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Developing Downtown Raleigh in 2017

Developing Downtown Raleigh in 2017

All corners of the Triangle have development projects ready to get the green light. In 2017, there are a large number of projects going on around the Triangle. From commercial development to office spaces, hotels and warehouses, the projects are seemingly endless.

2017 Construction Projects in Downtown Raleigh

Much like Chapel Hill, downtown Raleigh is evolving, and there are many projects ready to head underway. Here are nine local development projects and construction works in the Raleigh area.

Union Station

This project is prepared to open in 2018 in the Warehouse District downtown. The Union Station transit hub is a $90 million project, located on Martin Street. What is this project going to accomplish?


One of the first phases of the project is to move the Amtrak station on Cabarrus street to a warehouse on Martin Street. This phase also includes:

  • larger waiting room with better amenities for Amtrak passengers and customers
  • commercial rental space provided for retail, office, or restaurants to give passengers everything they need in their travels
  • a closed concourse between station and platform
  • a large public plaza near West Street and Martin Street, intended as a “urban gathering space” and event space

The next phase of the project includes a regional commuter rail, local and regional buses, taxis, bicycles, and other kinds of transportation. The goal is to create a multi-modal center that can accommodate the demand for new transportation services, such as the Wake County Transit Plan.

The Dillon

the Dillon in Downtown Raleigh

Kane Realty is set to finish this 17-story tower in 2018. The tower is across from Union Station, and construction is already underway. Exciting, right? The Dillon is a $150 million complex of rental office and apartment spaces. The design is intriguing, using the bricks of the old Dillon Supply Company warehouse to stay true to the area’s industrial past.

What’s interesting about this project is that it’s part of the Brownfields Program, which lets housing or building developers clean up a polluted property to be safe enough for use in the future. The Dillon is one of 400 development projects statewide, the earliest of which going back 19 years.

“Without the state Brownfields Program, we would likely have 400 sites in North Carolina that would be unusable and sitting empty,” Donald van der Vaart, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, said. “Instead, we’ve been able to make these sites productive again, and achieve a cleaner environment and a more vibrant economy for many North Carolina communities.

26 more Brownfields projects are in the works in Wake County and Durham.

North Hills Project

Kane Realty is also working to expand North Hills on the east side of Six Forks Road. This area is about to get a lot bigger! With the plan to buy or lease 34 acres east towards Wake Forest Road, the size of North Hills is doubling. Lead developer of Kane Realty, John Kane, explains he would like to create and build new apartments, offices, and even retail space.

“There are a number of more projects coming,” Kane explains. “It’s just timing and market demand.”

Target on Hillsborough St

Target on Hillsborough Street in Downtown Raleigh

How Hillsborough Street has changed! In the last few years, new businesses have come to Hillsborough Street and NC State. In October, a small Target will be developed across the street from the North Campus of NC State. Could Target be any more convenient for students?

Forest Ridge Park

Complete with a ropes course, playground, and six miles of biking or hiking trails, this development project is at the corner of N.C. 98 and Old Falls of Neuse Road. This park has been in the works since 2006, but according to schedule it should be finished this summer, 2017. Eventually, the park will also include a lakeside center, an overnight lodge, a disc golf course, and other exciting things.

The Forest Ridge Park is one of the last of its kind funded by the $50 million parks and greenway bond, approved in 2003 by Raleigh voters.

Morgan Street Food Hall

Downtown Raleigh

Food Halls or Markets are becoming more and more popular. Why shouldn’t they? Having lots of options when you’re hungry, all housed under one roof, is like a dream come true.

The Morgan Street Food Hall and Market will open this year in either late spring or early summer. This is the first project of its kind in our area, housing 65 different food vendors within the 22,000 square-foot space. Don’t worry, there’s a food hall coming to Chapel Hill, too!

New Supermarkets

The Triangle is loaded with Kroger, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and Lowes food stores. New grocery stores are coming into the area though, and we’re waiting excitedly for them.

