by William Needham Finley IV™


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James B. has 83 articles published.

Development Beat: Peace Out, Seaboard Station For Sale

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Week of March 19, 2018

Seaboard Station For Sale

Olde Towne to be developed again

Update on Capital Boulevard’s new park

Raleigh Rite Aids rebranding as Walgreens

Work begins on Publix at new Leesville Marketplace


Peace Out, Seaboard Station For Sale

William Peace University is selling most of the Seaboard Station property that it acquired for $20.75 million back in 2013. On Tuesday, the university announced plans to put up 5.68 acres for sale in early April. That includes a parking lot, the lot where the university tennis courts are located, and three retail buildings that house J. Betski’s, Oak & Dagger, and O2 Fitness. TradeMark Properties has been managing the property for Peace University. Don’t worry, Peace doesn’t own Logan’s and Sunflower’s Cafe isn’t going anywhere.

What we all really care about is the status of the much anticipated Harris Teeter. In June of 2016, it was announced that Harris Teeter would be coming to Seaboard Station. This was before Publix was confirmed for the nearby Kane development on Peace Street, which is actually under construction.

According to this article from WRAL, Harris Teeter was supposed to open in Seaboard in 2017. In this article covering the 2017 Peace China lawsuit against William Peace University and TradeMark Properties, TradeMark indicated the Harris Teeter would be breaking ground in 2018.

We did some digging and discovered that it is currently March of 2018 and Harris Teeter has not broken ground. Notice in the aerial photo from Google that there are no Harris Teeters to be found. None.

This week, the N&O reported that “Harris-Teeter remains committed to Seaboard, TradeMark says, and delayed its opening to take into account future development of the property.” Some are skeptical.

Whoever buys the property will probably have to build up in order to make their money back, with or without the Harris Teeter. So expect some 3-5 story (or higher, depending on zoning) stick-built apartment buildings with retail on the first floor. Getting to Seaboard Station is already a nightmare due to the construction of the Capital Boulevard improvements and the demolition related to Kane’s Peace project.

Don’t forget that the City of Raleigh plans to tear up Peace Street between St. Mary’s and Glenwood to put in underground utilities and make other improvements. We imagine tenants will be dying to sign a lease in Seaboard Station with all these great improvements in progress in the area over the next five years. TradeMark Properties and Urban Investments are representing the university in the sale. They are not publicly stating the anticipated sales price, but if it sells for less than $40 million we’d say Peace really botched this whole real estate play. We’ll keep you posted.


Everything Olde Is New Again

In 2007, Greystone Development announced it would begin work on a new golf course community known as Olde Towne on a 600-acre parcel of land in Southeast Raleigh near the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and New Hope Road. Two years later Greystone abandoned the project, having already cleared the land required for the golf course and the first 531 homes.

Olde Towne was to have housed 5,000 people, and included 500,000 square feet of retail and an 18-hole golf course. Nearly 10 years after Olde Towne’s demise, a new development team has stepped in with plans to redevelop the land for single-family housing, a grocery store, a park, restaurants, and retail.

We look forward to seeing what becomes of this massive, underutilized parcel of land. We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available. For more details check out the article from the N&O.


Capital Idea for a Park

It’s been almost four years since I first covered the City’s plans to turn a dilapidated strip of Capital Boulevard — once populated by such icons as The Foxy Lady, The Milner Inn, and Capital Inn — into a public park. Last week, City staffers presented an overview of the Devereux Meadows Park Project to the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board. Details on what will become downtown Raleigh’s first water-front park were shared.

UPDATE FROM WNFIV: Hi, thanks for reading. We know that Devereux Meadows is not where the Foxy Lady was. We were simply stating that this park is part of the larger plan to improve Capital Boulevard. You can stop emailing me with this correction. We’ve never been wrong, and never will be. Have an ITBlessed day!

“Devereux Meadows Park will cover approximately 14 acres, consisting of all the area between Capital Boulevard on the east, West Street on the west, Dortch Street on the north, and Peace Street on the south, with the exception of the parcels containing existing commercial and/or industrial buildings between West Street and Pigeon House Branch.”

The project will be completed in phases, and is now undergoing an environmental review. Design of the park should be finished by Summer 2019. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2020, after the DOT has wrapped up their Capital Boulevard Project. Devereux Meadows Park is expected to be finished by January 2021.


Rite Aid Rides Off Into The Sunset

Raleigh’s Rite Aids will soon be going the way of Happy Harry’s and Kerr Drug, both of which were absorbed by the Walgreens empire. Some of Raleigh’s Rite Aides have already been rebranded to Walgreens, and we imagine we’ll see a number of signage permits issued over the coming months as the transformation moves forward.

Of course, this change is not limited to Raleigh. Walgreens is purchasing 1,932 Rite Aid stores nationwide, for which it will pay $4.4 billion.

Publix Coming to Leesville Marketplace

While many residents eagerly await the Publix coming to Kane’s development on Peace Street, another Publix is coming to North Raleigh. Permits totaling more than $5 million in listed value were issued for a Publix that will anchor the Leesville Marketplace shopping center. The work at this stage includes the new 50,000 square-foot Publix and a two-story 15,000 square-foot “shell building” that will host the center’s future tenants.

According to its website, the 7.8 acre Leesville Shopping Center, located at the corner of Leesville and Strickland, will feature 13,000 square feet of specialty retail and dining space, and is expected to open in December 2018.

