City council approves new 40-story tower in downtown Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- City council members on Tuesday voted in favor of a major rezoning request for the Peace Street and Capital Boulevard corridor, paving the way for a new development that could rise up to 40 stories.

The rezoning applies to a 2.92 acre parcel on the southeast corner of Peace and Harrington Streets, and changes the zoning from 12 stories to 40 stories (Raleigh's tallest building, the PNC Plaza, rises 33 stories).

The unanimous approval comes conditional with a traffic study and a commitment from developers to offer some units for affordable housing.

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Kane Realty Corporation, a lead developer of the proposal, is overhauling the area through its Smoky Hollow project, which includes a Publix Supermarket already under construction.

"Publix ate up the whole ground floor of their building so it didn't give us the ability to do some of the creation that we'd like," John Kane, Chairman and CEO of Kane Realty Corporation, told ABC11. "We want to see more office space, retail and restaurants."

The Raleigh Planning Commission and Citizens Advisory Council both recommended approval to City Council, but questions surrounded affordable housing delayed a swift green light.

"The upzoning request is going to make additional value for the developer and his investors and I'm suggesting they share some of that back and we're perfectly allowed to do that," Bob Geary, the lone member of the Planning Commission to vote "no" explained to ABC11. "Here's a chance to change the direction of housing policy in Raleigh, to be inclusive, to allow and expect affordable housing in these big density projects going forward."

The City of Raleigh has committed to revitalizing southeast Raleigh with a plan to build 5,700 affordable housing units during the next 10 years.

According to city memos, Kane had offered $1 million to the city's affordable housing budget over several years, but chose instead to conduct the traffic study and commit units in the new tower towards affordable housing.

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