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Development Beat: A New Speakeasy, a new ITB High School, and a Game of Rezones

in Development by

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of April 17, 2017

Watts & Ward Opens

A new high school was approved for Raleigh

Rezoning for North Hills, Country Club Hills, and Hillsborough Street

Two Roosters Ice Cream getting its first brick and mortar

Tama Tea coming to Fayetteville Street

New Townhomes for Centennial Campus

New Speakeasy Opens in Downtown Raleigh

Watts & Ward, Raleigh’s latest speakeasy, opened to rave reviews last week. Its sleek décor and specialty cocktails made up for its highway-robbery entrance requirement of a $1 membership fee. The speakeasy, located adjacent to Moore Square in the basement of the old Montague Building on 200 S Blount Street, is the latest offering from the Hibernian Hospitality Group. That same group operates a number of popular Raleigh venues, including The Hibernian, Solas, The Station, Dos Taquitos XoCo, and the Raleigh Beer Garden.

The renovation work for the elaborate space began nearly a year ago, back when it was known as “The Volstead.” Watts & Ward is now a 6,000 square-foot space made up of four rooms and three bars, and it looks fantastic.
As we reported, the original name was likely a reference to the National Prohibition Act of 1919, which later became known as the Volstead Act. Of course, booze was banned much earlier here in the North State: prohibition was passed in 1909.

While the speakeasys of today don’t have to worry about having their doors kicked in by the feds or the staties, it wasn’t that long ago that a thriving outlaw bootlegging community known as “The Harricanes” existed on the outskirts of Wake County. We’re glad Watts & Ward allows Raleigh residents to experience a new speakeasy without having to go outside the beltline.

New High School Approved for Capital Boulevard

On Monday, Wake County Commissioners unanimously approved the request from the Wake County Public School System to purchase the property once owned by Bobby Murray Chevrolet on Capital Boulevard to provide a site for a new high school. In 2016, WCPSS agreed to pay $6.4 million for the 12.13-acre property at 1820 Capital Boulevard with the plan to build a small high school.

Former site of Bobby Murray Chevrolet

With the approval from the County Commissioners they can now move forward in the process. They have yet to determine a theme, but since the property has been a car dealership for decades we’re assuming it may be automobile related. Good luck to the Capital Boulevard Cars!

Game of Rezones

Today’s City Council meeting will feature three significant rezoning cases. There’s a rumor that WNFIV may attend the meeting and live Tweet the event as if it were a Game of Thrones episode. Something about “House Kane seeks to expand their reach in the Land of the North Hills.” We’ll see how that goes…

North Hills East is Coming
Z-28-16 involves a significant expansion of the North Hills development known as North Hills East. The project will include 20 development tracts and three open space tracts which will be developed in a “pedestrian friendly, mixed-use fashion” in line with the rest of North Hills. It also seeks to “preserve the character” of the Farrior Hills neighborhood on the eastern side of St. Albans Drive.

Plans for North Hills East, located North of the Wall

While the development has already been approved, this new case seeks to allow the addition of “roughly 1,200 apartments and more than 800 hotel rooms.” So far, the case has won approval from both the local Citizens Advisory Council — 109 for to 37 against per a January vote — and the City’s Planning Commission, which unanimously recommended approval in March.

Future Land Use Map for North Hills East

2812 Hillsborough Street and Bagwell (Z-32-16)
A new five-story apartment building could emerge at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Bagwell Avenue. The developer has offered a number of conditions on the property, including a restriction limiting three-bedroom units to less than 50 percent of the total, and a brick/masonry exterior. The local Citizens Advisory Council initially voted against the case 25-9 in December 2016, but just a month later voted to approve 19-9.

Future Land Use Map for Hillsborough Street and Bagwell

Country Club Hills – Randolph Drive
As we’ve previously reported, residents of the Country Club Hills neighborhood filed a rezoning case for 11 contiguous properties on Randolph Drive. The goal of the rezoning is to “preserve the existing character of the area and discourage teardowns and the construction of houses that are not harmonious with existing neighborhood development.”

Country Club Hills Will not go down without a fight

Residents believe the proposed subdivision into narrow lots with limited street frontage would have a negative effect on the value of existing Country Club Hills homes. Their hope is that approval of their case will prevent the subdivision from moving forward, and provide the greater Country Club Hills neighborhood with time to act to protect against overly dense development in the future.

Raleigh Rent Is Too Damn Stable

While there’s clearly no shortage of new apartments planned for Raleigh, the average rental rates in March rose only 0.1 percent from those in February, according to our friends over at RentCafe. The average rate in March, $1,086, was only 3.4 percent higher than it was in March 2016. These numbers are in keeping with national trends, where rates have only seen slight to moderate growth in the last year. Nationwide, the average rent is $1,317.

Krav Maga Studio Coming to Hargett

Plans have been submitted for a new Krav Maga studio that would operate on the edge of downtown Raleigh at 731 West Hargett Street. The 4,600 square-foot indoor recreation/martial arts studio will specialize in a form of self-defense initially developed for the Israel Defense Forces. Bill Mooney, who owns the entertainment merchandising and screen printing company Tannis Root, has owned the 55-year old building on Hargett since 2001 and is listed as the owner of the Krav Maga studio. Mooney’s love of the martial arts has been clear for quite some time: the e-commerce and fulfillment services company he owns is named KungFuNation.

Roosters Find a Nest

Two Roosters Ice Cream, a local brand that’s currently served out of a vintage camper, received permits last week for a space in North Raleigh, its first brick and mortar location. Set to open in June at the Greystone Village Shopping Center on Leadmine Road, the shop will reportedly rotate out four or five of its flavors, which range from Vanilla Honey and Milk Chocolate to Lucky Charms and Moravian Sugar Cookie, on a monthly basis. The renovations to the 1,100 square-foot space will be handled by Troy Hutchins Construction for $150,000.

Tea Time on Fayetteville

401 Fayetteville Street — a squat, one-story structure built in the early 1960s and most recently used as a travel agency and barbershop — will soon be the latest location of the Wilmington, NC based Tama Tea.

