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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Here I am again with one of my random thought questions. I have been browsing the site and read the thread about the Nashville supertall that will be built. I am very glad for them and wish them the best as they continue to show modern progressivness in their city. However, I thought to myself..."Gee everyones getting a new tallest....even us" (meaning Raleigh). Common sense would tell any one here that a 42 story scraper being built pales in comparison to a to 65 story 1200+ ft tower.

My question is, could something of that magnitude be done here in Raleigh? The only reason I am asking this is because the trend for major NC cities towers floor count or height in times past was 20+ floors and under(except Charlotte). Back in the day, If you were a citizen who lived in a major NC city with building with at least 18 stories (Durham), you were gawking at it like it was the most amazing tallest structure that you have ever seen.

Winston Salem broke the mold in the 1960's with its international skyscraper 32 story ( Wachovia Tower) and the 34 story Wachovia Center in 1995

Raleigh jumped from being a 20something story city to a 30 story city in the 1990's

Greensboro has come close with a 28 story tower and yet to hit the 30 mark or go past it.

Durham hasn't even gotten out of the teens yet.......its tallest towers are 15,17,18 stories tall.

Raleigh will yet brake the mold again for other major NC cities out of Charlotte with a 42 story structure and its along time coming. Does Raleigh have the courage to go higher ..................maybe a 55-60 story building? Its already preparing to step into another floor count range and breaking out of the floor count stories of the teens, 20s,30s and into the 40s........................ I believe it will happen but developers want to see what will happen with the Soliel Center first...
 

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A supertall can go up anywhere. It's all about the market and the $$$$. If $$$ can be made, it will get built and it wouldn't matter if it's Chicago, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, or Albermarle. :)

The odds aren't good but obviously with Charlotte having an 871 footer and Nashville getting a 1,047 footer, it can happen in mid-sized cities. And to really show perspective, look at 800' RSA Battlehouse in Mobile, AL. Not expected but happened regardless. :)
 

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That Mobile, AL example is a great one to use. I mean really Mobile, AL who knew? I forsee Raleigh getting something in the 600-850 ft. range within the coming decade for sure. There is a greater push towards downtown redevelopment recently across the nation. And with the Triangle continuing to grow and gain HQ's I don't see why not. It just comes down to a question of when and what company will be bold enough to do it.

Typically really tall buildings are built by huge corporate intities such as banks, financial accounting, Power/Oil companies, etc..

One thing we don't want is the downtown to look unbalanced so the timing will need to be right for a supertall building. Gradually stepping it up to the sky.
 

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Well, the Triangle is rumored to double it's population in 15 years, or have twice the population in 15 years as it does now:)
So with that said, I think there is a good chance that Raleigh will get a "new tallest" during that time.
 

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I guess it just depends of the office and residential market in the center-cities I think Raleigh will eventually get up to 65 stories. I dont for see any of the Triad cities going that high anytime soon. That has to do with the type of economy the Triad has which is mainly manufacturing, distribution and service related industries that dont require super tall buildings. However Raleigh is changing and more office is coming downtown with a number of headquarters.
 

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^^
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! It will be Brier Creek, or Triangle Town Center. Don't forget that even Crowder [indirectly] implied that :bash:

In all seriousness, the whole "supertall" debate may be attacked from different angles. First of all, does Raleigh fit the profile of a city that can get a supertall? My answer is "No". Unlike Charlotte, with its finance center status, Raleigh has no corporate entity to fall back for such huge investments. If the industry is not there, such investments will be next to impossible. If RBC Centura plans to use ONLY 15 floors in the new tower... Well, you can figure the rest out. We need a company with 1000-2000 employees to relocate to downtown in order to see a really tall skyscraper.

Second, the city leaders are wasting a lot of energy arguing as to how big, or how small, the logo signs should be; there is an ongoing debate and the city council should vote on this, soon. Have you ever seen a vision, coming from the city leaders, that includes skyscrapers? Take the archaic urban guidelines that were formed as if Raleigh is a little town. Not that they are enforced outside downtown, anyway. There are people who argue endlessly about the 5 acres Soleil Group owns and neglect to scream about the thousands of acres ruined to make room for the suburban mess we'll continue to see.

