by William Needham Finley IV™


James Borden

James Borden has 54 articles published.

Development Beat: Taco Bell With a Bar Coming to Hillsborough Street

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Week of January 22, 2018

Taco Bell Cantina coming to Hillsborough Street

City of Oaks looks to plant more trees

Raleigh selected as finalist for Amazon HQ2

Sushi Nine reopens on Western Boulevard

Allen Edmonds coming to Crabtree Valley Mall

Strickland Road Harris Teeter set for upgrades

Moonwalk Mini Golf opens at Galaxy Fun Park

Taco Bell Cantina Coming to Hillsborough Street

A new kind of Taco Bell is coming to Hillsborough Street. Taco Bell Cantina, the so-called “upscale” version of the ubiquitous chain is set to open later this year on the ground floor of the 2304 Hillsborough apartments. The first cantina location opened to great fanfare in Chicago in September 2015. It has since been announced that the chain would be opening 300-350 cantinas across the U.S. by 2022.

These versions of Taco Bell differ from the traditional locations in two ways: no drive-thru, and a menu that includes Sangria, wine, and draft beers. The hours, like the menus, seem to vary by location: while many of the cantina locations remain open to 2 a.m. or later, they stop serving booze at midnight.

Taco Bell representatives did not respond to inquiries for further details, probably because we once referred to the chain as “nobody’s favorite Mexican restaurant.” It’ll probably be a few months before Raleighites are able to order booze-infused Mountain Dew Twisted Freezes, as permits for the fit-out of the new space were only issued last week.


Oak City Arbory: 100 Trees Coming to Downtown Raleigh

The City of Oaks is about to get a little bit greener. Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is soliciting proposals for the installation of 100 trees on city-owned right-of-ways in the downtown area, a project they hope to complete by the end of March.

Locations for the new and replacement trees are spread out across the entire downtown area. Some of the more notable spots include the Museum of History, Fred Fletcher Park, Nash Square, and the Red Hat Amphitheater.

Per the RFP, planting trees is a much more complicated process requiring more specialized expertise than we would have imagined. The trees themselves are supposed to be sized between 1.5 and 4 inches in diameter, and include a diverse variety of species such as black gum, cherry, crepe myrtle, dogwood, elm, ginkgo, hornbeam, etc. Surprisingly, only nine of the 100 trees to be planted will be oaks.


Sushi Nine Reopens

It’s been two years since Sushi Nine on Western Boulevard burned down. As of this month, they are now open for business.

The restaurant, which reopened in early January, is offering customers the same menu in a new, larger space built on the ashes of its former location, which previously housed Ten Ten Chinese Buffet and Golden Corral before that. The old 6,400 square-foot building was torn down in February 2016, and the groundbreaking on the new 6,800 square foot space was held in early 2017. Thanks to our friends at New City Design for bringing Sushi Nine back.


Raleigh is a finalist for Amazon’s HQ2, Charlotte is not

Amazon announced last week that Raleigh had been selected as one of twenty finalists for HQ2, the company’s second headquarters. Charlotte, who also had submitted a proposal, did not make the list. Upon hearing the news, Durham’s Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham reached out to Amazon for clarification on why Durham wasn’t mentioned on the list. We are not making this up. Amazon replied and confirmed that they were referring to the entire Triangle region, not just Raleigh.

The HQ2 facility is supposed to bring 50,000 new high-paying jobs to the area. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon, but Raleigh is already growing at what seems to be an unsustainable rate as it is. There are obvious pros and cons to HQ2 coming to the area.

Short and long term economic impact
More ITB Insider readers
Robots, probably

Increased traffic
Higher cost-of-living
Tons of tech bros

There was a great piece on Business Insider last week addressing some of the negative impacts Amazon’s original headquarters has had on the City of Seattle. On the other hand, local developer John Kane has an interesting write-up over on WRAL’s Tech Wire about how well-suited Raleigh is for the new Amazon headquarters.

Amazon said they’ll make their decision “sometime this year” so be sure to circle that on your calendars.


Allen Edmonds Coming to Crabtree

Allen Edmonds, a high-end shoe and men’s accessory retailer, will soon be hocking its wares from Raleigh’s own Crabtree Valley Mall. Permits were issued last week for the $72,000 upfit of a 1,404 square foot space on the second floor of the mall that once housed Lacoste.

In addition to its signature handcrafted luxury shoes — so luxurious that a “shoe care plan” is advertised as a way of “protecting your investment” — the store also offers belts, shirts, scarves, and other such fashion accessories.

Harris Teeter to Receive A Near $1 Million Face-lift

The Harris Teeter at the Leesville Shopping Center on Strickland Road is about to undergo an expansive renovation. Nearly $1 million worth of permits were issued last week for “interior alterations and repairs” at the 20,000 square-foot store.

Just a few miles from the recently opened Brier Creek Harris Teeter, this location was originally built in 2000. While a million dollars ($981,415 to be precise) worth of repairs might seem significant, we imagine the store’s size, combined with the need for a variety of different types of repairs and improvements helped bump the cost up significantly.

Black light Mini-Golf Course Is “Out of This World”

In October, we reported that permits had been issued for a brand-new mini-golf course at the Galaxy Fun Park on Falls of Neuse Road. Now, just three months later, Moonwalk Mini Golf is open for business.

The space-themed indoor course features black light art created exclusively for Galaxy and 18 holes of “out of this world” fun. This course is, to our knowledge, the first and only indoor miniature golf option in Raleigh. That may not a big deal to some, but outdoor courses are seasonal and limited by the whims of Bonner Gaylord’s weather dome, and sometimes you just need to get your mini-golf game on.

Development Beat: New Outdoor Dining Planned For City Market

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Week of January 15, 2018

City Market wants to add dining in a parking lot

New boutique coming to North Hills

Growler USA to open in downtown Raleigh

Father & Son Antiques set to close for planned relocation

Triangle Racquet Sports plans Racquet Sports & Health Center

Office building planned for Crabtree

City Market Wants to Add Parking Lot Dining

A new outdoor dining option could soon come to downtown Raleigh — and this time, it won’t be at the expense of the city’s sidewalks. The owners of City Market, a collection of shops and restaurants that sits adjacent to Moore Square, have filed a case with Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission that would allow them to transform an old parking lot into a new space that would include both parking and outdoor dining.

According to the application, the 6,100 square foot parking lot in question is located at the intersection of South Blount and Wolfe Streets — it’s the one that backs up to Big Ed’s. The asphalt lot is set to be removed and replaced by two different surfaces: “decomposed granite on the east of the site and new asphalt on the west.”

This renovation has been given the name of “The Backyard,” by the owners, with the goal of enhancing “the functionality and aesthetics of the space to create an engaging pedestrian experience and outdoor dining experience” for patrons of City Market.

The application also contains more information on decomposed granite material than you could ever possibly want. For example, they’ll be using Chapel Hill Gravel, a “beige material with a muted clay tone,” that has been approved for use in other historic districts, but not yet Moore Square.

The case won’t be heard until later this month, and even if it’s approved, we can’t imagine work starting on it any sooner than this summer.


lou lou Boutique Coming to North Hills

lou lou Boutique, a women’s fashion accessories store that’s not to be confused with lululemon, will soon make it’s way to North Hills. Permits were filed last week for the interior completion of a space at 4120 Main at North Hills. The store will offer “quality, affordable women’s fashion accessories, jewelry, scarves, bags, & more!” The $89,750 renovation of the 1,829 square-foot space is being handled by Davidson & Jones Construction.


Blount Street Beers

Growler USA, the microbrewery pub and restaurant chain whose plans to open in downtown Raleigh we first reported on in May of last year, is set to open later this month in its spot at the Blount Street Parking Deck.

The street level space is located in the city-owned parking deck at 314 South Blount Street across from City Market. Growler currently has 17 locations across the country. While the locations boast slightly different beer and menu offerings, they claim to offer up to 100 varieties of beer on tap. As the name implies, many of these beverages can taken home in a growler.

The Raleigh location will also offer patio dining, but if the weather stays the way it is, we don’t imagine anyone will be sitting out there during the grand opening.


Father & Son Preparing For Move

Father & Son, downtown Raleigh’s beloved vintage thrift store, will close this Saturday, January 20th, as it prepares to relocate from its longtime home on Hargett Street to a new space at 302 South West Street.

When it was announced in 2016 that the 3-story building at 107 West Hargett would be turned into a new five-story development featuring retail and office space, it was believed that Father & Son would need to relocate to a new space outside of downtown Raleigh, a tragic blow to the store’s fans.

Fortunately, the owners announced this past October that they had reached an agreement for the space on South West Street. An opening date has not been set for the new location due to construction in the area.


48-Acre Property Set to Become 50+ Court Racquet Facility

Triangle Racquet Sports plans to develop a $25 million, 50+ court Raleigh Racquet Sports and Health Center. The center would be located on a city-owned 48.63 acre parcel at 6205 Mt. Herman Road in northwest Raleigh. The facility would be open to the general public, offering a 16-court “Family Zone” where anyone can play free of charge. The additional courts would be available only to members and those who pay to reserve them in advance.

Triangle Racquet Sports is seeking to partner with the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department on the project. Although the entire cost of building the facility will be covered by Triangle Racquet Sports, the City will get 50 percent of the court reservation fees and 20 percent of any third-party leasing fees. Triangle Racquet Sports is requesting a one dollar per annum 50-year lease for the property. The facility is modeled after the USTA National Training Facility in Florida, a massive development featuring more than 100 courts.

The project will also include construction of a public park with amenities such as playground, walking trails, community picnic shelter, and public restrooms. The project needs approval from City Council. In a memo, City staffers expressed support of the project, noting that there was a “considerable public benefit,” a need for additional public tennis facilities, and a potential $3.5 million economic impact to the community.

Development Announced Near Crabtree

A two-and-a-half acre parcel of land on Creedmoor Road near its intersection with Glenwood Avenue was sold at the end of last month to a subsidiary of East West Partners for $7 million. The land is currently home to a three-story, 31,000 square-foot “solar glass” exterior building constructed in 1972.

East West Partners plans to tear down the building within a few months and replace it with a Class A office building. The 175,000 square foot building will be called Crabtree Terrace and will include a parking deck and retail space. Construction on the new building is expected to begin this summer.

Development Beat: A Place At The Table and Other Restaurant Openings

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Week of January 8, 2018

A Place at the Table opens

Brookside Pizza opens

Pooleside Pie practice

Work begins on the News & Observer’s new offices

The Willard on Glenwood South

Manhattan Pizzeria coming to Falls Pointe

Renovations to North Carolina Railroad Company offices

Finding A Place at the Table

After years of planning, Raleigh’s most charitable restaurant has finally opened its doors. A Place at the Table is now serving breakfast and lunch from its brand new space at 300 West Hargett.

Monday was the first official day of business for the pay-what-you-can eatery, and if the lunch crowds we witnessed are any indication, the restaurant should be able to provide low and no-cost dining options to Raleigh residents for years to come.

The set up isn’t too different than the space’s previous tenant, Cafe de los Muertos. You order at the counter, choose a seat at the bar or at a table upstairs or downstairs, and your meal is brought out to you. I enjoyed a late breakfast of mouth-watering waffles and bacon, while my dining companion, none other than William N. Finley IV himself, had a panini.

How the pay-what-you-can concept works: you can choose to pay the “suggested” menu price, set your own price, pay for your meal and someone else’s, or eat for free in exchange for some volunteer labor. Any gratuity added counts as a donation rather than a tip. Nearly every employee there was actually a volunteer, as A Place at the Table only has five paid employees.

I went in prepared to love this place, mostly because I think the concept is fantastic, but I had no idea how a restaurant staffed almost entirely by volunteers would operate. It operated just fine, and then some. In addition to the volunteers, A Place at the Table received support from partners including: York Properties, Plan A Architecture, Kevin Israel, Venture Law, Riley-Lewis General Contractors, Bagchi Law, bu•ku, so•ca, and more.


Brookside Pizza is Open

The long-awaited upgrades to Brookside Market are starting to take shape. The shopping center, located at the corner of Brookside Drive and Glascock Street, saw the opening of Brookside Market & Pizza last week, bringing the number of pizza restaurants in the downtown and nearby areas to…..we’ve lost count by this point. Fortunately, you can never have enough pizza.

We haven’t had time to try it out, so we checked out their Yelp review and came across some major drama. An Elite Yelper had given the restaurant a 3 star review back in December. That caused another Yelper to call her out for abusing her Elite Yelper status. The Elite Yelper went back and updated the review, which you can read below if you have nothing better to do. What a time to be alive.
Read Cassie B.‘s review of Brookside Market & Pizza on Yelp

Pooleside Pie Pizza Practice

Speaking of pizza, acclaimed chef Ashley Christensen has been working on some pizza recipes of her own. Her new pizza restaurant, Pooleside Pie, is expected to open in 2018.


Renovations Underway on N&O’s New Offices

Permits have been issued for the future home of the N&O’s offices, which will be on the 14th floor of One City Plaza on Fayetteville Street. The roughly $1.6 million alteration of the 20,583 square-foot space is being handled by Inner-Tech. We hope the renovations end up nicer than their holiday party, which looked like a scene from the Saw movies.

No word on whether construction will be held up due to constant Kroger pop-up ads. The good news is they’ll be located right next door to our favorite lawyer, Stacy Miller.


A Peek at The Willard’s Paperwork

The developers of Glenwood South’s new seven-story hotel/condo combo known as The Willard appeared before the Board of Adjustment to receive the necessary approvals to move forward with the project.

Despite being mind-numbingly boring, the paperwork gave us a glimpse at the plan review process. For starters, there’s a minimum of eight(!) City staffers working on this project, each analyzing a different trade aspect of the job, from stormwater and fire protection requirements to urban forestry and transportation impacts. Take a look at the list of questions the City has for just one of those eight trades.

We’ll keep you updated as the project progresses.


Made in Manhattan

A new pizza joint will be opening soon at the Falls Pointe shopping center at 9660 Falls of Neuse Road, as permits have been issued last week for the fit-out of Manhattan Pizza. The restaurant will open in the space once occupied by Greek Fiesta, following $232,034 worth of renovations.

Railroad Tycoons Redecorate Lavish Offices

When we learned that the North Carolina Railroad Corporation had offices in Raleigh, we imagined their offices would be a spectacle of mid 19th-century Biltmore extravagance: Persian rugs, leather sofas, fine wood-paneled walls, rich mahogany desks.

It turns out, this isn’t the 1850s, and the corporation isn’t staffed by robber barons. NCRC is actually housed in a 1,413 square-foot space in a 1980s-era brick office building on Highwoods Boulevard. The amenities apparently include a kitchenette and an outdoor picnic area; no mention of a billiards room or even a bowling alley. The $95,870 renovation will be handled by Spec Con Inc.

