The Raleigh City Council has approved plans from a Florida developer for a mixed-use roundabout at the Five Points intersection of Glenwood, Fairview, and Whitaker Mill. The project, called Hayes Barton II (HB2), will include a 12-story 300 unit apartment complex located in the center of the roundabout.
“We’re excited to bring HB2 to the area. 300 units sounds like a lot, but a New Jersey developer told us people in Raleigh-Durham are willing to pay $2,000 a month to live in a shoebox as long as it’s inside the beltline. That’s why we made each unit 600 square feet,” said the Florida developer.
The apartments will take up the top 11 stories of HB2, with retail and commercial space on the bottom floor. A few big name commercial tenants, including Chipotle and an unnamed restaurant owned by a current Presidential candidate, have already leased space in the building. Two up-and-coming fashion designers will lease space to launch their upscale clothing line, “Proper Southern Piedmont”. The developer originally sought out startup company Appy App as a tenant, but the deal fell through. “We really wanted those Appy App guys but they asked if they could pay their rent in tweets and “social engagement”, whatever that is. These two trust fund kids came along and said they could sell a bunch of pastel crap to their friends and make a ton of money, so we obviously decided to go with them,” said the Florida developer.
Knowing the decision would spark a heated debate, the City Council held a special session late Thursday evening to approve the roundabout apartment complex. “We knew this would be a divisive issue because this project is combining roundabouts with cheap apartment construction, two things everyone hates. Plus the developer kept calling it “HB2” and we knew it would never get approved once people heard the name. So we just took a page out of the NCGA’s playbook and approved it in a special session before anyone could oppose it. Not many people remember this, but Five Points had a roundabout in the 1950s, which is how we justify supporting HB2,” said a City Council member who refused to be named.
The project aligns with Raleigh’s goal of increasing urban density. “In order to get federal funding for transit projects we have to make our city as dense as possible. We turned to soulless outside developers who are eager to build apartments anywhere that we’ll let them. Raleigh really doesn’t need mass transit right now but we’re blindly optimistic that everyone will use a light rail once we build it. The fact that HB2 is a roundabout AND an apartment complex really helps us achieve our dense goals,” said the City Council member.
The city also granted the developer weekend food truck permits that will completely shut down traffic in Five Points so that people can Instagram the latest food truck offerings in the middle of the street. Traffic Jams, a new food truck that serves Boulted Bread toast covered in organic jam from a local farm, has already signed on as an anchor truck. It’s a new farm to food truck concept, because apparently that is now a thing.
The developer seemed completely unaware of the significance of naming the project HB2. “We wanted to call it “Hayes Barton” but that name was already taken. We did some research and learned that Raleigh-Durham is pretty sophisticated so we added the Roman numerals to try to fit in. We’ve seen a ton of social media engagement over the last week about HB2. That just shows us how passionate people are for this project.”
Residents have yet to react to the project, but the city is already anticipating an increase in accidents at Five Points.