Developer tweaks North Raleigh project in hopes of gaining support

A developer desires to gain more community assistance for a controversial project in North Raleigh by including much less retail space and a lot more landscaping.

D&N Development wants to develop a mixed-use project called Spencer Ridge on 17.3 acres on the northeast area of Falls of Neuse and Raven Ridge roads. However some residents and Local raleigh City Council members fear the project might bring unwanted traffic to a residence in a watershed.

The site is currently zoned for domestic use, so the developer should have the City Council to grant its own rezoning request to build Spencer Ridge.

A neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Abbotts Creek Community Center to inform residents on proposed changes to the project.

A brand new plan would curb traffic by lessening the amount of retail space in the task from 50 percent to less than 30 percent, as reported by Nick Brown, a spokesman for D&N. Developers calculate the project won’t generate over 9,000 vehicles each day. That’s close to 3,000 fewer trips each day than the original plan.

At first, D&N’s plan called for 160 condominiums and retail and also office space. But right now the plan is for between 150 as well as 190 residential units, office space, retail space – perhaps for a supermarket – restaurant space and then public art.

D&N is also guaranteeing affordable housing as a part of the development, which it says would be the very first time a developer includes affordable property as a zoning condition in Raleigh. The purpose is to gain approval from Raleigh frontrunners, who are placing high emphasis on creating more affordable properties. Last year, the city dedicated income from a 1 cent tax rate boost to funding more units.

The developer claims between 30 and 38 residential units – greater than 20 percent of the project’s units – is going to be designated as affordable accommodation for tenants who earn at or below 80 percent of the median earnings, which is about $49,000 for a dual-income family.

It’s uncertain how the city would administer the affordable housing rentals. There’s no distinct legal mechanism for the city to manage the rentals.

The latest proposal arrives two months after the City Authorities nearly rejected the project. Four of the council’s eight members – Corey Branch, David Cox, Kay Crowder and also Russ Stephenson – said in a February gathering that they were willing to piece the project.

Most of the council participants reached this week said they hadn’t still thoroughly reviewed the proposed alterations. But Cox said the proposal, which yet calls for retail, doesn’t fit with the domestic character of the area.

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