by William Needham Finley IV™

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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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