|| Welcome to the Capitol Camels
|| Campbell University from nearby Buies Creek has decided to move its 350 student law school to downtown Raleigh.
By having the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in downtown Raleigh, students will have access to the heart
of the state government. The school will relocate to be moving to 225 Hillsborough Street. (News and Observer)
|| Minor League Football Coming?
|| The United Football League is considering Raliegh as a possible location for a team.
This would be the leagues first season, and 8 teams will play from the 12 cities under consideration.
A possibility is that games would be played in Durham at Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium. (News and Observer)
|| Cary Chip Maker Adding Jobs
|| Chip manufacturer Qualcomm
is planning to add 150 workers to its existing workforce of about 200.
Jobs are in silicon chip design. (News and Observer)
|| New Corporate Headquarters
|| Currently located in Missouri, Ply Gem Industries
maker of vinyl construction materials is moving its
Headquarters to Cary next year. The move is expected to bring 100 jobs to the area. Incentives from
the One North Carolina Fund will be paid. (News and Observer)
|| Reynolds Tower gets Approved
|| After many design incarnations, false starts and threats of loss of government support, the latest version
of the Reynolds Tower has finally won approval. The latest incarnation is a 24 story building
on Hillsborough Street at the gateway to downtown. The plan is for mixed use between condominiums, hotel and shops.
If schedules can be maintained, construction should be completed by 2010. (News and Observer)
|| Butterball Moving to Garner
|| Seeking a more urban location for their corporate headquarters, turkey producer Butterball is moving to Garner.
The corporate offices will employ about 100 people. Some incentives were also used. (News and Observer)
|| Oasys Faces Bankruptcy
|| Local provider of cellular network content, Oasys Mobile, filed for Chapter 11 protection. (News and Observer)
|| Big Expansion for RBC
|| RBC Centura, part of Royal Bank of Canada, with its US Headquarters going up in downtown Raleigh is making
a large expansion through acquisition of Alabama National Bancorp. (News and Observer)
|| Winston Hotels Sells
|| Winston Hotels became a hot commodity recently on the acquisition market. Following an $850 million bid from
Wilbur Acquisition, the stock price surged leading to a subsequent $857 million bid from Inland American. Winston
accepted the latter bid. (News and Observer)
|| New Public Art
|| A new steel sculpture, inspired by the story of the Tuskeegee airmen, has been added to Chavis Park
in Southeast Raleigh. "Glimpses of the Promised Land" was ceated by Mike Roig of Carrboro. (News and Observer)
|| BD Expansion
|| BD, formerly Becton Dickinson, is looking to expand facilities in Durham. Plans include 50,000 sq. ft. of new
manufacturing space and up to 70 new jobs. (News and Observer)
|| State Government looking to expand in West Raleigh
|| This year's state budget may expand the presence of the state government in West Raleigh. Efforts include
plans for the expansion of the Museum of Art, an engineering complex for NCSU and offices on Blue Ridge Road for
the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. If DENR moves to West Raleigh, it could be a blow to
the downtown Green Square project. (News and Observer)
|| Plensa out, Plaza on
|| Although the original vision of a Fayetteville Street Plaza created by Juame Plensa fell through, the plaza
itself is not dead. The city council has approved $16 million to fund the plaza and related projects at the
south end of Fayetteville Street near the construction of the Convention Center, Marriott Hotel and Site One.
(News and Observer)
|| Yadkin Valley acquires Cardinal State Bank
|| Yadkin Valley Financial of Elkin has acquired Durham's Cardinal State Bank for $41.8 million dollars,
another instance of consolidation in the financial industry. (News and Observer)
|| Major expansion for NetApp
|| California based Network Appliances has announced plans to double it's RTP workforce by hiring
646 new employees at an average salary estimated to be $94,000. Incentive grants of about $16
million will depend on the companies successful expansion. The plan also includes a new
130,000 sq. ft. data center. (News and Observer)
|| Mayor makes low bid for Dix
|| There is much momentum for conversion of the closing Dix Hospital campus to a major urban park.
Many obstacles remain along the path. One notable problem is assessing the value of the land.
The campus belongs to the state, and many have estimated its value at $40 million or more.
