Downtown Raleigh keeps renovating as a new four-story apartment complex named The Lincoln breaks ground. The $40 million project held its official celebration earlier this month with Mayor Nancy McFarlane as one of the guest speakers.
John Nikolich, whose management and investment firm Banner Apartments is funding the project, said that The Lincoln will be part of “the evolution of downtown Raleigh.” The structure is to be built on a two-acre block east of Moore Square at the corner of East Hargett and South Bloodworth Streets. “We have been seeing this urban infill movement move across the country, and Raleigh was just starting to turn the corner when it was all shut down in 2008,” Nikolich said. “Other than the Hue, there’s not much in downtown proper. There’s a difference when it’s a five-minute walk to downtown offices versus a 30-minute walk.”
The Raleigh Planning Commission approved site plans for the project last August. The development will consist of 224 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartment units with 9-ft plus ceiling heights and high-end finishes. An on-site fitness and yoga center will be available, as well as a courtyard swimming pool and an attached private parking deck.
Banner and its partners are interested in redeveloping the block west of The Lincoln, too. The city of Raleigh has agreed to acquire much of the block, and is expected to eventually market it to private developers. “This is a very unique block,” Nikolich said. “You have full access to the central business district, but it’s more of a residential feel because it’s not high-volume streets.”
Banner owns about 6,000 apartments in nine states and has been making an aggressive push to expand into the Southeast. Like many developers new to the region, Banner was drawn to Raleigh by the population, employment, and wage growth. “We think we’re going to pioneer this neighborhood, be like the anchor to it,” Nikolich said. “We don’t want someone to kind of skate in and basically get the upside with no risk.”
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