Development Beat: Hayes Barton Baptist Schism And Our Solutions

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Week of March 12, 2018

Hayes Barton Baptist plans to tear down 6 houses to add parking

Moore Square seeking contractor

House of Swank finds a new home

Gusto Farm to Street begins work on first Raleigh location

1965 State Capital Plan Envisioned a Different Future for Raleigh

“Mystery Room” coming to Triangle Town Center


Church Wants To Pave Paradise, Put Up A Parking Lot

Note: This section is co-authored by William Needham Finley IV. He’s seen how controversial this issue has been and figured that if we co-authored this, people wouldn’t know who to get mad at.

Hayes Barton Baptist Church at Five Points created quite a stir last week when they made public their plans to demolish a row of 6 rental homes they have owned since the 1960s. Was this a Crusade to evict 6 Satanic families from Five Points? Not quite. The church wants to put 78 parking spaces where the houses, built between 1920 and 1925, currently sit.

We assume HBBC got the idea from Mark 4:22, which recalls how Jesus turned 6 dwellings into 78 donkey stables to accommodate all the townsfolk lining up to check out His water in to wine miracle. These parking spaces would add to approximately 170 parking spaces already on the property. HBBC told the News & Observer that the spaces are needed to accommodate the 500 to 600 members who attend the 11:00 am Sunday service.

We’re unclear as to why this plan is being proposed at this point. For decades, local businesses have opened their lots to church members on Sunday, while the church has allowed Five Points customers to park in their lot during the week, a deal that was struck during the First Council of Nicaea.

Members of the church spent last week informing thy neighbors of thy plans. We first heard about it from an Olde Raleigh post on Facebook, since we’re millennials. We then obtained a document covering the church’s plans, since we’re basically Spotlight-level journalists.

The document states these are “concepts only!”and summarizes a report by the Long Range Capital Planning Committee. The report was presented in a February 10th meeting to the members of the Diaconate, which apparently has something to do with Deacons and is not the name of a dragon from Game of Thrones.

In the document, titled, “Change for the Next Generation,” seven points are listed under “Parking and Rental House Solution.”

-Provides covered drop-off area with closer access to nursery, sanctuary, chapel, and educational building.

-Provides additional handicap parking with closer access to the sanctuary.

-Helps eliminate longstanding parking issue – adds 78 spaces.

-Costs less than half of the parking deck option.

-Retains real property for expansion and other uses.

-Provides truck delivery entrance, reducing the need for food service and other deliveries coming through the Welcome Center and the main church corridor.

-Creates a more attractive and welcoming entrance from White Oak Road.

Missing from the list was “Announce plans that infuriate neighbors and cause them to start a petition,” which is exactly what happened.

The petition on, created by Five Points neighbors, has received 751 signatures as of 11:13 am, March 15th. The authors of the petition offer the following alternatives:

-Continue using the houses for affordable housing, refugee support, or a community home for people with intellectual disabilities (essentially some use that lines up with the Church’s overall mission).

-Sell those homes to families that would love them and use the money to find another option (such as paying for shuttle buses and/or alternate parking solutions).

-Adding additional Sunday services to mitigate the high volume late Sunday mornings and alleviate some of the traffic and parking needs.

Those all sound reasonable. However, we understand that this property belongs to HBBC and they can do whatever they want with it. Since we don’t want to piss off the Five Points residents, and also don’t want to piss off God, we’re offering our own solutions.

1.) Add parking to the front of the church.

It’s a well known fact that this area has been mistaken as parking for years now. Why not just make it official?

2.) Put parking spots on existing land that no one is using.

We found plenty of potential parking spots in front of HBBC on White Oak.

And on the Whitaker Mill side of HBBC.

And behind HBBC.

HBBC will have to cut down some trees if they go with our plan. But just think of the money they’ll save on landscaping and leaf blowing.

Our main concern is the use of White Oak as the pick-up and and drop-off spot for HBBC preschool. I can already see a line of 15 Yukon XLs stretching out onto Glenwood from White Oak and creating a traffic apocalypse.

Hopefully our ideas will create constructive conversations that lead to a solution that appeases everyone. We aren’t trying to tell anyone what to do with their land. We’re just here to make the world a better place, one photoshop at a time. And remember, if you’re upset with our coverage of this, Jesus would have wanted you to forgive us. Have an ITBlessed day!


Moore Square Seeking Contractor

The City of Raleigh is seeking a contractor for an exhibit in the Moore Square Visitor’s Center. This will be separate from the $10.3 million renovation contract awarded to American South General Contractors in September 2017.

The City is looking for a design that incorporates “interactive elements, interpretive panels, and complimentary displays” in a 14.5′ x 14.5′ room and an adjoining 26′ x 4′ hallway.

The exhibit will “shed light on Moore Square’s evolution since 1792, as well as its uses over time.” The exhibit will “identify how Moore Square has been at the center (both figuratively and literally) of Raleigh’s history since the city was founded.”


A House of Swank Makes A Home

House of Swank, a local screen printing shop, is moving to 119 E. Hargett St, in the historic Raleigh Furniture Building. Co-owner John Pugh said, “Our goals for the new location are twofold. First to establish the House of Swank shop as a retail fixture in the downtown. Second to have a space that is easily accessible to host music and maker workshops for community engagement and corporate events.”

The new location is a three-story brick building built in 1914 in the late Romanesque Revival style. The Raleigh Furniture building was a furniture store for much of the 20th century.

House of Swank is having a sneak peek popup shop at the new location from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday, March 17. They will also be discussing their new interactive Maker concept floorplan for the retail space, as well as selling Raleigh and NC-inspired clothing.


Gusto Farm to Street Coming to Wake Forest Road, JITB

Gusto Farm to Street, a healthy fast casual restaurant specializing in pizzas and salads, is coming to Wake Forest Road, in the same shopping center as Trader Joe’s.