Development Beat: Wiley Set For Upgrades, Bagels Coming to Glenwood, Pizza to DTR

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Week of January 1, 2018

Expansion and renovation planned for Wiley Elementary

Glenwood South to get a taste of NY

Hatem’s Empire Eats to open pizza joint later this month

New details emerge on new Downtown Hotel

Dogwood Bar & Eatery opens on Glenwood South

Closets by Design to be manufactured on Atlantic

Demolition of Cargill Plant and Dob’s Restaurant

Expanding Raleigh’s “Most Architecturally Outstanding Elementary School”

In 1923 the City of Raleigh hired Atlanta architect C. Gadsen Sayre to design four modern school buildings, including a new location for the Wiley School, then located at the intersection of Morgan and West streets.

According to County records, the new 16-classroom building at 306 St. Mary’s was built for a cost of $264,225 and first opened in September 1924. Named for Dr. Albert W. Wily, a villainous robotics engineer and scientist from an alternate Earth in the year 20XX, Calvin H. Wiley, the first superintendent of public instruction in North Carolina, it has been referred to as “Raleigh’s most architecturally outstanding elementary school.”

The original structure was last renovated in 2004, and now plans are underway to once again renovate and expand this historic school. Site plans filed last month indicate that a new two-story, 43,368 square-foot building will be built on the campus next to the original 1923 structure facing St. Mary’s Street. The new building will sit on the southern side of the original closer to College Place.

The plans aren’t exactly packed with details; aside from the building’s size and layout, it contains this one nugget of relevant information: “restoration of existing buildings, new building additions, some site modifications, new storm drainage, no change in use or occupancy.”


NY Bagels Coming to Glenwood South

Bruegger’s is about to get some serious competition. Permits were issued last week for the fit-out of an 815 square-foot space at Suite 180 in Glenwood Place at 301 Glenwood Avenue, which is also home of the well-known Sushi Blues Cafe.

There used to be a Bruegger’s across the street on the ground floor of 222 Glenwood, and as far as chain bagel stores go, Bruegger’s isn’t so bad, so can NY Bagel succeed where they failed? If they’re serving up the same bagels as NY Bagel & Deli’s other locations, we imagine the answer is yes.

In addition to serving a range of bagels and bagel-based breakfast sandwiches, the existing locations of NY Bagel & Deli also offer a variety of baked goods, soups and other northeastern delicacies.


Cowabunga, It’s Pizza Time

Love em’ or Hatem, Empire Eats provides downtown Raleigh diners with a wide range of dining options; from barbecue to burgers to Italian and Lebanese. Within the next few weeks, Empire plans to add another category to that ever-growing list: pizza.

Named the Pizza Times and located at 210 South Wilmington Street, the new spot will offer counter-service slices and pies to go, catering to “lunch and late night” crowds.

Interestingly enough, we weren’t able to find any permits issued for work at the space, although we imagine any renovations to the space were handled by Empire’s in-house contracting firm, Empire Eats Construction.


Marriott To Add a New Element to Downtown Raleigh

New details have emerged on the plans for a new hotel at 603 S. Wilmington street, a site that made the news a few years back when the City approved a rezoning request that allowed for the construction of a building up to 12 stories tall.

It looks like the new hotel, owned by Narsi Properties, will operate under Marriott’s Element brand. It will be one of two Element hotels to open in the area; another near RDU is set to open this summer on Airport Boulevard. Like the recently-opened Residence Inn on Salisbury Street, Element-brand hotels are designed for “longer-stay travelers.”


Dog Days of Winter

The newest offering from Bunch of Fives hospitality company, the Dogwood Bar & Eatery, held its Phase One grand opening last week, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

Bunch of Fives is the group behind Southern Charred, Mofu Shoppe, Anchor Bar, and Milk Bar. Dogwood features “local craft beer, craft cocktails and a great location to hang out with friends.” According to Dogwood’s website, the new bar will set itself apart with “the cocktails & rosé on draft and shareable plates such as charcuterie boards and flatbreads!”

Phase One of the Dogwood entailed the indoor/outdoor bars, a “grand wraparound heated porch” and “chic lounge furniture and décor that emphasizes retro midcentury designs.”

The owners are playing coy with what’s in store for phase two, saying that it will “bring a huge addition to Raleigh that’s sure to excite” but it sounds like it will involve dogs in some way, and open later this year.

Note: in a somewhat interesting coincidence, dogwoods were some of the first trees planted at the site of the then-new Wiley School when it opened in 1924 on St. Mary’s a block over.

Building Closets on Atlantic

Closets by Design, the franchised closet-builder with locations around the country, filed documents last month outlining plans for a “light manufacturing” facility on a vacant lot at 4500 Atlantic Avenue in North Raleigh.

The new facility will be housed in a one-story, 24,450 square-foot building that will sit on a 4.25 acre lot.

Although we initially imagined this project as some sort of manufacturing facility for custom-building a lot of the closets’ components; after all, do you really want a guy literally building a set of drawers from scratch in your master bedroom? But it turns out this is a store/warehouse facility, which would make it the second Closets By Design store in Raleigh. The chain also has locations in Durham, Cary, and a number of North Carolina Cities.

Double Dose of Demolition

A restaurant turned ministry and a one-time soybean processing plant in Southeast Raleigh will soon be reduced to rubble. DH Griffin will be handling the larger of the two jobs, the teardown of the former Cargill Plant at 1400 S. Blount Street. The 11,920 square foot plant, which went “idle” in early 2014, is not the only building on the large 10-acre property; there are a number of still-active grain elevators, and several warehouse and administrative buildings which are not included on the demolition permits.

Cargill announced in January 2014 the plant would be closing down, resulting in the loss of between 20-25 jobs; at the time. Cargill employed a total of 47 people in Raleigh. According to county records, the processing plant was originally built in 1914. Per Hill’s Raleigh City Directory we believe the space was originally home to The Buckeye Cotton Oil Company; we even found an old photo of the plant on the State Archive’s Flickr account.

Image courtesy State Archives of NC. Copyrighted by the News and Observer.

Sitting in front of the massive Cargill along South Wilmington Street is the former home of Dob’s Restaurant, which was originally paired with what was known then as Dob’s Motel.

Over the years, the motel switched its name to King’s, and the restaurant was turned into a space for the True Holiness End Time Ministries. While the Biblical end times have not arrived just yet, it does look like it’s the end of the road for True Holiness’ one-time home in front of Cargill’s grain elevators.

County records indicate it was built in 1957; a Hill’s guide from a few years later listed it as Dob’s. We’re not sure when the motel became King’s or when the restaurant turned into a ministry, although both properties have been owned by the Chetna Company since 2012.

Mike Legeros got some great aerial footage and pictures of the demolition.


Development Beat: Vita Vite Coming to North Hills and More Grand Openings

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Week of December 18, 2017

Vita Vite adding location in North Hills

Shop ITB opens

Grand opening set for A Place at the Table

Update on the hotel replacing Shelton’s Furniture

Seaboard Ace Hardware acquired by Ace Hardware

Bookstore at RDU to close

Bella Mar opens in Cameron Village

Another brewery plans to open in February

Ramen bar coming soon to South Wilmington


Vita Vite Opening Another Location in North Hills

Vita Vite, a wine bar and art gallery located in downtown Raleigh, is opening its second location. Branching out from downtown, the new North Hills location is scheduled to open in late spring 2018. Vita Vite Midtown will “unveil a welcoming, comfortable wine bar complemented by craft beers, small plates, Southern art and local goods for purchase”.

According to the exclusive press release that WNFIV received from North Hills, the 6,000 square foot space will have a mezzanine level with outdoor seating and bars on both levels. Located in the Park Central building, Vita Vite Midtown will also display a collection of southern art along with goods from local artisans and vendors. Make sure you take Lassiter Mill to get there.

Shop ITB Opens

Shop ITB, an e-commerce startup focused on the inside the beltline market opened this month. Founded by William Needham Finley IV, who also created this website, the shop features ITB fashion, merchandise, and glassware lines. “People have been asking for t-shirts for years, so I started a fashion empire,” said Finley IV. In addition to the signature ITB t-shirt, customers can purchase koozies, onesies, stickers, and ITBlessed wine glasses.

Last week, ITBlake the intern and JDog, known for their work covering the Raleigh Christmas parade, debuted their home shopping video to promote the grand opening. The video was met with rave reviews and has been viewed over 4,400 times. Be sure to shop ITB this holiday season, or else your family will disown you.


A Grand Opening at the Table

A Place at the Table announced their pay-what-you-can cafe’s grand opening in the former Café de los Muertos Space on W Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh. The first day of opening will be January 8, 2018.

A Place at the Table will be open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. According to the press release, their menu includes “buttermilk biscuits with sage sausage gravy, an assortment of sandwiches including delicious smokey chipotle pimento cheese, and a delectable waffle selection like the chai spiced waffle with butter, warm maple syrup, and whipped cream.”

All food and beverages will be pay-what-you-can. The model allows patrons to pay for their meal in one of five ways: to pay what they can afford, to pay a suggested donation, to pay what they would typically pay plus a donation, to pay specifically for someone else’s full meal, or to pay by volunteering.


Updates On the Hotel Going In the Old Shelton’s Spot

In March, we reported that the historic Shelton’s Furniture was set to be torn down, bringing an end to the building’s 75-year life. The building at 607 West Morgan Street was demolished to make way for what was being called Two Glenwood, a 150-room hotel and parking deck. Further details have now been unveiled about the future boutique hotel, which will be named Origin.

The 126-room 7-story hotel will be developed by a company named the Thrash Group out of Mississippi, and will be one of a number of “Origin” hotels it builds across the country.


Seaboard Ace Hardware Acquired by Westlake Ace Hardware

In what seemed like an odd bit of news, the Triangle Business Journal reported last week that the Seaboard Ace Hardware at Seaboard Station was being acquired by Westlake Ace Hardware out of Kansas. Which means it will remain an Ace Hardware. The new owners have even announced plans to keep “the store’s name, management, employees and product lineup.”

So Ace Hardware is getting bought out by Ace Hardware? And there won’t be any big changes? So does it matter? We’re glad to hear the management and employees will remain in place, and figure, if the store has to be sold, it might as well be to a company willing to keep everything the same.

The acquisition will be completed in February, and apparently will give Westlake a total of nine North Carolina Ace Hardware locations. We assume they’ll be having a celebratory glass of wine at Seaboard Wine.

2nd Edition Goes Out of Print

In a bit of tragic news this week, it was announced that the 2nd Edition Used Bookstore at RDU would be closing its doors for good at the end of December, following more than 30 years and a variety of locations at RDU Airport.

The owners, Walter and Karen High, both former librarians, plan to sell off the majority of their merchandise through closeout sales, although they will be holding on to a number of books for themselves. It’s impressive the store managed to remain open so long in the advent of Amazon and e-readers, and it makes sense the couple who owns it want to retire and do some traveling of their own, after decades of serving customers who were set to fly around the world.

Women’s Clothier Opens in Cameron Village

Bella Mar, a women’s clothing boutique based out of Wendell, held a grand opening celebration Saturday for its new Cameron Village location. We first reported on work beginning on the new store back in September. The store will feature  “trendsetting brands for women’s everyday style.”

Grand Opening today from 2-6pm or later 😉 #saturdaystyle

A post shared by Bella Mar (@bellamarnc) on

New Brewery Will Sprout Up in February

Funguys Brewing announced last week that they will be holding a grand opening celebration of their new Raleigh brewery on February 24, 2018. Funguys, which is currently seeking to raise money for the venture on Kickstarter, describes itself as a “start-up microbrewery”. They’ll be located off Wake Forest Road near Mami Nora’s.

Ramen Bar Coming Soon to South Wilmington Street

Permits issued last week will pave the way for the long-awaited Tonbo Ramen noodle shop on South Wilmington Street that we first covered in late August.

Drawn up by friend of the media empire Ted Van Dyk of New City Design, the design is intended to “honor the Moore Square Historic District, while bringing a contemporary interpretation to the aesthetic.”

“As a restaurant and night spot,” Van Dyk notes, “appearance and attractiveness, and connection between inside and outside are important.” The building’s original facade has been completely missing for decades. The new facade will be comprised mostly of glass and ceramic tile, and will “echo the ‘two-part’ composition of other facades on the street.”

Development Beat: Progress on The Wade, Taproom in the Works for Brewery Bhavana

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Week of December 11, 2017

Progress on The Wade

Brewery Bhavana plans new taproom

Weaver Street Market coming to The Dillon

Office Space: The Dillon

Apple store in Crabtree expands

New York developer has plans for Raleigh’s Warehouse District

The Wade Comes to Life

The nicest condo project inside the beltline has broken ground. Construction on The Wade, brought to you by our fine sponsor Beacon Street Development, began in November and is expected to finish in time for an early 2019 opening. We first covered the 5-story, 27-unit project located at 620 Wade Avenue back in May and recently got an update from Beacon Street.

The Wade is Officially Underway!

Construction has begun at The Wade! To say we're excited to be underway on Raleigh's newest boutique condominium is an understatement!

Posted by The Wade on Thursday, November 9, 2017


10 of the 27 condominiums have been sold and Beacon is thrilled with the progress thus far. “It’s a mark of acceptance and shows the marketplace is responding favorably. To be able to sell 10 residences and have others very close to buying at this early stage means we’re meeting a real need,” said Justin Hime, Director of Sales and Marketing at Beacon Street.

Beacon’s track record of building high-quality projects like Fairview Row in Five Points has most likely played a part in that early acceptance. “When people go by Fairview Row, one of the greatest compliments we’ve heard is ‘Did you renovate those buildings?’. The project turned out better than anyone could have imagined,” said Hime.

The same can be said for The Wade, which fits nicely into the existing neighborhood streetscape on Wade Avenue near St. Mary’s Street. “We wanted The Wade to fit in to its surroundings, which is why it’s classically designed and inspired by the surrounding historical vernacular. Residents will enjoy the finest finishes and scale – inside and out,” said Hime.

“This building appeals to so many different types of people. One of our buyers summed it up as well as we could by saying, ‘This is an easy to life location’, meaning, it’s easy to get to the grocery story or dinner in Cameron Village, easy to get downtown, easy to walk neighborhoods like Hayes Barton. On top of this being an incredible location, we wanted to make sure the building gave residents a chance to get to know each other and foster genuine community. That’s why we put so much attention into designing our amenities,” said Jim Wiley, President of Beacon Street Development.

Those amenities include a rooftop terrace, dog washing station for all those Dogs of ITB, fitness room, Google Fiber, signature lobby area, and an outdoor rose garden. It’s also within walking distance of the ITB Holy Trinity of Five Points, Cameron Village, and Broughton (sko Caps).