The shop, which bills itself as an alternative to the “typical coffee shop stuffiness, tastes, and overall experience,” purports to offer its customers over 50 types of tea served up by “trained tea-tenders.” A title like that makes it sound like they ought to be out guarding tea fields from marauding bands of raiders, which is probably a lot more fun than being an actual tea-tender. The upside, we imagine, is that they probably get a great discount on Tama’s super-sweet Bamboo Traveler mug:

Life on Lake Raleigh

Work has now begun on the “signature building” for North Shore, a new residential townhome style community on the Centennial Campus of NC State. Developer White Oak Properties lists three different townhome styles, ranging in size from 1,206 square feet to 1,798 SF. The largest unit type offers a separate den/alcove area on the second floor.

Future residents will be afforded not only the amenities of the surrounding campus — such as the magnificent new Hunt Library — but those offered by Lake Raleigh and the adjacent Lonnie Poole golf course as well. In other words, this probably isn’t an affordable housing community.

I Know Who Stole the Lake Boone Chicken

in Humor/ITBNN by

One of our most precious treasures is missing. The Lake Boone Chicken, a beacon of hope and all that is right inside the beltline, was stolen over the weekend. From its home at the Hight family’s driveway, the Lake Boone Chicken has spent the last 10 years dressed in various costumes for the enjoyment of passing SUVs and luxury sedans. People love this chicken. It even has its own Facebook page. One day the chicken was minding its own business, dressed in a Masters green jacket. The next day it was gone.

Many people alerted me to the crime over the weekend, but I didn’t want to draw attention to the story. I’ve seen enough episodes of Law & Order to know that during ransom situations you’re supposed to keep your mouth shut. I did call my lawyer Stacy Miller to see if we could put a bounty out on whoever did this. I didn’t want capital punishment, I wanted something worse. I wanted the thief to be banished from inside the beltline forever.


Click here to buy 10 classes for $200 and get TWO classes free. Offer ends 4/14

First, I had to figure out who was behind this. Who had the most to gain from a crime like this? After some digging, I now know exactly who stole the Lake Boone Chicken and why. But first, let’s look at the timeline of events:

April 7th – the chicken was enjoying the Masters.

April 8th – the chicken was first reported missing.

April 9th – the area officially became a crime scene.

April 10th – search and rescue teams roamed the streets.

At this point, I knew I had to help with the investigation. I wasn’t going to the police with a case like this. I went straight to the top by tweeting at the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA for help.

I waited patiently, then followed up with them.

They still didn’t respond.

April 11th – a new chicken arrived.

That still wasn’t good enough. I wanted answers.

None of our intelligence agencies ever replied to me. Think that over before paying your taxes this year, folks.

Inside the Biggest Conspiracy Ever

Fortunately, I’ve figured out who orchestrated the heist. Running a media empire means I have sources everywhere, even within the media. One such media source attended a secret meeting of local news outlets last week. They were there to solve a problem. They were there to save their networks, and their jobs. Here’s what went down.

Shadowy News Boss: We all know why we’re here. ITB Insider™ is killing us. Their Development Beat is the most reliable source of news in Raleigh. We know for a fact that his March traffic was record-breaking.

ABC11: Well all that traffic is probably because he broke the Cameron Village robbery news, the PR redevelopment story, and the news that Stacy Miller was running for City Council. His coverage of the fire was incredible and he beat us all to the story. His Facebook Live video has over 26,000 views!

TBJ: Did you see the poll he did for that? 92% of the people said he had the best coverage. And I bet the other 8% were just his asshole friends refusing to inflate his ego. It was a great poll though. We love doing polls. By a show of hands who thinks his poll was good?

Shadowy News Boss: Put your damn hands down. And yes, we know his traffic was up because he was breaking all of these stories. But how does he do it?

Inside Source: Maybe it’s because he’s actually from Raleigh and knows what his audience wants to read? And he doesn’t write clickbait stories and tweet them out 67 times a day with slightly different headlines. And he did go to Broughton.

Shadowy News Boss: Well however he’s doing it we have to stop him. Any ideas?

ABC11: We could run some more clickbait about potential suspects from the fire. I mean, technically everyone in Raleigh is a potential suspect. Oh wait, what if we started another fire ourselves and then we could be the first ones to cover it?!

Shadowy News Boss: No, too risky. And you guys would probably just double-cross us. What if we stole the Lake Boone Chicken?

WNCN: Hi, I’m young and desperately trying to fill the void left by the departure of Penn Holderness. I just moved here from Pittsburgh. What is the Lake Boone Chicken?

Shadowy News Boss: It’s a chicken statue at a house on Lake Boone Trail. People love it. We could steal it, everyone would freak out, then we could break the story. We’ll do it during the weekend when Finley’s incapacitated in a Rise Biscuit and Capital Creations food coma.

TBJ: Love it! We could do a slideshow of pictures from the crime scene and talk about how many companies are leaving the area because of it.

Shadowy News Boss: Sure TBJ, do whatever you want. But we can’t all write the same exact story. So, what angle is everyone else going to take with this?

ABC11: We try to make things as grim as possible, so we’ll go with “Missing chicken, possibly slain and mutilated, or sold into the chicken trafficking trade. A closer look, tonight at 11:00.”

Shadowy News Boss: Great, never change guys. How about you, N&O?

N&O: We’ll just have our web editor sift through all the articles that you guys do and then cut and paste and embed some tweets. We don’t have the resources to cover this. We’re too busy getting Big Daddy Dan Kane to take shots at the UNC scandal while we also promote UNC basketball. By the way, did you guys see that Luke Maye hit a game winning shot and then made it to his early class the next morning? We’ll put so many Kroger pop up ads and video ads on the story that you won’t even be able to read it on your phone. We get more pageviews that way.

Shadowy News Boss: Perfect. Finley doesn’t stand a chance.

Everyone left the room, except for the Shadowy News Boss who began making a phone call. My inside source lingered in the hallway to eavesdrop. She heard the man say, “Yeah, those morons took the bait. They’ll all be wasting their time covering this ridiculous story. Warm up the Sky 5 chopper, I’ve gotta get back for my 6:00 pm broadcast. We all know I’m the only reason people watch our station.”

And that, my friends, is how the Lake Boone Chicken was stolen. It was a classic conspiracy by all the other news outlets in town to create a panic, manufacture a story, and beat us to breaking it. We’ll give them 4 out of 5 beltlines for creativity. Now that I’ve blown the lid off this plot, it’s time to return the chicken.


