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Week of January 22, 2018
Taco Bell Cantina coming to Hillsborough Street
City of Oaks looks to plant more trees
Raleigh selected as finalist for Amazon HQ2
Sushi Nine reopens on Western Boulevard
Allen Edmonds coming to Crabtree Valley Mall
Strickland Road Harris Teeter set for upgrades
Moonwalk Mini Golf opens at Galaxy Fun Park
Taco Bell Cantina Coming to Hillsborough Street
A new kind of Taco Bell is coming to Hillsborough Street. Taco Bell Cantina, the so-called “upscale” version of the ubiquitous chain is set to open later this year on the ground floor of the 2304 Hillsborough apartments. The first cantina location opened to great fanfare in Chicago in September 2015. It has since been announced that the chain would be opening 300-350 cantinas across the U.S. by 2022.
These versions of Taco Bell differ from the traditional locations in two ways: no drive-thru, and a menu that includes Sangria, wine, and draft beers. The hours, like the menus, seem to vary by location: while many of the cantina locations remain open to 2 a.m. or later, they stop serving booze at midnight.
Taco Bell representatives did not respond to inquiries for further details, probably because we once referred to the chain as “nobody’s favorite Mexican restaurant.” It’ll probably be a few months before Raleighites are able to order booze-infused Mountain Dew Twisted Freezes, as permits for the fit-out of the new space were only issued last week.
Oak City Arbory: 100 Trees Coming to Downtown Raleigh
The City of Oaks is about to get a little bit greener. Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is soliciting proposals for the installation of 100 trees on city-owned right-of-ways in the downtown area, a project they hope to complete by the end of March.
Locations for the new and replacement trees are spread out across the entire downtown area. Some of the more notable spots include the Museum of History, Fred Fletcher Park, Nash Square, and the Red Hat Amphitheater.
Per the RFP, planting trees is a much more complicated process requiring more specialized expertise than we would have imagined. The trees themselves are supposed to be sized between 1.5 and 4 inches in diameter, and include a diverse variety of species such as black gum, cherry, crepe myrtle, dogwood, elm, ginkgo, hornbeam, etc. Surprisingly, only nine of the 100 trees to be planted will be oaks.
Sushi Nine Reopens
It’s been two years since Sushi Nine on Western Boulevard burned down. As of this month, they are now open for business.
The restaurant, which reopened in early January, is offering customers the same menu in a new, larger space built on the ashes of its former location, which previously housed Ten Ten Chinese Buffet and Golden Corral before that. The old 6,400 square-foot building was torn down in February 2016, and the groundbreaking on the new 6,800 square foot space was held in early 2017. Thanks to our friends at New City Design for bringing Sushi Nine back.
Raleigh is a finalist for Amazon’s HQ2, Charlotte is not
Amazon announced last week that Raleigh had been selected as one of twenty finalists for HQ2, the company’s second headquarters. Charlotte, who also had submitted a proposal, did not make the list. Upon hearing the news, Durham’s Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham reached out to Amazon for clarification on why Durham wasn’t mentioned on the list. We are not making this up. Amazon replied and confirmed that they were referring to the entire Triangle region, not just Raleigh.
The HQ2 facility is supposed to bring 50,000 new high-paying jobs to the area. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon, but Raleigh is already growing at what seems to be an unsustainable rate as it is. There are obvious pros and cons to HQ2 coming to the area.
Short and long term economic impact
More ITB Insider readers
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.