North Raleigh News

Developer scraps Hillsborough Street apartment plan

Neighborhood opposition has sent a Hillsborough Street apartment proposal back to the drawing board, showing again that would-be builders in one of the city’s most lucrative corridors must walk a careful line.

Cedar Fork Investment had planned to build a five-story building on the edge of the University Park neighborhood, along Hillsborough Street. The proposal could have gone to a vote before the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday, but the original developer announced on Monday that it would scratch the plan.

The project poses a familiar problem: It aims to bring higher-density residential development, but it borders a long-standing single-family neighborhood. Among other requests, some current residents have asked for a cap of four levels on the building.

Cedar Fork couldn’t make a project work at that height, according to Mack Paul, a land-use attorney involved in the project.

Instead, the project will go forward under Jim Zanoni, a Charlotte-based developer who was focused on Hillsborough Street in the last decade.

“It’s the western gateway to the capital city, and it’s fronted by the largest state university, as far as student population,” said Zanoni, principal for FMW Real Estate.

He plans to scrap the current rezoning case, labeled Z-35-13, and submit an all-new proposal. He hasn’t drawn up plans yet, but thinks that he could split the apartments into more than one building, capped at four stories, he said.

“I predict this will set a precedent for how growth happens near existing development around the city,” said Councilman Russ Stephenson, expressing sympathy for Paul, who has found himself in the middle of a number of contentious development proposals.

Zanoni had an initial meeting with neighbors of the project last week, the developer said. Representatives of the neighborhood couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“We have appreciated the spirit of cooperation and thoughtful engagement of our University Park neighbors and look forward to a satisfactory outcome that meets the neighbors’ and developer’s needs,” Paul wrote in an email.

Zanoni also is the developer behind the four-story apartments under development at 2811 and 1301 Hillsborough St.

Kenney: 919-829-4870;

Twitter: @KenneyNC