Gusto boasts of its “scratch kitchens,” which complement their “vibrant farm-to-table flavors.” They make promises of using “healthy grains” and “antibiotic free meats.”

Permits were issued for the fit-out of Gusto’s 1,820 square-foot space to Battino Contracting Solutions just last week, so we imagine it won’t be opening for at least another month or two.


Blast From the Past

Courtesy of Oak City CRE

Oak City CRE, which puts out a weekly newsletter covering commercial real estate in Raleigh, uncovered a real gem last week when they published an excerpt from the 1965 North Carolina State Capital Plan. The plans were for future land use and development in the city. They offer imagery of some things we wish had come to fruition, like the lake across from the Governor’s Mansion, which would feed nicely in to the larger downtown canal. Take a look.

Courtesy of Oak City CRE
Courtesy of Oak City CRE
Courtesy of Oak City CRE

Side note: I love how they thought Raleigh would be so classy that people would be wearing tuxedos and formal dresses while eating at “Terrace Restaurant,” wherever that is.

Magical Mystery Mall

What has anchors, railings, sales, and floats on a sea of concrete? An indoor shopping mall, of course. Solving mysteries much tougher than that will soon be part of a new venture at the Triangle Town Center mall.

“Mystery Room: Detective Story” (as listed on the permits) will soon open in a 3,780 square-foot space in the mall. We’ve deduced from the name that it will be a detective-themed “Escape Room” where participants must solve a crime in order to “escape” the room. This is an interesting addition, considering that most people think Triangle Town Center itself is one giant escape room.

I found examples of places like this in NYC, where I’d make everyone call me Briscoe, and Los Angeles (Sergeant Joe Friday). If I make it out to the grand opening I’ll be going by Sheriff Andy Taylor and bringing ITBlake the intern along as Barney Fife.

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Development Beat: Work Begins on Orvis at Ridgewood, Where’s Wahlburgers?

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Week of March 5, 2018

Orvis under construction at Ridgewood

Where’s Wahlburgers?

Raleigh Little Theatre reopens Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre

City Council set to approve sale of downtown parcels

Demolition begins for Marbles expansion

Late night at downtown Chick-fil-A

Father & Son opens in new location


Work Begins on Orvis Coming to Former Tripps Location

In September 2016, the beloved Tripps restaurant at the Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue closed its doors for good. The 6,000 square-foot building has remained empty since then, but a new tenant will soon be making its way into the space.

On February 21, permits valued at a total of $236,394 were issued to Jenkins & Stiles out of Knoxville for a project that will transform Tripps into Raleigh’s second Orvis location.

Orvis, which has offered “Quality Clothing, Fly-Fishing Gear, & More” since 1856, currently operates a location at the Triangle Town Center Mall. Although we don’t have a solid opening date for the new location, we imagine Raleigh’s fly-fishing fans will be camped out in YETI cooler igloos waiting for the grand opening.


Where’s Wahlburgers?

Note: An error with the City’s previous permit database caused the permit issued date & contractor name for Wahlburgers to remain blank. The new database indicates the permit was issued in September 2017, which means I was dead wrong about the lengthy period of time between permit applied for and permit issued. As I had never encountered this kind of error with the database before, I took what was displayed at face value, when I should have looked more into it beyond stopping by the storefront. Apologies, and I won’t be making a similar mistake again. 

Wahlburgers, the downtown restaurant that’s already drawn backlash from mobs of anti-chain residents, has remained in a holding pattern since last May when it first applied for renovation permits to suite 105 at 319 Fayetteville Street.

Although most of the signage is now in place, it does not appear as if the contractors have received the go-ahead for any of the interior work. The windows are mostly papered up and a brief glimpse into the dark interior offers up only a stack of drywall.

A spokesperson for the company said the restaurant would open last fall. At the time, we noted that the permit for Wahlburgers was undergoing a lengthy review process. A random sampling of Raleigh restaurant permits showed an average of 33 days between application and issuance. It’s been 305 days since the renovation permit for Wahlburgers was applied for, and no indication of when it will be approved.

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 Isaac Hunter’s, owner of bars, breaker of chains, and dipper of chopsticks in wax. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.


Raleigh Little Theatre Renovated

Raleigh Little Theatre unveiled their newly renovated Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre on Sunday. After raising over $740,000 through a major gifts initiative, RLT began work on a massive renovation of their Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre last fall.

Originally built in 1990, the renovation improved the accessibility and aesthetics of the space. A folding glass door that opens on to the balcony overlooking the Rose Garden was installed. All of the seating in the theater was replaced and new sound equipment was added. They also moved to an LED lighting system that is more flexible and energy efficient. The lobby renovation was designed by in situ studio, with Southeastern Property And Development Company as the contractor.

At the reopening, remarks were given by Board President Georgia Donaldson, Mayor Nancy McFarlane (a proponent of dinosaurs in Dix Park), and Nan Strader, representing the Gaddy and Goodwin families. Cast members from Tintypes (inaugural production of the theater in 1989) and Beanstalk! The Musical! gave performances as well. Beanstalk! The Musical! will reopen the space to the public on March 16. We’re hoping the second production will be the play that WNFIV wrote based on his 36 hour relationship with a customer service representative on Valentine’s Day.


From City Parking Lot to 7-Story Mixed-Use

City Council will decide today whether to move forward with the disposition of a trio of downtown properties on Blount Street. The sale that could eventually lead to a new seven-story mixed-use development.

The .24 acre L-shaped collection of now-empty lots on the southwest corner of E. Cabarrus Street and S. Blount Street were bid upon for $834,000 last year by a pair of men about whom we could find no information. The proceeds from the sale will go toward the City’s affordable housing efforts.

