Senior residents will be relocated ‘just for a few days’ during Sir Walter building renovation

January 5, 2019
The Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel is downtown Raleigh's oldest surviving hotel building. Constructed between 1923 and 1924, the building was converted into apartments for seniors in the late 1970s. The building continues to serve as apartments today. Credit: Facebook

Raleigh’s oldest surviving hotel building has been sold and will be preserved as an apartment building for low-income residents, but some will be temporarily displaced as additional units are added to the building.

Danny Dublin takes his time as he makes his way to his ninth floor apartment in the Sir Walter building. His leg bothers him as a result of his time in the military.

“I used to be in the 82nd Airborne and it kind of messed up my knees,” he said.

The veteran and retired certified nursing assistant said his living arrangements at the Sir Walter apartments are comfortable and convenient.

“I really like it down here,” Dublin said. “It’s comfortable. I can get around.”

According to city officials, Dublin will be able to stay in his apartment even though the building was recently sold for $16.8 million.

A new project will add an additional 18 units to the already existing 140 units for low-income senior residents.

The project will require the temporary relocation of current tenants, but city officials said the move will be short and the people will be back.

“They’ll take care of temporarily moving the tenants out and we’re not talking about an extended period of time, just for a few days while that very intense renovation effort takes place, then they’ll move right back in,” said Larry Jarvis with the Raleigh Housing and Neighborhoods Department.

Jarvis said HUD will continue to subsidize the cost of living in the Sir Walter building.

In Raleigh, about 32,000 low to moderate income renters are considered cost burdened, meaning more than 30 percent of their income goes to rent and utilities.

“It’s really important to preserve that, preserve that diversity in the population, make sure those tenants stay there a long time,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said at least two other affordable housing projects are in the works for Raleigh.

Nonprofit DHIC was awarded funds to acquire and renovate Capital Towers on Six Forks Road to create housing for the elderly. The Village at Washington Terrace, which is also a DHIC project, is expected to be completed sometime this year.

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