South Downtown $ 2.2 Billion Project Progressing “Slowly”, Developer Says

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – You probably haven’t heard much about Downtown South lately, but the behind-the-scenes work continues, the project manager says.

Steve Malik, one of the development partners and owner of North Carolina Courage Football Club, said the Downtown South project, with some $ 2.2 billion planned investment in Raleigh, is continuing. Big issues to solve, such as affordable housing and workforce development, arise, he adds.

“I want people to tell me what their issues are, I want to shake things up, so if you don’t think about it all, they’ll be talking behind your back, they can’t handle this,” Malik explains.

Steve Malik wears a North Carolina Football Club cap. (Photo WRAL)

“It’s always nicer when people see the value,” he added, responding to a question from the audience at the Startup Summit Wednesday event at RTP about initial opposition to the project. “But the reality is that there will be problems along the way, and if you want to be successful you have to listen to people tell you why they are not on board.”

The project – including a football stadium – is envisioned as a gateway to Raleigh from the south, centered on approximately 140 acres near South Saunders Street and an I-40 interchange. First work is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the Downtown South website.

Raleigh approved the rezoning of downtown south last December, and project partners closed the necessary land on December 30, according to the project’s website.

But the rezoning came with many requirements. As the developers note, these conditions include:

  • Bans on high impact uses
  • Height restrictions in areas close to existing neighborhoods
  • A minimum of 14 acres of open space and parks
  • Density limitations for zones A and B
  • Quarterly community engagement meetings
  • Increased stormwater mitigation and analysis
  • Establishment of a matching fund for stormwater subsidies with community partners
  • Affordable housing commitments

One of the pros of all the downsides of the pandemic is that Raleigh is in a good position to come out of it, Malik said.

In an interview with WRAL TechWire following his keynote address at the event, Malik highlighted the continued growth in the area and the expanding population with residential housing is in high demand.

And that’s a good thing for Downtown South, Malik said, noting that high demand for housing may be a reason developers of the project could speed up construction of residential housing.

The developers will continue to hold meetings with the community and stakeholders, he added.

“We’ve bought the land, we’ve zoned it, we’re working with the city and the state on all of these issues, but it’s slow and you have to be patient,” said Malik.

Among the partners is John Kane, developer at North Hills in Raleigh.

Good luck despite the pandemic

The Triangle is resilient, just like its entrepreneurs and investors, even in the face of adversity due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the crowd said at the event.

The event, which was organized to provide practical wisdom to entrepreneurs, especially those who are considering raising capital for the first time.

“To raise money, turn the negatives into the positives,” said Malik, a Triangle-based serial entrepreneur who founded Medfusion and Greenlight Health. He is also president and owner of the North Carolina Courage and the North Carolina Football Club.

Malik recalled that he gave the Wall Street Journal the week he bought the Courage when he got a call from someone affiliated with the team begging him not to mention any social justice topic, equity or equality.

“What do you mean,” Malik said, he replied. “We’re going to lose money, millions and millions of dollars, but we’re doing this to give women equality. This thing that nobody wanted to talk about, we turned it into something positive. “

Fairness and justice are important, argued Malik. “If your business hasn’t made a plan around these things, you’re irrelevant right now,” he said.

Land now in hand, Downtown South developers aim to innovate this year

Malik recalled that he gave the Wall Street Journal the week he bought the Courage when he got a call from someone affiliated with the team begging him not to mention any social justice topic, equity or equality.

“What do you mean,” Malik said, he replied. “We’re going to lose money, millions and millions of dollars, but we’re doing this to give women equality. This thing that no one wanted to talk about, we turned it into a positive. “

Fairness and justice are important, argued Malik. “If your business hasn’t made a plan around these things, you’re irrelevant right now,” he said.

Kane and Malik advocate for the stadium as a stimulus for development south of downtown Raleigh


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