Between 1984 and 2003, the City spent a total of $135,500 acquiring the three parcels. The property is currently zoned DX-7-UG, which means a mixed-use development up to seven stories in height could be built on the land. The City notes in its zoning handbook that the DX-designation is “intended to provide for intense mixed use development of the City’s downtown area.”


Losing Their Marbles

Permits were approved and demolition began last week on the former home of Bradley’s Service Station at 101 South Blount Street, which will make way for an expansion of the Marbles Kids Museum.

The space, dubbed “Color Pop Corner” will be “transformed into a vibrant gateway to Marbles and the Moore Square District, with a playful mural, colorful concrete grid and urban plantings.”

In September 2017, we reported that the museum had acquired an adjacent parcel of land at 207 E. 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. Marbles will begin expanding into the space in 2020.

Late Night at downtown Chick-fil-A, Sort of

A mere ten years after downtown Raleigh transformed from a government city that shut down at 5:00 p.m., the Chick-fil-A on Fayetteville Street has announced some innovative plans to capitalize on the wave of customers. They will now stay open until 7:00 p.m.

The restaurant celebrated its new 7:00 p.m. closing time (the Cameron Village location is open until 10:00 p.m.) this past Friday. We imagine once the news begins to spread the restaurant will be booming. Although we’re pretty sure they could remain open until 10:00 p.m. and do well, we understand that progress takes time.

Father & Son Move In Together

Father & Son, the beloved antique shop that fled its former home on West Hargett Street so the building could be turned into a five-story mixed-use complex, held a soft opening at its new location at 302 S. West Street this past weekend.

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.

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Development Beat: More Townhomes For St. Mary’s

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Week of February 26, 2018

More townhomes planned for St. Mary’s Street

One Glenwood Developer acquires nearby land

North Ridge Country Club adding Golf Swing Building

Rebus Works to add convenience store and coffee shop

Calavera closed

More Apartments coming to Crabtree


More Townhomes Coming to St. Mary’s

When plans were announced in late 2014 for a new, upscale townhome community on St. Mary’s street, it was a welcome break from the countless apartments that were quickly cropping up all around the Glenwood South district.

While the 17-home complex known as The Saint, located between W Jones St. and W Lane St., won’t be complete until next year, a smaller townhome complex known as “St. Mary’s Subdivision” is being planned just a few blocks down.

Set on a .302-acre parcel of land between Tucker St. and W North St., this new complex will feature a total of six adjoining units designed by the Dynamic Design Group out of Cary.

According to current plans, the townhomes will stand no taller than 40′, range in size from 1,600 SF to 2,290 SF, include amenities such as a bike rack, a mail kiosk and a public alleyway, and have willow oak and golden juniper trees planted on-site.

The parcel consists of three separate properties; 414, 416, and 418 St. Mary’s. Although a one-story, 1,348 SF single family home built in 1920 sits on the lot at 414, the other two addresses sit vacant, their homes torn down several years earlier.

The subdivision plans for this project are currently undergoing a rigorous staff-review process, and we imagine it could be some time before any work begins on these new homes.


One Glenwood Developer Buys Surrounding Land

11 S Boylan Avenue, a 70s-era office building currently home to the NC Department of Insurance, and 623 Hillsborough Street, currently home to Dram & Draught, were both recently purchased by Heritage Properties.

Heritage Properties is the same developer behind One Glenwood, a 10-story, 219,500 square foot mixed-use commercial office building located at 605 Hillsborough Street (former home of the legendary Blue Tower Restaurant). The .39 acre site on S. Boylan sold for $5.2 million, while the .28-acre site at 623 Hillsborough sold for $1.5 million.

The developer has not commented on plans for the newly acquired properties. If history is any indication, they may find themselves going the way of the aforementioned Blue Tower building, and Shelton’s Furniture on West Morgan, which was also demolished last year by Heritage Properties.

The $86 million One Glenwood development is scheduled to open in 2019.


A Swinging Good Time

North Ridge Country Club began work last week on a 2,127 square-foot “golf training facility” that will allow its members to work on their swings.

At first, we assumed this swinging facility was being built in a certain neighborhood in Cary. Then we dug deeper into the permits, which refer to the project both as a generic golf training facility, and a slightly more specific “golf swing building.” Callahan Construction of Raleigh is handling the $220,994 construction of North Ridge’s training facility.

“No matter how many golf swinging facilities they build, they will never produce a player as phenomenal as Broughton legend and U.S. Open winner, Webb Simpson,” said an anonymous representative from the Carolina Country Club.


Rebus Works Wrestles Retail

According to our friends at, Rebus Works, the popular art gallery and event space at 301 Kinsey Street off Boylan Avenue will soon add a local convenience store and coffee shop. Open Monday-Friday from 7-10 a.m., the market will offer locally-sourced breakfasts, baked goods, and coffee.

The setup will seek to mimic, to an extent, Rebus Works’ popular Saturday Market, and will offer patrons the options to purchase a variety of local and artisanal products.

Calavera Closes

Calavera Empanadas & Tequila, a well-loved Mexican Cantina that’s been operating out of a space at 444 S. Blount Street since 2011 is now closed. Earlier this month they announced plans to shut down by the end of February.

“Our kitchen and its small size has kept us from really growing the menu and allowing us to change and add where we would like. We’ve entertained the idea of looking for a location more suited to what we want to do for awhile but have never found anything that matched our needs and wants. We were out of the blue approached with an offer to sell, and while we weren’t actively exploring that, with our new restaurants on the horizon we felt this was the best time to step away.”

