Hillsborough Street is on track to get taller again. Meredith Heights, a five-story residential development proposed for the 3400 block of Hillsborough Street, won the approval on Wednesday of the city’s Planning Commission, though the Raleigh City Council hasn’t voted on the project yet.
The developer, Cedar Forks Investment, wants a rezoning that would allow for 150 residential units, parking and about 4,000 square feet of retail or office space on about 2.2 acres just east of Meredith College.
Meredith Heights is just one of several increasingly tall buildings winding through the development process in western Raleigh, and it has raised some familiar concerns. The building would replace a fraternity office and commercial buildings, and it neighbors the Grove Park neighborhood, which dates to the 1920s.
Thomas Worth, an attorney who said he was representing the greater neighborhood, told the planning commission that the proposal was a threat to the area’s prosperity, despite months of negotiations between the developer and current residents.
“The scale is not consistent as proposed with what's already there,” he said. “The fear in the neighborhood is that this would be the catalyst for a decline in the neighborhood.”
Mack Paul, an attorney for the developer, said the proposal made concessions meant to ease its impact on neighbors, such as a 30-foot setback.
“We feel that we've put forward conditions that would provide greater protections to the adjacent property owners,” he said.
Planning commission members expressed concerns about the building’s form and height, but gave a unanimous approval for recommendation.
The proposal has not yet been scheduled for discussion at the Raleigh City Council, which has ultimate authority. Neighbors of the project have filed a valid protest petition, which will require a “supermajority” approval by the council, meaning three “no” votes could kill the project.