“The hard part is communicating the details and building confidence in people that this residence is going to be what we envision it will be, and more. We hope our reputation, what we’ve done at Fairview Row, and our commitment to designing a wonderful building will make it an attractive option for those looking for this incredible lifestyle,” said Wiley.

If that doesn’t sell you on The Wade, then the fact that they have Webb Simpson’s U.S. Open victory playing on repeat in their fitness room should do it. I didn’t photoshop this. These are actual renderings we got from them, and we couldn’t be prouder. For more info on The Wade check out their website.

Webb Simpson, inspiring residents to work out.


Brewing Up a New Business

Brewery Bhavana, which was just named as one of Forbes magazine’s “Ten Coolest Places to Eat 2018” list, will soon be opening a taproom adjacent to their brewery in Southeast Raleigh.

Local developer James Goodnight, known for his restoration of historic buildings, filed site review plans last month for a new restaurant/bar that calls for a change of use and the remodel of an existing 16,530 square-foot structure at 1401 South Bloodworth. The building is part of a larger complex owned by Goodnight, which includes Bhavana’s brewery and artisanal studios.

No details about the restaurant are spelled out in the site plans. Although they were filed last month, it was only last week that Bhavana’s owners announced their plans for a new taproom. We’re just excited about Goodnight — who restored the building now home to Ashley Christensen’s Death & Taxes — teaming up with some of the folks behind the wildly successful Brewery Bhavana.


Weaver Street Market Coming to The Dillon

The iconic Carrboro co-op Weaver Street Market — home of the best chocolate milk I’ve ever had, bar none — announced last week that it will be opening their newest location at The Dillon in downtown Raleigh.

The Raleigh location will be the fourth area Weaver Street Market, but the first outside of Orange County. In a brief release published on Weaver Street’s website, the company noted that they already have a strong following in Raleigh, and are “excited to officially become part of the city’s vibrant downtown community.”

“We  look forward to creating a gathering place where the Raleigh community comes together to enjoy fresh, healthy, and locally sourced products from trusted producers. All while continuing our co-op model of operating a market for the community, by the community.”

Chocolate milk aside, the Weaver Street location in Carrboro is a fantastic place, and I’m thrilled we’re going to have one at The Dillon. Weaver Street will join a growing list of downtown grocers, which will soon include a Publix off Peace Street and a Harris Teeter at Seaboard Station.


Office Space: The Dillon

After combing through some TPS reports, we discovered that 82,200 square feet of office leases have been signed at The Dillon, the first mixed-use development in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District.

Projected for spring and summer openings in 2018, the first tenants to occupy 40% of The Dillon’s office tower include:

· Stewart Engineering, a local engineering, design and planning firm. They’ll move into approximately 27,000 square-feet of office space.

· Spaces, which offers “creative working environments with a unique entrepreneurial spirit”, has signed a lease for approximately 35,000 square feet.

· FMI Corporation, a management consulting and investment banking firm, will move their Raleigh headquarters office to The Dillon occupying 20,200 square feet.

After successfully closing all three of these deals, Milton Waddams was rewarded with a corner office in the basement of The Dillon.

An Apple A Day Keeps The Gap Away

The Gap on the second story of the Crabtree Valley Mall has finally been filled. Apple held a grand opening this weekend celebrating its new and improved — and much larger — space at the mall.

Work began on the former home of The Gap in May, when $2.75 million in permits were issued for an extensive renovation of the 9,805 square-foot space. While the new store obviously bears no resemblance to The Gap, it’s also strikingly different than the old Apple store. AppleInsider categorized the look as part of the “next-generation Apple “town square” with floor-to-ceiling video display, cube-shaped seats and plenty of wood.”

Since both WNFIV and I are too afraid to go to Crabtree after the mall shooting, we found this Tweet showing off the new store.


The Walls and Halls Have Disappeared

The latest development  in Raleigh’s burgeoning Warehouse District will likely bring additional residential and office space to one of downtown’s fastest growing enclaves.

With both The Dillon and the brand-new Union Station set to open next year, the district is on track to shed all remnants of its former, more industrial self. In late November, an investment group led by a New York-based developer acquired a trio of parcels stretching along West Davie Street between South West Street and South Harrington Street for a total of $4.7 million.

The developer, Gary Fields, told the Triangle Business Journal they will take into account the “historic nature of the neighborhood,” and that they were looking toward both “preservation and growth.”

Site plans have yet to be filed, so it’s unknown whether the two existing buildings on the .82 acre site will be renovated and expanded, or, more likely, simply torn down. Fields’ references to preservation and the neighborhood’s historic nature, however, may signal an interest in restoring, renovating and expanding the existing structures.

Both buildings were once part of the Raleigh Oil Mill & Fertilizer Company, which Goodnight Raleigh described as “one of the earliest industries in the warehouse district, having been established in the 1880s.”

A report filed with the State historic preservation office describes the building at 406-412 Davie as a “2-story brick flat-roofed building built c. 1885 for press room and lint room of cotton seed plant. Segmental-arched windows are infilled. Early 20th c. two-story facade additions of brick and frame.”

The one at 322-324 Harrington was “originally a 1-story gabled brick building with round-arched windows that served as the guano mixing and storage house for Raleigh Cotton Oil & Fertilizer Company. This was raised to 2-stories in mid-2oth c., then gutted and remodeled in 1986. It is now known as Sperry Building.”

We’ll keep an eye on what happens with these.

Development Beat: Paint the Town Yellow

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Week of December 4, 2017

City of Raleigh to Repaint 20,000 Fire Hydrants

Cafe Lucarne Reopens As Lucarne

5 Lounge & Discotorium Comes to Glenwood South

Tapas and Wine Bar Announced for The Dillon

DriveShack Begins Work on Three-Story Driving Range

Iron Yard Coding School Copies and Pastes New Coding School

Penn Station Coming to The Stanhope

O2 Fitness Opens Fourth Raleigh Location


Paint the Town Yellow

Driving through Raleigh over the past year, you may have noticed an odd phenomenon: the changing color of fire hydrants. In June of 2016, the City announced a massive repainting project involving about 20,000 public fire hydrants. Public hydrants in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon were all to be changed from red to yellow. Chrome yellow, if you want to be specific about it. Friend of the media empire, Andy Specht, covered this last year.

We recently noticed that the City’s Public Utilities department is looking for a contractor to “plan and execute a project” that will involve the application of a “Safety Yellow” primer coat, and a final coat of Chrome Yellow on our beloved hydrants. Proposals for the painting are due on December 22nd and we would like to officially endorse our sponsor Express Yourself Paint for this project. Sure, they’re mainly focused on exterior and interior painting of residential and commercial buildings. But we’re confident they could handle 20,000 fire hydrants.

The City notes that the project is expected to take about two years, with the contractor finishing about 10,000 hydrants per year. If you want to know even more about the “why” behind this project, Mike Legeros has more information.

Notes from WNFIV: While researching this story, we found that many of these yellow hydrants are often painted to resemble Minions, the lovable characters originally seen in the movie Despicable Me.

There was even a Mario hydrant. 

So, why can’t we have these? Why not LaCroix themed hydrants or Lilly Pulitzer themed hydrants? Or hydrants for each neighborhood. I want more fire hydrant diversity and I want it now. Your move, Raleigh.


Cafe Lucarne Drops the Cafe

After nine months in operation on Blake Street in City Market, Cafe Lucarne shut its doors in March, only to reopen last week after another nine months as “Lucarne” — a late night spot serving small plates, craft beers, and cocktails.

When it opened in July 2016, Cafe Lucarne was a “casual, counter-service” restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The same group behind both incarnations of Lucarne also opened the high-end Royale restaurant (which WNFIV gave a 5 out of 5 beltline rating to) in November 2016. The new Lucarne was designed to serve as a companion restaurant to Royale and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.


5 Lounge & Discotorium Opens

Glenwood South’s newest bar comes with a twist — and we don’t mean the citrusy garnish they’ll be serving with the craft cocktails. It turns out, the owners of 5 Lounge & Discotorium want the bar’s patrons to “Party With a Purpose!” as the five owners of 5 will be donating five percent of their proceeds to a different charity each month. No word on if they’ll offer $5 footlongs as well.

While  it’s wonderful the owners are looking to give back to their community through these donations, we’re pretty sure most Raleighites would prefer a charitable bar/nightclub in the vein of A Place at the Table; that is, a pay-what-you-can concept for booze.

Until then, drinkers tragically paying full price for their cocktails can take solace in the fact that some of the cost is funding a local charity, such as the Women’s Center of Wake County. 5 Lounge is located at 517 W. Jones Street off Glenwood Avenue.


Barcelona Wine Bar Planned for The Dillon

The latest tenant for Kane Realty’s The Dillon development in downtown’s warehouse district has been announced: a wine and tapas bar that’s chosen Raleigh as its first North Carolina location.

Barcelona Wine Bar, which features dozens of tapas and charcuterie and cheese dishes ranging from Drunken Goat — semi soft goat’s milk soaked in red wine — to spiced beef empanadas with Piquillo sauce, currently operates in six states and Washington D.C.

We love a good tapas bar, and the menu prices for the Philadelphia location were surprisingly reasonable. The chain currently operates locations in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. We’re excited they chose Raleigh as their first location in the North State, but we’re even more excited they didn’t choose Charlotte.

Driving it Home

DriveShack, the TopGolf competitor whose plans to open up shop in Raleigh were announced exclusively here on the Development Beat back in May, received permits last week for their three story driving range with a “large bar and dining area.”

The new 63,885 SF, $8 million facility is getting built by Ashland Construction and will be located on Corporate Center Drive in West Raleigh next to Interstate 40.

Former Home of Iron Yard Coding School To Be Assimilated by New Coding School

Control C. Control V. The Iron Yard Coding School, a sort-of franchised venture that sought to train workers for a career change with three months worth of schooling, shuttered its Raleigh and Durham locations this past summer. Now, some of the former owners of Iron Yard are planning to open a brand-new coding school, Momentum, which, like its predecessor, will be housed in the American Underground building at 213 Fayetteville. In an interview with the Triangle Business Journal, Momentum CEO Jessica Mitsch said the intense local focus of Momentum would set it apart from Iron Yard.

New Sub Joint Coming to the Stanhope

Penn Station East Coast Subs will soon be serving their signature sandwiches from the ground floor of the Stanhope at 3001 Hillsborough Street. Permits for the interior completion of the 1,622 square-foot space were issued last week to Callahan Construction and Development, which is unfortunately not a subsidiary of Callahan Auto Parts.

O2 Fitness Opens at North Ridge

Raleigh’s fourth location of the popular O2 Fitness chain is now open at North Ridge on Falls of Neuse in North Raleigh, less than four months after permits were issued for construction.

Although we noted this is O2’s fourth location — they’ve got gyms at Brennan Station, Seaboard Station and another one on Falls of Neuse — this location will technically be the fifth to open in Raleigh. An O2 Fitness on Person Street closed earlier this year.

Development Beat: New Plans for Father and Son Building

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Week of November 27, 2017

Development planned for Father & Son building

Rufty-Peedin prepares to move into larger space

Hummingbird Cafe opens at Dock 1053

Glenwood’s Psychic House torn down

State seeks architect for Capitol building repairs

Falls Village Wine & Beer opens

Brier Creek Blowout


New Office and Dining Development Planned for Father & Son Building

The longtime home of the iconic antique shop Father & Son at 107 West Hargett will soon be transformed into a new five-story development featuring retail and office space.

Plans filed last week indicate that the existing 3-story building will be renovated and expanded into a new 5 story building that will more than triple the amount of available square footage from 8,874 to 25,489. Renderings show outside decks on the fourth and fifth floors, offering tenants the option of utilizing the additional outdoor space.

When Father & Son announced it would be leaving its longtime location last year, it was believed that the store would have to relocate out of Raleigh altogether. In October, the owners announced they had found a new location on nearby South West Street. Father & Son will remain in the space through the end of this year, and construction on the new development is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018.


Rufty-Peedin Prepares for Royal Move to Kingdom Way

Over the years, we’ve covered the growing number of area projects undertaken by our friends over at Rufty-Peedin Design Builders, so it should come as no surprise that the firm will soon be expanding into a new space that’s more than twice the size of their current offices.

Located down the street from their existing headquarters, the new base of operations for both Rufty-Peedin Design Builders and Rufty Homes will soon be found at 5121 Kingdom Way.

Rufty-Peedin has begun the renovation of the 6,000 square-foot space. Just last week, they received permits for an expansion of their new across-the-hall neighbor, NAI Carolantic Realty. Like Rufty-Peedin, NAI Carolantic has benefited from the region’s tremendous growth over the past few years, and its additional office space needs reflect that.

Both NAI Carolantic and Rufty-Peedin will be located on the building’s second floor, while the first floor will be occupied by the Autism Society of North Carolina, whose offices were also renovated recently by Rufty-Peedin.

The fit-up of a few tenant spaces in an existing office building may not appear to be as exciting as the restoration work Rufty-Peedin is doing down on South Wilmington Street for Auto Interiors & Tops or the transformation over on Hillsborough Street of a former book store into a well-appointed restaurant. However, the opportunities to expand NAI Carolantic’s space, as well as re-create a new home for respected custom builder Rufty Homes, requires an equally high level of dedication. Combine that with renovating the space to accommodate Rufty-Peedin’s growth, and there will be plenty of discerning eyes on the finished results at Kingdom Way.

“The big story for us,” said Steven Peedin in a recent interview, “is that we’re growing. We’ve outgrown our existing space, and it’s exciting to transform a building that we’re already familiar with and to have other high-profile and respected companies as neighbors.”


Hummingbird Cafe Opens

In May, we reported that the owners of PoshNosh Catering were planning to open the Hummingbird Cafe at Dock 1053 on Whitaker Mill Road. Six months later, the new restaurant from Chef Colleen Speaks has officially opened its doors to the public, offering everything from fresh juice and pastries in the morning to po’ boys, pretzel bread, pâté and cocktails in the evening. Hummingbird will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, and offers both indoor and outdoor seating.


Psychic House Torn Down

In July, we reported that Glenwood Avenue’s infamous “palm reader” house was set to be torn down. Originally built in 1957, the single-story, 1,745 square-foot house is the last remaining single family residential property facing Glenwood on that side of the street between Oberlin and the beltline.

The plan is to transform the .63 acre lot into “low intensity office use” in the form of a two-story, 10,353 square-foot office building. Fortunately, Katie Bryant, our friend and the designer of our amazing logos, sent in the above picture.

