St. Patricks Parade and Festival

Saturday, Mar 12

Blue Man Group

Tuesday, Mar 15

Whole Foods (N. Raleigh) Opens

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Tom Green

Friday, Mar 18


Thursday, Mar 24

Mike Watt

Monday, Mar 28

Bike Maintenance Basics Class

Wednesday, Mar 30

Idina Menzel

Thursday, Mar 31

Kevin Nealon

Friday, Apr 1

Monster Jam

Friday, Apr 1

Rush (Greensboro)

Friday, Apr 1

Carol Burnett

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Dogwoods Bloom

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Shrek: The Musical

Tuesday, Apr 5

Neil Young

Friday, Apr 15

Jimmy Buffett

Tuesday, Apr 19

Steve Miller & Greg Allman

Wednesday, Apr 20

Bill Maher

Thursday, Apr 21

The Watson Twins/Amos Lee

Friday, Apr 22


Thursday, Apr 28


Wednesday, May 4


Tuesday, May 10

Kevin Hart

Friday, May 13


Hampton Inn Proposed for Glenwood South


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.

map it

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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  • Justin Said:

    Thanks for the extra details – some people have been mentioning they don’t think a Hampton Inn would be good for the area…I disagree. Not only do we desperately need more rooms downtown, but Hampton Inn has been known to have some pretty good urban locations – Savannah comes to mind first. Even though I believe that was a historic renovation and not a ground up build, it still looks nice and fits in with the urban fabric. Lets hope this one does too…and lets hope more projects like this start popping up, we really need more hotel rooms downtown!

  • Ernest Said:

    I agree with Justin… A Hampton Inn is fine in Glenwood South, particularly when we take in consideration that there is plenty of land there that may be reused for other hospitality projects. As long as the design and urban form blend well and the final product doesn’t look like an eyesore, or out of place, this may encourage more such projects in that section of downtown.

  • boylanhghts Said:

    how many days/weeks before this one goes away? its amazing how many hotels have been proposed for the area. the thing is, the first one that makes it off the drawing board is sure to do pretty well

  • John Said:

    As a neighbor to the project, I completely object to the total elimination of the 1/1 stepback. Perhaps there’s room for negotiation here? I would just like to avoid seeing 7 floors on such a narrow lot go vertical with a flat front like the ungodly ugly 222 Glenwood.
    The scale of the existing buildings on that block would be completely overwhelmed by having no step back whatsoever. If the new hotel was at least stepped back like it is with Solas, then the architecture could easily have more interest to it. It would also give the building an opportunity to have some outdoor space on the second or third floor facing the street.
    I am VERY happy to hear that the hotel group will not pursue thru-wall HVAC units for each room. This will give the property a better look than a typical hotel. For that, I am happy. Let’s just hope that the building enhances the neighborhood instead of cheapening it. I hope it’s more “Solas” and less “222″.

  • Ernest Said:

    The original version of 222 Glenwood called for a similar concept: The 4 first floors were used for retail/commercial space and parking (deck) and there were 8 floors for the residences. There was a setback, of course. In a way, I wish that was the adopted form, but I am not sure the proposed hotel will have any negative effect without setbacks. Just look at the 100′ Hue; very underwhelming. The proposed Hampton Inn will be even more so, and it will be shorter than 222 Glenwood.

    I do like the idea of a second floor restaurant and I think there is room for something like that. Maybe the developer will be encouraged to put a small setback but also be allowed to add a couple of floors to the final height to make up for lost space. More important for me is the architecture. I am really anxious to see renderings.

  • John Said:

    I think the difference between this location and The Hue is the scale of the adjacent structures. This block of Glenwood, between Peace and Johnson, is entirely made up of small buildngs: some charming…some not so charming. I would really hate to see them get overwhelmed by an inappropriately scaled hotel. I am not against the idea of this hotel. I just want it to be sensitive to the context of their suroundings.

  • DPK Said:

    I’m not holding my breath until I see a foundation being built for anything. That and even if they do release a rendering, it had better not be another one of those 222-ish watercolor misleading pos drawings. Watercolor for the most part can make even the most hideous project appealing. * cough * 222 * cough *

  • Eric Said:

    I travel alot and I mean alot and the only hotel I stay with usually is Hampton Inn because of a corporate rate discount. I have many co-workers that travel into Raleigh and I would love for them to stay downtown but there are not Hilton Brand hotels anywhere downtown which is obsurd for a city of this size and being a state capital.

    For those that think Hampton Inn won’t fit in this area, you must be kidding right? NYC, Chicago, Boston, Savannah, etc. all have very, very nice Hampton Inn’s. Downtown needs options for hotels and especially something close to Glenwood South.

