New Aloft hotel spurs new business along Raleigh’s Hillsborough St.

Posted on 01/27/15 No Comments



Despite being the primary commercial corridor for NC State University, Hillsborough St. for decades remained a place centered only on students and locals. In other words, it wasn’t necessarily a college town “destination” like Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street.¬†Granted, Hillsborough St. is in the state’s capital city, which is much larger and financially widespread than¬†Chapel Hill, municipally speaking.

However, Raleigh is indeed a destination city, and several local business leaders have taken notice, and made Hillsborough St. a priority.

A few years ago, a major civil construction project updated the street’s underpinnings, installed new sidewalks, traffic-control round-a-bouts, and a host of other aesthetic infrastructure items. A section of older, often empty storefronts and a (albeit popular) sandwich shop was replaced by what will soon be an Aloft Hotel, the contemporary, higher-end brand of the Starwood Hotels enterprise.

The ongoing sound of construction is keeping the street alive with change

The Raleigh Aloft will cater to visiting student families, away sports teams, and business travelers. It will be located directly across from NC State’s historic campus bell tower and is targeting an opening for this summer. It’s exterior will reflect the historic red-brick appeal of the campus while depicting a modern approach in its seven-story steel and glass facade. The hotel also has planned 6,000 square feet of street-level retail, convention and meeting space, and a bar called the WXYZ.

More is planned for Hillsborough Street in the coming years, as well, such as new mixed use apartments, restaurants, and commercial office space. The most prominent of which will be Stanhope, a mixed-use student housing project to be built by Kane Realty, the company behind North Hills. The facility will have 822 beds and 25,000 square feet of retail, CVS having just signed-on to anchor the ground-level storefront. The property will be very high-end and fully-furnished, catering to a new wave of “hotel-like” student housing properties that have become prominent around the country.

The ongoing sound of construction is keeping the street alive with change, encouraging the University and providing students with an ever-present sign of positive change for a street that was never quite lively after the businesses closed.

But come this summer, it’s going to be a lot different.

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