When Mayor Meeker suggested recently that the city may offer $10.5 million, a figure derived
from assessing the land value on the assumption it will be park and not developed, the response
from many in state government ranged from amusement to derision. (News and Observer)
|| NCSU to expand Vet School
|| The North Carolina State College of Vetrinary Medicine in West Raleigh is about to undergo major
expansion. The university has announced a 20 year, $500 million expansion, estimated to eventually
quadruple the facilities on the campus. This project will include partnership buildings, much like
with the model established at Centennial Campus, which will bring private enterprise into close
relationship with academic research. Included in plans is the start, possibly as early as spring, of
construction of the new Randall Terry Companion Animal Hospital. (News and Observer)
|| Landmark Sold
|| For years passers by on Hillsborough Street have been greeted by the big Yellow Bulldozer sign on the roof
of an industrial building. The building has now been sold to Bob Young, a founder of Red Hat software.
The site may either be upgraded and retained, or Mr. Young may partner to redevelop. (News and Observer)
|| Lenovo Layoffs
|| Lenovo, in an effort to cut costs is making layoffs across the US. This includes a loss of 350 local jobs.
At the same time, Lenovo is making new efforts including using retail stores as an outlet to the consumer
market. (News and Observer)
|| Reynolds Tower hits roadblock
|| The Reynolds tower project, on Hillsborough Street, may be in trouble. After years of negotiations, the developers are once again
requesting changes. Reynolds and Reynolds would like to change the design to a 27 story building without
the office component. In addition the new plan would include more hotel and condominium space. This could
present a problem since the developers have a deadline of October to start building the shell of the building.
The changes will require city approval which will take time. (News and Observer)
|| Cree to donate artwork
|| LED manufacturer Cree, Inc. continues to build good relations with the City of Raleigh. Cree will donate
$1 million to pay for an art project for the new Fayetteville Street Plaza area. The artwork will be a
shimmer wall, comprised of small moving metal parts that create a kinetic experience. (News and Observer)
|| Raleigh to get four new festivals
|| Part of any redevelopment is giving people something to do that will attract the visitors inward. In this regard
the city is making progress. It was recently announced that four new annual festivals will be added to the annual
schedule. The festivals will include a Visual Arts and Fine Crafts event, a Holiday Performance festival, a
Festival of Puppetry and a Muti-Disciplinary arts festival. The non-profit Artsplosure will manage the events.
(News and Observer)
|| Reynolds Tower to be a Reality
|| After years of proposals, promises and extensions, the Reynolds One Tower is set to become a reality.
has received approvals, in a 32 story form, from both the Planning Commission and the City Council.
This tower will be similar in size to Two Hannover, RBC US HQ and the Wachovia building, but have the
advantage of having a foundation on higher ground. Due to its location, it will also serve as a bridge
between development in the Central Business District and new development in Glenwood South. The building
will be mixed use with retail at ground level, then parking deck, followed by offices, condominiums and hotel,
and finally topped by a glass crown which they will light at night. (News and Observer)
|| Best City for Jobs
|| Forbes.com has named the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area the nation's Best City
For Jobs for 2007. Raleigh beat out Pheonix-Mesa and Jacksonville, Florida. (News and Observer)
|| Kay Yow Honored
|| Congratulations to Kay Yow, longtime women's basketball coach at North Carolina State, who has just
had the court at historic Reynolds Colliseum named for her. Kay recently reached the 700 win
plateau, despite a years long public battle with Breast Cancer.
(News and Observer)
|| The Rotaries that would not die
|| Just when it seemed the plan for a revitalization of Hillsborough Street had died due to concerns
about the traffic impacts of 2 lanes and traffic circles, the plan has morphed and been
resurrected. A new $4 million plan would put only 2 additional traffic circles, one at Hillborough and
Pullen Road and the other at Oberlin and Groveland. The plan would add about 100 parking spaces and
would bury unsightly utilities. In the new plan a smaller part of the road will be reduced to 2 lanes
of traffic, which may still push traffic to Wade and Western. The new plan blazed through the city council and
was approved 6-2, with Isley and Craven declining. (News and Observer)
|| Dix306 Organizes
|| Supporters of the idea to preserve the entire Dix Hospital lot as open parkland have organized a
campaign called Dix306. Most everyone agrees that a large portion of the lot should be
preserved, and in actuality some of the area is unsuited to development. However, there remains
significant dispute on whether the whole site should be preserved or part should be sold off
to private development to help fund costs of acquiring the land from the state. More information
on the preservation proposals can be found at dix306.org .
|| WRDU Changes Format
|| A couple of months ago, WRDU, a classic rock station, changed format to Country. The new format will
be known as "the Rooster." (News and Observer)
|| History Museum Director to Retire
|| The N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh will have to search for a new director. Current director
Elizabeth Buford has announced a March 1 retirement. The Museum is a major attraction for the area. Last
year 289,000 visitors attended, fifth best for cultural attractions in the state. (News and Observer)
|| Tekelec getting sued
|| Tekelec, which recently relocated its headquarters to the Triangle, is embroiled in a lawsuit with Bouygues
Telecom of France. Bouygues blames an 18 hour cellular network outage on equipment provided by Tekelec.
