The Miami office of international architecture firm 10 Design has unveiled details and design renderings of its first major North American project: a large-scale, mixed-use master plan that aims to transform the sleepy, underutilized southern end of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dubbed Downtown South, the $2.2 billion redevelopment scheme envisions a 20,000-capacity soccer stadium-anchored entertainment district complete with housing, hotels, retail, and commercial office space. The project is being led by developer John Kane of the Kane Realty Corporation and Steve Malik, owner and chairman of the North Carolina Courage, a National Women’s Soccer League team, along with North Carolina FC and numerous local partners. Downtown South has been in the works for a couple of years now, with a major milestone being reached in December 2020 when Raleigh City Council voted seven-to-one to approve a rezoning for the 140-acre project. That same month, the project developers acquired a final piece of land—the first to be developed—for Downtown South in a $38 million deal.
“This final announcement for the year is a significant moment for the district and the city as we move one step closer towards delivering critical infrastructure and community benefits to a widely underdeveloped area in Raleigh,” Malik told the Triangle Business Journal in a statement following the sale. “This parcel of land has the potential to shape South Raleigh for generations to come.”
Progress on the project, which will serve as a new gateway to the downtown core of North Capital’s capital and second-most populous city, has been largely smooth sailing since and local businesses and residents have been largely supportive of the plans, save for a local waste grease hauling and processing business that filed a lawsuit against the development team in April of this year. The suit alleges that the company is being forced out of the area despite a lease agreement with its initial landlord that stipulates that the business can remain at the site through 2031.
The recent announcement of 10 Design’s involvement as master plan designer further fleshes out how the connectivity-focused, park-studded Downtown South neighborhood will be realized and what it will potentially look like.
As the firm elaborated in a news release:
“Situated in the ‘City of Oaks’, the masterplan draws inspiration from the organic patterns of the trees and retains most of the existing vegetation across the site, which also creates benefit by reducing noise and cleaning the air from the bordering the I-40 Interstate Highway.
10 Design’s vision for Raleigh is to develop a new borough that builds upon the emerging creative industry of the East Coast by providing brand-new homes and public areas for the community and contributing to the reactivation of the southern district of the city, complementing the research triangle to the north of the city. The project ties in with the development of the BTR network to the south. It will generate new job opportunities for the area and create a lively neighbourhood that supports the city’s culture of technology and sports, as well as its large network of parks.”
10 Design further explained that a bridge loop with enclose the entirety of Downtown South to provide “efficient circulation in and out of the site and with the rest of the city” and that a destination virtual reality center will also play into the mix.
Downtown South is the first major North American project for 10 Design, which is owned by French multinational Egis and maintains studios in Hong Kong, London, Edinburgh, Dubai, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Singapore. There is, however, a local connection to Raleigh at its Miami studio in the form of designer partner Ted Givens, who is leading the project alongside managing director Alejandro Hoch. As reported by the Triangle Business Journal, Givens is a Raleigh native and graduate of N.C. State University.
“It is particularly special to me,” Givens said, “as it allowed me to transfer a lot of the learnings I gathered from many years working abroad in Asia and around the world, to my hometown in North Carolina. The design for Raleigh provides a mix of simple buildings that merge with the natural landscape and iconic pieces that activate the masterplan.”
Rounding out the larger master plan team alongside 10 Design are Le Conseil EGIS (sports specialist), McAdams (civil engineer), Kimley-Horn (traffic engineer), Stewart (landscape architect), and S&EC (soil and environmental consultant).
Downtown South’s development team expects to break ground on the ambitious project by the end of this year.