Development Beat: Oberlin Animal Hospital Demolition, Country Club Hills Showdown, Crabtree Projects Canned

in Development/ITBNN by

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of April 3, 2017

Oberlin Road Animal Hospital to be demolished and rebuilt

Oberlin Village could become a historic district

Capital Boulevard Storage open

Country Club Hills showdown

Two Crabtree projects cancelled

Sandy Forks Road sculpture moves forward

Oberlin Animal Hospital To Be Demolished, Rebuilt

The owners of a trio of office buildings at the intersection of Oberlin Road and Wade Avenue have submitted plans that would see the 37-year-old structures torn down and replaced with a single two-story building.

The Care First Animal Hospital and the offices of the NC Academy of Physicians and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be relocated into the new 50,000 square foot space. Parking will be relocated into a two-story, 133-space underground garage.

We’re not sure when the work on this project will begin. Parents of Dogs of ITB can rest easy, as the animal hospital will remain open until the new building is finished, at which point the animals will be transported, two by two, to their new location before demolition begins.

Community Deli, Oberlin Village Could Become Historic

The Friends of Oberlin Village will present to City Council a plan that would establish a local historic district preserving the largest African American freedmen’s community in Raleigh. According to documents filed with the City, Oberlin Village “represents the most intact African American Reconstruction-era settlement in Wake County.”

The 34 sites in the core of Oberlin Village are part of a freedmen’s community that existed in the City from 1873-1970. Of those 34 sites, seven have already been designated as historic landmarks, including Oberlin Cemetery, the Wilson Temple Methodist Church, and the Hall House. The remaining structures consist of an array of homes, as well as the Oberlin Baptist Church and the Community Deli.

The group is seeking historic district status so that Oberlin Village can “retain its physical and cultural integrity, protect against unsympathetic alterations and unnecessary demolition, foster community pride, and enhance property values.”

The request to Council was scheduled to occur during the Requests & Petitions portion of tonight’s evening session, but has been postponed until the next Tuesday meeting.

Capital Boulevard Storage Now Open

The self-storage facility whose rooftop solar-panel system we’ve previously covered is now open and offering grand opening specials. This new 3-story, nearly 75,000 square-foot facility was built by none other than Rufty-Peedin Design Builders, which is why we weren’t surprised to learn the business already has a unanimous five-star rating on Rateabiz.com.

Country Club Hills Showdown

As we reported in January, residents of the Country Club Hills neighborhood filed a rezoning case for 11 contiguous properties on Randolph Drive to be rezoned from R-4 to R-2. The goal of the rezoning is to “preserve the existing character of the area and discourage teardowns and the construction of houses that are not harmonious with existing neighborhood development.”

How did all of this start? Residents were informed of a proposed subdivision of a lot on Randolph Drive into three new 66-foot wide home sites. However, they were not informed until three months after its submittal to the City. The filing of the rezoning case by the neighbors suspended the City’s review of the subdivision.

Country Club Hills will not go down without a fight

Residents believe the proposed subdivision into narrow lots with limited street frontage would have a negative effect on the value of existing Country Club Hills homes. Their hope is that approval of their case will prevent the subdivision from moving forward, and provide the greater Country Club Hills neighborhood with time to act to protect against overly dense development in the future.

The case will be the subject of a public hearing at the next Tuesday meeting in the second floor Council Chamber of the municipal building at 222 West Hargett Street. We’re expecting residents to show up in solidarity by wearing light blue Brooks Brothers button down dress shirts.

Crabtree Cancellations

We’ve written about a number of new developments cropping up around Crabtree Valley Mall over the years. That’s why we weren’t surprised when the Triangle Business Journal reported that two of these developments had been tossed into the dustbin, right alongside the failed Soleil Center.

Remember this? Lol.

First up was the ambitious Carolina Row, an 11-acre portion of the massive 20-acre Crabtree North project. Carolina Row was set to be “a mixed-use development where southern sophistication meets contemporary main street” with 708 residential units and a hotel. The project was to connect via a pedestrian bridge to Crabtree Valley Mall across Glenwood. The grand opening was slated for 2016, which has come and gone. Tragically, southern sophistication has yet to meet up with contemporary main street. The site is now being marketed to potential developers.

Carolina Row, We hardly knew ye

The other development to bite the dust was on Kidd’s Hill next to the Marq apartments. Once again, plans included a hotel, apartments, and some offices. The plans were scrapped and the property is back on the market. We’re not sure why developers are having so much trouble building out around Raleigh’s most popular mall, but we can’t imagine local residents — for whom traffic is already a complete nightmare — are too upset about these failures.

Work Begins on Sandy Forks Sculpture

An interesting new work of public art that’s somehow tied into the Sandy Forks Road Widening project received permits last week. Renderings show that the six-foot wide sculpture will stand 18 feet tall. This unique project has a listed construction cost of $71,250.

While we do have faith in sculptor Jim Gallucci, who was behind the Oak Leaf Light sculptures in City Plaza downtown, we’re pretty sure he was inspired by the popular video game “Myst”. We’re totally ok with that, because literally anything is better than another Light+Time tower.

Inspired by the Channelwood Age, we assume.

LogMeIn Moves On In to One City Plaza

Tech firm LogMeIn plans to move into the 17th floor of One City Plaza. The company had been housed in the Citrix Warehouse District Campus and was looking for a new space to accommodate its growing size. The nearly $2 million fit-out of the 16,754 square feet of space at 421 Fayetteville Street is being done by RCI Builders.

Aldi Expansion

The Aldi at Sunrise Valley Place will expand into an additional 2,000 square feet of space. Aldi, which took possession of the property in 2010, filed plans to add space onto the side of the building facing North Rogers Lane and four handicapped spaces on the side facing New Bern.

We’re curious if these plans have anything to do with one of Aldi’s German competitors, Lidl, building two new stores in Raleigh. Work on the Aldi expansion should begin later this year.

Demolition Derby

The City of Raleigh is soliciting bids for the demolition of three properties on Harden Road (3500, 3504, 3510) in order to make way for a new fire station. Bids are being accepted through May 2, 2017.