ISO Restoration Architect

The State Construction Office of North Carolina is currently seeking a designer to help restore both the interior and the exterior of the Capitol Building. Completed in 1840, the Greek Revival building served as the home of the General Assembly until it relocated to the State Legislative Building in the 1960s.

According to the RFP, the stone exterior is breaking down and needs to be repaired, along with the roof and gutters, interior plaster damage, and a few other issues. The $923,000 restoration project was authorized earlier this summer by the State Legislature following a push from The North Carolina State Capitol Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the Capitol Building.

El Vino Will Flow

Just two months ago, permits were issued to transform an old yoga studio at the Falls Village shopping center into something much more exciting: a wine and craft beer shop with a taproom. That shop, Falls Village Wine & Beer, opened its doors for the first time last week after finally receiving the proper go-aheads. The combination package shop/bar is a concept that’s found success throughout Raleigh, most notably in the downtown area. We imagine North Raleighites are thrilled to have something like Paddy O Beer’s closer to home.

Brier Creek Blowout

We know, we know: you don’t care what happens in Brier Creek. This attitude is even reflected in the region’s slogan: “What Happens in Brier Creek Doesn’t Matter.”

Still, on the off-chance you find yourself out that way, you may think to yourself, they could sure use some more commercial and multifamily development out here. Fortunately, both are in store for Brier Creek, as site plans were filed last week for both a new apartment complex and an expanded retail development.

Going by the name Exchange II, Brier Creek’s newest apartment complex will be a five-story, 157,322 square-foot development with 108 units. The units will include 51 one-bedrooms, 49 two-bedrooms and 8 three-brdrooms. 134 parking spaces and other amenities will be provided on the undeveloped lot at 9200 Bruckhaus Street.

The retail development is an expansion of Skyland Ridge at 7860 Brier Creek Parkway, and is described in the plans as a restaurant, retail and medical office development.

Development Beat: Boylan Bridge Brewpub Closes for “Reboot”

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Week of November 20, 2017

Boylan Bridge Brewpub to close and “reboot”

CycleBar opens in North Hills

New bar coming to Glenwood South

Renderings released for Urban Outfitters at The Dillon

Artist Thomas Sayre begins Memorial Park at Oberlin Village

Kaiju Bowl & Bao coming soon to East Davie Street

Work begins for octet of restaurants at Morgan Street Food Hall

German Grocer Lidl opens first Raleigh location


Boylan Bridge Brewpub to Close and “Reboot”

The Boylan Bridge Brewpub announced they would close down on November 20th and reopen in mid-January. That’s it. We aren’t covering this anymore. WNFIV said he will move to Brier Creek for a year if it actually reopens in mid-January.


CycleBar Opens in North Hills

CycleBar, a cycling studio with rides tailored to all fitness and experience levels, is opening its newest Raleigh location at Park Central in North Hills. They’re located in what’s being called “Fitness Row” (think Death Row, but for health nuts) a health and fitness “nexus” emerging in the spaces along the Park Central apartments. They’ll be offering nearly 3,200 free rides between November 13 – 26. Visit their site to reserve your spot. We aren’t making this up, ITBlake the intern was even asked to attend. Here’s part of an e-mail they sent us:

“For more information about CycleBar’s exciting new location and Fitness Row, please find the press release below my signature. We would also love to have you or ITBlake in for a free ride so you can recap your experience.”


New Bar Planned for Glenwood South

Site plans were filed last week for Craft Bar, which will be located at 3 Glenwood Avenue on a parcel of land that once housed Eden’s Ultra Lounge, DIVEbar, and the Raleigh Beverage Mart. Based on the name, we imagine the bar will seek to capitalize on the craft beer craze that just won’t die. However, this could actually be a bar where patrons come to work on arts and crafts while drinking speciality cocktails. Time will tell. In order to make way for the new bar, a minor addition will be made to the existing structure that will bring the total size of the 14′ tall building to 3,360 square feet.


Urban Design

Our friends over at August Construction Solutions released renderings of the new Urban Outfitters store they will be building at The Dillon in downtown’s warehouse district.

Although ACS has restored a series of older properties along North West Street, the firm specializes in national retail construction and has worked for retailers around the country, including Urban Outfitters. Last week, ACS also received permits for their latest West Street transformation: The Rainbow building at 911 N. West.

#augustconstructionsolutions #acs #dtr #urbanoutfitters #raleigh

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Oberlin Village Memorial

Work is now underway on a new project from artist Thomas Sayre, the man behind the wonderful outdoor Gyre sculpture at the NC Museum of Art. Sayre is crafting a park with a centerpiece sculpture memorializing the Historic Oberlin Village community, established by freed slaves in the 1870s near what is now Cameron Village Shopping Center. The park will be located on private land and funded with private funds from the York Family.


Work Begins on Kaiju Bowl & Bao

Permits have been issued for Kaiju Bowl & Bao, the latest offering from Ken Yowell. Yowell, who also owns the Oak City Meatball Shop and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila, has said the new restaurant will offer a kind of “Asian chicken wing.”

The new restaurant will be located at 170 East Davie Street in the former home of Dickey’s BBQ and next door to Oak City Meatball. The $25,000 renovation of the 1,350 square-foot space is being handled by Carolina Design & Construction.

Eight New Restaurants Begin Construction at Morgan Street Food Hall

Construction is now underway on eight new restaurants at the Morgan Street Food Hall, all of which received minor fit-out permits last week. The restaurants include:

Cousins Maine Lobster – a franchise food truck that offers a variety of lobster-based dishes, including the Maine Lobster Roll, a Connecticut Roll, a Lobster Quesadilla, a Maine Lobster Tail, and more.

Cocoa Forte – a dessert truck operated by husband and wife Freddie and Nicole McIntyre known for its various flavored combinations of Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake with crushed toppings.

Makus Empanadas – an empanada restaurant operated by the Moyano brothers and their lifelong friend Ricky Yofre with an existing Durham location that offers up Argentinian-inspired dishes.

MKG Kitchen – Vietnamese cuisine such as vermicelli bowls, and hearty rice platters.

Iyla’s Southern Kitchen – featuring upscale takes on classic southern cuisine such as chicken & waffle sandwiches, farro and zucchini cakes, and homemade jams and pickles.

Wicked Tacos – with a Raleigh location on Western Boulevard, they’ll continue to offer tacos and “crave-inducing salsas” from their new space.

Hook & Cleaver – the second location of owner Joseph Fasy’s popular restaurant will feature seafood, fresh meats, and prepared foods

Bella Pizza – offering high-quality wood-fired pizzas and seasonal tapas

Lidl Stores Are The Bargain Hunters’ Workshop

Last week, Raleigh’s very first Lidl (lee-dil) location held their grand opening ceremony that offered prizes, games, and special discounts. Initially slated to be the first Lidl in North Carolina, the Raleigh location on Wake Forest Road just outside the beltline (well it’s like 3-4 mins from beltline …) was beat to the punch by a sextet of stores in Greenville, Kinston, Rocky Mount, Sanford,  Wilson, and Winston-Salem. Additional stores have been announced in both Raleigh and Cary.

To us, that seems like a lot of stores opening in a pretty short window of time, but I suppose that’s German efficiency for you. Living close by, I had the chance to check it out this weekend, and while Harris Teeter sill reigns supreme when it comes to locally available grocers, Lidl was about a thousand times nicer than I was expecting.

The store was bright, clean and modern, with an aesthetic that seemed more borrowed from Ikea than Aldi’s apparent muse of a third-world bodega. On Sunday night, the lot was packed and seven out of the eleven available registers were open; a delightful ratio rarely seen in today’s cutthroat retail environment. Heck, even the shopping carts were nice. The store’s only real downside is that customers are forced to turn right onto Wake Forest Road when leaving; I live to the left.

Development Beat: Cameron Village Welcomes New Starbucks

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Week of November 13, 2017

New Starbucks opens in Cameron Village

City Plaza construction shuts down Ice Raleigh

Target opens on Hillsborough Street

Moore Square closes for renovations

Michael’s English Muffins to open permanent retail location

Remedy Diner relocates

New hotel announced for Glenwood South

Last week, we asked everyone to donate to the YMCA’s We Build People Campaign. You still have a day left to donate and enter “ITB” when you credit a campaigner.

We’d also like to remind everyone that Share the Pie is selling pies to support StepUp Ministry and Alliance Medical Ministry. You can purchase pies here.

Our third and final cause of the week is Hilltop Home’s annual “A Christmas Carol” sponsorship. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Thursday, December 7th show of Raleigh icon Ira David Wood III’s beloved musical, held at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts (also known as Memorial Auditorium). You can also purchase individual tickets for $95 without a sponsorship package. Includes ticket and donation to Hilltop Home, a private, non-profit intermediate care facility that is home to 22 children with severe to profound developmental disabilities. Children receive individualized medical, therapeutic, and educational services in an intimate, homelike setting.

New Starbucks in Cameron Village Opens

It’s an early Christmas miracle. Residents rejoiced as the new Starbucks in Cameron Village opened this week. The new location is across the street from the previous location inside Harris Teeter. The temporary closure during the move left many distraught last week, so we’re glad to see this up and running.

While there is not a drive-thru at the new location, contractors appear to be finishing work on an outdoor seating area that could potentially double as a helipad for Tahoecopters or drone pickup/delivery. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.


No Ice Skating in Downtown Raleigh

Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile, and on every street corner you’ll hear: “When does Ice Raleigh open this year?”

Well, we hate to be the bearers of War on Ice Skating news, but Ice Raleigh — a seasonal outdoor ice rink located in City Plaza — will be closed this year. It’s sort of a long story, but basically the City told the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (the group that puts on Ice Raleigh) that the Astroturf space normally used for the rink would be unavailable due to construction on the new 22-story FNB Tower. DRA tried to find another location but was unable to. The FNB tower groundbreaking got pushed back to Feb. 2018, meaning the Astroturf location was available, but it was too late for DRA to secure the location for proper installation.

This doesn’t mean Christmas is canceled in Downtown Raleigh. The annual 2017 ABC11/ Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh is November 18th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place December 2 in City Plaza from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.


Hillsborough Street Target Now Open

Last week, the Hillsborough Street Target welcomed the students of NC State into its bright-red, scaled-down space in the former home of The Alley. The 23,000 square foot space is officially a “flexible-format” store, which runs smaller than the average 135,000 square foot regular Targets and the 174,000 square foot Super Targets.

WNFIV was invited to the sneak peek but, out of respect for The Alley, couldn’t bring himself to attend. Here’s a tour of the new space.

Considering the majority of the items purchased at the new store will be furnishing micro-sized dorm rooms or cramped four-bedroom apartments, it makes perfect sense to have a smaller store (they were once known as CityTarget or TargetExpress stores) in this location. But was it too much to hope that they’d find enough spare room for at least *one* bowling lane?


Moore Square Park Closed for Remodeling

Although the official groundbreaking ceremony for the loooooong-anticipated Moore Square Park renovation was held last Thursday, it wasn’t until yesterday that one of downtown’s oldest parks was closed to the public.

While planning on the Moore Square renovation began more than 8 years ago, and was finally bid out to contractors (for the first time) last year, it was not until September 2017 that Council finally awarded a construction contract for the $10.6 million overhaul to American South General Contractors of Sanford.

American South had bid the job at more than $13 million, but worked with the City to come within the project’s remaining budget. In order to do this, a few modifications, including the size of the trellis, changes to the seat walls, and the removal of a “grove room,” were required.

Construction is expected to take about a year and will include landscape renovations, a new public pavilion, a new central lawn, planted areas, pedestrian walkways and gathering spaces, sidewalk improvements, site lighting and furnishings, a play area, public art, and a jet-field water feature. No word on if the water feature will feed into the potential downtown Raleigh canal.


Michael’s English Muffins Getting A Retail Location

Raleigh’s only source of fresh-baked English muffins will soon have a permanent spot to call home, now that permits have been issued for the renovation of a space at the Towne Square shopping center.

The shop’s owner, Michael Annabelle Comisar, told us she hadn’t even been looking to open a retail location, and was instead looking for a space to grow their production. The English muffins are currently sold at a number of farmers markets and other retail locations around the area.

“Per the landlord, the space needed to be open to the public,” Comisar said, and she decided to open a small cafe location where customers could either purchase the muffins in bulk or enjoy them on site with a variety of spreads. Her favorite: peanut butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Comisar, who named the English muffins after her late father Michael, said she hopes to open by the end of the year, but doesn’t want to set a hard date due to the high expectations associated with the holiday season.

Remedy Relocates

Remedy Diner, the downtown vegetarian mainstay that first opened on East Hargett Street in 2008, officially moved in to its new space at 927 Morgan Street last Wednesday. The new, larger space can now seat up to 60 diners at a time, nearly double the amount that could squeeze into the original location, allowing Remedy to serve up twice the number of Buffalo Non-Chicken Wings, Veggie Reubens and Fake Meatball Subs.

New Hotel Planned for Glenwood South

In a move no doubt designed to capitalize on the influx of tourism set to flood Hillsborough Street now that the Target has opened, plans were announced last week for a new AC Hotel by Marriott near the intersection of Hillsborough and Glenwood.

The new five-story hotel, known as “The Willard” will have about 125 rooms. An additional two stories will house 25 condominium units. Four office buildings known collectively as Cooper Square at 21 Glenwood Avenue will need to be torn down in order to make way for the new development.

Development Beat: The Metropolitan Rises from the Ashes

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Week of November 6, 2017

Metropolitan moves forward with rebuilding

Publix coming to Peace

Saigon Bar & Grill opens on Glenwood South

Allen’s Automotive bought by Charlotte developer

New fire stations coming

Hotel planned for Gorman

Before we get to any news this week, we’d like to encourage everyone to donate to the YMCA’s We Build People Campaign, which is the Y’s annual effort to raise money to support all of their community outreach programs. They run some amazing programs that are truly changing the lives of kids and families in our community. There are 9 days left to donate. Fun fact: Randy Jones, the cowboy from the Village People, is from Raleigh. So the famous “YMCA” song is most likely based on the Alexander Family Y.

Metropolitan Rises From the Ashes

The Metropolitan, from photojournalist Brian JP Oschwald.

It was never determined what started the fire that destroyed the wooden frame of the under-construction Metropolitan Apartments. Designed by JDavis Architects, the 274,000 square foot building was originally set to open in the fall of 2017 as a luxury apartment complex offering amenities including a rooftop deck, a pet spa, and a golf simulator. The fire, of course, delayed those plans. You may remember ITB Insider’s exclusive on-the-scene coverage of the event. It was Pulitzer-worthy.

The unsolved mystery hasn’t stopped the developers from moving forward. On November 1, a set of permits for the rebuilding of The Metropolitan were issued. Clancy & Theys will once again serve as the general contractor for the 241-unit apartment complex and parking garage. The firm will be utilizing a number of local subcontractors to handle the electrical and structured cabling work.

