Developers Hopeful For Charter Square - WNCN: News, Weather

Developers Hopeful For Charter Square

By Justin Moss

Developers are optimistic that a delayed downtown Raleigh project will eventually get done.

Charter Square, south of the Bank of America building near the new City Plaza location, has been delayed because of the economy.

City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement that allows developers more time to begin construction.

Roland Gammon, president of White Oak Properties, said the first phase of the project, an underground parking deck, should be done by the end of the month.

Gammon said construction of the two towers also planned for the site will eventually happen and begin when the economy improves.

"It's just a matter of building the buildings. The dirt and weather-sensitive work is behind us," he said.

The mixed-use project calls for two towers, one 14 stories and the other 21 stories.

Part of the new agreement approved by City Council also allows developers more flexibility as to what exactly will go in the towers.

"Possibly a hotel, maybe apartments, maybe condos," Gammon said.

He said there will be retail on the first floors of the buildings.

The economy has also impacted other downtown projects, including the Lafayette and Reynolds Tower, both of which were eventually scrapped.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said this project is different because developers have already made big commitments in terms of both financing and actual construction.

"We are affected by the economy. This project is a little different in that the first phase is now complete, and the office tower will be constructed at some point," he said.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance wants to take advantage of the space before developers begin construction of the towers.

The group is trying to secure at least $50,000 in private financing for an ice rink to occupy part of the site for a few months during the winter.

"This will be a temporary ice rink to bring more people and activity to downtown over the months of December and January," said Paul Reimel, Economic Development Manager for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.


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