  • steelcity36 Said:

    I agree that a Hampton Inn is perfect for GloSo. Hampton Inns have great urban locations at a reasonable rates. I estimate that many convention travelers will choose the Hampton at $80-$90 per night as compared to $159-$179 rate at the Marriott and Sheraton next to the convention center. Also weekend crowds will generally be made up of 20-30 year old people in town visiting friends or attending weddings so this is a perfect location. For those looking for a little South Beach in Raleigh with $300 night rates, maybe Niles from Solas could work on that concept and convert the Senior Citizen Dorm at Tucker and Glenwood into an Ian Schrager type hotel.

    The Philadelphia Hampton Inn also has the same parking agreement. They utilize an adjacent parking Garage and valet all the cars there instead of building parking and adding to the cost of the building. Seems to work fine and I am sure that Lawyers will include strict contractual penalties for breaking such an agreement.

  • Dana Said:

    I have to say that my room at the Hampton Inn in downtown Charlotte was nicer than my room at the Westin next to Lenox in Atlanta (which was a nice room). The only exception was Hampton’s lack of a bellman, which doesn’t bother me, and their crappy towels, which does bother me. All in all, though, it was a great experience.

  • John Said:

    Here’s a photo link to the Hampton Inn in Charlotte. It’s blah but not completely horrible. It’s pretty much flat across its front facade with a few floors of brick and the rest appears to be sythentic stucco. I sure hope the GloSo version is a bit more interesting.

  • Ken Said:

    Just a quick correction. The statement that the “comprehensive plan the City of Raleigh is about to accept would also relax restrictions such as the 1|1 setback in this area” is false. Such action requires a separate rezoning, including an amendment to the Glenwood South streetscape plan.

  • Ernest Said:

    Thanks for the photo, John. I do agree with you, the Glenwood South Hampton Inn needs to be a bit more interesting. The two taller neighbors (510 and Glenwood Towers) contain a lot of brick but the proposed hotel could use at least some, too. God forbid it is a copy of our [convention] Marriott Hotel :LOL:

  • Dana Said:

    Thanks for the info, Ken. The point I was making came from this passage of the meeting minutes:

    “Attorney Isabel Worthy Mattox (sworn) indicated she is representing Glenwood South Hospitality LLC and noted her clients have developed and owned hotels in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. She introduced members of a development team and reviewed the history of the ownership of the property. She stated the case is complicated by the current zoning. She stated her client proposes to build a Hampton Inn & Suites without the required step backs. She submitted an abridged version of the Glenwood South streetscape plan which was included in the Board members adjacent packet and stated the proposed revised Comprehensive Plan will have no building height restrctions for this property. She described the current zoning regulations noting the proposed hotel would be 7 stories with approximately 71 feet in height along Glenwood Avenue and 79 feet in height on Johnson Street. She pointed out the adjacent 510 Glenwood Avenue building was built prior to the adoption of the Glenwood South Plan.”

  • Subway Scoundrel Said:

    Agree with the need of a Hampton Inn. As a Silver VIP Hilton Points member, and working my way even higher, I stay in a lot of urban Hilton properties and many Hamptons are pretty nice and moderately priced. Good for business on GWsouth.

    I find the urban Hamptons are kept up much better than the roadside versions. Could use 2 or 3 more hotels down there.

  • Eric Said:

    Couldn’t agree more Subway Scoundrel. I am a diamond member and the urban ones are very similar to the roadside ones but do seem to be cleaner.

    As a business traveler, I like to be close to a cities core. Not having options for hotels in downtown Raleigh is insane and will continue to hinder downtown until we are provided with more lodging.

  • Ken Said:

    I’ve seen the Board of Adjustment minutes, and figured that was the origin of the statement. The testimony that “the proposed revised Comprehensive Plan will have no building height restrictions for this property” is technically true but irrelevant, as heights are not regulated by the Comprehensive Plan, but rather by zoning. By this argument, unlimited height would be permitted everywhere in Raleigh. The Plan does not specifically recommend changing permitted heights in this area.

  • Dana Said:

    Thanks for clarifying, Ken!

  • John Said:

    Here’s a photo of a brick 7 story Hampton Inn in Columbus, OH.,+OH&geocode=&q=hampton+inn&f=l&sll=39.962208,-83.000676&sspn=0.399981,0.539703&ie=UTF8&ll=39.972303,-83.002755&spn=0,359.198685&t=h&z=11&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=39.971876,-83.002519&panoid=pppoGRZ0oCw2Hed9GM2urg&cbp=12,334.46,,0,1.5
    Let’s hope that ours is as neighborhood appropriate as this one.

  • John Said:

    Here’s another H.I Columbus link.

  • Dana Said:

    That looks great! I also found photos at these links:

  • Dana Said:

    The City is asking a judge to overturn the Board of Adjustment’s variance, citing that the board had overstepped its legal function in granting the variance.

  • Chris Said:

    Newest update with renderings as of 11/12/10:

    Please note this is a pdf file…enjoy.

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