Downtown South development in Raleigh, NC

Downtown South rendering | Gensler + Kane Realty

Last night, Raleigh’s city council voted 7-1 in favor of a rezoning proposal submitted by Kane Realty for the Downtown South development. Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin was among those who supported the plan, while David Cox, the councilman for District B, cast the lone opposing vote.

The move comes after last week’s unanimous recommendation against the rezoning from Raleigh’s city planning commission. Public comment lasted ~3 hours and speakers from across the community had the opportunity to share their opinions on the project — ranging from those who either support or oppose the development to those who think the rezoning plan needs revision. You can view the complete hearing via the City’s Youtube channel.

Rezoning proposal for Downtown South | Kane Realty

So what does this mean? First, if any additional public comment is received by the city clerk following last night’s decision, a second vote will be held tomorrow, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. 

If the approval moves forward, the rezoning will allow developers to continue with existing plans for the $2.2 billion, 140-acre project located near S. Saunders Street, which would include buildings up to 40 stories; 21 million mixed-use square footage; 16,700 new residential units + a 20,000-seat soccer stadium for the NC Courage and NC Football Club.

Critics of the rezoning proposal have said the plans lack guarantees to create affordable housing and address flooding issues

In response to those concerns, and separate from the rezoning request, Kane Realty has also applied for a tax increment grant — a financing program that would provide upfront public funds to support the Downtown South development in return for incrementally-increased property taxes. This type of funding has been used for projects in Charlotte and other NC cities, but has never been issued in Raleigh or Wake County.