Co-owner of Calavera Kenneth Yowell, noted that they were working to place staff at their other restaurant, the Oak City Meatball Shoppe, as well as their upcoming ramen restaurant Kaiju Bowl and Bao. Kaiju is set to open in mid-April.

County records indicate that unit 101, home to Calavera, was sold in October 2017 to HHH Investments, LLC. As the firm was registered through an attorney, we’re not sure who’s behind it, so we can only assume it’s none other than Hunter Hearst Helmsley himself, the WWE superstar better known as Triple H.

Triple H and his business partners.


Developer Finds Way to Build Even More Apartments Near Crabtree Mall

Work has now begun on the latest apartment complex in the overcrowded area of Crabtree Valley Mall off Glenwood Avenue.

The Crabtree Lakeside Apartments, an upscale 221-unit complex whose amenities will include a “resort-style” swimming pool, received its first batch of building permits last week, including the seven three-story residential buildings that will house between 20 and 56 units each.

Developed by Dominion Properties, the construction on Crabtree Lakeside — which overlooks a small pond off Homewood Banks Drive behind the mall — is being handled by VCC General Contracting out of Irving, Texas. The $40 million complex is expected to open by mid-2019.

Development Beat: Work Begins on Peace, Raleigh Plans New Government Complex

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Week of February 19, 2018

Permits issued for Peace (Smokey Hollow) development

The Creamery building sold

Raleigh is planning a new civic campus

Regal North Hills is getting new seating

Work begins on Raleigh’s newest fire station


Work Begins on Peace

In early 2016, Kane Realty announced plans for a new residential mixed-use development along West Street just north of downtown. Initially named Smokey Hollow in honor of the long-gone neighborhood, the project was later renamed “Peace,” and although permits issued last week hinted at yet another name change, we were told by Kane Realty that the official name is Peace.

On February 13, Clancy & Theys Construction received a total of nine permits with a combined listed value of $192 million that will allow for the construction of the first nine phases of Peace.

According to the permits, the phases are as follows:

Construct an 11-story shell building at 417 West Peace (the former site of Peace Camera and other retailers) that will host a parking deck and a ground-floor Publix that everyone is obsessed with

Build a seven-story parking deck at 600 N. West, the former site of the Southland Ballroom

Build out the 11-story 417-unit apartment/retail complex, also at 417 West Peace.

The project is expected to be completed by 2020.


Creamery Building Sold

Glenwood South’s iconic Creamery building was recently purchased by a Chicago developer. Northpond Partners finalized their $24.4 million purchase of four parcels, including The Creamery building, which was built in 1928 and was once home to the Pine State Creamery.

Creamery Limited Properties paid just $3.37 million for the parcels back in 1999. The building and surrounding parcels are home to Milk Bar, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, and a law firm. According to the Triangle Business Journal, the developer has no immediate plans to redevelop the parcels, which also include a smaller building that houses Heat Studios gym and two parking lots along North West Street.


Raleigh Planning to Centralize City Government Buildings

The City of Raleigh is planning to build a brand-new civic campus that will consolidate all city downtown administrative services into one centralized location. Before we get into the plans, here’s a timeline of how Raleigh got here:

Currently, the City owns four buildings in downtown. They also lease over $1 million worth of office space in three privately-owned buildings each year. The new campus would be located at the existing municipal building at 222 West Hargett, and consist of three main sections.

At the ground level, a “Piano Nobile” (Italian for “noble floor”) would house activated plazas, a gallery, and council chambers.

Atop the nobile would sit two adjacent office towers, providing space for administrative functions and staff amenities.

Behind these public structures, the City plans to allow third-party development that could include residential, retail, co-working, parking, and office space.

The plan would also see the expansion of Nash Square, which sits across Hargett from the municipal campus, as well as an investment in “lush, walkable streetscapes” in the surrounding area. The City was kind enough to send over a copy of the presentation, available here.

A timetable included in the presentation seems to imply construction could be underway within five years. Sadly, we saw no mention of LaCroix fountains, or references to the downtown canal. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.


Sitting in Style at Regal North Hills 14

Regal North Hills 14 is getting some upgrades. A series of permits were issued last week to Bailey Construction for seat upgrades for all 14 of the theater’s auditoriums. We aren’t sure if the seats will be the same reclining style that can be found in the Regal Brier Creek 14 theater. “I don’t care if they recline. North Hills could replace their seats with a bed of nails and I’d gladly sit on those instead of going to Brier Creek,” added WNFIV.


February’s Hottest Permits

Work is now underway on Raleigh’s newest fire station. Mike Legeros, the city’s premier expert for all things fire-department related, has discussed this new station at length in the past, most recently in January when the construction bid for the project was awarded to Pro Construction, Inc. for $6.8 million. The company received permits to proceed last week.

The 18,162 square-foot fire Station 14 will be located at 3510 Harden Road and include three apparatus bays. According to Legeros, while the building construction itself is standard “the location of the building requires considerable site work consisting of grading, filling and backfilling, retaining wall, utilities, concrete parking and fire truck aprons, and concrete sidewalk.”

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Development Beat: Castle Video Building For Sale, Alamo Drafthouse and YMCA Progress

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Week of February 12, 2018

Castle Video building under contract

Construction progress at Alamo Drafthouse, Downtown YMCA

Seaboard Wine adds ITBlessed glasses

Moore Square Parking Deck set for million dollar renovation

Developers of The Willard release renderings

City to unveil plans for new Civic Campus


The Last Castle

Situated on the northbound side of Capital just past the split with Wade Avenue, Castle Video & News has for decades served as Raleigh’s top 24-hour adult bookstore and video arcade. But now, it looks like the store could be going the way of the Foxy Lady. The property has been owned by the same family for nearly 60 years and is now under contract with a new owner, although the sale has yet to be finalized.

