RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Construction on another high rise is shifting into gear in downtown Raleigh. A ceremonial groundbreaking celebration kicked off work for the new building going up at 320 W. South Street.

The real estate firm behind the project, Capital Square, reports this will be the tallest downtown apartment tower in Raleigh yet that has no office component.

Currently, 12,000 people currently live downtown, according to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. That’s expected to surpass 15,000 people in the next four years thanks to developments such as 320 W. South Street.

The new 20-story building will once again shift Raleigh’s skyline.

  • rendering of the new building, looking up from the ground
  • rendering street level retail
  • rendering rooftop pool
  • rendering of new building in the skyline

Whitson Huffman, the Chief Investment and Strategy Officer at Capital Square said this is a $150 million project.

“We’re hoping to add to the vibrancy of the downtown community, and to the street level experience by adding new retail that isn’t here today,” Huffman said.

320 W. South Street will be home to almost 300 apartment units and 10,000 feet of retail space. Additionally, amenities for the residents include a 3,500-square-foot fitness club, resort-style pool, sky lounge, pet spa and secured, enclosed parking.

“We’re really looking for that walkability, and so as we look to develop in urban environments, we always focus on the street level experience,” Huffman said.

Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin told CBS 17 that creating mixed-use developments that incorporate housing with offices or shopping is a focus for the city.

“What we’re trying to do is build more walkable communities,” Baldwin said. “We don’t want people to have to get into their car every time they want to get a cup of coffee or they have to get something at the grocery store. We want to make access more walkable.”

And construction is picking up speed downtown. According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, since 2005, more than 3,000 apartment units have been built. Currently, 1,400 are under construction. DRA reported another 5,3000 are planned or proposed.

“Occupancy rates with apartments is now at 96 percent. It tells me people are moving here. It tells me we need to really focus on housing and we need to focus on housing choice,” Baldwin said.

Growth also isn’t being restricted to downtown.

In the Five Points neighborhood, Raleigh Iron Works will be home to more offices, apartments and shops. Similar projects are going up in North Hills, as well.

Mayor Baldwin wants to focus some housing development projects around transit routes.

“New Bern Avenue, Western Boulevard, Wilmington Street, Capital Boulevard – I think those are areas where we’ll see major changes over the next years,” Baldwin said.

With 62 people moving into Wake County per day, sources report, builders are hoping to fulfill a need with projects such as 320 W. South Street.

The project is expected to finish up by summer 2024.

Capital Square told CBS 17 they have their eye on another property for development in Raleigh but aren’t ready to announce that just yet.