Publix, a Florida-based grocery store, is coming to a shopping center at the intersection of Leesville and Strickland roads. This grocery store chain might remind you of Harris Teeter, with fantastic fresh foods and meat and deli counters. However, the prices are a little more attractive. The meat selection is one of the best qualities about this store, with a bakery section that will give the meat a run for its money.

Wegmans is the second new grocery store coming to Raleigh. While there are already two stores in Cary and Chapel Hill, Wegmans is coming to Raleigh by Six Fords Road, in the plaza with Trader Joe’s. Think of Wegmans like Walmart, but upscale and upgraded. Basically, this grocery store divides up the sections of its interior into smaller areas, like faux-stores. Complete with salad and hot bars, Wegmans isn’t an errand. It’s an event.

Projects near Boylan Heights

A three-story condo project is in the works in the Boylan Heights neighborhood, not too far from Cameron Village. This project, dubbed 611 West South, is headed by Lambert Development. The intention is to have the project finished by early 2018.

Real Estate Experts

Raleigh is always growing and evolving. You can keep up with downtown Raleigh’s growth here.

If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Raleigh and other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at
[email protected] for additional information.  We can’t wait to welcome you to your new home.


What’s Up With Wake County’s New Transit Plan

What’s Up With Wake County’s New Transit Plan

Wake County has a massive population, growing by an estimated 64 people per day. Many of us are used to the long commutes, heavy traffic, and frustration associated with said growing population. However, in November, Wake County voters were heard and the Wake County Transit Plan was approved! The Wake County Transit Plan isn’t news to any Triangle residents.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plan, here’s a quick summary of the Wake County Transit Plan.

  • Build a frequent “Bus Rapid Transit” network in high-traffic areas that will incorporate dedicated bus lanes, level boarding platforms, and other enhanced features that will improve the speed and quality of service.
  • Create a brand-new commuter rail line that will utilize preexisting tracks to provide a backbone of passenger train service across the county, thereby enabling people to completely avoid daily road traffic congestion.
  • Expand the frequent network (which is every 15 minutes) from 17 miles to 83 miles. All service will be be expanded to 19 hours a day.
  • Provide triple the current bus service in just the first few years, connecting each town in the county.

According to Wake Transit, the implementation of this plan could take more than one million miles of travel off our roads every single day. How? By offering people attractive alternatives to driving. More than 50 percent of homes and 70 percent of jobs will be within half a mile of a transit stop across Wake County. Talk about efficiency!

GoTransit discusses its key role in transforming Triangle transit. Check out what’s in store.

In November 2016, Wake County voters agreed to raise the county’s sales tax rate by a half-percent in order to fund the $2.3 billion Wake County Transit Plan. What will that mean locally? The local sales tax rate will increase from 6.75 percent to 7.25 percent beginning in April 2017. Then, in December 2016, the Wake County Board of Commissioners officially authorized two key sources of financial support for the Wake County Transit Plan. They are: a $3.00 increase in the Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax as well as a new $7.00 Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax. These two local funding sources are in addition to the half percent increase of local sales and use tax referendum.

Wake County Transit Plan Update

It’s been months since December, so what’s going on with the Wake County Transit Plan?

In February, the GoTriangle Board of Trustees approved the $3.00 increase to the Annual Motor Vehicle Tax in Wake County. This is one of the key funds for the Wake County Transit Plan, and is especially important for the bus services. Annual Motor Vehicle Tax will help pay for tripling of bus service, four Bus Rapid Transit Corridors and Commuter Rail service connecting Garner, Raleigh, Cary, RTP and Durham.

April 1st saw the tax go into effect within Wake County. The investment into better public transportation began, which is to say the tax voted on in November came into effect.

“Wake County has more than a million residents. That number is growing by an estimated 450 people every week,” says Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Sig Hutchinson. “Projects funded through the Wake County Transit Plan will make commuting options more frequent, reliable and easier to use. We are thrilled to see this investment begin to take shape. We look forward to the enhancements it promises for the community.”