Tekelec claims equipment misuse. The lawsuit is for the huge sum of $140 million. (News and Observer)
|| Wachovia Tower sells for record
|| The Wachovia Capital Center building, one of
the most prominent in the Raleigh skyline, has sold for a record price for office space. The 29 story tower sold to Argus
Realty Investors of California for $153.4 million, or $278 per square foot. (News and Observer)
|| The Neuse Trail Proposed
|| Mayor Charles Meeker, as part of his new agenda for the city, is proposing a city trail along the Neuse.
The trail would follow alongside the river from the Falls Lake Dam all the way to the Johnston County Line.
For a start, the mayor proposes an $8-10 million bond referendum. Trail costs are estimated at $1 million
per mile, with the total vision being 28 total miles. (News and Observer)
|| Hillsborough Roundabouts Fail
The proposed project to compress Hillsborough Street to a two lane, pedestrian friendly byway,
with roundabouts replacing traffic light intersections failed to win approval from the city
council. The project failed to win the support of either Philip Isley or Joyce Kekas. Major
concerns were over a reduction in total parking and a reduction in east west traffic without
provision of an alternate corridor. (News and Observer)
|| Angus Barn Chef wins Iron Chef America
A late congratulations out to Walter Royal, executive chef at Raleigh's famous
Angus Barn. Recently he competed with Iron Chef Cat Cora and his ostrich
based dishes were good enough to win. (News and Observer)
|| St. Augustine's Reaches 140
|| Congratulations to
St. Augustine College. The traditionally black college in the heart of
Raleigh was founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Church to educate former slaves. Current enrollment is
just over 1000 students. Many events are planned for this celebration concluding in a Saturday gala.
(News and Observer)
|| Merck Plans Expand
|| Pharmaceutical giant Merck has recently announced plans to increase the size of an
already ongoing expansion in Durham. The company expects to expand the plan by
about 50 or 60 jobs and to spend an additional $100 million on a manufacturing
facility. The new plan is construction of a facility to accommodate almost 250 workers.
(News and Observer)
|| Monet in Normandy Closes
|| "Monet in Normandy", a large collection of masterpieces on exhibit at the N.C. Museum of
Art proved to be a huge success. The exhibit is now closed. The N.C. Museum of Art has
improved the calibre of it's recent exhibits, including Rodin, Alphonse Mucha and others,
but Monet was widely considered the top yet.
|| Historic Latta House lost to Fire
|| A Monday, January 8th morning fire broke out at the historic Latta House gutting the building.
The fire resulted in a total loss. The Latta house, near Cameron Village, was the last remaining
building from a vocational school for freed slaves. It was built in the 1880s by Rev. Morgan Latta,
a former slave and Shaw University graduate and became a school in 1892. For the last decade caretaker "Shep" has
been a well known figure and advocate around town for this historic site. There are discussions
about a monument to be built on the site, but that can only ease a tragic loss for the city of Raleigh.
(News and Observer)
|| Verizon NOC Expanding
|| First announced in the summer, the former MCI facility in Cary, now Verizon Network Operations
Center is growing by about 200 employees. This facility provides network operations and
support for other major corporations including: ABN Amro, Citigroup, BP, and the Department
of Homeland Security. (News and Observer)
|| Major Law Firm Merges
|| The oldest law firm in North Carolina, Maupin Taylor, is merging with
Williams Mullen of Richmond, VA. The combined entity will now be
headquartered in Richmond. (News and Observer)
|| Government and Business Work Together
|| The city of Raleigh and Cree Research are partnering with a Dallas
light fixture manufacturer, to put LED based lighting into a downtown
parking deck. The partnership is mutually beneficial, with the
government expected to save on power cost and Cree getting proof of
concept in a new market area. (News and Observer)
|| We're #10
|| New information from the US Census indicates that North Carolina has now
passed New Jersey to become the 10th largest state in the union.
