A developer wants to build a multi-family housing project that would connect Hillsborough Street to Cameron Village.
Texas-based Leon Capital Group, which has an office in Charlotte, paid an estimated $11.6 million last week for a patchwork of properties totaling about 4 acres on Maiden Lane and Enterprise Street.
The purchase could lead to further changes in the Hillsborough Street corridor, which has seen plenty of redevelopment in recent years.
Todd Harrelson, vice president of Leon Capital, said the company has not formalized plans for the newly purchased site across from N.C. State University’s Bell Tower. But he said the company will take community input seriously.
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“We’ve got some student housing down the street and some retail,” he said. “It’s a good blend of everything.”
The area is currently zoned to allow three-story residential mixed-use or office mixed-use.
Raleigh leaders have long hoped for a way to better connect Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village, which has also seen new apartments and retail. More than a year ago, the city hired consultants to address connectivity in the area.
But the plan could draw criticism from residents who say Hillsborough Street is losing its character. Some say new development doesn’t fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Residents of the University Park neighborhood, which runs from Cameron Village to Meredith College between Wade Avenue and Hillsborough Street, have concerns about traffic, accessibility and a saturation of student housing, said Donna Bailey, co-chair of the Wade Citizens Advisory Council.
“We’ve kind of been anticipating (redevelopment) for some time, but my concern with these really huge projects are they’re just really overwhelming,” Bailey said. “Sometimes they don’t integrate well into the community.”
Harrelson said Leon Capital doesn’t plan to break ground for at least a year.
“Right now, we just thought it was a good site given its location in the market and given the amount of redevelopment going on,” he said.
The company also owns land in Cary and is developing a mixed-use project near the corner of N.C. 55 and McCrimmon Parkway, he said.
Nearby, an Illinois development company wants to build 123 student-housing units near Compiegne Park, according to site review applications filed with the city.
Next Chapter Properties has plans for two 50-foot, three-story buildings with underground parking on a .6-acre site on Chamberlain Street and a 1.2-acre site on Logan Court.
If the project is approved, structures that date back to the 1920s would be demolished, according to city records.
The area is part of the West Raleigh Historic District, which dates back to the early 20th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some residents are disappointed about potentially losing the old buildings, Chris Herndon, president of the University Park homeowners association, wrote in an email.
Herndon said, though, that he understands the need for progress and redevelopment.
“We hope future developments align more closely with the plan’s recommendations and spare the removal of more historic buildings,” he said.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi