The L creates vitality and diversity—83 apartments, 7,400sf of office space, and 10,000sf of retail and restaurant space—on a vacant 40’ deep strip of land wrapping the Wake County parking deck on the corner of W. Davie and S. Dawson Streets. Born out of the City’s Livable Streets Plan, The L was developed as a public private partnership between Empire Properties/Concord Eastridge and Wake County. The County owns and operates a parking deck on the bulk of the site, and The L seamlessly interfaces with the deck. The building itself is a modern expression of urban architecture. A transparent glass and concrete base forms the building edge at sidewalk level, with the residences above articulated by two masses clad in a four-color custom-blended brick. The corner of Davie and McDowell Streets is highlighted by the building’s focal point—a recessed pedestrian entrance and the sculptural column.
The L is a quintessential downtown development, transforming the empty walls of a parking deck into pedestrian-friendly spaces. The mix of retail, restaurant, office, and residential uses make it an 18-hour building that forms the connective tissue binding Fayetteville Street to the Warehouse District. It is also one of the most efficient uses of land in downtown Raleigh; the project sits on a half-acre of land, translating to over 160 residential units per acre before accounting for office and retail uses. In 2022, Empire sold the L Building.