So, what’s coming up next? How will these developments begin to take in the Triangle and Wake County?

Change is on the Horizon

This summer, the other key funding sources will come into effect. This means the $7.00 Wake County vehicle registration tax will begin, as well as an $8.00 regional registration tax. The regional registration tax increases by $3.00 from the original $5.00 in August, 2017.

Tax isn’t the only thing on the horizon for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Other selected project proposals include:

  • Expanding Monday through Friday service frequency to every 15 minutes for the GoRaleigh 7 route. Also, expanding Sunday service on all existing routes.
  • Expanding mid-day service frequency for GoCary routes 3, 4, 5 and 6 and adding Sunday service on all existing routes.
  • Increasing frequency to every 30 minutes on GoTriangle route 100 between Raleigh, Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park.
  • Increasing frequency, days of operation and hours of service on GoTriangle route 300 between Cary and Raleigh.
  • Significantly increasing door-to-door service for rural residents through
  • Continuing express bus routes to Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.

What Residents Are Saying

Some of the change brought on by the Wake County Transit Plan is already affecting surrounding Wake County communities like Fuquay Varina.

“For residents who do not have direct access to personal transportation, this service has filled their transportation void by providing a low-cost, efficient transportation service,” says Town of Fuquay-Varina’s Economic Development Director, Jim Seymour. “For those residents who do have access to a personal transportation and want to reduce their transportation out-of-pocket costs, this service has reduced typical transportation costs—travel time, operating costs and parking facility costs. For some households, it offers the opportunity to lower the cost of vehicle ownership by transitioning from a two-vehicle to one-vehicle household.”

If you’re looking to learn more about the Wake County Transit Plan and associated projects, there are many resources to check out.

Real Estate Experts

For more information about the Wake County Transit Plan, you can visit their website or Facebook page. For more information about living, working, and commuting in Wake County, contact Real Estate Experts at 919-813-6449. With our local expertise, we can help you make the best decision for you or your family as you become residents of Wake County or the Triangle area.

If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Raleigh and other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at
[email protected] for additional information.  We can’t wait to welcome you to your new home.



Local Restaurant to Employ Homeless Women

Local Restaurant to Employ Homeless Women

It’s a burgeoning trend seen in businesses across the country: an interest and active role in promoting social justice through marketing efforts or even implementing programs to help in their own communities.

Carroll's Kitchen Co-Founders, Vicky Ismail and Jim Freeze.

Carroll’s Kitchen Co-Founders, Vicky Ismail and Jim Freeze. Photo courtesy of Kickstarter.com.

Here in the Triangle, Jim Freeze and Vicky Ismail are opening a new restaurant in downtown Raleigh, “Carroll’s Kitchen,” to provide job training and employment to homeless women in the community. Freeze describes the venture as “a social enterprise restaurant with a vision to end homelessness for women in Raleigh and make it a better community for everyone.” Carroll’s Kitchen was named after Ernest and Delta Carroll, who were community and church leaders in Raleigh in the early 20th century.

Carroll’s Kitchen will have approximately 12 employees, eight of whom will participate in on-the-job training. The owners decided to reach out to homeless women in the community, as well as those recently released from prison, as job opportunities are sparse for both groups of women. In addition, these women often lack the life and job skills needed to function well in society. “There’s a lot for men, there’s a lot for women with children,” said Ismail. “But if you’re a woman that’s single, there’s not a lot out there.”

Candidates for employment at Carroll’s kitchen are selected through referral partners. Several of the employees who were referred from homeless shelters will be living together in affordable housing and will be required to take life skills classes. They will earn between $9 and $12 an hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. The owners’ vision is for these women to work at Carroll’s Kitchen for a year, hone their skills, and graduate by joining the workforce, or even opening their own businesses and employing a new group of homeless women.

Carroll’s Kitchen is located on the corner of S. Wilmington & E. Martin in downtown Raleigh. Photo courtesy of Kickstarter.com.