Amy Bush (Broughton graduate), whose firm is representing the seller, told us that “the buyer’s agent has been mum on their plans.” George Elliot, who owns the business but not the building, told us that “the future is very uncertain” for Castle Video, although he’s not sure whether the sale of the property will actually go through. “It’s not the first time they’ve had people looking at the building,” Elliot said, adding that if it is sold, he hopes the owners would keep Castle Video on as a tenant.

“We try to run a clean, decent establishment with no monkey business,” Elliot said, noting that zoning regulations would make it very difficult to simply pick up and move to a new location.

First built in 1959, the “one-story, flat-roof, commercial building with Modern styling that is now “primarily clad in a decorative concrete block,” opened in 1960 as the Piggie Park Drive-In on what was then known as Downtown Boulevard.

According to the 1963 Hill’s City Directory for Raleigh, the restaurant changed names just three years later to the Kwix Drive-In. Elliot told us that the drive-in was converted to an adult bookstore by the name of “Chateau” in the late 1960s, and that his company took over the space in 1987 as Castle Video & News. “I was told, but haven’t found any evidence that there was a radio tower built on the roof and that a station was broadcasting out of there when it was a drive-in,” Elliot said.

Despite this storied history, the building itself was deemed ineligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Apparently, the building “does not exhibit high artistic value as the work of a master, nor is it an outstanding example of this particular architectural style.” Sad.

The impending sale of Castle Video is unrelated to the work the City has been doing in that area. Over the last few years, Raleigh has been acquiring and demolishing a number of properties, including the Foxy Lady, the Milner Inn, and the Capital Inn. Is this part of a larger plan to flood Capital Boulevard to create a Downtown Canal? Possibly.


Alamo Drafthouse Progress

Image: Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

With death, there is life. While Castle Video may soon be no more on Capital, the Alamo Drafthouse is closer to opening in the Longview shopping center on New Bern Avenue. The developers of Raleigh’s newest movie theater — and the state’s first location of famed cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse — have published a brief photo gallery detailing progress on the project.

Image: Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

We first reported on plans for the theater in January of last year, and noted that construction kicked off last May. You can take a look at the construction progress here.


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Progress on Poyner YMCA in Downtown Raleigh

The Poyner YMCA, which began construction in downtown Raleigh just a week after the Alamo Drafthouse, is also moving along at a nice clip. They’ve been posting updates on social media lately, so we figured we’d share them here. You can sign up here for more news and information about the Poyner YMCA. You can also follow them on Twitter (@PoynerYMCA) and Faceboook (@PoynerYMCA) for more details.

Matt Lilley gave an update from the group fitness studio, which will hold bootcamps, cardio-dance classes, and more. There will also be a cycle studio, and a space capable of holding hot yoga classes, among many other amenities. They’re expected to open in late spring of 2018.

Seaboard Wine Adds ITBlessed Wine Glass Section

Seaboard Wine, Raleigh’s premier wine and tasting bar, recently upgraded a section of their store located in Seaboard Station. Last week, they set aside approximately 20 square feet for the purposes of selling the highly coveted ITBlessed wine glasses. The glasses are part of the Shop ITB home goods line and are available exclusively at Seaboard Wine for $15 each, or 2 for $25.

The move was praised by many wine and retail experts. The markets reacted positively as well.

More Renovations for Moore Square

After renovating the Moore Square bus station and the historic Moore Square Park (in progress), the City has set its sights on the Moore Square Parking Deck.

Last week, Strickland Waterproofing Company out of Charlotte (a city that was not named to Amazon’s HQ finalists list) was issued permits valued at $1 million for work that will include repairs to the deck’s concrete slabs and beams, the installation of a supplemental floor drain, and miscellaneous electrical wiring and fixtures.

Blueprints for the job describe tasks such as “Tee Flange Repair,” “Epoxy Injection” and “Cove Sealant Installation.” We aren’t sure which one of those terms means “make the deck stop smelling like urine” but we’re hopeful that will be addressed in the repairs. The Moore Square Parking Deck was first built in 1986 and last underwent major renovations in 2000.


New Renderings Unveiled for The Willard

The developers of The Willard, who were asked to appear before the Appearance Commission last month in order to move forward with their new seven-story hotel/condo complex on Glenwood South, released new renderings recently.

Our friend Leo Suarez uploaded a gallery of the renderings to his fantastic website The Raleigh Connoisseur, so go check them out.

What Will Raleigh’s New Government Campus Look Like?

The existing building, built during some year. No one cares.

A new conceptual master plan for Raleigh’s consolidated civic campus is set to be unveiled later today at a City Council work session, offering a glimpse into what could be one of the largest downtown public projects of the 21st century. The new campus will be located on the site of the current Municipal Complex at 222 West Hargett.

Many core issues, such as whether the existing building should be remodeled and expanded or torn down entirely, are expected to be addressed. An advance copy of the presentation was not available, but we’ll be sure to include an update next week. William Needham Finley IV requested we put this as the last item in this week’s column, noting that “City Council is dead to me and I don’t care about anything they do anymore.” Strong words coming from the man who didn’t even know where the City Council complex was located until approximately two years ago.

Development Beat: Taylor’s Capital Service Station Set for Redevelopment by Mysterious New Owner

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Week of February 5, 2018

Taylor’s Capital Service Station closes after sale to mysterious developer

Smashed Waffles opens on Hillsborough Street

Design contract to be awarded for Pullen Aquatic Center

Poke-ing around on Hillsborough Street

City to acquire land for Southern Gateway Corridor

Work begins on bartaco in North Hills

Light of the World Church adds rooftop solar


Taylor’s Capital Service Closes, What Next?

