Midtown Raleigh News

More apartments for Cameron Village area?

A one-story office building on Oberlin Road could be demolished to make way for mid-rise apartments, adding to the wave of new development planned for the streets around Cameron Village.

A neighborhood leader gave a positive early reaction, but a City Council member said he was concerned about strain on utilities and roads as the inside-the-Beltline area undergoes rapid growth.

The project envisions 220 to 260 units wrapped around a parking deck, said Jim Anthony, a Raleigh commercial real estate broker and investor whose company owns the property at 616 Oberlin Road.

The site is next to the Fidelity Bank building, known for its distinctive white columns, and a block north of the Harris Teeter that anchors the Cameron Village shopping center.

“Office is clearly viable in that location, but the office market is still really beat up,” Anthony told 50 neighbors at a Hillsborough CAC meeting, where he gave a preview of the plan.

A rezoning request will likely be submitted to the city in June or July, Anthony said.

The apartments would be designed for a demographic of young professionals that Anthony called “a cut above” the target audience for the nearby Crescent development.

Last year, the city gave approval to allow Crescent Resources to build 282 apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail on a corner of Cameron Village at Oberlin and Clark Avenue.

Also approved was 401 Oberlin, an apartment-and-retail building planned across the street. To placate wary neighbors, the developers reduced the number of apartments from 280 to 250.

Too many apartments?

Now Anthony is readying plans for another project, this one next to his company’s headquarters building on Oberlin Road.

The company intends to acquire a piece of adjacent land on Daniels Street that is now home to four aging, one-story apartment units. The parcel could be redeveloped as a small building of condos, townhouses or apartments, Anthony said.

Will Allen III, chair of the Hillsborough CAC, called the initial concepts encouraging.

“Based on what we saw, it looks like a good place for that kind of residential development.”

“It’s going to be an improvement over what’s there now,” Allen added.

But City Councilman Thomas Crowder said hundreds of new residential units now in the pipeline will strain Cameron Village’s two-lane streets and decades-old water and sewer pipes.

“We have to have a full grasp of what capacity exists and what the cost is to upgrade, so that everyone shares in the cost,” Crowder said. “Otherwise we could find ourselves in a position where future development, or even the taxpayers, would have to pay to address these issues.”

New apartment construction has been below normal over the past three years, Anthony said, which means there is pent-up demand to absorb additional units.

Some parts of the Triangle, such as the Brier Creak area in northwest Raleigh, are still at risk of being overbuilt, Anthony said. But that’s not the case for the hot Cameron Village area, with its easy access to shopping, nightlife and center-city destinations.