Third, the need for high-end condos will decrease in the next 5-10 years, leaving very small room for very tall residential towers. Since we are not a major tourism/convention attraction, I doubt seriously that major supertall hotels will appear. Not without having some mixed-use component integrated. Which is safe to assume that developers with some experience in this market will [possibly] deliver the next [mixed-use] supertall. So far, Soleil Group seems to be the most qualified developer for such project, but they don't own anything downtown... At least not yet. I think that after all the proposals we have for high-end condos (including Reynolds Tower 1 and LaFayette), there may be room for 1-2 residential high-rises, but until the mid-level market gets some attention, we cannot expect anything major.

I will stop here before the list starts growing big. The above points are not written in stone. Not getting above 500ft, or 50 floors, isn't as dramatic as not getting corporate relocations. Look at Tampa, as an example. That city has a very nice skyline, without needing a new supertall. I'd much rather have that. Mobile is a strange beast, if you ask me. When I look at the skyline I wonder how far that city can go. I think they will need a few towers between 250ft and 350ft, just as fillers. Without them, RSA Tower will not show its full strength - BTW, I love that tower :eek:kay:

In order for Raleigh to escape its fear for heights, the city leaders need to become bolder. They have to get rid of the main-street mentality and look into expanding the CBD to the West. There isn't much we can save between Salisbury Str and Dawson Str, so try to look at the entire area as potential candidate for skyscrapers. If that happens, bolder developments may appear to complement Reynolds Tower 1 and fuel further development, particularly around Nash Square. Yes, Raleigh can get a new supertall... but not any time soon. By supertall, I mean a 600ft+ skyscraper. Watch out for the N&O block, as it provides possibly the best site for at least one supertall.
 

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How tall will the Soliel Center be? Right now, Raleigh needs to build above the 30's first, gradually building 40-somethings, closer to the 50 range before aspiring to build a supertall. It may eventually happen, like 15-20 years down the road, but they need to prove they can build something above the 30-something range.
 

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it'll happen when Houston gets the world's tallest tower. :jk:

-
 

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prwfromnc said:
How tall will the Soliel Center be? Right now, Raleigh needs to build above the 30's first, gradually building 40-somethings, closer to the 50 range before aspiring to build a supertall. It may eventually happen, like 15-20 years down the road, but they need to prove they can build something above the 30-something range.
Soleil Center 1 will be 480ft and 47 stories tall (4 of them will be mechanical rooms, which is why you may see 43 floors in the publications; it used to be 42 floors). If this tower gets built as envisioned, then we'll need to think about 50+ floors and something above 500ft. Neither Reynolds Tower 1, nor Highwoods/RBC Centura Tower will even approach 450ft, which kind of surprises me, given the amount of money both developers are planning to spend.
 

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Banks aren't the only game in town. A big hardware/software company might look at putting their headquarters here. The state government is also a big employer, and it might find a reason to contribute some towers in a while.

I think we can get a 50 floor building in the next 20 years, but nothing higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In all honsety, I believe Raleigh could get a 600 footer as well. Look at the trend and the developmen t of the skyline before our "two supertalls" were built. (ha) The skyline was shorter but more balanced. Before the bookends went up, most of Raleigh's tall buildings were in the mid to late teen stories, gradually reaching the height with the CP&L building (22 stories) which was the tallest for a long time. That was the Raleigh skyline of the late eighties, early 90s. then when the book ends were built, it wasn't a gradual move, it was a ten story jump in floors for the Wachovia Capitol (30 stories) and the Hannover Square (29stories).
 

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True, from Raleigh's history it seems tall buildings come in in waves. I heard recently that Red Hat was talking about moving downtown.
 

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TarheelsCubs said:
We had better get a supertall! It better be downtown :)
I know that some forumers (I am not implying you, TarheelsCubs) have gone out of their way to cultivate the myth that skyscrapers may be built all over Raleigh, except for downtown, just because of Soleil Center 1. Well, this project is merely a first step for a local developer. Initially, Soleil Group purchased the former Sheraton with the intention to fix it up and repackage it as a Westin Hotel. When serious structural flaws were found, they realized that no money could be made out of a smaller building. They did the math, after they paid $5 million, and decided to go with an iconic tower instead of something that can be easily forgotten, or worse, with something that came out of the suburban Hell.

