The pulse of downtown has quickened and one can predict the positives of yesterday’s council approval of the design phase for four glass retail pavilions. These spaces are somewhat reminiscent of the NYC Apple cube as they rise from the ground within an open square. We look forward to seeing more as the plans develop. The Simpson Organization is responsible for the space- owning the proximal Bank of America building.
Click the image above to see the whole scene.
There is a 5 million dollar gap in the money the city council has approved (16 million) and the budget (21 million) for this project. The council has asked Russell Allen, City Manager, to find a way to meet that budgetary gap. One of the recommended solutions is cutting the extent of this plan, the first thing we would see removed would be the lighting, concert facilities, and water/fountain features. Don’t let this happen, contact your council member and let them know you need the project fully financed. The council meets to make its decision on September 5th, so now is the time to let them know. If this project gets partially funded it seems the first thing the city will loose are the portions that the public will enjoy most.
The City Plaza will be a public gathering place designed to reinforce Raleigh’s image as being one of the most livable, high-tech cities in the country. It will be configured to accommodate a number of public events, including parades, markets and shows, while preserving the view along Fayetteville Street between the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the Capitol. Under a preliminary timetable, the City expects to begin construction of the City Plaza this fall. Completion of the plaza will coincide with the opening of the new 500,000-square-foot downtown convention center in the fall of 2008.
Design elements of the plaza include flexible seating, water features, trees and shade structures, high-quality paving and dramatic lighting. The design includes four light towers and bollards with underside lighting that will be placed on both sides of the Fayetteville Street rights-of-way. The light towers will be designed to allow for projection equipment that can provide varying levels of light for a variety of events. Details of the light towers and bollards are being designed in collaboration with North Carolina artist Jim Gallucci, a member of the design team for the City Plaza.
Click the images above to see the big picture.
City of Raleigh News