Eagles at Poyner Place Landing Near Triangle Town Center

A vacant out-parcel near Triangle Town Center could soon be home to the new Eagles at Poyner Place gas station. Plans call for a new, 4,200 square foot “C-Store” and six gas pumps. Eagles Enterprise LLC acquired the 1.2 acre site at 8050 Target Side Drive for a reported $250,000.

Considering its proximity to 540 and the relative lack of gas stations in the area, we imagine this new Eagles location could do well, and that after several years of life in the fast lane, the shop’s owners will be able to take it easy and enjoy that peaceful easy feeling that comes from retiring early.

Workout, Eat Tacos, and Drink Beer to Support Raleigh Firefighters

in ITBNN by

Little City Brewing and Provisions Company and Heat fitness studio are hosting a fundraiser this Sunday, April 2nd to benefit the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association.

As you may recall from our reporting a few weeks ago, a massive fire destroyed an apartment building under construction and severely damaged the Quorum Center and Link Apartment building. Over 100 firefighters worked throughout the night and totally dominated the five-alarm fire. To show their gratitude, businesses located a few blocks from the fire are putting on a fundraiser that includes a workout, tacos, and beer. All proceeds from all aspects of the event go directly to the cause.

The schedule:

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Heat fitness studio workout – 400 Glenwood Avenue

A free (donations are encouraged) group high-intensity interval training class. Class registration is required and space is limited. Reserve a spot by contacting Jake Giamoni at jake@heatstudios.com

Heat is also offering any Raleigh firefighters two weeks of free unlimited classes. Contact jake@heatstudios.com to set up the complimentary membership.

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Taco bar and beers at Little City Brewing – 400 W North St.

All are encouraged to head over to Little City Brewing to enjoy a pint of beer and a taco bar from Little City’s sister restaurant Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Chef Ryan Moore. The cost is $20 per person, with 100 percent of profits being donated. Firefighters, police, and first responders eat for free.

With a suggested donation of $5-$10 Head Brewer Burt Halbert will lead guided tours of their brewing process.

Mercedes-Benz of Durham as a company, along with individual employees of the store, have also contributed funds toward the event that are going directly to the cause.

The donation will be made to the Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association, a nonprofit association of career firefighters who are employed by, or retired from, the City of Raleigh Fire Department.

Former Broughton Quarterback Stacy Miller to Run for City Council

in ITBNN by

I could not be more honored to announce that Raleigh attorney and former Broughton quarterback Stacy Miller will run for City Council in 2017. Stacy running for City Council is great news for a number of reasons. We have the chance to add another Broughton graduate to the council, and he’s got some great ideas for Raleigh. Plus, he let me announce this decision, which further legitimizes ITB Insider™ as a media empire and source for real news.

Stacy Miller for Raleigh City Council

Posted by Stacy Miller on Monday, March 20, 2017


Public service isn’t new to Stacy. He served on the City Council from 1996-1997 and his passion for public service actually dates back to his time at Broughton.

“I’m going to go throw the game winning touchdown, but I just want to say that our police and firefighters deserve to be paid more. Go Caps!”

It’s been great having Bonner Gaylord represent Broughton on the City Council, but we need to tip the scales a little more in our favor. That’s why I’ve spent the last few years encouraging Stacy to run. I know I had a lot to do with getting Bonner elected whenever the last election was, so I recently met with Stacy to talk campaign strategy.

“First, congrats on letting me announce your candidacy for City Council. To win a campaign you’ve got to have an iconic campaign poster, like the one that I made for Bonner.”

“Well, that sure is…. iconic,” Stacy replied.

“I’ve got a few themes for yours. First, you as Superman. Your name starts with an “S”. It just works,” I said.

“Ok…but then who’s Batman?”

“I can’t tell you, but his name starts with “B”, he works for a company that rhymes with Wayne, and he likes technology,” I replied.

“So it’s Bonner.”

“You didn’t hear that from me. I’ve also got this one that shows you’ll be a leader that cares about our police and firefighters, children, and Dix Park.”

Stacy looked confused for a moment, then finally spoke, “Am I riding a dinosaur?”

“That would be the LaCroixasaurus that we’re going to genetically engineer at Dix Park. Kids love them, which is clearly evident from all the thumbs ups you’re getting.”

Stacy was still taking it all in, “Is that Red Rocks?”

“It sure is. If Dix Park is going to be world-class then we need to move Red Rocks amphitheater from Colorado to Raleigh.”

“And what’s that one random bike doing in the background?” he asked.

“That’s the bike share program.”

“But there’s only one bike.”

“That’s why it’s called bike “share”. We can’t buy bikes for everyone, how would we pay for the downtown canal?”

“Look, these all sound like great ideas, but I’d like to be a little more practical. Let’s hold off on this poster for now,” he said.

“Good point, we don’t want to overwhelm the voters. I already came up with your campaign slogan: ‘It’s not about party lines, it’s about beltlines.’”

Stacy laughed, “While I understand you’re focused on ITB, I care about all of Raleigh. I do agree that it’s not about party lines though. There’s no Democratic or Republican way to fill a pothole. It’s really about what’s best for the city and the people who live here.”

“Good point, I’m just ecstatic that we may have another Broughton Capital on the council pretty soon. I’ll keep working on some photoshops,” I said, ready to take on another grueling campaign season.

I’ll let Stacy and his campaign team fill in the details about his platform. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.


Development Beat: 9,000 Restaurants Opening and the Demolition of Shelton’s Furniture

in Development/ITBNN by

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of March 27, 2017

Shelton’s Furniture building will be demolished

Brewery Bhavana opens this week

Level7 opening at North Hills AC Hotel

New tenants and openings in Cameron Village

Raleigh Provisions now open

Mulino moving in, Babylon moving to new location

BBQ reincarnation

Hotel to Replace Shelton’s Furniture

Before James gets to this week’s Development Beat of literally 9,000 new restaurant and bar openings, I would like to give a proper goodbye to Raleigh icon Shelton’s Furniture. Olde Raleigh posted this great picture from when the building first opened in 1942.

The building at 607 West Morgan Street will soon be demolished to make way for Two Glenwood, a 150-room hotel and parking deck. This news comes less than a month after demolition permits were issued for the property across the street to make way for One Glenwood at the corner of Hillsborough and Glenwood. As we reported in February, the One Glenwood project will be a 10-story mixed-use commercial/office building.

