Development tycoon John Kane announced plans for a $1 billion expansion to his North Hills empire Monday, which will include high-rise offices, housing, and a food hall.

Dubbed the “Innovation District,” the sprawling 33-acre project aims to attract tech and lifestyle companies to the existing multi-use hub. The expansion will include an 18-story high-rise for offices and a 200-unit apartment complex. There will also be a 20,000-square-foot Big Branch Food Hall (approximately the same size as the Morgan Street food hall downtown). 

The plans boast an “unprecedented amount of open natural area space,” according to a press release sent out Monday by Kane Realty Corporation.

“We hope that Tower 5 and all of [Innovation District] will become home to innovative, forward-thinking companies that value employee satisfaction, originality, and a culturally enriched urban area,” Kane said in the press statement. 

“Local businesses are the lifeblood of all successful communities, but especially here in Raleigh,” Kane added “As [the project] comes to life, we want to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of local business owners and offer them a space in North Hills to make their dreams a reality.”

Construction on the first phase of the project–the Vine Apartments–finished up late last year and the next round of construction is set to kick off this summer. A third and final phase aims to break ground in 2022. 

Reached Monday afternoon, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said she doesn’t know much about the project but that it jives with other development trends in the Triangle. 

“Life sciences is the hot thing right now–that’s what everybody is looking to develop–so it fits in with our brand and also, from an economic development standpoint, that’s where we’re attracting a lot of interest,” Baldwin said. 

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