If you missed last week’s DSinsider, you may want to take a moment to read it because it provides several important updates, including a new submittal requirement for Concurrent Review and Infrastructure Construction Plans (this goes into effect on January 1). It also includes links to updated quarterly performance and building permit reports, as well as information about a recently-approved text change and changes to the N.C. Building Code.

Now, on to the subject at hand! A few times a year, Paul Kallam, our Public Works Engineering Manager, coordinates a tour of a building that recently completed the plan review process. After spending months looking at the plans on paper, the tours provide a unique opportunity for staff to see the finished product in person. Because the tour highlights many facets of the development, our intake and review staff gain a better understanding of the entire process, making it possible to better serve our customers.

Our most recent tour was of the Aloft Raleigh on Hillsborough Street. This hotel is located adjacent to the N.C. State University campus, between Cameron Village and Pullen Park. On its website, it is referred to as “a new modern hotel in Raleigh that puts an innovative spin on upscale comfort.”

The hotel has a lot of the same amenities as many other hotels, but is set apart by its urban-influenced design and one-of-a-kind views of the N.C. State bell tower and downtown Raleigh. You can literally go to sleep and wake up looking directly at the picturesque bell tower – and if that is near and dear to your heart, then you’d likely find the space very inspiring!

The lobby is located on the second floor and features a wall of windows that open to a large patio overlooking Hillsborough Street and the bell tower. Everyone on the tour enjoyed socializing in this space, complete with awesome views, fireplaces, and a bar.

Today’s blog image is a collage of pictures from our tour, including the bell tower, lobby/patio space, and view of downtown. I’d like to thank Paul for organizing this tour, and encourage everyone to check out the Aloft.

And in other hotel news, AC Hotel by Marriott is coming soon to North Hills in Midtown Raleigh. I attended the groundbreaking ceremony last week and was excited to see things getting underway. This will be the first AC Hotel by Marriott in North Carolina and is among only thirty slated for construction in the next three years, representing Raleigh’s rise as a tourist destination. The hotel brand is inspired by the beauty of classic, modern design. Guests will enjoy easy, walkable access to arts and entertainment, restaurants, shops, and much more. The 135-room hotel will include an energetic public space featuring a rooftop bar and terrace. It is slated to open in the first quarter of 2017.

We’ve posted more images from our tour of Aloft Raleigh, as well as images of the AC Hotel groundbreaking ceremony and renderings. Please visit our Instagram page to view these images and many more. We also hope to have a time-lapsed video of Aloft Raleigh construction posted in the next week or so.

Thanks for reading, and may your holidays be filled with peace, love, and joy!