Freeze and Ismail hope Carroll’s Kitchen will be instrumental in helping break the cycle of poverty, and create a cycle of hope and empowerment, for homeless women in the community. “Work brings dignity, and when people are working, they make better choices,” said Freeze.

The restaurant will be located on Martin Street in the space that was formerly The Square Rabbit, which closed last February. Freeze and Ismail are in the midst of a Kickstarter Campaign that runs through September 11. They are raising money online to help with the costs of construction, equipment, training, and housing.

Freeze and Ismail are hoping to inspire many in the community to get involved with the project and help make a positive change. Interested in helping? This is the final week of Carroll’s Kitchen’s Kickstarter Campaign; donate here. Carroll’s Kitchen plans to open its doors in the next few weeks.

We at Real Estate Experts applaud Carroll’s Kitchen for this endeavor and look forward to visiting the restaurant in the near future!



Property Tax Rate Update

Property Tax Rate Update

Triangle area counties have proposed budgets this month that will affect property taxes beginning July 1.


In Orange County, Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil has proposed a $61.7 million budget for fiscal year 2016-17, which represents a property tax increase of a little less than 1 percent.  Since the last revaluation in fiscal year 2010, Chapel Hill’s tax rate has increased 3 cents or 6.1%, which translates into less than 1% per year and less than the rate of inflation. The last increase in property tax rates was the addition of 1 penny for the Debt Management Fund in fiscal year 2015 to kick-start the Town’s capital improvement program.

Chatham County City Manager Renee Paschal has proposed a $107 million budget for the fiscal year, which includes a property tax increase of 1.19 cents per $100 valuation. This translates into a tax increase of approximately $11.90 per year for a $100,000 home.The tax increase would fund a new Health Sciences Building for Central Carolina Community College, a new elementary school in northeast Chatham (slated to open in 2021), and an expansion of the new planned high school from 800 to 1,000 students (also slated to open in 2021). According to Paschal, this is the first tax increase for Chatham County since 2010-11.

In Durham County, City Manager Tom Bonfield has proposed a $403.7 million budget for the fiscal year. If the budget is approved by the City Council, it would be the largest budget in Durham’s history, up 4 percent from last year. The proposed $15.5 million increase would include 38 new city positions, 20 additional police officers, renewing the Durham holiday parade, a new downtown parking garage, and implementation of paid on-street parking. For homeowners, the proposal translates into a city property tax rate of 56.07 cents per $100 valuation, which is approximately 3.05 cents below the current rate. Due to a countywide reappraisal in which tax values increased 16 percent citywide, residents will not necessarily see a lower property tax bill. The proposed tax rate would result in $1,005 tax bill on a $179,297 home, which is the current median value of a home in Durham.

In Wake County, Interim Cary Town Manager Mike Bajorek has proposed a $319.2 million budget for the fiscal year. The budget will include capital improvement projects, such as a downtown public-private partnership with Northwoods Associates, LLC, a new Fire Station on Walnut Street, an expansion to the Cary Police Station evidence room, and improvements to the USA Baseball National Training Facility. For homeowners, Bajorek proposed lowering the property tax rate to 35 cents per $100 valuation, from 37 cents, because of Wake County’s recent property revaluation. If approved, the tax rate would remain the lowest in Wake County, and result in a tax bill of $750 for a $200,000 home.

Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall has proposed a $858.6 million budget for the fiscal year, which represents an increase of 3 percent from this year’s $832.5 million budget. The budget would include financing debt the city took on to buy the former Dorthea Dix Hospital property for $52 million, expanding Raleigh’s affordable housing program with 125 additional units, adding a 15-member crew in a new transportation department to clean up downtown Raleigh, and finding a replacement for Fire Station 1 on Dawson Street in the Warehouse District. Homeowners would be looking at a 2 cent property tax rate increase, which would translate into an extra $95.16 on a home valued at $251,300 (the median cost of a home in Raleigh).