Feb 14, 2023 - Business

Raleigh firm seeks zoning OK for 20 stories south of I-40

A developer is asking for a 20-story rezoning on the highlighted parcels at 2700 S. Wilmington Street. Photo: Wake County GIS

Developer interest south of downtown Raleigh is not cooling down, with a 20-story project the latest to be proposed there.

  • The future of one area ā€” the South Wilmington Street corridor south of Interstate 40 ā€” is beginning to take shape.

Driving the news: Raleigh development firm Atlas Stark is asking the city to allow up to 20 stories of construction on eight acres around the 2700 block of South Wilmington Street, according to documents submitted to the city. That'sĀ a building height never before seen in that area.

  • Current zoning allows for three stories. The Triangle Business Journal first reported the rezoning application.

Context: The area south of downtown is dominated by three influential forces at the moment: the development of Dix Park, the future addition of a bus rapid transit line down Wilmington Street and Kane Realty's ambitious Downtown South project.

Why it matters: Properties along the Saunders Street and Wilmington Street corridors are quickly gaining value as the city invests in infrastructure there.

  • The high development interest has led to broad concerns about gentrification in the diverse and lower-income neighborhoods south of downtown. The city is currently considering new development rules and plans for the area in response.

What they're saying: "The city council recognizes that the public investment in [Dix] park and in bus-rapid transit ā€¦ put a lot of pressure on the Dix Edge Area," Bynum Walter, a senior planner for the city of Raleigh, recently told Axios in a phone interview.

  • Specifically, she said, many residents have expressed concerns over the future of affordable housing in the area.

By the numbers: The median sales price for a home in the area jumped 23% from 2019 to 2020 alone, according to the Dix Area Edge Study.

  • Atlas Stark paid around $15 million last year for the 15 parcels on Wilmington Street, according to county records.

Of note: Gabriel Guillois, a managing partner at Atlas Stark, was not available for comment on the proposal.

Plus: Just across the street from the property, developer David Meeker has plans to add space for restaurants, retail and offices.

  • Meeker told Axios last year that the future bus-rapid transit line on Wilmington will make the area feel more connected to downtown.
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