North Carolina is now estimated to have 8.85 million people, a gain of over
180,000 since last year. Next target on the list is Georgia, with 9.63 million
people. (News and Observer)
|| Red Hat Goes Mainstream
|| Triangle company Red Hat, as an open source software leader, has a reputation
for being outside the establishment. Recently the company joined the most
established of the establishment, switching from Nasdaq to the New York
Stock Exchange. (News and Observer)
|| Quintiles Expanding
|| Key local employer, Quintiles Transnational is expanding its local headquarters.
900 good jobs averaging about $65000 will be created in the next few years.
State and local incentives ($25m) were used to keep this expansion from moving to the
Kansas City metropolitan area. (News and Observer)
|| Leader of the Free World?
|| Area resident John Edwards has declared a second run for President of the United States.
In the last election, Mr. Edwards fell short of his parties nomination but was Vice
Presidential running mate to Senator John Kerry. Mr. Edwards, a former trial lawyer and
U.S. Senator will seek the nomination of the Democratic party. (News and Observer)
|| A Bit of Garnish
|| Wake County commissioners and the Raleigh City council recently met and agreed to extend
the new convention center
price tag by $6.4 million. Half will be a reserve fund and the other
half will add touches to the building including skylights, stone flooring and kitchen equipment.
This comes soon after good news that the convention center's advance bookings are ahead of
schedule, with 3 international, 11 national and 18 local conventions already booked. (News and Observer)
|| Extreme Makeover: Mordecai
|| Popular cabletelevision show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recently made an appearance in Raleigh.
The program features selection of a needy family and a teardown and replacement of their home.
This time the Riggins family of Poplar Street in Mordecai was selected and whisked off to Florida while their home
was replaced. As many as 2000 people showed up for the staged revealing.
Because this is a historic district and they tore down the existing house, there was some
controversy. In general though, it is an opportunity for some good press for Raleigh, while at the same
time benefitting a deserving family. (News and Observer)
|| Plensa Sculpture Falls Through
|| The planned Fayetteville St. sculpture by reknowned Spanish artist Juama Plensa
fell through after issues with the City Manager and City Council. Due to the
late rejection of the plans and a set of complex demands for a revision, the
initial gift to pay for the sculpture has been rescinded. (News and Observer)
|| Llewellyn Extended
|| Popular N.C. Symphony conductor Grant Llewellyn has had his contract
extended early. Mr. Llewellyn is now under contract through 2012.
(News and Observer)
|| Talecris to Grow
|| RTP pharmaceutical company Talecris is set to grow by about 1000 employees
due to purchase of a national chain of blood plasma collection centers.
(News and Observer)
|| LVL7 sold to Broadcom
|| Local software company LVL7, a specialist in managing internet traffic, has been purchased
for $62m by Broadcom of California. LVL7 was rapidly growing and is complementary to
Broadcom, a chipmaker for consumer and communication equipment. (News and Observer)
|| Embrex sold to Pfizer
|| Embrex, a local biotech company and manufacturer of poultry vaccination products has agreed to
be sold to Pfizer Animal Health division for $155m. Most local employees are expected to be
retained. This deal makes millionaires of several Embrex executives: Randall Marcuson, CEO, Don Seaquist,
CFO, David Baines, VP Marketing and Sales, Joseph O'Dowd, VP Development and Catherine Ricks, former VP
Research and Development. (News and Observer)
|| RBC Tower Approved and Underway
|| The RBC Tower
has won its necessary approvals and the project is beginning to get
underway. The plan takes the tower up to 530 feet, with 30 stories give or take one.
Much of the height comes from a decorative cap on the building. Plans are to have
the tower lit at nights to highlight it on the skyline. The building will consist
of ground floor shops and restaurants, 8 stories of parking, then 10 stories of
office space and then 10 stories of condominiums at the top before the cap.
Condos are expected to price between about $200,000 and $800,000. (News and Observer)
|| Centennial Campus Lawsuit
|| A residential project, North Shore, planned for Centennial Campus has stalled out and headed
for court. A joint project between Craig Davis and Comstock Homes has ended in a split between
the partners and confusion over who should be responsible. Only 33 of 358 planned townhomes
were built, causing loan defaults. (News and Observer)
|| School Bonds Pass
|| Yesterday's election confirmed the success of the Wake County school bonds proposal.
As a result, over $1b is planned on facility improvements to the school system. Most
spending would be additional schools to handle growth, while some will be for
renovations of existing schools. Mandatory year round schools have made this a
controversial subject, but additional spending on local schools appears necessary
due to population demographics.
|| Fidelity Expansion Confirmed
|| Fidelity Investments has confirmed a local expansion that could lead to as many as 2000
new local good paying jobs. This is in addition to the nearly 1000 jobs
Fidelity already provides to the area. Fidelity plans to build a new regional campus in RTP.