To be clear, Shelton’s is not moving due to fears of another downtown fire, although I wouldn’t blame them if that were the case. They’ve been in the process of moving over the last few months and are now located in Clayton. Sadly, I don’t know where that is. Raleigh residents will miss filling their SUVs up with everything from antiques to dorm room furniture from this fine establishment. I’m going to go pour out some Murphy’s Oil in honor of Shelton’s moving and pray that the new hotel doesn’t catch on fire and ruin Moonlight Pizza next door.


Brewery Bhavana Opens Wednesday

Brewery Bhavana, the collaboration between Patrick Woodson, co-founder and Head Brewer, and Vanvisa and Vansana Nolintha, the siblings who own the popular restaurant Bida Manda, opens this week at 218 S Blount Street in Moore Square. The transformation from Irish Pub (Tir Na Nog moved out in 2015) to Brewery Bhavana began in May 2016 and has resulted in Raleigh’s first ever brewery, flower shop, bookstore, dim sum restaurant, and taproom.

They offer a selection of 10 core beers, 10 provisional beers that rotate periodically, wine and cocktails, and a wide range of dim sum dishes. Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha will also operate the small flower shop and bookstore in the space.

Downtown’s newest brewery will house its operations in two spaces: the restaurant and taproom at Moore Square, and a 7,200 square-foot space in a warehouse about a mile south at 1401 South Bloodworth Street. Built in 1915, the warehouse was acquired in 2015 by a local investor and is now leased and managed by York Properties. The renovation of the warehouse was designed by local firm Maurer Architecture.

William N. Finley IV attended a soft opening and will have an in-depth review soon.

Rooftop Bar at New North Hills Hotel

Monday night saw the soft open of Level7, the rooftop bar on the seventh floor of the new AC Hotel at North Hills. The hotel is branded as an AC Hotel by Marriott, which are described as “European-inspired design hotels”. AC Hotels can be found across the globe, from Marseille, France to Pisa, Italy…and now Raleigh, North Carolina. To be fair, there’s also one in Kansas City. We imagine this will be a popular after-work spot for the North Hills corporate tenants.

The bar serves wine, beer, and liquor from local distilleries, along with tapas. William N. Finley IV got a preview last week thanks to Tabletop Media Group. (Note: Instagram now lets you add multiple images/videos in a post. Swipe or click to watch both videos.)

New Shops in Cameron Village

In non-booze related news, Cameron Village will soon welcome a whopping five new tenants, including a new and improved Starbucks, which we first reported back in January. The current Starbucks in Harris Teeter will move into the building across the street.

Also coming soon:

Alumni Hall – a college sports apparel store will open in the spot occupied by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Steven Shell Living – a home décor and furniture shop expected to open in early June in the former Party Shop space

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming – a pet food and supply store will move from its current North Hills location to the spot formerly occupied by Accipiter Gallery.

Stewart Physical Therapy – opening in the former home of North American Video, which closed in 2015 after nearly 40 years in operation.

Never Forget: Be Kind, Rewind. RIP North American Video.

so•ca Now Open

so•ca is now open in the space formerly occupied by Faire. As we noted in February, the “cocina Latina” (Latin kitchen) style restaurant is operated by the owners of the popular downtown restaurant bu•ku. WNFIV attended the soft opening, because apparently that’s all he does anymore. I’m not even sure why this isn’t just called “Soft Opening ITB Insider” at this point.

Raleigh Provisions Opens in Downtown Raleigh 

Raleigh Provisions, a small grocery store offering natural, high-quality products, is now open downtown at 107 E Davie Street. Work began on this project back in September 2016. Owner Kim Hammer, who also owns and operates the cocktail bar Bittersweet, intends to source locally.

Although Provisions has more in common with Standard Foods on Person Street than say, the Harris Teeter at Cameron Village, we imagine it will be quite popular with nearby residents.

Mulino to replace Babylon, Babylon Moving to New Location

Babylon, an award-winning Moroccan restaurant, will be moving to a new location soon. Owner Samad Hachby will turn the current space at 309 N. Dawson Street into Mulino Italian Kitchen and Bar.

According to the Mulino website, the focus will be on “homemade pastas, pizzas, and breads cooked in the woodfired oven, locally sourced meats and seafood as well as traditional Italian fare and an expansive Italian wine selection.”

Babylon will be open until April 2nd and Mulino is expected to open in mid-April.

As one BBQ Door Closes, Another BBQ Door Opens

Out in North Raleigh, Capital Boulevard’s beloved Barbecue Lodge closed its doors for good last week after more than 35 years. No word on what’s coming next for the space.

North Raleigh residents will soon have a new option for BBQ, as award-winning national chain City Barbeque opens its first Raleigh location, which we first reported back in January. Permits were recently issued to install outdoor seating for the restaurant, which will reside at the Olive Park shopping center at 9400 Falls of Neuse. The center will be anchored by another Raleigh first, the Sprouts Farmers Market.

Auntie Anne’s Getting a Facelift

This is a relatively minor project, but one we know likely matters a great deal to its regular Crabtree customers and mall walkers. The Auntie Anne’s at Crabtree Valley Mall received permits last week for a $42,000 renovation of its existing 535 square-foot space, care of Macallan Construction.

Demolition for Duke Raleigh Outpatient Rehab Center

Located on Executive Drive, the two existing buildings at the Duke Raleigh Outpatient Rehabilitation center will be demolished by Alabama-based firm Robins & Morton. The 16-acre site off Wake Forest Road has been owned by Duke University since 1998. The two two-story medical office buildings set for demolition were built in 1972 and 1973. The services once available at this outpatient location can now be accessed across town at the Duke Specialty Rehab Services Midtown at 5920 Sandy Forks Road.


Development Beat: Players’ Retreat Plans Unveiled

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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of March 20, 2017

Players’ Retreat plans unveiled

Hargett Place is holding a Designer Showcase Open House

Historic fire sets back development

Nightclub replacing Harry’s Guitar Shop moves forward

Domino’s is coming to downtown Raleigh

Holt Brothers doing work on Sheetz

New ITB cottages

Plans Unveiled for Players’ Retreat Redevelopment

Following up on our story from last week, the fate of the Players’ Retreat may soon fall into the hands of the City Council. An unfiled rezoning case requiring Council approval would allow for the development of offices, apartments, retail, and town homes on the lots surrounding the beloved Raleigh restaurant.

