The Blount Street Neighborhood in downtown Raleigh is a significant historic neighborhood approximately 20 acres in size. In 2004, the State of North Carolina owned a large amount of land in the area, and found that rather than using it strictly for office space, it will be more valuable to the city as a redevelopment site that would attract new residents, offices, and retail to a downtown mixed-use neighborhood.
Project for Public Spaces served on the Development Advisory Team that created redevelopment guidelines that provide direction to prospective developers who have been purchasing land from the state. HDR led the advisory team, which also included John Milner Architects and Real Estate Research Consultants. The team worked with the City Planning Department to develop guidelines that reflect a market research efforts, a community-based "Placemaking" process, and real estate developer roundtables where stakeholders looked at the potential for redeveloping Blount Street through the eyes of the people who live and work there.
During the process, various stakeholders were asked to look at the "ground floor" of the potential neighborhood's public realm—streets, sidewalks, parks, buildings, vacant sites, and other public spaces—and evaluate how they could invite greater interaction between people while fostering a healthier, more sociable, and more economically viable place. Stakeholders also presented the types of development and the character of the new infill they would like to see built.
The team developed a set of guidelines that included:
The guidelines have allowed Blount Street to become a more mixed-use neighborhood where the former residences are being restored and converted to predominately residential use, and the remainder of the land is being developed primarily for residential purposes, including a mixture of single family and multifamily.