Raleigh City Council approves Seaboard Station rezoning request

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Raleigh City Council approves Seaboard Station rezoning request
Tuesday afternoon was a long time coming for residents of the Save Seaboard Station Task Force and Turnbridge Equities.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday afternoon was a long time coming for residents of the Save Seaboard Station Task Force and Turnbridge Equities. Those groups agreed on a rezoning request for Raleigh's famed Seaboard Station.

The current zoning requirement allows for mixed-use urban general use buildings up to seven stories tall, but those groups requested that to be changed to allow a building up to 16 stories high, under certain conditions.

Council ended up approving the request with a 6-1 vote after hearing plans from Turnbridge Equities that would satisfy the council's conditions.

Those plans included a minimum of 50% of the building, which must include the eastern faade, be preserved in its current place or that same amount be moved to a different part of the property or off-site somewhere. If Turnbridge is unable to meet that condition, a new building height would be limited to a maximum of seven stories.

"While an assurance clause cannot be placed in the conditions, our group as well as the Mayor and the council has been assured that Turnbridge will work to preserve more than the minimum which is outlined in the conditions," said Dana Deaton on behalf of the Save Seaboard Station Task Force.

Deaton also encouraged other property owners with heavy roots and deep ties to history to look into preserving the space by way of registry.

"This is how you get it done," said mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin during the meeting after the motion passed.

Currently, Hoffman & Associates is working on a project directly adjacent to Peace University that will feature a mixed-use selection of services and activities.

Projects with Hoffman & Associates and Turnbridge Equities are unrelated. However, they are part of a larger effort to revitalize that portion on the edge of downtown Raleigh.

"There is a lot of history here with the depot and Logan's and everything like that," said Josh Merritt who works nearby. "So really I'd be disappointed to see that go. But living in a big city that's part of progression. So it's something to be excited about."

Turnbridge Equities managing director Jason Davis released the following statement:

"It's evident that the people of Raleigh care deeply about preserving the parts of this city that define its character and are simultaneously committed to collaborating to steer Raleigh's growth in meaningful ways. As a company that prioritizes contextually-sensitive development, Turnbridge shares in that goal. The rezoning conditions we were able to agree on at 707 Semart Drive reflect some of the most significant preservation commitments made in respect of a non-landmarked property in anyone's memory. Turnbridge has developed a strong reputation of acting as good stewards of Raleigh's rich architectural history with our redevelopment of the Creamery building on Glenwood Avenue and of the former Clearscapes property on West Martin Street, and we are committed to honoring Seaboard Station as well. We appreciate the citizen and city involvement in the rezoning process, and we look forward to developing the property in a way that will be a source of pride for Raleigh and serve as a part of the city's past and future identity."