Government incentives were paid to lure this deal. (News and Observer)
|| Monet at Museum of Art
|| The North Carolina Museum of Art has brought in a high profile exhibit, to great
benefit to Raleigh cultural opportunity. The exhibit, Monet in Normandy, will
feature 50 works by the impressionist painter. (News and Observer)
|| RBC Lands Tenant
|| Poyner & Spruill, one of the largest area law firms, has announced a move to the
just under construction
RBC building. This 120 employee firm intends to occupy
about 55,000 sq. ft. The firm is moving from Glenwood Avenue. (News and Observer)
|| Bolton Bankruptcy
|| Bolton, a home repair and general contractor, which has operated in Raleigh for 81 years
has been broken into pieces and sold off as result of bankruptcy. Bolton was as large
as a 500 employee company as recently as 2000. Residential service portions of the business
were already sold to EMC of Richmond and continue to operate. (News and Observer)
|| Redhat acquires JBoss
|| Redhat software, leader in the Linux open source operating system market, has acquired
J2EE open source application server provider JBoss for an estimated $420 million.
|| Chemical Fire
|| Apex recently made national news in an unfortunate way as a major fire broke out at EQ,
a hazardous waste transfer facility. Thousands were evacuated for more than a day.
Luckily the extent of the damage does not appear catastrophic. (WPTF)
|| Urban Land Institute Reviewing Dix Hill
|| The Urban Land Institute, a think tank for major urban redevelopment, has been hired by the legislature
to study options on how to redevelop Dix Hill once Dorthea Dix Hospital closes. The site, overlooking
downtown is a large tract of valuable lightly developed real estate. This is the second study after
proposals by LandDesign of Charlotte and public submissions lead to no consensus. (News & Observer)
|| Gandhi Statue Downtown
|| Next year , the Indian American Forum for Political Education in North Carolina plans to dedicate
a Mahatma Gandhi statue by the Exploris Museum. (News & Observer)
|| Soleil Center Delayed
|| Although the site is already cleared of the old Sheraton, plans for groundbreaking on the Soleil Center
have been delayed until early next year. (News & Observer)
|| Fayetteville Street Reopens
|| After spending many years as a pedestrian mall, but lacking the pedestrians for the most part, the
central business district's Fayetteville Street Mall has returned to being Fayetteville St. A multi-million
dollar city investment has recreated a two lane road with parallel parking along the sides. A drive
down the street gives a rider a genuine urban feel which will only be enhanced by the RBC building.
|| Wake Tech may continue expansions
|| Wake County Technical Community College, already planning a northern Wake campus is already looking into
plans for a 3rd campus for the western part of the county. Wake Tech's northern campus is to open
on US401. The western campus may end up on land near SAS soccer park, but that is not yet determined. (News and Observer)
|| Drug Plant lands in Holly Springs
|| Congratulations to Holly Springs which recently announced that drug maker Novartis is going to build a plant.
The plant, estimated at $400 million, will bring up to 400 new jobs to the area. (News and Observer)
|| Cary gets Professional Sports Franchise
|| The Carolina Railhawks of the
USL (United States Soccer League) will begin competing next season.
Games will be played at the SAS Soccer stadium. (News and Observer)
|| Southend Brewery closes
|| One of the earliest restaurants to pop up during the revitalization of Glenwood South, Southend Brewery
and its unique microbrews has come to an end. A steak and sashimi restaurant will replace it. (Raleighing)
|| RBC Center Upgrades
|| Despite its young age there are already plans in the works for upgrades to the RBC Center, home of the NC State
Wolfpack and Carolina Hurricanes. Renovations would include improvements to the sound system and concessions
upgrades. (News and Observer)
|| Carolina Hurricanes bring home Lord Stanley's Cup
|| Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes of the
National Hockey League . This years team navigated their
way all through the playoffs and succeeded in bringing to North Carolina its first championship in a
major professional sport. The reaction across the city has been immense, with many shops and cars
plastered with pro-Hurricanes messages. Money determines everything, but the Canes have proven that this
Southern cities citizens can embrace the sport of Hockey. The cup has already been seen partying in
Glenwood South and who knows what other adventures it may see.