Local developer Craig Davis told an overflow crowd at last week’s Hillsborough CAC meeting that plans for the redevelopment had kicked off two years earlier.

“Gus Gusler, the owner of the Players’ Retreat, started an adventure to attempt to acquire his building and the surrounding buildings. He wanted to secure the future of the PR.”

A year into that adventure, Davis said he was brought into the equation “to see if we could achieve that dream of his.” In that time, Davis said they were able to negotiate the acquisition of several of the surrounding lots, which will allow for a more cohesive development approach. “Our vision from day one has been to take this up a notch, quality-wise,” Davis said.

The current plan for the site includes the following:
-A 7 story and 3 story, 70,000 square-foot, 60-unit condo building with ground floor retail on the site where BB&T is currently located.
-A 140,000 square-foot office building with ground floor retail on the site of the David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar building.
-A 5 story, 75-unit apartment complex on the site of a parking lot and duplex across Oberlin from the PR
-14 town homes, built on the parking lot and duplex site
-A three-level 500-space underground parking garage that will be accessible through the traffic circle
-Sam and Bill’s Hair Salon will be preserved
-A pocket park, contingent on the acquisition of additional land abutting the future apartment site

Local architect Michael Stevenson said the project is a “Planned Development,” meaning its approval would be based on the design.

The seven-story buildings exceed current zoning restrictions, so Gusler et. al will need to rezone several of the lots to move forward. Davis was hesitant to say whether the development was dependent on the approval of that rezoning. He did note that financing was very “project specific.”

Here’s how we interpret it: in order to ensure the PR stays, this development is necessary. In order for this development to move forward, the rezoning must happen. We don’t want to jump to the conclusion that “no rezoning = no Players’ Retreat”, as it is still early on in the process.

Another presentation of the plans will be made during The Wade meeting on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00 pm at the Jaycee Park Community Center. All CAC meetings are open to the public; however, you can vote only at meetings of the CAC where you reside.

Hargett Place Designer Showcase and Open House

Hargett Place, a project consisting of 19 luxury rowhomes, is currently being built in downtown Raleigh at 133 S. Bloodworth Street, just a few blocks from Moore Square and City Market. We got to tour the place last week and it’s definitely the nicest new construction we’ve seen in the area. The rowhomes include Viking appliances, quartz countertops, 10 ft. ceilings on the main level, hardwoods, and an option for an elevator or dumbwaiter.

Hargett Place is being developed by Hyde Street Holdings, built by Greg Paul Builders, and sold and marketed by Fonville Morisey Barefoot. Trish and John Healy, of Hyde Street Holdings, came up with the idea of a Designer Showcase Home event and open house, featuring Raleigh-based designers and local businesses for the benefit of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA.

A benefit preview party will be held on March 24th, followed by an open house on March 25-26, April 1-2, and April 8-9. The Showcase Home offers around 2,300 square feet of interior living space, two-car parking, plus 1,000 square feet of outdoor living, including a rooftop garden with great views of downtown Raleigh.

Fire Destroys Apartment and Damages Buildings

Tragedy struck downtown last week when a five-alarm fire destroyed the unfinished Metropolitan Apartments on West Jones Street and severely damaged several surrounding structures, including the Quorum Center. A firefighter sustained minor injuries.

ITB Insider was on the scene and had the best coverage in the area during the fire. WNFIV even worked with Raleigh’s Aerial Look to provide more coverage you can ITBelieve in with the video below.

A brief history of The Metropolitan: Originally known as The Greyhound, the complex was being built on the former site of Raleigh’s Greyhound bus terminal, abandoned in 2014 and demolished in April 2016. Clancy & Theys began construction on the five-story project in July 2016.

Designed by JDavis Architects, it was originally scheduled to open in the fall of 2017 with a number of high-end amenities to be included. The building was about 40 percent complete at the time of the fire.

Real Estate Report

Our friend Ryan Boone is listing a lovely 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo at Parkridge Lane, between Cameron Village, Five Points, and Glenwood South. For under $170k, this is a steal. Call Ryan Boone at 919-438-0548 for a showing. Note: Taylor Swift may no longer reside in the area.
To feature listings here, contact wnfiv@itbinsider.com for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

Desperately-Needed Nightclub Replaces Raleigh Icon on Glenwood South

The iconic Harry’s Guitar Shop is gone. In its place will be a new club from business owner Dan Lovenheim, who owns local bars Alchemy (formerly 606 Lounge) and Cornerstone Tavern.

First built in 1966, 616 Glenwood became home to Harry’s Guitar Shop in the mid-1980s when proprietor Harry Tueting purchased the building. WNFIV tells me that if you grew up in Raleigh and took guitar lessons, you took them here. In September of 2015 the shop relocated to 556 Pylon Drive, off Blue Ridge Road.

The property was sold for $1.35 million to an LLC tracing back to a private individual in Chapel Hill. The most notable change to the property will be the addition of a covered patio area in front of the building. It will include a small bar and handicap-accessible restrooms. We were told last year that in order to make room for the new patio, the front wall on the building facing Glenwood will be knocked down and moved back.

The interior will be renovated to include a bar area, a stage, a DJ booth, a cooler, and two multiple occupancy bathrooms. The work, which has a permitted cost of more than a quarter-million dollars, will be handled by Carolina Design & Construction, which is owned by Lovenheim.

Downtown Domino’s

Permits were issued last week for downtown Raleigh’s most hotly anticipated restaurant of 2017: a Domino’s Pizza. The pizza chain will soon be opening on the ground floor of the Edison on Davie Street. WNFIV is now starting a campaign to get another Capital Creations location in that spot instead, but it’s probably too late for that. The $80,000 fit-out of the 2,254 square-foot space will be handled by Westroc Construction.

Construction Starts for Raleigh’s Eighth Sheetz

That was fast! Just over a month after permits were issued for a former recycling center at 8101 Glenwood Avenue, work has begun on the city’s newest Sheetz. The 6,407 square-foot convenience store will be built out by prominent local contractors Holt Brothers Construction for a permitted cost just shy of a $1 million.

