Dec
03

Reynolds Tower Approved, Gets Financing

The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow developers David and Ted Reynolds to move forward with plans to develop the Reynolds Tower, a mixed-use project planned for 301 and 309 Hillsborough Street. Since the last council meeting regarding the project, the developers have secured financing and commitment by Regions Bank.

Hillsborough Street Partners has agreed to purchase the City-owned property at 301 Hillsborough Street. Closing will be done by Dec. 31. Other deadlines set by the City of Raleigh still loom, however. Site and foundation work must begin by February 3, and construction completion must be by March 15, 2011.

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  • Tony Said:

    Good news. But, this building should not be constructed unless it is at least 30 stories tall (apply the new Raleigh vision for 2030)! Hopefully, this building will look iconic and different than the low rise garbage we have seen(The Dawson, The Hue, 222 Glenwood, Marriott, Convention Center)

  • Ron T Said:

    This is great news. I like the design. I am not fixated on height, as a fan of sunshine I do not want downtown Raleigh to become a cavernous tunnel. Having lived in Philadelphia where at one point nearly all the towers were the same height (about 33 stories) I remember what it feels like to walk down narrow dark streets. As with Philadelphia, the streets in downtown are not wide enough in my opinion to have many tall towers. The fact that this is moving forward in this economy is amazing! It says a lot of the view by bankers of the potential for downtown.

  • Jamal Said:

    I definitely would like to see it go taller and not be boxy like most Raleigh towers. Raleigh needs to think big, and consequently, build big and TALL buildings that are cosmopolitan, glizty, and transform this city into a 24/7 vital thumping urban enclave.

  • Ernest Said:

    Having seen the 23-story version, I can say that I am a bit disappointed with it :( Just to set the record straight, it was the hotel developer’s fault, not Reynoldses’. They changed the facade of half the structure, which looked MUCH better when the project was 28 stories (the version you see at the UDC). It is also a bit hard to digest the small number of residential units (26), when the nearby Hue has about 200 of them. Yes, the hotel will take up space and the units will be much larger than the Hue’s, but I was hoping to see at least 50 condos going there :(

    It is a positive thing that there is a bank willing to finance this tower and I know that the developers worked hard on getting this loan. The current lending terms have become very unfriendly, especially to new developers, like the Reynoldses. I wish it was at least over 30 stories/400ft, but given the impact it will have in the landscape, The Hillsborough will not disappoint. Besides, it may force other developers to move faster and deliver their visions for Hillsborough Street (Winston Tower, One Glenwood and the York Development’s 8-story midrise).

  • Subway Scoundrel Said:

    I think the lenders lent money on this to race to the first to have a decent hotel near Glenwood South. Four other hotels (2 winston hotels and the one accross from 42nd Street) are planned but the first one there will dominate. The Reynolds property is great. Short walk to Government side, to business side/Fay Street and convention center but most of all…..Glenwood South. perfect location and the first decent hotel to go up…….wins !!!

  • Aaron Said:

    Do you guys take into account that maybe Reynold’s can’t afford 30-40 floors? You say bigger and taller but you don’t realize that it takes money to do so. It’s obvious getting financing is hell in this economy.

  • Matt K. Said:

    Ernest (hi again my friend), so the 23 story design is the final proposal? I was hoping the taller version was the more recent one and would prevail. I’ve been curious about the status of the Winston Hotel development, since there’s been virtually no new news about it in the past 6 months or so.

    The reason height is important is because height creates density downtown. We have a finite amount of land space in downtown Raleigh, so it’s important not to underdevelop property. I’m not saying we need a 400 foot building on every street corner downtown, but as land gets developed and redeveloped, it’s next to impossible to turn back the clock when we move forward and say “Gee, we should have gone with another 10 floors or 10,000 square feet in that building.” In other words – make sure what goes up is what is DESIRED, and not what’s being “settled for”. Aside from the height, I am hoping for an iconic design as well. Raleigh does not need a bunch of boring 400 foot tall box buildings, otherwise our downtown will end up looking like Richmond. (That’s not a knock against Richmond – we just don’t need a second one, do we?)

    And agreed on the point that the fact that this project is finally moving forward (fingers crossed!) at ALL – final design aside – is a huge blessing in itself, in today’s economy. Hooray for Raleigh!

  • Ernest Said:

    Aaron is correct, the Reynoldses would have loved to build a taller structure, but they simply couldn’t… Having spoken with David Reynolds a few times I want to say that he is a wonderful guy and he means well. He and his father are new developers and possibly this is the reason why they could not deliver something major. On the other hand, let’s keep in mind that there are developers who appear all over the news, yet they have never built anything major.

    Matt K. also hit the target, and let me expand on this. If you are going to build a high-rise on such a prime location, you’d better have the financing in place to deliver what was promised/envisioned. The Reynoldses could have built the 32-story version by now, because they had better terms. Their problem was their policy to sell office space instead of leasing. Had they delivered the tower, Cambell School of Law would have probably considered space in The Hillsborough instead of the low-rise across the street. When large parcels are wasted on smaller towers, then where will skyscrapers go. One good look around and we will easily see that not many parcels exist. In most cases, due to multiple land owners, it will be tough and expensive to assemble land for anything above 20 stories.

    Question: Would it be wiser for the city officials to suggest a “swap”? If Empire Properties cannot deliver Site 4 as envisioned before, could the Reynoldses bring their building there? Would the hotel developer be interested in a site right next to the convention center? Enough to even increase the size of their hotel? Such swap will add delays – I don’t think the developers would mind – but given the situation, it is not the worst thing that could happen.

    Matt K., could you please send me an email? I want to send you something I promised to send and I realized that I do not have your email address :( You can reach me via my website.

  • David Said:

    Good news. Slowly things are filling in for the downtown, with a few unique areas (warehouse, NCstate, Glenwood, City market, fayetteville st.) molding together. The tower here can only help, with its anchor location, hopefully things will fill in further.

    With the other buildings going in, Raleigh is beginning to look like a real city, it just needs a couple more medium-size buildings off the main downtown tract and a big boy, along the lines of the Soleil. That would make a real skyline.

  • phil Said:

    It’s still a shame that with that location, they couldn’t build something larger than 23 stories. However, a 23 story building is better than a parking lot, or above ground parking deck for that matter. As Earnest said: “One good look around and we will easily see that not many parcels exist. In most cases, due to multiple land owners, it will be tough and expensive to assemble land for anything above 20 stories.” which is absolutely true, however at some point if Raleigh is going to grow into a large city, its going to have to happen. As for the “cavernous tunnel” that’s what much of the municipality already feels like, except instead of buildings, its caused by trees.

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