|| Heels in CWS
|| Congratulations to our neighboring UNC Tarheels baseball team, which reached the College World Series, falling just short
of a championship. (News and Observer)
|| TS Alberto Floods Raleigh
|| Raleigh was overwhelmed with 7+ inches of rain from the remnants of TS Alberto. Several creeks flooded
including Crabtree and Walnut Creeks. Damage was serious but not catastrophic.
|| This morning DH Griffin Co. imploded the old Sheraton Hotel at Crabtree to make way for the
Soleil Center. Images of the implosion are available on the
Soleil Center page.
|| Condo Boom Continues
|| The Glenwood South condominium boom continues with two new proposals. The first is 14 story West
planned for 413 North Harrington. The second is North Street, a 10 story proposal to replace the
church on North Street. (News and Observer)
|| Soleil Center 2 Envisioned
|| Developers preparing to build the 42 story Soleil Center have extended plans to
include a second building. This building, Soleil II, would house 18 stories filled
primarily with office space. They believe the combination of high end hotel with
nearby offices will appeal to the office rental market. This would bring the budget
for the total two building project to about $185m. (WRAL, Raleighing)
|| Durham Going Vertical
|| A development group led by Carl Webb is working on plans for an office tower in
Downtown Durham at the former site of Woolworth. The $9m tower would be similar
in size to the SunTrust (former CCB) 17 story tower. Ground floor stores and a
museum dedicated to the history of Parrish (Black Wall Street) Street.
(News and Observer)
|| Media General buys NBC-17
|| Richmond, Virginia based Media General corporation has agreed to purchase NBC-17.
Media General is expected to try to upgrade the local newscasts. Purchase price
is around $600m, but includes 3 other stations in Ohio, Alabama and Rhode Island.
(News and Observer)
|| Chandeliers Rejected
|| A difficult decision, since no public funds were to be spent, but the city council has
rejected putting multi-colored glass art chandeliers on Fayetteville St. Many citizens
were concerned that the artwork was too peculiar and may not fit well in the
surroundings. Its possible that some could be placed in a different location but its
not clear if the donor would still be interested in such a compromise. (News and Observer)
|| Credit Suisse Expansion
|| Credit Suisse has decided to expand its RTP operations by 400 workers. This is in addition to the
existing 350 or so workers. These jobs will pay an average salary of $86,000. (News and Observer)
|| Impact Fees Hiked
|| In a compromise deal, the city of Raleigh agreed to a 72% increase to impact fees on new development.
This was less than sought by Mayor Meeker but will raise some additional revenue for the city
to offset the costs of the influx of new citizens. Impact fees on a single family home will increase
from $682 to about $1170. (News and Observer)
|| Site One Approved
|| Raleigh City Council approves plans to go ahead with Site One plan proposed by TMC Group. (Raleighing)
|| Site One Grows
|| Recently announced plans for the Site One project (old convention center site) have increased
the size from previous proposals. The new proposal increases the building sizes to 20 and 14
stories (previous plans were 15 and 8 stories). The plan will include both office and condo
components, with rooftop pools possible on both buildings. A small retail component in the form
of health club and/or movie theatre is under consideration. This project would expand the skyscape
of the Central Business District to the south. The development group is a collection of companies:
East-West, Craig Davis, Beacon St. and White Oak. Completion would be at the end of 2008. (Raleighing, WRAL)
|| 712 Tucker Approved
|| The Raleigh City Council has approved 712 Tucker St, also known as the Raleigh Office Supply
project. This project will add 175 units to Glenwood South, at first as rentals and eventually
sold to individual owners. This comes as 222 Glenwood begins construction. The next step of the
revitalization of Glenwood South is now underway. (News and Observer)
|| Durham Infill
|| University Tower in Durham, as a 17 story tower outside the central business district,
has long seemed out of place. A recent proposal was announced to add additional offices,
retail and residential buildings surrounding the tower. None of these buildings are
expected to even reach half the height of University Tower. As a result, when not close
by, these structures may not help create a coherant mini-downtown effect. Soleil Center
in Raleigh has similar concerns since even though some significant structures are in the
area, nothing has a comparable skyline profile. (News and Observer)
|| More Condos Proposed
|| Empire properties is negotiating with the county to do some additional construction as part
of the new Criminal Courthouse Project. Behind the courthouse are plans for a 7 story parking
deck. Empire Properties is looking to build a structure on two sides of this deck. The structure
would have retail on the first floor and four stories of condos above. (News and Observer)
|| Collonade II Proposed
|| Spectrum Properties is trying to build a second matching office building at Collonade, one of
a twin pair of suburban office parks (along with Forum Center) far into North Raleigh. This building
would be 126,000 square feet of offices. Across the street is the construction of Forum V a similar
capacity but more vertical office building. (News and Observer)
|| Lenovo Campus
|| This was announced some time ago, but Duke Realty is in the process of building Lenovo a new
500,000 square foot, $154m campus in Morrisville. (News and Observer)
|| Huge Real Estate Deal
|| BPG Properties of Pennsylvania made a bold move into the Triangle market. They have purchased
4.4 million square feet of industrial and office space across the area for $250 million. (News and Observer)
|| Fayetteville St. Sculpture
|| Renowned artist Juame Plensa has revealed initial plans for his plaza sculpture for the
far end of the Fayetteville St. project. The design features a grassy square surrounded by
black granite streets. From the center a spotlight beams straight into the sky. An overhead
wire canopy will display messages overhead and will drip a curtain of water.