Terrence Holt, former NFL and NC State football player, told us, “The Glenwood Avenue project is our second with Sheetz. Permits have been pulled and site work has begun. Along with the new structure, we will be cleaning up environmental issues on the site, upgrading infrastructure, as well as adding new traffic signals to reduce congestion.”

As it happens, Holt Brothers is also one of the sponsors of Habitat for Humanity’s Build a Block program, which is working to build 11 homes on Lake Wheeler Road to raise awareness and address the need for affordable housing in Wake County. Those interested in lending a hand to this great cause can do so in the coming weeks. A complete list of dates and times is available here.

New ITB Cottages

Site work is underway for one of Raleigh’s newest residential developments: The Cottages at Filmore. Located on Filmore Avenue near the intersection of Glenwood and Wade, the seven homes in this new cottage court would be a mix of single-family and attached two-story structures.

The site was previously home to an apartment complex and a single-family home, which were torn down in November 2015. The land had been owned since 1986 by G Henry Temple and Vicky Huband, the developers of the Cottages at Filmore. Although Temple & Huband were both listed on the site plan filings for the Cottages, the property was purchased in October 2016 by The Hamilton Company. When the property was initially listed for sale, it was described as: “One of the last ITB infill development lots left with alley access.” so I assume this has WNFIV’s approval. Permits to build the homes themselves have not yet been filed with the city.

Raleigh Fire Recap

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Fires have always been a hot topic inside the beltline. If you’ve lived here long enough, you know what I mean. Thursday night was unlike anything Raleigh residents have seen, unless you’re pushing 100 years old. The Metropolitan, a new apartment complex across the street from the Quorum Center near Glenwood and Hillsborough, caught fire just before 10:00 pm. This wasn’t your typical “Wake County closing school because they heard it might snow a tenth of an inch” dumpster fire. This was a legitimate “it’s the end of days, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming” level fire.

Most importantly, Raleigh’s firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers did an incredible job of keeping the fire contained and everyone safe. 100 firefighters contained the fire after three hours. If you live in a building that was evacuated, call 919-996-2999 for information on when you can get back in to your building.

I’ll recap the entire night in a moment, but first let’s look at how Raleigh is coming together to help those in need.

Raleigh Rallies Around Fire

Plenty of Raleigh residents and businesses immediately offered support to those impacted by the fire. Within hours after the fire began, the Holiday Inn, or “Clarion” for those of you who recently moved here, offered rooms to those who had been displaced by the fire. By Friday morning, the Red Cross, First Baptist Church, and many others were setting up shelters.

Below are ways that you can help. We’ll update this as we get more information.

The Raleigh Police Dept. says the Quorum Center is hard hit due to extensive water damage from the sprinkler system running all night. Residents from both the Quorum Center and Link Apartments will probably not be able to get back into the building for a few days.

A relief center has been set up at 301 W Jones St – United Methodist Church Annex Building, where they are feeding firefighters and responders if you want to deliver food. Residents in need can contact Sergeant Dave Eckert (919-524-4527) who is coordinating overall efforts.

SportsChannel8 – is donating, and encouraging others to donate, to The 200 Club of Wake County, which “provides immediate financial help for the spouse and children of police officers, sheriff deputies, firemen, EMS squad members and North Carolina State Highway Patrol serving in Wake County who lose their life in the line of duty.”

Isaac Hunter’s Tavern – hosting a BBQ dinner Friday night at 6:00 pm. All proceeds go towards RFD and to support those affected by the fire.

VCA Triangle Tower Animal Hospital – offering to board pets. Call 919-231-8030.

Crank Arm Brewery – holding a clothing drive at its W. Davie Street location from open to close on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

518 West, or “Google Fiber” for those of you who JUST moved here, offered food, internet, charging, and a place to stay warm

Rise Cameron Village and North Raleigh – offering meals to any firefighter, police officer, EMT, or first responder

The Gramercy – letting people use their Clubroom, located at 650 West North St.

The Hibernian – donating a portion of today’s proceeds

ITB Insider™ Covers Downtown Fire Better Than Anyone Else

Around 10:08 pm on Thursday night, Brian Oschwald, a contributing ITB reporter who lives at the West condo, called to tell me the building across the street was on fire. I went to investigate, thinking it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I drove down West Morgan Street and immediately saw a tower of flames as I passed Moonlight Pizza. Turning left onto Glenwood, then right onto Hillsborough, I took this video.

It truly was like something you would see in a movie. I parked on West Street, in between Hillsborough and Edenton, and began a Facebook Live from the gravel parking lot before moving to the bridge on Hillsborough Street over the train tracks. My phone battery died, but only after I provided everyone with the best news coverage ever. I’m working on putting together a shorter video.



Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Thursday, March 16, 2017

To put this in context, here’s a clearer picture of where the fire started.

Here’s exclusive footage from the West rooftop, from ITB contributor Brian Oschwald.


Posted by Brian James Patrick Oschwald on Thursday, March 16, 2017

This was taken from right outside of Clouds Brewing, less than a few hundred feet from the site of the fire.

On Friday morning I kicked off another delirious Facebook Live from the West condo, in which I rambled on for about an hour.


Update from the scene of the fire. Didn’t expect to ramble for almost an hour. Just trying to bring you coverage you can ITBelieve in.

Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Friday, March 17, 2017

Additional coverage:

View from the roof of the West condo. Photo: Brian Oschwald


Another view from the West rooftop. Photo: Brian Oschwald
View from the HT parking lot in Cameron Village


Development Beat: Changes Ahead for Players’ Retreat?

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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of March 13, 2017

Plans for a prospective development around Players’ Retreat

Boylan Bridge Brewpub reopens this week

Hillsborough Street Target moves forward

Norris-Heartt historic home restoration underway

City proposes “Teardrop LEDs” in Historic Downtown Districts

Urban Garden Planned for Raleigh

Players’ Redevelopment?

The view from the patio of the iconic Players’ Retreat could soon look a lot different. Plans for a prospective development at Hillsborough Street and Oberlin Road, currently occupied by a BB&T branch and parking lot, will be presented by local architect Michael Stevenson later this week at the Hillsborough Citizens Advisory Council meeting.

In addition to this prospective development, an interesting set of proposed amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan invite an upzoning of the Players’ Retreat building, David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar, and Liquid State to 5-story entitlements. This would allow all of these properties to be redeveloped into larger, higher-density projects: we’re imagining apartments/condos with ground-floor dining and retail, but it’s too early to say what might be coming.