On December 17, 2017, the .3 acre property at 630 Hillsborough Street that has been home to the iconic Taylor’s Capital Service station for over three decades was sold to a developer going by the name “Hillsborough 630, LLC.”

Just over a month later, Taylor’s has closed its doors for good, leaving many wondering: what’s coming next? We wish we could tell you, but the new owner is shrouded in more secrecy than the Illuminati’s collaboration with Taco Bell. The LLC is itself registered in Wyoming, but the documentation shows the company was registered by a firm that specializes in private LLC registrations, and no information on the real company ownership was available. The LLC’s North Carolina address was also a bust: it’s a mail forwarding company in Sanford.

ITBest of the Week February 5

The one piece of potentially legitimate information we found was a deed filed in December between Hillsborough 630 and BB&T Bank, which lists a real person and another LLC by the name of Highpoint Properties. We found a few Highpoint Properties across the country, including one based out of North Dakota that was apparently involved in a lawsuit over a residential subdivision. The phone number for the North Dakota Highpoint rang to a private residence, and we were unable to confirm their potential involvement in the redevelopment of Taylor’s.

So where does that leave us? The property is zoned NX-7, or neighborhood mixed-use with a maximum height of seven stories. Under this designation, the mysterious new owners are permitted to develop residential, retail, service and commercial uses, but not bars or nightclubs.

Here’s my prediction: Taylor’s will be torn down, probably within the next 3-6 months, and replaced within the next 1-2 years with an apartment development featuring ground floor retail. Reminder: across the street from Taylor’s sits Allen’s Automotive, which we are also guessing will be turned into an apartment building since it was bought by Charlotte developers last year.


Get Smashed on Hillsborough Street

Smashed Waffles, a Pawnee, Indiana Greenville, NC based waffle-delivery service, opened last week on Hillsborough Street. We first reported on this back in August because we take waffles very seriously.

The new waffle shop is located on the ground floor of 2304 Hillsborough, next door to the future home of a Taco Bell Cantina, and will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will remain open to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Smashed Waffles are cooked with a dough-based batter instead of buttermilk, are smaller than traditional Belgian waffles, and feature elaborate topping choices. These include everything from the “Cracker Jack” which is topped with “sweet caramel popcorn and dressed with a caramel and brown sugar drizzle” to “The Campfire” topped with “a marshmallow cream sauce, Nutella drizzle, graham cracker crumbles, and powdered sugar.”


CANNONBALL: Pullen Aquatic Center To Be Renovated

City Council is expected to award the full design contract for a planned $4 million renovation of the Pullen Aquatic Center to Osterlund Architects. The Center consists of an indoor 50 meter x 25-yard Olympic pool, a warm water therapy pool, and offers lap and recreational swimming, water exercise, swim lessons and aquatic therapy programs.

According to a memo drafted by City Manager Ruffin Hall, maintenance and repair of the Pullen Aquatic Center is a high priority “due to the intense usage throughout the year by individual patrons and swimming organizations” and we assume a massive amount of cannonballs.

Osterlund was awarded a design contract for a study of the facility in March of 2017. An investigation of the space found that work beyond their initial scope would be required. The firm had previously overseen a renovation of the Center in 2013. Pullen Aquatic Center was one of eight city-owned aquatic facilities included in a broad study that began in 2015 that served to prioritize needed repairs and renovations at each location.


Poke Bar Opens on Hillsborough Street

Poke Bar, a California-based franchise offering its own spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish poke, opened its first North Carolina location last week right here in Raleigh at 2604 Hillsborough Street. Poke is often described as a “raw fish salad” and has seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the last two decades.

The new restaurant, which aims to “provide fresh poke without sacrificing taste, health, and quality in a fast casual restaurant environment,” is sure to be a hit among college students looking to expand beyond the traditional fast-casual offerings.

bartaco Coming Soon to North Hills

In October, Kane Realty announced that bartaco, “a hip eatery specializing in tacos and rice bowls” would be making its way to the North Hills shopping center. Last week, work finally began on the restaurant’s new space next to Mura.

On January 25, three permits valued at just under $400,000 were issued to McCarty Construction that will allow them to add an exterior cooler, a fence, and fit out the 5,680 square foot restaurant space. We imagine it should be opening within a few months.

City Spends $2M+ For 12 Acres on South Wilmington

A large swath of land on South Wilmington will soon be in the hands of the City — at the low, low cost of $2 million plus closing costs. The roughly 12-acre site encompasses the properties listed as 2916, 3000, 3020, and 3100 S. Wilmington Street, and will be used to help revitalize the City’s Southern Gateway Corridor.

The City has been looking at ways to improve and enhance the southern gateway of South Saunders and South Wilmington Streets into Raleigh, and last February adopted the Southern Gateway Corridor Study and its recommended Comprehensive Plan amendments. The purchase of the South Wilmington land is the most concrete step to date in this planned revitalization.

Let There Be Light

Image: Carl Sigel

The Church of the Nativity on Ray Road will soon be utilizing another natural element in order to benefit its members: the sun. Permits were issued last month to Southern Energy Management for the installation of a new 106-panel rooftop solar array at the church’s campus. The system is being installed on the roof of Curry Hall, and will power two of the church’s buildings on the campus.

Those familiar with the church’s work through their Becoming the Good Soil program, which seeks to reduce the effects of climate change, should not be surprised to learn the church is looking to reduce its own carbon footprint.

