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Published: The News & Observer, January 27, 2005

Author: Dudley Price
Staff Writer

Edition: Final
Section: Business
Page: Page: D1

Rail site may bring a bit of everything

RALEIGH -- A trio of redevelopers who have built hundreds of urban condominiums and turned acres of vacant warehouses into offices and shops have turned their sights to a 6-acre tract on the edge of downtown.

Greg Hatem, Roland Gammon and Gregg Sandreuter envision a multistory mixed-use development where the Triangle Transit Authority plans its downtown station on West Hargett Street.

Gammon said development surrounding the station could be five stories high and include 300 to 400 condominiums and apartments, about 40,000 square feet of retail space and another 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of offices.

Hatem said buildings as high as 10 stories were mentioned in some talks with the transit agency.

The agency closed on the property, formerly owned by Dillon Supply, on Wednesday.

"We've had interest at every [station] site, but the most interest is at this one," said Paul Vespermann, TTA's director of transit corridor planning and development.

Hatem, Gammon and Sandreuter are among downtown's most prolific redevelopers.

Hatem is a principal at Empire Properties, which is one of downtown's largest private landlords and owns historic sites including the Alexander Building on Fayetteville Street Mall and the Raleigh Times building on Hargett Street. Gammon, of White Oak Properties, pioneered the downtown housing movement with the Cotton Mill and Park Devereux condominium projects; and Gregg Sandreuter, president of Cary's Hamilton Merritt, developed Powerhouse Square off Glenwood Avenue and The Dawson condominium project under construction at Dawson and Morgan streets.

The transit agency hopes for substantial private development around stations, Gammon said.

By midyear, the agency says it will ask developers for proposals, and a redevelopment company may be selected by late summer, Vespermann said.

The agency hopes private development can take place simultaneously with construction of the station, one of 12 stops on the 28-mile rail line scheduled to connect Durham, Research Triangle Park, Cary and Raleigh by late 2008.

Vespermann predicted that the station -- one of only two planned in downtown Raleigh -- will make a popular area even more attractive, referring to an entertainment area developing in the surrounding Warehouse District and nearby Glenwood South. "I'm trying to turn each station into an origination and destination site."

"If I had my druthers, there would be some nice offices on top of the station and maybe some residences on top of that," Vespermann said.

Caption: Land formerly owned by Dillon Supply in downtown Raleigh has piqued developers' interest in condos, retail and offices. Staff File Photo

 
 
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