Midtown Raleigh News

Construction to begin next year in long-delayed 5401 North Raleigh development

A Louisiana company has acquired the residential portion of the massive 5401 North development that is poised to take off after several years of delays.

Baton Rouge-based Enquist-Level Development paid $12.9 million for about 155 acres in the 400-acre development, according to Wake County property records. The project, which is approved for 2,250 homes and more than 1 million square feet of office and retail space, is being built at the intersection of Interstate 540 and U.S. 401.

Enquist plans to assemble a group of builders and begin constructing homes on the property by next summer. The team will include Level Homes, a Louisiana builder that entered the Triangle market earlier this year.

5401 North’s master developer is also a Baton Rouge-based company, Commercial Properties Realty Trust.

5401 North was first announced in 2006, before Interstate 540 opened to connect Northeast Raleigh to Research Triangle Park.

When fully built out, the project’s master plan calls for a central business area to be surrounded by a mix of houses, town houses and condominiums. The homes are expected to be priced from $165,000 to $700,000.

The recently approved Wake County school bond issue included money for a middle school at 5401 North. The school is scheduled to open in 2017. The community is already home to Riverbend Elementary, which opened in 2008.

The 5401 North property is adjacent to Wake Tech’s Northern Wake Campus. The city’s Neuse River Greenway also connects the property to 28 miles of trails.

In announcing the land sale to Enquist, Commercial Properties Realty Trust said it expects to begin infrastructure work on the site soon.

The project’s advancement is the latest sign of the Triangle housing market’s improving health. 5401 North will provide builders with a new pipeline of lots at a time when residential land has become scarce in many areas of the region.

The Triangle had just over 23,000 lots available in the third quarter, the fewest number since the first quarter of 2007, according to Metrostudy, a research firm that tracks Triangle housing trends.

That translates to a 31-month supply of lots at the current pace of sales, which is down from a 50-month supply during the third quarter last year.