One minor critique: we would’ve gone with a new name. Any future tenants Googling this place will inevitably read stories of the fire. We would have gone with “The Phoenix,” but hey, it’s their project. For a fascinating, in-depth analysis of the fire, check out this article from


Publix Coming to Peace

We thought everyone had known about this for years, but for some reason the media went wild last week over the “official” announcement of Publix coming to Peace Street. Our own William Finley IV broke the news first, leaving traditional media in the dust.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020, unless….


Saigon Bar & Grill Opens

The Saigon Bar & Grill, which we reported on just a month ago, held its grand opening celebration on October 26 at its new space on Glenwood South.

Located on the ground floor of the 222 Glenwood condominium, Saigon offers a range of dishes, from porkbelly tacos to jumbo lump crab and New Zealand snapper.

Charlotte Developer Acquires Additional Hillsborough Street Property

FMW Real Estate, the company behind the new apartments behind Hillsborough Street’s old IHOP, acquired another parcel of Hillsborough Street property: 701 Hillsborough Street.

Most recently home to Allen’s Automotive, the 2,268 SF building, built in 1956, is located across the street from Char-Grill and Snoopy’s. In other words, an ideal location for FMW’s specialty: luxury apartments.

No site plans or rezoning requests have been filed, and FMW did not respond to our inquiries, so we’re not sure what’s coming next for this space. Our guess: the auto shop building is coming down and apartments are going up.


New Fire Stations for Raleigh

In other fire news, two new fire stations are coming to Bragg Street and Harden Road. Final site work permits for Fire Station 14 were issued last week to Brasfield and Gorrie, the general contractors building the new station at 3510 Harden Road. The new station will be “approximately 18,100 square feet with three equipment bays, including one bay for a ladder, a second bay for an engine, and a third bay for two chief vehicles or future equipment needs.” Station 14 is currently located next to Rex Hospital at 4220 Lake Boone Trail. The great Mike Legeros has a complete history of the station that you can read here.

City Council is expected to approve the $3oo,000 purchase of a 1.74 acre parcel of land at 1034 Bragg Street for use as the future home of Fire Station 3. According to the City, the existing Station 3 facility, located at 13 S East Street, is ‘not large enough to accommodate needed fire apparatus and is not in the most optimal location.”

The City came to an agreement with the NC Department of Corrections to purchase the Bragg Street property, which fronts Rock Quarry Road. Once again, a rich history of Station 3 is available from Mike Legeros.

New Hotel Planned for Gorman Road

A new hotel will be coming soon to the intersection of Gorman and Thistletown. Site plans filed earlier this month describe a new Marriott TownePlace Suites, a four-story, 91-room hotel catering to long-term guests. The rooms at TownePlace Suites hotels feature full kitchens along with a range of other first-class amenities like free breakfast and a separate bedroom area.

Welcome to Moe’s

The Falls Pointe Shopping Center on Falls of Neuse Road will soon become the second Falls of Neuse shopping center to house a Moe’s Southwest Grill. Permits were issued for the $154,618 renovation of the 2,364 square-foot space at 96600 Falls of Neuse that previously housed Casa San Carlo Italian Bistro. San Carlo closed in July. Schrade Custom Homes is serving as the general contractor.

GameStop Begins Leveling Up at Crabtree

After months spent hoarding the raw materials, gold, and laborers required to transform their level four store into a level five location, GameStop at Crabtree Valley Mall has finally received permits for these long-awaited renovations.

Although local firm Neal Contracting will be the general contractor on this $97,000 remodel, it looks like a Brooklyn-based company by the name of Mario Brothers Plumbing will be serving as the mechanical subcontractor.

Monster-Sized Development Beat: Historic Raleigh Business Relocates to South Wilmington

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Week of October 30, 2017

Auto Interiors & Tops near 42nd Street Oyster Bar is moving

DECO to move in 2018

Southern Charred Opens on Glenwood South

Father and Son finds new home

bartaco coming to North Hills

Sommelier’s Roast opens on Glenwood

Progress on A Place at the Table

Noodle bar approved on Wilmington Street

Rainbow Renovation


Rufty-Peedin to Refurbish New Home for Auto Interiors & Tops

There’s an almost indescribable satisfaction in transforming something old, a little beat up and a lot worn down into something that’s almost better than new. Tommy Gardner has been doing that for more than thirty years at Auto Interiors & Tops, a business founded by his father in 1973 that reupholsters the interiors of cars, boats, and commercial properties.

Auto Interiors & Tops moved into its current space at 303 North West Street in 1977, when Gardner’s father relocated the business from its original Martin Street location. Now, Gardner says, the area has changed: the explosive growth of Glenwood South and its accompanying apartments, retail, and restaurant development made him think he should find a more suitable spot for his business.

Gardner eventually acquired a brick building on South Wilmington Street that has been home to everything from a grocery store — one where Gardner said his father remembers shopping — to a restaurant, which Gardner himself had dined. Most recently it served as a place of worship for the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus Church until late last year.

We were able to take an inside look, thanks to the fact that our friends over at Rufty-Peedin Design Builders are serving as the general contractor for the extensive remodeling of this 59 year-old building.

Adam Zaytoun, a project developer at Rufty-Peedin, walked me through the surprisingly massive space, pointing out where the car bays would go, where the front office will be, what has to come down, what can be salvaged. Zaytoun provided such an extensive history that we wish we could hire him as a research assistant for the Development Beat.

Built in 1958 as a Colonial Stores Super Market, the building was a grocery store through the late 1970s.

Image courtesy State Archives of NC. Copyrighted by the News and Observer.

In 1979 it became “Friday’s 1890 Seafood,” which was shortly changed to “Fosdick’s 1890 Seafood.”

Before there was Foster’s, there was Fosdick’s

In the mid-80s it became Gardner’s BBQ — an odd coincidence — after which it reverted back to “Fosdick’s 1890 Seafood” until it was converted to a Christian Academy in the 90s.

Now, Rufty-Peedin is set to do for 2808 South Wilmington what Gardner has been doing for his customers all these years: restoring the interior to a customized, better-than-new condition. While permits for the project were issued last week, Gardner said the process has been going very smoothly so far.

“They were really helpful in getting things going and set up, the whole team over there has been great.”

Of course, this isn’t Rufty-Peedin’s first restoration of a historic Raleigh building: two years ago they turned the old Hillsborough Street Bookstore into a beautifully crafted restaurant.

“It’s always a pleasure when you have an Owner like Tommy who appreciates the character and history of Raleigh’s old buildings… we’ve uncovered the original terrazzo floors from the Colonial Grocery Store, which were hidden under several layers of carpet and vinyl flooring. Once resurfaced, they will be showcased in Tommy’s new shop as an homage to the building’s past,” said Zaytoun.


He added, “Auto Interiors & Tops move from 303 N West Street is yet another sign of Raleigh’s booming downtown and the benefits of infrastructure planning and investment. The new location on South Wilmington will contribute to the revitalization of Raleigh’s Southern Gateway Corridor, an area which will likely see a dramatic comeback with future public transit and infrastructure upgrades that the City of Raleigh has planned.”

For his part, Gardner couldn’t be more excited about the move.

“I think it’s a good spot, it’s got a little more room for what we do,” Gardner said. “On occasion we get larger things like boats and trucks; it can get a little cramped at our current location.”

Gardner still owns the building at 303 North West, and is looking to rent it out to a business more suited to the area.

Although nothing will replace the iconic Mr. Peanut sign that once sat across South Wilmington we’re glad to see that the area is being redeveloped by a historic Raleigh business and a local general contracting firm whose work we’d praise even if they weren’t a sponsor.


DECO To Move in 2018

In early Spring 2018, DECO Raleigh will move next door to a larger space, resulting in a single new storefront facing Salisbury Street that will house DECO and DECO Home. The larger space is located in the 208 Fayetteville Street building, which was recently purchased by MDO Holdings. DECO will be located at 207 S. Salisbury, occupying half of the street-level main floor.

From the press release sent to us by our friends at MDO Holdings, “the new space will be the largest footprint for an independent retailer downtown, allowing DECO to consolidate the offerings from DECO and DECO Home while adding new independent and local brands to the mix.”

DECO will celebrate their 5th anniversary November 1 – 5. After an anniversary clearance sale, DECO Home will close November 5, and that space will house a holiday Pop-Up Shop from online retailer Raleigh Vintage.

Southern Charred Opens On Glenwood South

We previously reported that work had begun on Matt Kenner’s newest venture, Southern Charred. With construction complete, Raleigh’s newest barbecue joint celebrated its grand opening at 510 Glenwood this past week, offering diners everything from pulled pork, sliced brisket, and smoked devil’s eggs to cocktails like the Front Porch Tea and a host of locally brewed beers.

Father and Son Gets New Home

Vintage thrift store Father and Son has found a new home, and they won’t have to move very far. The store will move from its location on Hargett Street to 302 South West Street. The move is the result of finding out in December that their building was in the process of being sold.

bartaco to Open in North Hills

Kane Realty announced plans for the newest North Hills restaurant, bartaco, “a hip eatery specializing in tacos and rice bowls.” Specializing in what they describe as upscale street food, the taco chain already has two locations in the Old North State – Asheville & Chapel Hill – making the North Hills location next to Mura its first in Raleigh.

Get Roasted on Glenwood

When we saw an announcement that a new place called Sommelier’s Roast was opening at 3700 Glenwood, we thought it was a bar/entertainment venue where patrons would have their taste in wine roasted by a master sommelier. “You’re pairing a sauvignon blanc with a bacon double cheeseburger? I’ll bring out a side of cat food since that’s how poor your palate is. Boom, roasted.”

It turns out that this is actually a gourmet cafe owned by Lance Odvody, whose training as a sommelier “uniquely qualifies Lance to bring out the subtle flavors of coffee, to create food and beverage pairings, and to bring excellent service to the everyday coffee experience.”

Work Begins on A Place at the Table

We previously reported that the nonprofit restaurant A Place at the Table had found a new home at 300 West Hargett Street in the space once occupied by Cafe de los Muertos.

The new location was officially announced a few weeks later, and will offer “fresh, healthy and affordable meals for diners of all backgrounds” between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Diners will be offered a wide range of payment options, including paying “what they can afford,” regular price + a donation, and payment via volunteerism.

Maggie Kane, executive director of A Place at the Table, told us that the space will be “100% different.” The $134,000 renovation of the 1,837 square-foot space will be handled by Riley-Lewis General Contractors.

“Riley Lewis is the best,” Kane said. “I have really enjoyed working with them. They are on top of things and it is only week 2. Dave Lewis gets what we are doing and is all in. He has sought us many other donations with his subs.”

Kane hopes that A Place at the Table will open by the end of November or in early December.

Wilmington Street Noodle Bar Approved

Tonbo Ramen, the noodle shop with an upstairs bar planned for South Wilmington Street that we first covered in late August, was approved with conditions by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission last week. The five conditions on the development include things like a requirement for clear glass to be used in the facade, and screening for the rooftop mechanical equipment.

Drawn up by friend of the media empire Ted Van Dyk of New City Design, the design is intended to “honor the Moore Square Historic District, while bringing a contemporary interpretation to the aesthetic.”

“As a restaurant and night spot,” Van Dyk notes, “appearance and attractiveness, and connection between inside and outside are important.”

The building’s original facade has been completely missing for decades and the building itself is considered a “noncontributing” resource in the Moore Square Historic District. The new facade will be comprised mostly of glass and ceramic tile, and will “echo the ‘two-part’ composition of other facades on the street.”

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Rainbow Upholstery has been supplying Raleigh’s restaurants and retailers with fine furniture from its West Street location since the early 1980s, when founder Dolores Glenn began offering her wares to “people who demand the best.”

“If we’re the wizards of West Street,” joked Michael Iovino, President of August Construction Solutions, “[Rainbow owner Chuck Bullock] is the mayor.” ACS has previously transformed the former home of Peace Lighting and the warehouse at 907 N. West into stylish, modern office spaces. Soon, they’ll begin work on the Rainbow Upholstery space at 911 N. West Street.

Although Rainbow, which aided the Raleigh community by offering skilled job training to recently-released female prisoners, will continue to serve as a home to “Upholsterers with the Golden Thread,” it will be doing so from a smaller location.

Later this fall, ACS will begin rehabbing the interior of the existing two-story, 26,774 warehouse originally built in 1946. In addition to transforming existing storage and showroom space into offices, the street-level space will eventually be turned into spaces for locally-owned businesses and restaurants with outdoor seating.

“We’d love to see a coffee shop in there,” Iovino said.

During a tour of the space in September Iovino detailed plans to open and brighten the space by removing most of the existing walls and expanding the windows down to floor level. While the building currently offers a view of a kudzu-encrusted patch of overgrown land, the City will eventually be turning the space into a new park, allowing for a much more pleasing aesthetic.

Development Beat: North Hills Superchargers, N&O Building to be Sold, HQ Raleigh Expands

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Week of October 23, 2017

Superchargers coming to North Hills

News & Observer selling downtown building

HQ Raleigh expands into Capital Club building

Charter Square North to break ground in February

Greek Fiesta on Western to be replaced with Popeye’s

Galaxy Fun Park To Add Mini-Golf

Superchargers Coming to North Hills

Kane Realty announced last week that North Hills would soon be adding Tesla Superchargers. We had hoped these would wirelessly charge your iPhone battery as you walked around North Hills. Apparently, they’re for charging your Tesla electric vehicle.

North Hills will be the first in the Raleigh market to offer this amenity and they have also secured a spot on the Tesla Model X Mobile Gallery tour. As part of the nationwide tour, the Tesla Model X and Airstream gallery will be in the Commons of North Hills from November 27th to December 4th.


News & Observer To Sell Downtown Building By Year’s End

Nearly three years after announcing plans to sell its downtown offices, the News & Observer has reportedly found a buyer with plans to close on the property by the end of the year. Although the three-acre site has been home to the News & Observer for nearly 110 years, the paper did not move its editorial offices into the three-story brick building on South McDowell Street until the late 1950s.

In November 2015, the News & Observer had reached a deal to sell the property for $20 million to the cleverly-titled LLC Above The Fold. Plot twist, the deal fell through. The sale of this historic property was reportedly announced during an earnings call last week, although the buyer was not named. We can confirm that it was not ITB Insider™.

The existing office building will almost certainly be torn down or drastically re-altered — back when they first announced plans to sell, the N&O’s publisher described it as “an old and inefficient space” — although what will be built in its stead remains to be seen.


HQ Raleigh Opens New Space in Capital Club Building

“So we beat on, startups against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the shared workspace.” – an entrepreneur, probably.

