As reported on June 2 here, a hotel is being proposed for the Northeast corner of Glenwood Ave and West Johnson Streets in the Glenwood South area (the News & Observer story this week erroneously reported the NW corner as the site). Since breaking the story, I’ve learned more about the project.
The 157-room hotel will carry the Hampton Inn brand and will be 7-stories tall, with street-level retail. The developers have reached an agreement with the owners of the 510 Glenwood complex to lease parking deck spaces, so no additional parking is required for the complex. The spaces are across Glenwood, but no mention of a pedestrian bridge across West Johnson St. was mentioned in the Board of Adjustment meeting minutes (.doc file).
Currently the owners are requesting a variance to the 1|1 stepback requirement for portions of buildings that are above 40’. This project will stand at 79’, so the stepback greatly affects the design of the project. Developers are greatly concerned about dampening train noise from the adjacent railroad trestle. In order to accomplish this, the building is planned to have centralized heating and air (instead of individual room units, standard in Hampton hotel designs), and additional insulation in the walls and from special windows. Noise abatement is said to be adding $700K-$800K to the project’s overall costs. The developers say that by being able to avoid setting back the top floors of the building, much noise abatement can come from the design of the building (room and stairway placement, i.e.) instead of material selection.
The developers seemed to have trouble getting the variance approved, so they are applying for a zoning change to allow the design, which has a greater effect on three properties at the site instead of just a variance to the existing code. To further muddy the waters, the recommended comprehensive plan the City of Raleigh is about to accept would also relax restrictions such as the 1|1 setback in this area.
So, it looks like eventually the plan will be accepted and the building will get built. My only concern is what happens to the parking situation should the agreement between 510 Glenwood and the hotel sour (breach of contract by either party, sale of either party, etc).
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