3 min read ·
Last week, we sat down with John Kane, CEO, and Mike Smith, President & COO, to discuss the history of North Hills. Today, we’re sharing their insights about the current state of North Hills.
We’ve reflected on North Hills’ past. At its current stage, how has North Hills stayed true to your initial vision? How is it different?
Kane & Smith: We always wanted to have lots of places to gather along pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and active streets. That has continued to be the reality with each new project over the past decade. While we always envisioned vertical density, we did not begin to see this until about 10 years ago with the mid-rise and high-rise offices.
What is unique about today’s North Hills?
Kane & Smith: Many mixed-use places are in suburban or greenfield locations and are often less urban and less dense. North Hills is truly an integrated mixed-use property—vertically stacked office, retail, and residential—and not just a mix of uses near each other. It is urban in design and it’s truly an infill, meaning we tore down buildings to build new buildings.
How does North Hills compare to mixed-use developments nationally?
Kane & Smith: Having one development team, like Kane Realty Corporation, plan and execute a dense urban development in such an incredible location is clearly a differentiator. It allows for an exceptional amount of control over the quality of the product. That’s not always the case in these situations.
How has North Hills been a trendsetter nationally? Have you seen other mixed-use developments replicate aspects of North Hills?
Kane & Smith: The quality and quantity of our events throughout the property is unrivaled. We have more than 400 events annually. So many places crave an active farmers’ market and well-attended music events. North Hills has uniquely built, authentic events which residents throughout the region attend.
What is the biggest reason for North Hills’ success to date?
Kane & Smith: Location, location, location. While North Hills is adjacent to some of the highest net worth neighborhoods in the Triangle, its access to the interstate allows the entire Triangle to easily access North Hills.
Raleigh has grown significantly over the past decade. What has that growth meant for North Hills?
Kane & Smith: The influx of so many people to Raleigh from large gateway cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago has created a natural demand for an active 24-7 urban environment for residents to live and employees to work. They, as well as others, desire to “be” around North Hills.
How do you think North Hills has impacted Raleigh’s growth?
Kane & Smith: We are often told that we play a key role in an employer’s decision to relocate or expand in Raleigh because the urban offerings at North Hills bring a quality of life they expect in other dynamically growing cities.
What does a “typical” day look like for you at North Hills?
Kane & Smith: A typical day starts with coffee at Starbucks or Panera Bread – sometimes it’s breakfast at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel for a meeting. Throughout the day there are a lot of visitors to our offices, which are located in the heart of North Hills. When I don’t have a lunch meeting at Coquette Brasserie or Mura, lunch is often a quick one at Chick-fil-A or Pieology after a workout. Evenings are centered around Midtown Beach Music in the Commons during the summer and Friday Night Tributes in Midtown Park during the fall. When in town, Saturday morning is always a stop at the Midtown Farmers Market.
Follow the blog during the next few weeks for the final installment of the series about what’s to come in North Hills’ future.