and Austin. Their city centers are where most of action is.
Agreed, when comparing the entire metro areas Austin is not that much bigger, it’s because we are really three cities… but I think we will see taller and taller in DT Durham and DT Raleigh because that is where people want to be and density is what people are wanting
Personally I feel like it is economically feasible, I think that we just lack developers who are interested enough to bet so heavy on DTR.
I’m not so sure about that. There’s a ton of stuff outside the city center in Austin. Heck, Dell isn’t even the same county as Austin!
I have always presumed that the two plats that the city is holding onto at the south end of Fayetteville Street, are Raleigh’s best bet for going tall. If Amazon had chosen Raleigh, that would have been a very strong option. Tall at this location would also expand the money shot skyline view.
I have always thought that those plots would be by far the best spots for a new tallest building! But I am also scared because I would be so disappointed if they were wasted on something Charter Square sized.
I recall a lot of folks freaking out about the height of what is now Wells-Fargo when it went up, particularly about the shadow on Union Sq (the Capitol). I can’t recall, but I wonder if that drove the height limit that is currently imposed.
Do you believe that our city council allows the NIMBYs too much of a voice? Example: the boutique hotel on peace. The people in the Paramount complain about how no tall buildings should go around them because it blocks their view… and the council takes this into consideration. They slow/stop the progress of an entire city for one side of a condo building saying they won’t have views of the trees anymore.
I also think they and Kane took this into consideration when planning phase II with the West building. I think its very unfortunate. I saw at Hibernian yesterday looking south east at our 5 story apartment buildings… and its just terrible.
Nashville understands what needs to be done. They have such a great mix of preserving the character by renovating historic buildings, yet building new and tall. Great balance.
For me, I’m looking for more city first, height next.
I think building something tall is not the problem. The development community knows how to build it. The problem is committing people to lease it up. We need our economic development folks to land a whale, a company that wants to put their name on top of a building and move/recruit thousands to an urban tower, not a suburban office park.
Find that company and the tower will be built.
Everyone keeps saying these two properties should be where our “tallest towers” are located. I REALLY want more height in DTR, but I do not want them on these properties. It will make the skyline very lopsided/heavy on the south end. Especially with DEPAC right across the street. The tallest should be more towards the center of the skyline IMO. (IE News and Observer site, or Enterprise property) I would be happy with a cluster of 15-20 story buildings to taper the height down to the south, rather than something crazy tall that would stick out like a sore thumb.
The difference with the properties on the southern end of Fayetteville Street versus most anywhere else in DTR is that the city owns these. They can use these for a variety of ways, probably ROI $$$ is not the highest priority.
Personally, I’d love to see them maximize the land for a signature project, make the most money as possible for an entertainment/office mixed-use complex that pairs well with the performing arts center.
Once again, the city has a process for neighbors to participate when a developer requests a variance on a piece of property. Participating in such a process and voicing concerns does not make them NIMBYs. Developers are not motivated to create better places; they are motivated by profits, and the city has given developers a broad range with the UDO to maximize those profits to their hearts content without any voice from their neighbors at all. If a developer wants to exceed the UDO, they do so with the knowledge that they have to navigate the input of their neighbors. If they are unsuccessful, then that’s not all on the neighbors, that’s also on them for not making a compelling case for their variance request.
Smart developers will choose where to request variances wisely, and there are many parcels where those requests will be met with little or no real resistance. For example, how much real resistance is there to Kane’s phase 3?
As for Smokey Hollow phase 2, Kane did not have to engage The West if he wanted to maximize the height of his project under the UDO. Not doing so is on him, not his neighbors.
It’s a bit unfair to state “developers are not motivated to create better places…” because they are in the business to be profitable. While we have seen development we all do not care for (matter of personal opinion) but to simply state they are only profit hungry is far from fair. To paint the neighbors as some sort of holier than though group, solely out to protect the integrity of the City is also disingenuous, at best. Some simply don’t like change. They like to talk about 'urban, walkable environments, blah, blah, blah"…until it means a taller building in their neighborhood. I live in 5 points and have witnessed firsthand this sort of “NIMBY-ism”. All one has to do is look at that miserable apartment building on Oberlin & Wade as a textbook example of NIMBY-ism at its finest… (or worst) to see what the end result ends up becoming.
It’s completely fair to say that about developers. If they want to create better places, it’s always because they want…wait for it…more profit. Their business model has to have returns on their investment. The more they invest, the more return they expect. It’s just business. I’m sorry, I can’t disagree with you more.
Good point, thinking back the only reason we wound up with RBC (PNC) tower is because they were determined to make a mark on the skyline. Though we have to remember that RBC was not an especially large company.
The process is clearly broken. Those that comply with the process haven’t built anything and left a hole in the ground (whatever hotel was proposed adjacent to Paramount). Those that skirted the process (Revisn & McD) were able to build. Clearly, something needs to change.
I agree that if a large company relocates to DTR we will likely get a building with more height, but I do think we are missing out on current opportunities for some taller buildings due to what to me seems like unduly restrictive zoning. For example, Fallon said they would have gone taller on 301 Hillsborough, but they didn’t want the cost (time and money) and uncertainty of going through a rezoning request.