HQ Raleigh, a co-working space in downtown Raleigh, held a “Great Gatsby inspired” grand opening/five year anniversary party this past week to celebrate their expansion into the historic Capital Club building.

William Finley IV actually spoke at the Raleigh Public Relations Society awards dinner last week and said the space looked fantastic.

We first reported on this move back in February, when we noted that the $2.2 million project would renovate about 31,000 square feet of space. Included in that space were floors 9-12 of the 12-story building, which originally housed space for the Capital Club’s offices, “as well as a billiard room, lounges, kitchens, dining rooms, and a ballroom.” It seems these amenities were a must have since, according to a historic landmark application, “the Capital Club Building is associated with the lives of the individuals who dominated the governmental, commercial, and industrial affairs of the state during the five decades beginning in 1885.”

Groundbreaking Announced for Charter Square North

Raleigh’s most anticipated sequel is set to begin production in February 2019, when Dominion Partners will commence with the construction of Charter Square North, a 22-story office and residential tower on South Wilmington Street. Why they chose to go with Charter Square North instead of my suggestion, The Magna Charter, is beyond my understanding.

Designed by JDavis Architects, the $110 million tower has gone through a number of iterations through the years, from the 2015 unique stacked structure that looked like the Tet Corporation’s Hammarskjöld Plaza in Keystone Earth’s New York City, to the more sleek and modern look unveiled last year. The latest rendering includes signage for the building’s anchor tenant, F.N.B. Corp, a Pennsylvania-based bank that will occupy about 40,000 square feet.

Charter Square North will include a total of about 156,000 square feet along with 239 apartment units. The space is reported to be about 50 percent leased at this point.

The original Charter Square, one of North Carolina’s only privately-owned, LEED-platinum certified buildings, opened in 2015. Dominion sold the building to another local firm, Highwoods Properties, in September 2016.

Popeye’s Chicken Coming to Western Boulevard

Western Boulevard’s Greek Fiesta restaurant will soon be replaced by Popeye’s Chicken. Bringing in a Popeye’s to replace it is an interesting choice, considering there’s a Bojangles about 100 yards away. Although we imagine the proximity to NC State means they won’t have much trouble keeping the doors open.

Galaxy Expands

Go-Karts. Bumper Cars. A Rope Course. Laser Tag. A Trampoline Room. Galaxy Fun Park has it all, right? Wrong. Unlike its counterparts Adventure Landing and Frankie’s Fun Park, Galaxy, which opened just over a year ago on Falls of Neuse Road, is missing one key component of the family attraction center formula: mini-golf.

But that’s about to change. A $200,000 permit was issued to Carolina Building Systems for a “change of tenant space to miniature golf.” A Galaxy employee told us the course should be open within a few months.

Development Beat: The Standard Moves Ahead and More Apartments Planned for Hillsborough Street

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Week of October 16, 2017

The Standard at Raleigh Apartments move forward

More apartments planned behind old IHOP

Midtown Yoga coming soon to North Hills

Mami Nora’s begins working on new Brier Creek location

Pho Sure opens at Celebration Station

New Pizza restaurant coming to Downtown Raleigh?

StateView Hotel opens on Centennial Campus

Sitework underway for new Publix-anchored Leesville Marketplace

Site Plans Filed for The Standard on Hillsborough

On October 3, Raleigh’s City Council approved a rezoning request for The Standard at Raleigh, a new student apartment complex planned for 3101 Hillsborough Street. That approval allowed Landmark Properties to take the next step toward breaking ground: filing a site review plan.

In order to make way for the new 5-story complex, the existing 81-year-old structure, originally home to the North Carolina Equipment Company, will have to be torn down. Fortunately, the tractor sign sitting atop that two-story building will be preserved per one of the conditions offered in the rezoning case. “The tractor sign will be placed on the Hillsborough Street frontage and lighted.”

The apartment building will offer ground-floor retail, and be accompanied by a 452-space parking deck. The Standard will offer 46 one-bedrooms, 48 two-bedrooms, and 23 three-bedrooms, and 115 four-bedroom units.

The site plan will be reviewed by city staffers and will require only administrative approval. The next step will be for Landmark to undergo the commercial standard review process, after which they will be eligible for permits and construction.


More Apartments Proposed Behind Old IHOP

FMW Real Estate submitted to the City two new site reviews for apartments that will be built behind the old Hillsborough Street IHOP.

In January, we reported that FMW had begun working on a new four-story, 87-unit student housing complex behind the IHOP at 109 Park Avenue. The plans filed last week call for building two additional 16-unit structures that will stand three and four stories tall on the lots directly backing up to the IHOP site on Park and Ashe Avenues.

The four-story, 13,990 square foot building will sit on a small, .24 acre lot at 103 Park Avenue and will have 5 one-bedroom, 7 two-bedroom, and 4 three-bedroom units. The three-story building fronting Ashe Avenue is described as having 16 total units, but the breakdown only lists 6 one-bedroom, 6 two-bedroom, and 3 three-bedroom units. As far as we can tell, there isn’t any parking required for either of the new buildings, and the combined total of a half-acre for the two adjacent lots on which they’ll sit don’t really leave much room for parking lots.


Permits Issued for North Hills Yoga Studio

Five months after announcing plans to bring a new yoga studio to North Hills, permits have been issued for Midtown Yoga on the ground floor of the Park Central Apartments. The $135,000 fit-out will be handled by The Raleigh Construction Company.

Although the website for Midtown Yoga, which promises to become “your new favorite studio for all things yoga” says it will not open until late 2017, it appears that owner Emily Wallace has been holding Yoga classes in outdoor spaces at North Hills, such as Midtown Park.

Mami-Mia! Popular Peruvian Chicken Restaurant to Open Near Pleasant Valley

Raleigh’s most mouthwatering chicken joint, Mami Nora’s, will soon be expanding with a new, larger space near Pleasant Valley. The new restaurant will be housed in a 9,100 square-foot space at 6711 Glenwood Avenue.

Mami Nora’s had initially announced the new location in December of 2016, but at the time the plan was to open in early 2017. In April, permits were issued for a new wall sign, and last week, a small $5,000 interior alteration permit for “equipment change and related building work” was issued to the local firm Swift Inc.

Pho Sure Now Open at Celebration Station

The new Vietnamese restaurant Pho Sure, whose construction at Celebration Station on Six Forks we first reported on back in May, held a soft opening last week, garnering praise or its friendly service, enchanting décor and, of course, for its pork buns.

More Pizza for Downtown Raleigh?

Food blogger EatRaleigh announced this week that a new pizza place would be opening in downtown Raleigh “behind the Raleigh Times”. As Raleigh Times is located on East Hargett, we assume the future pizza restaurant would be located at 206 S Wilmington in a building owned by one of Greg Hatem’s many subsidiaries. Of the building’s three storefronts, two are occupied, by Feelgoodz shoe store and Moon & Lola Jewelry, while the other sits empty. Presumably, this is where the pizza restaurant would go.

New Tenant to Move in To Old Flanders Gallery by January

Local developer James Goodnight announced on Twitter last week that a new tenant had been found for the old Flanders Gallery at 302 South West Street. He said they hoped to open by January, but that they were at the mercy of all the work being done on Union Station and The Dillon.

In October 2014, the Flanders art gallery relocated to a new space on Blount Street. In 2016, it closed for good.

Hotel With a View

After more than two years of construction, the luxurious StateView Hotel on NC State’s Centennial Campus opened its doors for the first time last week, allowing visitors to NC State the chance to sleep on the shores of Lake Raleigh.

The five and a half story hotel and conference center contains 164 rooms across four guest room levels. The StateView Hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Hotel collection: independent hotels that utilize the Marriott Branding. W.M. Jordan, acted as the project’s general contractor. If you want to see a virtual tour of the property, check out some of our previous coverage.

Sitework Underway for New Leesville Marketplace

Several sitework-related permits were issued last week for the new Leesville Marketplace, a Publix-anchored shopping center located at the intersection of Leesville Rd. and Strickland Rd. The property will feature 13,000 SF of specialty retail and restaurant space at the former site of the old Leesville Teacherage.

We’ll keep you posted as permits begin to pop up for the center’s various stores; described generically on the project drawings as “Pizzeria” “Yogurt,” “Nails,” “Mobile,” etc.

Development Beat: Iron Works Coming to Atlantic, New Condos Near Dix Park

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Week of October 9, 2017

Raleigh Iron Works mixed-use development coming to Atlantic Avenue

Condos near Dix Park announced

Vietnamese restaurant coming to Glenwood South

Luxury apartment complex on Hillsborough Street to hold grand opening

Raleigh Iron Works Coming to Atlantic Avenue

Now the time is here, for Iron Works to spread some cheer. The latest endeavor from Grubb Ventures on Atlantic Avenue will be a sprawling, 510,000 square-foot mixed-use development named Raleigh Iron Works, according to recently filed site plans.

Iron Works will redevelop the two existing industrial buildings, originally built in 1957, into office, retail, and restaurant space. Specifically, 177,779 square feet for office, 22,314 for retail, and 20,064 for restaurants.

A new six-story mixed-use apartment building with ground floor retail around a parking deck will also be added to the property located at 2200 Atlantic Avenue. The 204 residential units totaling 148,215 SF will be made up of 82 studio units, 84 one-bedroom units, and 38 two-bedroom units. The developers are proposing 673 parking spaces and 79 bike parking spaces at the development, which seems like a lot.

Grubb recently acquired an adjacent parcel of land at 2315 Atlantic, which we reported on two weeks ago, although that land does not appear to be a part of Raleigh Iron Works — Phase I.


Condos Near Dix Park Announced

The Fairweather, a new luxury condo development boasting spectacular views and close proximity to Dix Park was announced last week. The development will stretch along West Lenoir Street between South West and South Harrington.

Although the formal announcement of The Fairweather was made last week, site plans for the development were actually filed last year. The plans line up closely with what was announced last week: a five-story building with about 45 units (47 in the plans, “about 45” in the announcement) that will offer structured parking and street-level commercial space.

The Fairweather’s units will range in size from 838 to 2,645 square feet, with one, two, and three-bedroom units on the first four floors and penthouse suites on the fifth. Those penthouse units, offering a panoramic view of downtown Raleigh, will reportedly be priced between $700,000 and a $1 million.

In order to make way for the new condo development, several existing structures will need to be torn down. These include the old Motor Parts Warehouse, built in 1960 at 522 S. Harrington, and a pair of unoccupied single-family homes built in 1930 at 517 and 523 S. West.

Construction is expected to begin early next year with plans to open in early 2019. The site plan filed last year is currently listed as “under review” and will require approval before any permits are issued.

Grand Opening, in Theory

A grand opening celebration for a luxury student housing complex that opens in the fall of 2018 is scheduled to take place later this week. Theory Raleigh, the high-end, fully-furnished (all units come with a 50″ Smart TV) student apartment building will be located at 1505 Hillsborough Street, on the former site of the beloved Velvet Cloak Inn. Our very own William N. Finely IV did some great reporting on the tragic teardown of the old hotel, which you can revisit here. He’s still working on a podcast and award-winning documentary about it too.

The grand opening celebration on October 12 will, shockingly, not be held on an active construction site, but rather, at a temporary leasing office down the street at 2010 Hillsborough. The event will run from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, and offer attendees free food, music, giveaways and “early-bird” rates for the condos.

The preleasing office also houses a model home, allowing potential tenants a glimpse into a luxurious future. In addition to the 50″ TVs, the units will also come with queen-sized memory foam mattresses, full-size appliances, 1 Gig internet, walk-in closets, a washer/dryer, a resort-style pool, and a game room with a golf simulator. RIP University Towers.

You won't want to miss out. #TheoryRaleigh is where you'll want to be!

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Goodnight, Glenwood: Saigon Grill & Bar Coming to Glenwood South

The new Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Grill & Bar will open soon on Glenwood South in the former home of whatever was there before it. We really can’t keep track of what’s been there at this point. Was it Indio? No one cares.

Saigon will be run by John Tang, the owner of Sushi O, which also operates out of a ground-floor space in 222. Although we don’t know when this new Vietnamese restaurant will open, Tang posted on Facebook back in August that he was looking for employees for his new spot, which makes us think it should be opening pretty soon.

Development Beat: Beer Garden, Makers Mart, Food Trucks, and more coming to Capital

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Week of October 2, 2017

Beer Garden, Makers Mart, Food Trucks, and more coming to Gateway Plaza

Fate of Hillsborough Street tractor sign to be decided by Council

Forest Ridge Park Opens

Updates on the Dix Park Flower Cottage

Zaxby’s Returns to Hillsborough Street

Beer Garden, Makers Mart, Food Trucks, and more coming to Gateway Plaza

The stretch of road once known as “Downtown Boulevard” (and what WNFIV likes to call “Capital Boulevard of Broken Dreams”) leading into downtown Raleigh is getting a major overhaul. The City of Raleigh has spent the last few years transforming the “most traveled gateway” into downtown into a “showcase for multimodal transportation and green infrastructure.” Those are fancy words for “rebuilding bridges, sewers, and putting in a park.” But the City can’t do all this transforming on their own.

In June of 2016, plans were announced to transform the Gateway Plaza shopping center on Capital Boulevard into a destination spot for new restaurants and retailers. The 6.8 acre property, which is owned by Loden Properties and managed and leased by York Properties, is located inside the beltline, next to the North Carolina Food Bank and across the street from The Green Chair Project (an ITB approved non-profit).

Last week, the project’s design firm, Gensler, released a set of new renderings showing off plans for a Beer Garden, space for a Food Truck Rodeo, a Makers Mart, a stage area, and more. Combined with the redevelopment of Capital Boulevard, the reopening of the nearby greenway, and the opening of a new City park, we imagine this stretch of Capital Boulevard could soon become the City’s newest destination spot. Gateway is scheduled to get underway later this year and should be substantially complete by summer of 2018.

Originally built in 1968, the Gateway Plaza shopping center lost one of its biggest tenants in 2015, when the Wake Tech Adult Education Center moved out.


Save the Tractor Sign

More than two and a half years after Landmark Properties filed a rezoning case for the old North Carolina Equipment Company building at 3101 Hillsborough Street, City Council may finally approve the street’s newest five-story, 233-unit student housing complex. This would be the one billionth student housing complex to be added to Hillsborough Street in the last five years.

A public hearing this evening will determine the fate of a new rezoning case filed back in June. Landmark’s initial rezoning case was rejected last year by Council. Unlike the previous rezoning case, this version won the approval of the local Citizens Advisory Council (18-5 in favor) during a June 2017 meeting.

The new version includes a condition requiring the preservation of the iconic tractor sign currently perched atop the two-story, 81-year-old brick building. “The tractor sign will be placed on the Hillsborough Street frontage and lighted.”

