Raleigh Approves Lafayette Hotel For Downtown
From Staff And Wire Reports
Thursday, March 15, 2007
RALEIGH - The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously last Friday to approve an agreement with Raleigh-based Empire Properties to develop a mixed-use project that will include a boutique hotel in the downtown area.
Empire Properties, headed up by Greg Hatem, has several other projects in the downtown area including renovation of historic properties and also restaurants such as the Raleigh Times Bar, Nana's Chophouse, and Duck and Dumpling.
Calls and e-mails to Empire Properties offices went unreturned, but the city says that project will be constructed on a 0.51-acre parcel bordered by Salisbury, Lenoir and South streets, just northwest of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
According to details of the deal, Empire Properties will purchase the half-acre property from the city of Raleigh for $1.44 million, which city says is the current appraised value for the land.
Empire Properties' mixed-use project, to be called the Lafayette, will consist of as much as 277,000 square feet in a single-tower structure from 16 to 21 stories high.
According to the Raleigh Visitors Bureau, the Lafayette tower is designed to include:
-- between 100 and 125 guest rooms for a luxury full-service boutique hotel
-- between 40 and 80 condominiums on the tower's upper floors
·-- approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space including a restaurant with outdoor plaza seating; and
-- a fitness center and rooftop pool and bar with views of the downtown skyline.
The city says that the development is anticipated to be complete in the spring of 2009.
To accommodate parking for the mixed-use project, Empire Properties is proposing a long-term lease with the City for 275 parking spaces in the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center parking deck with a connection to be constructed between the mixed-use project and the parking deck.
The city says that the Lafayette is the second mixed-use project planned for the south end of downtown on property the city is selling.
Last September 19th, the Raleigh City Council also voted unanimously to approve an agreement with TMC Development Group LLC to develop a 661,000-square-foot mixed-use project on a 1.8-acre parcel just east of the old convention center site. TMC Development is purchasing the land from the City for approximately $5.2 million.
TMC Development is planning an approximately $130 million mixed-use office, retail and residential complex that will consist of a 20-story tower and a 14-story tower.
According to the city, the towers will have 154 condominiums, 284,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of restaurant space, ground-floor retail fronting Fayetteville and Wilmington streets and possibly a movie theater. There also will be an underground parking deck with 636 public spaces. TMC's planned project is expected to open by the end of 2008.
As part of its mixed-use project, TMC Development will do streetscape improvements on Wilmington and Lenoir streets. The city says it will perform similar improvements to nearby Fayetteville Street. ::