What a day!!!
June 12, 2008

Update on The Edison.
Lately, I have been under a lot of pressure to move on with at least a few updates, not only to keep the readers of RaleighMSA.com from sending me [polite] emails about the status of this website, but also because I didn't want to let the news pile up and become too old to be interesting. This morning, however, after reading today's News & Observer, I felt so ecstatic about the potential of our downtown, that I could not wait any longer. This update was the result of my enthusiasm, which will be explained in the following pragraph.

The good news came from Mr Gregg Sandreuter, a major local developer and one of the early believers in Downtown Raleigh's massive potential. Mr Sandreuter first illustrated his vision with the 15-story high-rise at the SW corner of Dawson and Morgan Streets. That vision was, unfortunately, scaled down to 5 stories, and materialized as the 5-story Dawson. The same developer proceeded silently with another vision, the 15-story West At North (16 floors if we count the large recreation room at the top of the building). The West At North has brought some attention an area that remains underdeveloped, with more projects coming.

About a year ago Mr Sandreuter was chosen by Progress Energy to develop most of the block bounded by Davie, Wilmington, Martin and Blount streets. The original plan that Mr Sandreuter developed consisted mainly of a 34-story hotel/residential tower - scaled up to 38 floors right before the plans were submitted - and a 24-story office component, both with some retail on the ground floor. This morning, however, we learned that The Edison has been upgraded to a much larger version. The following rendering (image is courtesy of JDavis Architects and cannot be used or distributed without permission) provides a great picture of the developer's current vision.

The Edison

The main characteristics of this project may be summarized in the following:

  • Two 38-story/574ft skyscrapers, each including 250,000sf of office space, 150 hotel rooms or condos, above-ground parking levels and street-level retail.
  • Two 28-story/369ft towers, each including 130 hotel rooms or condos, above-ground parking levels and street-level retail.
  • The first tower will break ground in 2010, with completion date in 2012. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2018.
  • The two taller high-rises will include outdoor swimming pools.
  • About 1600 parking spaces will be added.
  • Neil Gray of JDavis Architects is the lead architect of The Edison.
The developer has agreed to purchase the rest of the properties still standing on the Western side of the block. Clyde Cooper's BBQ and Reliable Loan & Jewelry, will remain on this block, as tenants of The Edison.

As for the impact on the skyline, let me emphasize that The Edison will seek LEED certication, which implies taller than normal buildings. I wish the architects had created a rendering showing the impact of this project to the skyline of our city, but it would be premature without having the final site plan approved.

Life beyond The Edison - The good news.
Although major proposals tend to remain in the spotlight for long, we need to keep our focus on other proposals, as well. If the New Projects section was ready, the next few paragraphs would have been redundant, but given how "quiet" RaleighMSA.com remained for so long, I would like to provide at least a few renderings on other exciting proposals, which will add to Downtown Raleigh's improved fabric - and skyline. More detailed information on these projects will be found in the New Projects section.

  1. Let's begin with Charter Square, formerly known as Site One. Obstacles of legal nature were removed, a new name was chosen and new renderings were released, courtesy of JDavis Architects.

    Charter Square - North-West corner

    Charter Square - South-West corner

  2. Very exciting was the release of the renderings for the proposed Clarence Lightner Public Safety Center, a city-sponsored project that will rise 18 stories above ground (15 regular + 3 mechanical floors). The City Manager has included this project into his budget proposal, but a final decision by the city officials has not been made yet. Image is courtesy of Kling Stubbins.

    Clarence Lightner Public Safety Center

  3. Another much anticipated public project is the new Wake County Justice Center. At 12 floors above ground (10 regular + 2 mechanical floors), and given the nature of this building, it will help the skyline and create some density near Nash Square. Image is courtesy of O'Brien/Atkins Associates.

    Wake County Justice Center

  4. Glenwood South's momentum continues, with yet-another great redevelopment effort, the Powerhouse Plaza. This 11-story/225,687sf midrise will include 6,861sf of retail/restaurant space in the ground floor, 5 floors/110,524sf of office space and 5 floors/134 rooms of hotel space. Powerhouse Plaza will also include a 5,440sf rooftop bar. Adjacent to the building will be a 6-level parking deck, with 397 spaces.

    Powerhouse Plaza

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