Development Beat: Carmichael Gym Demolition, Restaurant Openings

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Week of January 29, 2018

NC State’s Carmichael Gym to be demolished and upgraded

Work begins on new hotel on West Morgan

Downtown’s latest pizza joint opens

Michael’s English Muffins opens first retail location

O-Ku Sushi coming to The Dillon

LoveSac store coming to Crabtree Mall

South Moon Under coming soon to North Hills


Carmichael Gym Looks to Improve Its Physique

NC State’s beloved Carmichael Gym is getting ready to bulk up. Subcontractor selection is underway for a $45 million project that will see the existing 48,000 square-foot east wing torn down and replaced with an 82,000 square foot addition. The new facility will house student recreation spaces, such as fitness training, alongside classrooms and administrative offices.

The job was awarded last year to Frank L. Blum Construction, a local firm that’s worked on a number of higher education projects, including the Dianne Dailey Golf Learning Center at Wake Forest University and the Dean E. Smith Center at UNC Chapel Hill.

Blum will be breaking the job down into two phases: demolition and site work (bids will be due some time in May) and then the remainder of the work (anticipated to bid in October). Subcontractors looking to get in on the action will have to prequalify with Frank L. Blum Construction by March 16.


New Hotel’s Origin Story

Work has begun on the foundation for the new 126-room, 7-story Origin Hotel, also known as Shelton’s graveyard. Slated to open in 2019 on West Morgan Street, the new hotel will feature a wine and tapas restaurant, a cold-pressed juice counter, locally-sourced coffee and a gym with “Rogue Equipment.” The hotel will seek partnerships with local brewers, roasters, and other artisans to give the location a distinctly unique feel. Work on the $1.1 million foundation is being handled by Whiting Turner Contracting.


Cowabunga Dudes, It’s Pizza Time(s)

The Pizza Times they are a-changin’. The latest addition to the “Times” family of downtown Raleigh restaurants has arrived, and is now serving takeout pizza by the slice and by the pie from 11 a.m. — 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Slices will run you $2.50 each, a 12-inch pie goes for $8.50, and an 18-incher for $16. Toppings include everything from the traditional pepperoni, sausage and onions to more controversial offerings like the dreaded pineapple.

The Pizza Times is located at 210 South Wilmington, around the corner from the Morning Times and the Raleigh Times.


The English (Muffins) Are Coming

The brick and mortar location of Michael’s English Muffins held its grand opening at the Towne Square shopping center on Tuesday. They’ll offer customers a small cafe location where they can either purchase muffins in bulk or enjoy them on site with a variety of spreads.

When we first reported on the store back in November, 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. We’re glad it didn’t work out that way, and can’t wait for a chance to stop by and try an English muffin slathered in peanut butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon — Comisar’s personal favorite.

LoveSac, Baby LoveSac

LoveSac, an “alternative furniture store” is coming to Crabtree Valley Mall. Although the retailer does offer a more traditional sectional couch, its real specialty — and namesake — are a variety of “sacs,” or upscale beanbag chairs. That’s right, beanbag chairs.

The store sells sacs for every occasion; from the “compact yet cozy” Citysac to the 6 foot wide and 4 foot tall Supersac. If that’s not big enough, LoveSac also offers “The Big One” which is 8 feet wide, four feet high, weighs 95 pounds and seats 3+ adults. It’s described as “a cloud you can climb on.” If you’re in the market for a new sac, we found plenty on Amazon.

We don’t have a solid idea on when the store will be opening. Side note: we were terrified to Google the word “lovesac” while researching this story.

O-Ku Sushi coming to The Dillon in Summer of 2018

Kane Realty Corporation announced that O-Ku Sushi will open at The Dillon this summer. According to the exclusive press release e-mail we received, O-Ku was named a “Top 20 Best New Restaurant” by Esquire magazine in 2010, and a “Best Sushi Restaurant in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure in 2013. More details from the press release:

“O-Ku celebrates authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach with a menu that focuses on unique ingredients and sophisticated presentations. From petite plates to sushi specialties, O-Ku showcases the freshest fish from the world’s finest markets and producers in areas such as Norway, Scotland, Hawaii and New Zealand, as well as local sustainable sources.

While the menu is still being finalized, guests can anticipate a unique blend of elevated sushi, sashimi and nigiri options, hot entrees and other traditional Japanese dishes. O-Ku managing partner Kimball Brienza will work with Palmer to recruit local talent to the Raleigh team to complete the food and beverage program.”

ITBest of the Week January 26

South Moon Under, It’s a Natural Wonder

South Moon Under, a “leading fashion e-commerce and brick and mortar retailer,” is coming to the Main District at North Hills. Permits were issued last week to Management Resource Systems for the fit-out of the 3,032 square foot space next to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

South Moon Under got its start as a “surf shack”  in Ocean City Maryland in the summer of 1968, and currently has about 28 brick and mortar locations. The chain has been described as a “multi-brand boutique” that is known for carrying an “ever evolving and eclectic mix of women’s and men’s clothing, swimwear, accessories and gifts.”

The store was originally set to open in Spring 2018, and with construction now underway, we imagine they’ll be able to hit that deadline.

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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.

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.

ITBest of the Week January 19


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

Bagels are finally on their way back to Glenwood South. 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.

UPDATE: We received the following e-mail from the owners of NY Bagel.

“IM emailing you due to your blog about NY bagel on glenwood I would like to state that New york bagels and deli also known as NY bagel in raleigh on falls of neuse and in cary on kildaire farm road is not affiliated with this new location on glenwood we are family owned and no one come close to our made from scratch everyday Ny water bagels, we feel as if this blog was representing our bagel shop beacuse it says there other “locations” we would just like it to be clarified that this is not our good name.”



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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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

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.

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