Note: The News & Observer has referred to the sign as both a tractor and a bulldozer, showing how out of touch they are with the working class. Those who say the sign is a bulldozer point to the fact that the sign has continuous track/tank tread wheels. Those who say it’s a tractor point to the lack of a blade in the front of the vehicle. Either way, we’d like to see the sign kept intact to serve as a reminder that Hillsborough Street was once something other than a SimCity riddled with roundabouts.

Fun fact: the sign was the inspiration for Rey’s speeder from The Force Awakens.

Forest Ridge Park

The City of Raleigh celebrated National Public Lands Day on Saturday with the opening of the new Forest Ridge Park near Falls Lake. The 587 acre park offers a variety of outdoor recreational programs, including Mountain Biking, Multi-Use and hiking trails, picnic shelters, and a playground featuring a zip line.

The land itself is actually owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and is managed by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. The 2003 Parks and Recreation bond funded Phase I of this project’s development.

Dix Park Flower Cottage Renovations

In our first edition of the Development Beat, we reported on the plans for Dorothea Dix Park’s first tenant: the non-profit Dix Park Conservancy.

The Conservancy signed an agreement to occupy the early-20th century Flower Cottage at 2105 Umstead Drive for the staggering cost of $1/year. Last week, nearly $200,000 worth of renovation permits were issued in order to upgrade the space. Renovations will include a new deck, and alterations to both the interior and exterior of the 107-year-old cottage.

Built in 1910, the 1,200 square foot cottage was initially used as a residence but currently sits unused. The Conservancy will be responsible for all renovations and improvements and will also have access to the adjacent 2.75 acres of open space, which can be used for public and/or private events.

Zaxby’s Returns to Hillsborough Street

Although The Technician reported in August that construction was wrapping up on the newly remodeled Zaxby’s on Hillsborough Street, it appears permits for the job were not actually issued until last week. The restaurant unexpectedly shut its doors in March; a new owner was brought in and the renovated restaurant is set to open sometime later this fall.


Development Beat: Marbles Expands, Shelton’s Furniture Closes

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Week of September 25, 2017

Marbles is expanding

Gordon Grubb buys more property on Atlantic

Shelton’s Furniture is closing near Five Points

New tenant for Morgan Street Food Hall

StateView Hotel to open soon on Centennial Campus

Work begins on Wahlburgers

Movie trailers for FNB Tower and StateView Hotel

Marbles Buys Land Next Door

Marbles Museum will soon be able to offer an even wider array of experiences to its visitors, thanks to a recent purchase of the adjacent property at 207 East Hargett Street. The two-story, 15,658 sq ft building was built in 1950 and previously owned by the Longleaf School of the Arts. Marbles purchased the building from MDO Holdings for $3.1 million. We’ve been told that Owner and CEO, Michael Olander, Jr., passed up multiple opportunities for more lucrative buyers, so we’re assuming he and the folks at MDO Holdings probably received free lifetime IMAX passes as part of the deal. Marbles has said that new construction will likely not begin until 2020.


Expansion Continues Near Dock 1053

In January, we reported that Gordon Grubb, who developed the Dock 1053 project on Whitaker Mill Road, had purchased an adjacent 19-acre site at the intersection of Atlantic and Whitaker Mill known as Peden Steel. But wait, there’s more.

Wake County real estate records indicate that a subsidiary of Grubb Ventures recently purchased another nearby property for about $5.5 million: the 4.64 acre site at 2315 Atlantic Avenue.

The site is now home to a 127,875 square-foot warehouse built in 1973. Grubb Ventures has not yet announced its formal plans for the site, but we imagine its redevelopment will line up nicely with their plans to revitalize the Atlantic Avenue corridor. When Grubb purchased the Peden Steel property in January for $10 million they announced plans to develop a project similar to Dock 1053, which houses a brewery, a distillery, a neon art studio, and more.

Shelton’s Furniture Is Gone Again And So Is Its Old Building

Earlier this year, Shelton’s Furniture, a beloved Raleigh furniture store, moved from its location on West Morgan Street to make way for a new 150-room hotel and parking deck. Shelton’s found a home in Clayton, but realized ITB residents wouldn’t drive that far for furniture. So on June 1st, Shelton’s returned ITB and moved to a spot near Five Points on Bickett Boulevard. Sadly, it was announced last week that they would be going out of business.

Friend of the media empire, Ashton Smith, grabbed a picture of the demolition at the West Morgan spot last week.

FNB Tower Video

Commercial real estate is so hot right now. So hot, in fact, that new buildings require their own movie trailers. A few months after announcing plans to open a new headquarters in downtown Raleigh, First National Bank has released a video rendering (movie trailer) of the new 22-story residential and office development. Located at 501 Fayetteville Street, the 22-story FNB Tower will sit adjacent to City Plaza, and offer more than 150,00 square feet of Class-A office space, 240 residential units and street-level retail. First National itself will occupy about 40,000 square feet of that Class-A office space.

Watch the video here.

Hook & Cleaver Coming to Morgan Street Food Hall

The latest tenant for downtown’s Morgan Street Food Hall & Market has been announced, and they’re coming to us all the way from Fuquay-Varina. Hook & Cleaver on Morgan will feature seafood, fresh meats, and prepared foods. This will be the second location of owner Joseph Fasy’s popular restaurant, which got its start in downtown Fuquay in 2015.

The new location will be joined by more than 60 dining and retail outlets, which Morgan Street’s owners, Hibernian Hospitality, promise will offer a range of “high-quality, chef-driven specialty foods.” The Morgan Street Food Hall now has commitments from about 35 restaurants and other vendors. Originally set to open this summer, Hibernian announced last week that Morgan Street will be opening in early 2018.

StateView Hotel

Set to open next month on NC State’s Centennial Campus, Marriott’s StateView Hotel will be accompanied by a five-story parking garage. W.M. Jordan, the project’s general contractor, will handle construction of the 117,940 square-foot parking garage. Interestingly enough, the permits we saw also describe the garage as a “park and ride” location for the State Farmers Market, which is about a mile from the new hotel.

The StateView Hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Hotel collection: independent hotels that utilize the Marriott Branding. You can check out one of the most over-the-top movie trailers for a hotel we’ve ever seen. Be sure to turn the volume on, as it sounds like you’re about to ride into the battle of the bastards as you tour the lobby, pool terrace, and other parts of the hotel.

Work Now Underway on Wahlburgers

Just one week after local restaurateur Zack Medford challenged superstar Mark Wahlberg to a burger cook-off contest, contractors were given the go-ahead to begin work on the newest location of the actor’s popular burger chain Wahlburgers.

Permits for this particular project had been in limbo since early May. According to the permits, the 3,680 square-foot restaurant will be allowed a maximum occupancy of 103 people at any given time, although it is unknown how many of those 103 will be members of the Wahlberg family. Wahlburgers will operate on Fayetteville Street in the former home of The Oxford.

NY Bagels Coming to Shoppes of Greenway

The Shoppes at Greenway on Ramble Way in North Raleigh will soon be adding a bagel shop to their mix of offerings, as permits were issued last week for a $28,000 fit-out for NY Bagels. Although we were unable to confirm whether this new shop is associated with Raleigh’s best bagel spot, NY Bagels & Deli, the name does give hope that Raleigh residents will soon have greater access to bagels made the New York way.

Development Beat: Wahlburgers News, a New Brewery on Capital, Condos Planned Near Cameron Village

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Week of September 18, 2017

Raleigh Man Wants to Fight Mark Wahlberg

Kilwins Coming to North Hills

Pilot Brewery Coming to Capital

Maiden Lane Demolition

Condos Planned for Clark Avenue

ComedyWorx Opens in new location on Hillsborough Street

Raleigh Man Wants to Fight Mark Wahlberg

In September 2016, it was announced that Wahlburgers, a burger chain owned by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg, would be opening its first location right here in Raleigh. Mark, the most famous Wahlberg, is known for his roles in film, production, and bringing us one of the most hype songs of the last century:

Last week, a company spokesperson told the News & Observer that the burger chain was set to open this fall. Although permits for the space at 319 Fayetteville, which previously housed The Oxford until it closed in January 2016, have not yet been issued, we were able to learn that the permits were applied for back in May.

While scant details are available from that initial application it does list Wahlburgers as the tenant, and notes that the permit is now under review. Although the length of time between when a permit is applied for and when it is issued can vary, a sampling of restaurant projects over the past 12 months shows an average of 33 days between application and issuance. As of this morning, it’s been 138 days since the Wahlburgers permit was applied for.

Without knowing a thing about the existing conditions or the plans for the new space, we imagine that it would take no more than two months from permits issued to doors opened.

The original announcement of the restaurant was met with backlash from those who don’t want downtown Raleigh to become overrun with chains. One of the more vocal opponents was Zack Medford, first of his name, King of Coglin’s and Issac Hunter’s, owner of bars, and breaker of chains.

In a video message posted to Facebook last week, Medford challenged Mark Wahlberg to a “burger contest” that would be held at The Sir Walter Smoke-Off on October 7th at Dix Park. The event is actually a barbecue cook off that will help raise money for the Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness. So if Wahlberg doesn’t show up, it’s pretty clear that he hates…….burger contests.

Tonight I'm laying down the gauntlet. Mark Wahlberg, if you and Donnie Wahlberg want to bring a Wahlburgers to my…

Posted by Zack T Medford on Thursday, September 14, 2017


Kilwins Coming to North Hills

Praise be to Bonner Gaylord, Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream will soon be making its way to North Hills, as permits were issued for the newest location of the national sweets shop at 200 Park at North Hills Street.

The store, which has about 150 locations nationwide, offers everything from candy and caramel-coated apples to fudge, truffles and a wide array of chocolates. Among its dozens of ice cream flavors are Blueberry Waffle Cone, something called The Perfect Apple Pie and Marsh-Mallow S’more. To sum it up: Kilwin’s is going to hands-down be the best store in North Hills, if not the entire city. The store is set to open in November.

Pilot Brewery Preparing for Takeoff on Capital

A warehouse space on Capital Boulevard previously used as a church will soon be turned into Raleigh’s newest brewery.

Work is now underway on transforming the 56-year-old warehouse at 1323 Capital Boulevard into Pilot Brewery, which looks like it will be owned by one John Conger Glover. While we don’t know much about the plans for Pilot Brewery, we do know that Glover planned a space in Edenton, NC to be a brewery/restaurant with outdoor seating. Whether he’ll be utilizing a similar concept here remains to be seen, but we imagine the business will benefit from the future improvements to Capital Boulevard.

The Alpha and the Omega

In the same week that permits were issued for the demolition of Sigma Chi’s fraternity house on Maiden Lane, permits were issued for the construction of a new 18,302 square-foot home for the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon at NC State’s new Greek Village.

Although we’ve covered Greek Village and its unique landscape design in the past, we haven’t touched much on the plans for Maiden Lane, a historic Raleigh street that will soon be demolished in its entirety to make way for the new apartment complex Hillstone Cameron Village. For now, Sigma Chi’s house at 4 Maiden Lane appears to be the second home demo’d this year, with 2 Maiden Lane receiving teardown permits back in July.

Clark Avenue Condos

A new high-end condominium complex could be coming soon to the intersection of Clark Avenue and Enterprise Street near Cameron Village, pending approval of a recently filed rezoning case.

Lambert Development out of Manhattan is seeking to rezone a roughly one-acre parcel of land with frontages on Clark Avenue, Enterprise Street and Garden Place in order to allow the development of a five-story condominium building,

A representative for the project told the Wade Citizens Advisory Council in August that Lambert was seeking to build about 45 units, with one-bedrooms priced at a half million. The condos would not be targeted to students and Clark Avenue would be widened “substantially” with on-street parking, while Enterprise would also be widened with a large sidewalk. The development would also include an underground parking deck that would be exposed only along Garden Place. Along Enterprise and Clark, meanwhile, the grass will be replaced by trees.

A representative for the project, who is also scheduled to speak at the September 26 Wade CAC meeting, told the August attendees the developer was currently seeking feedback from local residents; in turn, they expressed concern over potential parking issues, and a growing lack of affordable housing.

In a sign of Lambert’s efforts to allay neighborhood concerns, the rezoning documents include eight restrictions on the development, including a maximum of 4,000 SF of retail and 9,500 SF of office, and a maximum of three bedrooms per residential unit.

Those documents argue the rezoning would allow for a “more coherent mix of residential and commercial use.” that it would be a “key link in Urban Greenway Connector” and offer a unique housing option that is walkable to both Cameron Village and NC State.


Yuckin’ It Up On Hillsborough

In April, work began on the fit-out of a space at The Royal Building on Hillsborough Street across from Meredith College. That work is now complete, and ComedyWorx held its official grand opening the weekend before last.

Development Beat: Restaurants and Raleigh Little Theatre Renovations

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Week of September 11, 2017

Raleigh Little Theatre Renovation Groundbreaking

Hearth Kitchen coming to City Market

Cantina coming to Five Points?

Work Begins on CO Vietnamese at AC Hotel

Plans Unveiled for 911 N. West Redevelopment

Cameron Village adds High-End Clothing Boutiques

Local firm to build out Urban Outfitters at The Dillon

Raleigh Little Theatre Renovation Groundbreaking

Raleigh Little Theatre (RLT) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre last week. After raising over $740,000 through a major gifts initiative, RLT will move forward with renovations including an updated entry, accessible bathrooms, a box office and concession console, new finishes, signage to increase visibility, and a more open gathering area connected to the garden balcony through an operable glass wall.

From the Raleigh Little Theatre Facebook page:

“The RLT Family marked a special day as renovations on the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre will begin soon. Since this theater opened in 1989, it has hosted 79 full productions plus countless camps and classes.

We can never say thank you enough to all of the volunteers & donors who have poured blood, sweat and tears in to shows in this space. RLT’s youth program, which has impacted so many children and families, would not exist if not for the addition of this space.

We plan to reopen the space in January with “What We’re Up Against” and we’ll be in touch about progress during the renovation project.”

First Lady Kristin Cooper, Raleigh City Councilor Dickie Thompson, RLT Board President Georgia Donaldson, Nan Strader, a member of the theatre’s namesake families, and Executive Director Charles Phaneuf spoke at the ceremony. For more on the renovations, check out our coverage on the project from July.


Home Is Where The Hearth Is

Work is now underway on a new restaurant calling itself Hearth Kitchen, which will soon open in the former home of Zydeco at City Market. Permits were issued last week for the $180,000 alteration of the 4,980 square-foot space at 208 Wolfe Street.