In order for a new supertall to be built, a developer needs a piece of land, enough to accommodate such structure, financial backing and more than anything, tenants. Westin Hotels gave DT Raleigh two thumbs down when asked to consider the convnention hotel site, as well as North Hills. The ~50 condos of Soleil Center 1 is nothing when compared to the large number of units other downtown projects will have. Their price tag (=profits), however, could help finance a future downtown tower. No other local developer alone can pull this. Even Reynolds & Reynolds would have hesitated, no matter how much they wish to go above any other tower in Raleigh.

tayfromnc said it very well... [Downtown] Raleigh will be growing taller gradually. No supertower will dominate the skyline and stick out like a sore thumb - Wachovia Center sort of gives this impression sometimes. While I am anxious to see something great, I am patient enough, if we actually get it some day in the next 10-15 years. Great visions take time. One thing I forgot to mention is the possibility that Fidelity Investments may some day look into DT Raleigh. This is an extreme speculation and nothing more, but with over 5000 employees envisioned to work for Fidelity's local operation - if the company actually chooses the Triangle - I will not be surprised if I see their logo somewhere above 500ft from downtown's ground level :)

@emjohnson2: Remain optimistic!!! It would be foolish to think that Raleigh cannot go above 600ft. My speculations strictly consider the current patterns of development, and things could change dramatically as more and more corporations discover DT Raleigh's potential. A skyline that will nearly double by 2008 can afford something above the existing towers, even close to 600ft.
 

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Well, as of a few days ago I thought that Charlotte was going to get a supertall in the new Wachovia tower. But now I'm hearing still just 46st. So, if a supertall for Charlotte is not in the offing, then it's hard to imagine a supertall for Raleigh anytime soon.

I think a 500-footer would be a fine thing for Raleigh.
 

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Raleigh-NC said:
I know that some forumers (I am not implying you, TarheelsCubs) have gone out of their way to cultivate the myth that skyscrapers may be built all over Raleigh, except for downtown, just because of Soleil Center 1. Well, this project is merely a first step for a local developer. Initially, Soleil Group purchased the former Sheraton with the intention to fix it up and repackage it as a Westin Hotel. When serious structural flaws were found, they realized that no money could be made out of a smaller building. They did the math, after they paid $5 million, and decided to go with an iconic tower instead of something that can be easily forgotten, or worse, with something that came out of the suburban Hell.

In order for a new supertall to be built, a developer needs a piece of land, enough to accommodate such structure, financial backing and more than anything, tenants. Westin Hotels gave DT Raleigh two thumbs down when asked to consider the convnention hotel site, as well as North Hills. The ~50 condos of Soleil Center 1 is nothing when compared to the large number of units other downtown projects will have. Their price tag (=profits), however, could help finance a future downtown tower. No other local developer alone can pull this. Even Reynolds & Reynolds would have hesitated, no matter how much they wish to go above any other tower in Raleigh.

tayfromnc said it very well... [Downtown] Raleigh will be growing taller gradually. No supertower will dominate the skyline and stick out like a sore thumb - Wachovia Center sort of gives this impression sometimes. While I am anxious to see something great, I am patient enough, if we actually get it some day in the next 10-15 years. Great visions take time. One thing I forgot to mention is the possibility that Fidelity Investments may some day look into DT Raleigh. This is an extreme speculation and nothing more, but with over 5000 employees envisioned to work for Fidelity's local operation - if the company actually chooses the Triangle - I will not be surprised if I see their logo somewhere above 500ft from downtown's ground level :)

@emjohnson2: Remain optimistic!!! It would be foolish to think that Raleigh cannot go above 600ft. My speculations strictly consider the current patterns of development, and things could change dramatically as more and more corporations discover DT Raleigh's potential. A skyline that will nearly double by 2008 can afford something above the existing towers, even close to 600ft.


I hope your vision is right about Fidelity Investments! 5000 more employees downtown would be huge!

I do think we will get a supertall downtown one day. I also believe we will have a condo boom downtown as well. And it will not be far away. In fact, its already started a bit. But I think the BIG condos are not far off!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dale said:
Well, as of a few days ago I thought that Charlotte was going to get a supertall in the new Wachovia tower. But now I'm hearing still just 46st. So, if a supertall for Charlotte is not in the offing, then it's hard to imagine a supertall for Raleigh anytime soon.

I think a 500-footer would be a fine thing for Raleigh.
Now I wouldn't base it off of what Charlotte is or isn't getting, Because Charlotte wasn't the cause of what tall buildings raleigh has today. It makes since, but why would Chartlotte have to build it first?
 
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