An Inside look at 11 of the hottest projects now underway—and shaping the future of our city.
Raleigh is changing—from one corner to another there’s a host of inventive, innovative and downright disruptive—in the best way—projects coming down the pipeline. There’s no denying our fair city is undergoing a major face-lift—primed to be all but unrecognizable five years from now.
While most fear this slew of new development will hinder Raleigh’s identity and “turn it into the next Charlotte,” these projects are so unique and distinct from each other that they promise to add color to the city, as outlined in our “Building a Skyline” spread. These projects will only continue to make the city more attractive to people who want to live and work here—not to mention to companies looking to relocate (see: Apple and Google)—and to further up the ante for the accolades the capital city continues to garner on the daily (see “Raleigh Ranks”). These plans serve to honor our sacred “boring” identity while catapulting us into the postmodern age to join the ranks of all the urban powerhouses (Chicago, Atlanta) we’ve always found ourselves chasing.
Change is hard—but it can also be exciting. And as the saying goes, “to whom much is given, much is required.” In essence, the more we grow, the more options, opportunities and, yes, developments the city is expected to deliver. Here, we take a look at some of the major projects that are contributing to the city’s growing cool factor.
The Exchange Raleigh
Raleigh’s first billion-dollar baby is about to cash in. We first told you about The Exchange Raleigh in December 2019. Now, Raleigh Magazine has new exclusive details on this groundbreaking project situated at the intersection of Wake Forest Road and St. Albans Drive in Midtown. And before you roll your eyes or flip the page—this isn’t just another 40-story tower. This is a 40-acre development anchored by a 4-acre highly amenitized park by Dewitt Carolinas that leans heavily into green space—getting in front of a trend that many other cities are trying to figure out how to incorporate into their existing infrastructures to meet demand.
And The Exchange delivers green space in spades. “It’s an urban development, so you have to try to provide as much outdoor space as you can,” says Dewitt Executive Vice President Steven Beattie. “And I don’t think you’re going to find anywhere in North Carolina where an urban developer dedicates a 4-acre park.” To boot, the development abuts the city greenway system, and Dewitt plans to create a gateway from the greenway into the park.
Add to that a water feature running down the middle of the property. The “common thread that ties everything together,” according to Beattie, the park became a huge focus for the developers once the pandemic hit, and they took a pause to reevaluate their priorities for the project (first announced in 2019).
Rounding out The Exchange will be up to 990,000 square feet of office space; up to 1,275 residential units (condos and multifamily); 125,000 square feet of retail; and 300 hotel keys in what’s sure to be a cool juxtaposition of biophilic, modern architecture and natural landscape—an extension of the project’s health- and wellness-focused core value.
The state-of-the-art WELL-certified—think touchless elevators, air filtration, separate bathroom pods—twin office towers, dubbed 1000 Social (which broke ground in September) and 2000 Social, boast balcony space on every level, a terrace level and a back outdoor space dedicated to working outside.
When it comes to residential, Birchwood (one of the residential units that Dewitt is slated to break ground on next) features its own 20,000-square-foot amenity deck with a pool, outdoor working spaces and grilling spaces. “I don’t know of another apartment building that has something that large,” says Beattie. “There’s a lot of competition, so when you build a new development, you always have to push the bar just a little bit more.”
A majority of that retail space will be occupied by food and beverage tenants rather than shops (“If you want to shop, go to North Hills,” says Beattie), with the goal to foster local talent. “We want to elevate the food and beverage scene in Raleigh,” says Beattie. And one of his personal goals is to get a Michelin-starred restaurant (!).
Beattie explains the ground-floor retail, which fronts the park, will be an extension of the park itself. “What we found was that a lot of restaurateurs are having to get a permit from Raleigh to expand into the sidewalk,” he says. “We wanted the retailers to be able to use [the park] as an amenity, opposed to being confined to the space they lease from the building.”
A “city within a city” almost, The Exchange is the future of Raleigh. And it won’t just serve the office tenants, retail tenants or residents—but the entire community.
“Supporting Raleigh’s growth and success has always been a key part of Dewitt’s story, and building a future for our hometown that elevates community, connection, health and wellness, and work-life balance will be our legacy,” says Dewitt CEO Todd Saieed. “We’re creating something special at The Exchange—a new vision for Raleigh that marries the best of our local roots with the boldest of our aspirations.” theexchangeraleigh.com
Developer: Dewitt Carolinas
General contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie
Architect: Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio
Check back with us on Oct. 1 for more developments to be released.