While we couldn’t find any good information on this new restaurant — no social media presence, no announcements, no nothing – the designated class, A-2, for that aforementioned permit does at least confirm that it will be a restaurant with “reduced seating.” We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about this mysterious new restaurant.

Cantina Opening in Five Points?

This will always be known as Cantina. The Farmhouse was a disgrace.

When we first went over this news, WNFIV read “Cantina to Five Points” and immediately grabbed a $1 Coors Light and turned “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” up to 11. Unfortunately, the iconic Cantina bar, formerly located on Hillsborough Street across from East Village, is not making a return. Lola’s Cantina, however, will be opening soon on Glenwood Avenue in Five Points.

A somewhat odd listing for the property at 1803 Glenwood notes in all caps that it “DOES NOT INCLUDE BUILDING AND LAND. Buyer may have new lease at asking rate of $2,500/mo. NN.” It sounds more like someone is trying to sell their lease and some equipment than an actual property. The lease listing notes that “there is no kitchen hood or grease trap and the space is not approved as a full restaurant,” but that they would sell their existing refrigeration and equipment for a cool $25 grand. Most recently, the space was home to The Knight Kaffee, a Mediterranean and Lebanese coffee and tea shop. The space is now being renovated for $20,000.


CO Vietnamese

The newest location of CO Vietnamese, which offers a “modern take on traditional southeast Asian cuisine” will be opening soon at the AC Hotel in North Hills.

On August 28, permits with a listed value of half-a-million dollars were issued for the first-time fit-out of the existing space. The regional restaurant chain, which has locations in Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, features a menu with a focus on Pho, Ramen, Dumplings, Banh Mi and Sushi.

Scheduled to open later this year, CO was praised by the CEO of Kane Realty Corporation when the restaurant was first announced.

“CO will be a huge amenity for guests of the AC Hotel as well as shoppers, office tenants and residents next door,” said John Kane, CEO of Kane Realty Corporation. “It is a phenomenal restaurant and will do very well in this location.”

911 N West

Atlas Ventures has taken over from the Lundy Group the third property redevelopment along North West Street, where they will soon transform Rainbow Upholstery at 911 N. West into a “retail and office” building. The project will include an “upfit to the building interior” as well as site upgrades such as a parking reconfiguration and an amenity area. Sidewalks and street trees will also be installed as part of the redevelopment.

We don’t know much else about the project at this point, although we heard that the early stages of construction could begin as soon as October.

Alton Lane and Bella Mar Coming to Cameron Village

A pair of $50,000 permits issued on September 1 will soon bring Alton Lane, a “premium tailored apparel store” and Bella Mar, a boutique featuring “trendsetting brands for women’s everyday style” to Cameron Village. The two clothiers, located at 408 and 421 Daniels Street in Cameron Village, are well-suited (Zing!) for the high-end shopping center.

Local Firm to Build Urban Outfitters at The Dillon

In July, Kane Realty announced that Urban Outfitters would be coming to their downtown development, The Dillon. Last week, we found out that Raleigh’s own August Construction Solutions will be handling the build-out of the new store.

ACS specializes in national retail construction and has worked around the country for a number of retailers, including Urban Outfitters. Here in Raleigh, they’ve worked with The Lundy Group to redevelop the intersection of Peace and North West Street. Michael Iovino, President of August Construction Solutions, told us he was that work is tentatively slated to start in the spring.

“We’re excited to be building this location so close to home,” Iovino said.

The Chronic 2017

Raleigh’s newest quick-service Mexican restaurant, Chronic Tacos, celebrated its grand opening last week, nearly seven months after construction began on the new space. As we first reported back in February, Chronic Tacos is located in the Sprouts-anchored Olive Park Shopping Center on Falls of the Neuse Road. We described it as a “slightly more upscale version of Chipotle with a Día de los Muertos aesthetic and all-day breakfast options,” and judging by the Yelp reviews for the Wake Forest location, we were pretty on the money.

Development Beat: Raleigh Exploring Interactive Kiosks for Downtown

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Week of September 4, 2017

Raleigh exploring interactive kiosks for downtown

Crude Bitters in a Pink Building

Updates on Ashley Christensen’s new Poole Side Pie pizza place

City of Raleigh Museum adding a pony wall

A new kind of pizza for North Raleigh

Interactive Kiosks in Downtown Raleigh?

The streets of downtown Raleigh could soon be lined with interactive wayfinding kiosks, should the City decide to move forward with a proposal put forth by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Raleigh’s City Manager is expected to give a report today on the possibility of introducing an “Interactive Kiosk Experience” (IKE) that would provide “digitally displayed information” through interactive touch-screen structures placed in public places. IKE, like IMAX, is actually a brand and not just a generic description. The system is in place in a number of cities now, including Denver, CO.

The “IKE” system can do everything from displaying wayfinding maps and public service announcements to serving as a cellphone charging station and Wi-Fi hot spot.

The concept was introduced at last month’s City Council meeting by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, after which representatives from at least seven different City departments convened to study the proposal.

According to a report by the City Manager, the units are intended to create “a meaningful recurring revenue stream to the city, and are installed, operated and maintained entirely at IKE’s cost.” Of course, that revenue stream isn’t going to come from maps, PSAs or Wi-Fi: the kiosks would also display advertising. And that’s where it gets complicated.

We won’t bore you (you can read the full memo here) but the City doesn’t currently allow advertising in any public right of way, but a Supreme Court case allows the government “to adopt speech that meets its purposes and needs” for display in the right of way. The memo points out that advertising for local businesses could be considered speech that meets government needs, whereas ads for national brands would not.

William Needham Finley IV has already moved forward with renderings of an ITB themed kiosk, stating “Despite being an internationally known media empire, ITB Insider™ should qualify as a local business that can advertise on IKE.”

We’re not sure when, or if, this will be approved, but we’ll keep you posted.


Crude Bitters

Raleigh’s premier — and North Carolina’s first — cocktail bitters company has now opened in a new location: the “pink building” at 501 E. Davie Street. And don’t worry: they’re keeping the color.

Previously located on West Cabarrus, Crude Bitters is a cocktail supplies shop — one disappointed Yelp reviewer thought it was a make-your-own-cocktail bar — that offers an array of mixers for enhancing your soda or liquor-drinking experience. Thanks to Ashton Smith’s newsletter for bringing this one to our attention.

Excited for @crudebitters to open in the new space soon! Congrats, friends!

A post shared by Ashton Mae Smith (@ashtonmae) on

Pizza By The Poole Side

Two months after announcing plans to open the Poole Side Pie next to Poole’s Diner, restaurateur Ashley Christensen debuted an Instagram account last week that details her research in Naples for her new pizza restaurant.

Poole Side Pie plans to serve Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza. Although the restaurant is not slated to open until next year, we assume its Instagram account will offer a look at the development and progress.

City of Raleigh Museum Adding Pony Wall

One permit that caught the eye this week was the installation of a “pony wall” at the City of Raleigh Museum on Fayetteville Street. Although we initially thought this meant the museum would be adding pony rides as a way of generating more revenue, it turns out that a pony wall is just a short wall; often a “half wall that only extends partway from floor to ceiling, without supporting anything.” Too bad. For the month of September, you can check out the contents of the North Hills time capsule, which are on display in the museum.

Raleigh’s New Deep Dish Joint

Also happening on the pizza circuit this week, work is now underway on deep-dish pizza chain Nancy’s Pizza, which is opening a new location at North Raleigh’s Brennan Station on Creedmoor.

The restaurant chain traces its roots back to 1971, when “Italian immigrants, Nancy and Rocco Palese, opened their first pizza parlor, Guy’s Pizza, in Chicago.” Guy’s eventually began serving “stuffed pizza,” a variation on a recipe for an Easter specialty cake known as scarciedda. Stuffed pizza is unlike most “deep-dish” variations found outside of Chicago in that the sauce is served on top of a layer of cheese and toppings, all of which rest on two layers of crust. It is, essentially, a pizza pie.

As far as we know, Nancy’s will be the only place in Raleigh to sample this interesting, if slightly alien, creation. We don’t have a firm opening date yet, but imagine it will open before year’s end.

Anchors Ahoy

The owners of the Plantation Point shopping center on Capital Boulevard in far North Raleigh recently announced Burlington’s as a replacement anchor store for the now-vacant 30,000 square-foot space once occupied by Marshalls. Marshalls new location will open across the street in the Poyner Place Shopping Center next to Target later this month.

The new Burlington’s is itself a relocation of the store’s long-standing location in Ashton Square at the intersection of Capital and Buffalo.

Rezoning Case Back Before Council

A 5.91 acre site at 7900 Falls of Neuse in North Raleigh is now home to a La-Z-Boy furniture gallery, and is bound by a 1994 condition that prohibits all uses outside of furniture sales on the land.

Developers behind the first rezoning case of 2017 will today reopen a public hearing that kicked off in early July. The developers have agreed to add a set of conditions to the project, which will include a limitation on restaurant hours, the widening of a protective yard and limited access.

The rezoning case would allow for housing and retail — beyond just furniture — and up to 60,000 square feet of commercial space. The case has been unanimously approved by the neighborhood Citizen’s Advisory Council and recommended for approval by the City’s Planning Commission. We imagine Council is likely to approve this case, which will lead to significant changes to the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Strickland Road.

Development Beat: Smashed on Hillsborough Street

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Week of August 28, 2017

Smash Waffles starts construction on Hillsborough Street

Two-story noodle bar planned for South Wilmington

New frat house coming to NC State’s penal colony

Historic home on Oberlin moving

Downtown Marriott preps for renovations

Zoe’s coming to North Raleigh

Waffle Delivery Coming Soon to Hillsborough Street

Smash Waffles, a Pawnee, Indiana Greenville, NC based waffle-delivery service will soon be making its way to Hillsborough Street. Work is now underway on their first Raleigh location, which will open later this year on the ground floor of The Hillsborough mixed-use development at 2304 Hillsborough. The $150,000 fit-out of the now-empty space will be handled by Culver Building Company, although Metrocon is the General Contractor for The Hillsborough development.

While the Smash Waffles’ website recommends booking those morning deliveries at least 24 hours in advance, their waffles are not the kind you’d find in your average restaurant or the Cameron Village Harris Teeter freezer aisle. Smash’s traditional Beglian-style waffles are cooked with a dough-based batter instead of buttermilk, and feature lavish toppings. Their offerings include everything from the “Cracker Jack” which is topped with “sweet caramel popcorn and dressed with a caramel & brown sugar drizzle” to “The Campfire,” topped with “a marshmallow cream sauce, Nutella drizzle, graham cracker crumbles, and powdered sugar.”

If you can’t wait for construction to wrap up before getting your hands on these waffles, you can get them at Pizza La Stella on Fayetteville Street, where they’ve featured Smash Waffles on the menu since May.


Two-Story Noodle Bar Planned for South Wilmington

A new restaurant on South Wilmington Street next to Taz’s market would bring with it an entirely new front building facade, should an application filed with Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission win approval.

The case seeks to build a new storefront for an as-yet unnamed two-story noodle bar. The application, filed by friend of the media empire Ted Van Dyk of New City Design, states that the design is intended to “honor the Moore Square Historic District, while bringing a contemporary interpretation to the aesthetic.”

“As a restaurant and night spot,” Van Dyk notes, “appearance and attractiveness, and connection between inside and outside are important.”

The building’s original facade has been completely missing for decades and the building itself is considered a “noncontributing” resource in the Moore Square Historic District.

The new facade will be comprised mostly of glass, frosted glass and ceramic tile, and will “echo the ‘two-part’ composition of other facades on the street.”

The goal is to create something that is “clearly of the 21st century, does not copy other buildings or pretend to be old, and is instead respectful and compatible with its surroundings while establishing its own identity and place in time.”

We’re glad someone is finally doing something with this space and look forward to seeing how the project turns out, should it be granted approval.

New Frat house Coming to NC State’s Greek Penal Colony

Again, this is not a joke. These are the actual plans.

When we last checked in on the development of Greek Village at NC State, which was apparently designed by an 8th grader, a new Delta Zeta house had just received construction permits. Now, they will soon be joined by the brothers of Lambda Chi, whose $4.4 million, 17,357 square-foot house is getting built by McKinley Building. We plan to cover this Greek Village development until the very end. It’s just that fascinating.

Preserving a New Office Space

Preservation NC, a nonprofit focused on protecting and preserving historic properties and landscapes across the state, will soon be preserving some property for their own purposes: a new office.

The organization, which is currently headquartered above the City of Raleigh Museum at 220 Fayetteville, is planning to relocate to a space on Oberlin Road.

The property at 814 Oberlin is now home to the historic Plummer T. Hall House, built between 1880 and 1893 by Reverend Hall as a wedding gift to his bride. According to a certificate of appropriateness application, the Hall house is “the only one story Queen Anne cottage in the Oberlin community and has several distinct architectural details such as the turreted section of the front porch, a bay window, and both circular and quatrefoil gable vents.”

Instead of merely renovating and restoring the home, Preservation NC plans to move another historic home onto the same lot: the Willis Graves House. Currently situated down the street at 802 Oberlin, the Graves House is a two story home Built in the Queen Anne style, and was “the only residence of its kind in the historically African-American Oberlin community.”

Originally built between 1884 and 1889 for Willis M. Graves, one of Oberlin’s early settlers, the house will be relocated to 814 Oberlin, where both it and the Hall house will be placed on new foundations, and joined via a deck built between new additions on the back of each home, allowing for an accessible rear entry.

Although the additions are behind the “historic” portions of the houses, they are designed to “be compatible with the historic details and massing of both houses as well as with each other.”

The COA application, which was approved by Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission last week, notes that the additions are “meant to be simple and clean lined in order to draw your eye to the ornate and often times quirky details of the Willis Graves and Plummer T. Hall houses.”

Without Preservation NC, these buildings would be disappearing at a much quicker pace, so it seems fitting that the organization wants to headquarter itself in a place that so clearly embodies their vision.

Downtown Marriott Preps For Renovations

Two rooms on the fourth floor of the downtown Marriott at 500 Fayetteville Street will soon be turned into “model rooms” for a future renovation project at the hotel. Built just ten years ago, the hotel underwent a significant renovation in 2014 that saw the addition of a new dining area and improvements to its meeting and event spaces.

Although we’re not sure what these new rooms will look like, testing out the new design on two rooms before transforming the entire hotel seems like a pretty smart move. Marriott has redesigned the guest rooms in many of their hotels in recent years, and the results remind us more of high-end condos than standard hotel rooms, and we imagine that will be the case for the Marriott City Center.

Zoe’s Comes to North Raleigh

Zoe’s Kitchen will soon be moving into the space on Falls of Neuse occupied since 2011 by the Tribeca Tavern. The surprisingly pricey $850,000 renovation of the space is being handled by Venture Construction.

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