The project is funded by a private donation. (News and Observer)
|| Bristol Coming?
|| Bristol Myers Squib may be considering a large expansion in the area. Possibly in Holly Springs. (WRAL)
|| Convention Hotel Approved
|| The city council has finally come to agreement with developer's on the downtown convention
center hotel design. The amount of artificial stucco has been reduced to 1/4 of the exterior
surface. This, along with other changes, were enough to win approval to proceed. Along with
this the city has approved building of an adjacent parking deck below the old convention
center site. (Raleighing, News and Observer)
|| Cryptozoology Fever Strikes
|| In Fuquay, reports which include photographs, show an unidentified creature roaming the woods
near the Tyco plant. This creature looks similar to a fox but has a short coat and strange tail.
While some think it is a Wampas Cat from folklore, experts think a genetic anomoly of a Sampson fox
is more likely. (News and Observer)
|| Nowhere is Immune
|| Unfortunately, a recent Muslim graduate of UNC-CH has committed a politically motivated
attack on campus. The individual drove an SUV through a pedestrian plaza while crowded.
The motive for the attack appears to be revenge on America for its treatment of Muslims
worldwide. Hate crime and terrorism charges may be added to attempted murder and assault
with a deadly weapon charges. This is the first major North Carolina tie to terrorism
since a cigarette smuggling ring, raising funds for Palestinian terrorism was broken up
in the Charlotte area. Initial impression is that this was one individual acting alone but
investigation continues. (News and Observer)
|| Freedom Monument Project
|| A team has been selected to design a new downtown monument to honor African American experiences
in North Carolina history. The team consists of artist Juan Logan, historian Lyneise Williams and
architect David Swanson. Current plans place the monument at the corner of Wilmington and Lane
streets in the State Government area. The project is being coordinated by the Paul Green Foundation
and will be paid for in private donations. (News and Observer)
|| Park Gift
|| Dr. Annie Louside Wilkerson who served the area community for many years. In a long quiet agreement
with the city, she would leave her 155 acre lot near Falls Lake to the city. The provisions were that
the land must be used as a nature educational park. As a result the Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature
Park is in the cities future. (News and Observer)
|| Nuclear Future
|| Progress Energy is pursuing plans to add two additional reactors to the Shearon Harris plant
outside metropolitan Raleigh. This would represent an early reentrant into the previously
stagnant nuclear power plant development field. (News and Observer)
|| Private Zoo Closing
|| Triangle Metro Zoo in Wake Forest is closing its doors. (News and Observer)
|| Possible Museum Merger
|| Exploris and Playspace are in talks to do things together in the future.
Exploris needs more visitors and Playspace needs room. (News and Observer)
|| Fidelity Expansion
|| Fidelity investments is considering expanding in Research Triangle Park. Fidelity currently has
about 940 regional workers. Speculation has this growing to about 5000 good paying jobs. It is
too early to tell if Fidelity plans to move forward on this. (News and Observer)
|| Downtown Apartments Finally
|| Updates to downtown housing have been largely in the form of upscale condos. This starves the market
for middle income young professionals. Gordon Smith, Exploris Museum founder, is planning to develop
170 apartments on the east side of Downtown. (News and Observer)
|| Regional Rail not on track
|| The TTA plan for a regional rail system continues to run into struggles getting federal funding.
