What to know about Shaw University’s rezoning

Now that Shaw University’s rezoning request has been approved, the university plans to lease to developers to enhance the downtown campus.


Estey Hall is one of the protected buildings in Shaw University’s rezoning.

Photo via the City of Raleigh

Shaw University’s downtown campus has been approved for rezoning, according to Triangle Business Journal, which allows for up to 20 and 30 story developments on the historically Black university’s campus. Here’s what you need to know.

  • This rezoning may help Shaw drive revenue, according to Kevin Sullivan, vice president for real estate and strategic development at Shaw. Rezoned areas could be leased — not sold — to developers for multi-use developments like offices and housing in an area that is redeveloping rapidly. Shaw has proposed filling these spaces with grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants that serve the Shaw and downtown community.
  • At least 100 rooms for student housing must be built in the first three new buildings. Housing costs in rezoned parcels cannot be higher than the average price of housing near other universities in Raleigh (including Meredith College and William Peace University), which could help ensure reasonable housing options for students.
  • Many of Shaw’s historic buildings will be preserved, including Estey Hall, the first building constructed for the higher education of African American women in the US.
  • Rezoned areas include 17 parcels of land on East South Street, South Blount Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, East Lenoir Street, South Person Street, and South Wilmington Street.

Now that the rezoning request is approved, Shaw looks to seek tenants and begin construction.