Next Tallest Tower?

In Buzz, October 2021 by Melissa Howsam1 Comment

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Six buildings are approved to soar to new heights—contending for title as Raleigh’s next tallest tower. 

Walter Tower | 35 Stories

Nary a soul will tell you the pandemic didn’t change the planet. But out of great pain historically rises innovation and growth. And when it comes to real estate—and Raleigh real estate specifically—the pandemic has served as a great accelerator. 

Today, the City of Oaks is one of the nation’s top markets for development activity, period. Beyond the burning hot housing market (fueled by droves of new residents relocating from North, West and yonder) and influx of companies set to call our area home (think: Apple, Google and so on), Raleigh is also on the rise—literally.

Daily, Raleighites are inundated with news of the next tall tower proposed, approved or breaking ground. And repeatedly we hear that six-word qualifying phrase: “approved for up to 40 stories.” Why? Raleigh zoning ceilings are capped at heights of either 20 or 40 stories, meaning anything towering above 20 stories requires a 40-story zoning approval.

And developers take that buildup as a huge responsibility. One such tower creating a lot of buzz approved for up to 40 stories is the upcoming Phase 3 of Smoky Hollow, bound by Capital, Johnson, Harrington and Peace streets, by Kane Realty Corporation (alongside partner Williams Realty & Building Company Inc.). “We have zoning for up to 40 stories,” said Kane Realty’s director of design, Josie Reeves, in a sit-down interview with Raleigh Magazine. “And we will be thoughtful and humble about how we choose to use that opportunity that the city unanimously granted us. … And so what a huge opportunity for us to have right at that really high-traffic area … looking onto the future 14-acre Devereux Meadow Park, and really being able to thread it into the rest of Smoky Hollow.”

So as future towers emerge and 40-story zoning requests are approved (from the future Smoky Hollow Phase 3 to others already approved like 506 Capital Blvd., Downtown South, the Convention Development Project and more), we take a look at the projects that will transform Raleigh over the next several years—and which is likely to loom largest.

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  1. This f*cking place will never build anything higher than PNC tower. All wimpy midrise office buildings.

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