The Federal Transit Administration has given TTA until September 30th to resolve concerns about
ridership with Raleigh Durham population density. (News and Observer)
|| Siding complicates convention hotel
|| A hotel planned to be built adjacent to the new convention center and partially funded using
taxpayer money is being complicated by developer plans to use a synthetic stucco material,
known as EIFS for the siding. The city council is concerned this represents a cheap style of
development right at the centerpiece of the downtown revitalization. The Comprehensive Planning
Commission declined to support the project, and the full council has delayed pending a
meeting with the architects on Feb. 21. (News and Observer)
|| Professional Soccer
|| Cary is set to field a professional soccer team in the first division of the USL next year.
The team is yet to be named. USL is described to be the level below MLS. (News and Observer)
|| Convention Center costs rising
|| Current estimates for the convention center project are now at $215 million. This is an increase
of $23 million from previous estimates. (News and Observer)
|| Reynolds One project still alive
|| Reynolds Group, developers of the Quorum Center, have plans to build the largest tower downtown.
The Reynolds One project is planned for Hillsborough St. and has been pending since 2001. The
developers have been struggling to prelease the office space. Deadlines for the developer have
been extended, since a preliminary plan has been submitted. More progress is necessary with the
city still considering exercising buyback rights on the property if movement is not seen by April. (News and Observer)
|| Capitol Capital
|| Triange venture capital is up significantly after a couple of slow years. Triangle innovators
received an estimated $412 million in venture capital in 2005. (News and Observer)
|| Huge Real Estate Deal
|| BPG Properties of Pennsylvania recently purchased approximately $250 million in industrial and
commercial Raleigh property from Jack Parker Corp. This represents 65 buildings, 4.4 million square feet
and 12 additional acres. (News and Observer)
|| Knightdale going upscale
|| Knightdale is publicizing its new planning document. Its part of a coordinated effort
to upgrade the class of new construction in Knightdale. Specific efforts include sign
limitations and avoidance of metal or mobile buildings. Additionally, Knightdale has informed
developers that approval is more likely for projects where new single family homes meet at
least 85% of the average home price in Wake County. This is in contrast to the generally
bargain prices of many existing homes in Knightdale. (News and Observer)
|| Whole Foods Breaking Wind
|| Just kidding. Whole Foods, the organic grocer, will be powering its Raleigh store with wind energy.
Actually, they are buying enough wind energy to cover all their stores. However, some of this
energy may not be distributable to end points, so they will handle it with vouchers. (NPR, CNN)
|| Fayetteville St. Lights
|| Raleigh plans to add multicolored standing chandaliers along Fayetteville St. On a private donation
Raleigh also plans to add some public art by a reknowned Spanish artist. (Raleighing)
|| Local TV Station for Sale
|| WNCN NBC 17 is being put up for sale by NBC Universal. (News Observer)
|| Museum Expansion
|| Plans for Museum of Natural Sciences expansion, known as Green Square project announced.
Will include 4 story globe visible from inside and out, and a bridge to rest of museum across
Salisbury St. Will also house SECU and NC-DENR. Museum improvements here, at NC Art Museum and
with Exploris are making North Carolina a credible museum destination. (WRAL, Raleighing)
|| Ericsson announces IP Division move to Centential Campus at NCSU
|| The IPI Division of Ericsson will be consolidating and bringing the division headquarters
to NC State’s Centennial Campus. Their move from Rockville, Maryland, will create additional skilled jobs
in the market. Centennial Campus is beginning to bloom as a business park, with this adding accent to
the presence of Red Hat Linux. (NCSU)
|| Progress announces plan to develop downtown block
|| Progress Energy announces plan to develop block north of new headquarters building.
Will split project with Highwoods and start by developing a 5-7 story parking deck.
Part of parking deck will be used for new RBC Headquarters. Both residential and retail
development are expected to follow. This will force relocations as the block is the home to
some historic businesses including Reliable Loan and Clyde Cooper's Barbecque. However,
the buildings gave a blighted feel right at a key location in the Central Business District.
(News and Observer, Raleighing)
|| Soleil group trying to acquire adjacent lot
|| The group developing the Soleil Center is seeking to acquire the adjacent lot for additional
development. The lot is currently housing a small office building for Capital Bank.
Capital Bank is set to move to 333 Corporate Plaza downtown. This is not the Navigent Financial
building with the digital clock, but the next building along Glenwood Avenue. (News and Observer)
|| Buchanan's Nursery Shutting Doors
|| Longstanding Raleigh business Buchanan's Nursery on Western Boulevard is closing down.
Final auction of remaining materials is January 14th at 10am. The closing of this local
icon is unfortunate. (News and Observer)