by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Raleigh Exploring Interactive Kiosks for Downtown

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Week of September 4, 2017

Raleigh exploring interactive kiosks for downtown

Crude Bitters in a Pink Building

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

City of Raleigh Museum adding a pony wall

A new kind of pizza for North Raleigh

Interactive Kiosks in Downtown Raleigh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Crude Bitters

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

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

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

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

Pizza By The Poole Side

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

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

City of Raleigh Museum Adding Pony Wall

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

Raleigh’s New Deep Dish Joint

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

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

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

Anchors Ahoy

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

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

Rezoning Case Back Before Council

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

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

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

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