RALEIGH – One of downtown Raleigh’s most iconic green spaces has new development on its doorstep. Plans filed with the City of Raleigh show a proposed 36-story, mixed-use building (“Nash Square Apartments”) to be constructed on the southwest corner of the square.

The plans include retail and apartment space totaling more than 850,000 sq ft. on the 0.9 acre lot. They also show 403 apartments available with 1, 2, and 3-bedroom floorplans, as well as dedicated parking and building amenities.

Berkeley Cafe photo from its Facebook page.

Wins and Losses

Excitement and concerns arose regarding the property when it was rezoned last year. Additional flexibility for height gave developers more options for building on this prominent location. But a local community icon, the Berkeley Cafe, is included within the property boundary and the plans show its current location will be part of the new development.

The Berkeley Cafe is located in the former lobby of an old hotel, built in 1915. Through the years the location has served up food, along with local music, art, and entertainment. The Cafe’s co-owner, Lisa Lewis confirmed that they have a lease through November of this year, after which they hope to move to a new location.

“We’d like to stay in the downtown area,” said Lewis. “We’re looking every day for an option.”

Changing the Landscape

The new building will be one of the tallest in the Raleigh skyline at 429 feet. According to the News & Observer, the property will be named “Nash Square Apartments.”

The new project is a strong indicator for the future, according to Kyle Touchstone, Director of Economic Development for the City of Raleigh.

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“The addition of 403 residential units to Downtown Raleigh really speaks to the trajectory of not only our downtown but the City of Raleigh, said Touchsotne. “There has been an increase in demand for residential options as our population has dramatically increased. With this type of residential density and growth, we’ll continue to see a more vibrant downtown with more companies locating here and retail and dining services to support those living here. It’s a win-win for all who live, work and play in Downtown Raleigh.”

When contacted property owner Alchemy-ABR Investment Partners indicated they were unable to comment about future plans at this time.