Plans were approved in 2015 for the lot at 1912 Hillsborough, between the PR and the Hillsborough Street roundabout, to be turned into a 54-unit apartment complex. The plan was to build studio and one-bedroom units alongside some sub-350 square feet “micro-units.” No permits have been filed for the Studio 1912 development, however, and we haven’t heard anything since July 2015.

It seems that a lot of things are up in the air right now with respect to this section of Hillsborough Street. Fortunately, we will have more details on these projects, and what they might mean for the Players’ Retreat, next week.

Real Estate Report

Want to live ITB for less than $170K? Of course you do! Call Ryan Boone at 919-438-0548 to make this dream come true. Listing goes live soon but you can call him now for a showing.
To feature listings here, contact wnfiv@itbinsider.com for options.

Boylan Bridge Brewpub Back
It has been over a year since WNFIV broke the news about the water main break that caused the Boylan Bridge Brewpub to shut down. This week, they will finally reopen.

According to the SouthWestRaleigh website, the year-long restoration to secure a collapsed foundation wall is finished and the brewpub will resume operations this week, just in time for freezing temperatures and thunderstorms. We’re sure this place will be packed as soon as the weather clears up.

With Your Permit-ssion

Hillsborough Street: Target Acquired

When the news broke last fall that The Alley would be replaced by a Target, Raleigh residents rushed to get in one last game at the iconic bowling spot on Hillsborough Street. William Needham Finley IV wrote a great piece looking at the past, present, and future of The Alley.
With The Alley now gone, work has begun on turning the space into an upscale discount retailer. Permits were issued last week that allow contractor Davidson & Jones to modify the exterior to reflect the traditional Target look, and clear out the interior to make way for the build out of the new store. The estimated cost for this first portion of the project is listed at a over $1.5 million.

Historic Home Restoration Begins
In December 2016, we took a look at a report filed with Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission for the restoration of the Norris-Heartt house, a two-story Italianate home built in 1879. Located at 421 North Blount Street, the house, owned by the State of North Carolina, had fallen into slight disrepair in recent years. In 2014, the State determined the property was in need of “significant repairs.”

The Norris-Heartt House

While our December article delves into many of the specific details of the renovation, the most noticeable change will be the removal of the non-historic double-height Georgian style porch, which is set to be replaced with new canted bays (windows) and a center porch.

On March 10, two permits with an estimated project cost of more than $3 million were issued to Sigmon Construction for “restoration/addition” work. The work is described as a rear porch addition and the “restoration of existing historical structure.”

Renderings of the renovated Norris-Heartt House

Bright Lights in the Capitol City

In September 2015, the City of Raleigh began its LED Streetlight Replacement Program, which sought to replace 30,000 streetlights across the city with cheaper, but brighter, LEDs. The move was projected to save Raleigh about $400,000 per year once all the lights were installed. The N&O’s Andy Specht wrote a great rundown on the showdown between Raleigh and a few historic neighborhoods over these lights last year.

The plan hit another snag last month, when a subcommittee of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission voted to reject the streetlight replacements in a number of historic downtown areas, including Capitol and Moore Squares and Boylan Heights.

This month, the commission is scheduled to hear a proposal that would replace the halogen-lamp teardrop style lights adorning the Capitol and Moore Square areas in downtown Raleigh with teardrop LEDs.

Although the teardrop LEDs are, at 4,000 kelvins, just as bright as the unpopular overheads, the teardrop design includes a globe/drop lens that helps diffuse the light source. One of the main complaints lodged is that the new LEDs are too bright or blue, producing a vastly different effect than the existing halogens.

By matching the “historical” look of the existing teardrop lights and adding the diffusing lens to take some of the edge off the harsh LED, we think the City will have more success with this plan than it did the last time it appeared before the RHDC, but time will tell.

New Urban Farm Planned for Raleigh

LM Restaurants is taking the concept of “locally sourced” to a whole new level. The management firm behind several local restaurants including the Carolina Ale House, Taverna Agora, Vidrio (which was reviewed by WNFIV in January) and more, has filed plans with the City to build an urban garden on a piece of land adjacent to their headquarters on Chapel Hill Road.

The future site of LM Restaurant’s Urban Farm

The eight-acre site, located  just-outside-the-beltline at 6500 Chapel Hill Road, would be utilized to grow “tomatoes and possibly other vegetables and/or herbs,” according to LM’s submittal. Two greenhouses would also be built on the property, although they wouldn’t have permanent foundations.

In their letter to the city’s Board of Adjustment, LM Restaurants notes that “our company manages and owns several restaurant brands, and we want to establish this small urban farm in order to provide our restaurants with the freshest vegetables possible.” Not surprisingly, LM states that the farm will be “privately operated” and not open to the public. With 50 wines on tap, and 300 more from the bottle, at LM Restaurant owned Vidrio, we expect the farm to look something like the following.

WNFIV’s proposed rendering of the urban farm

Five Points Couple Struggles with Barbour Choices Amidst Record-Breaking Weather

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80 FreshUse this link or enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.

After a February that set a record for being the warmest ever in Raleigh, Five Points residents are struggling with how to handle the current conditions. Temperatures have fluctuated from the 30s to the 80s in the last month, sometimes changing from one extreme to the next in the same day. While many enjoyed the warm weather by spending time outside drinking Trophy Wife or relaxing on the patios of Raleigh’s 6,284 breweries and bottles shops, one Five Points couple dealt with a fashion nightmare, which Barbour jacket to wear.

Five Points resident Vance Craig VI, a 31-year-old Senior Vice Super Duper Executive Broker at a boutique commercial real estate firm, has not been pleased with the current weather. “Do I wear my Classic Barbour jacket, or my quilted Barbour Vest? It’s March, so my body thinks it should be wearing the Classic jacket, but it’s 80 damn degrees out. I’d look like an idiot sitting outside at Nickelpoint drinking a Scotch Wee Heavy wearing a full on jacket when the weather feels like it’s June.”

His wife Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, who runs an Instagram account featuring images of the best Wine and Design paintings in Raleigh, seemed more prepared to deal with the current climate, but still voiced concerns. “I mean, obvi my Barbour vest goes perfect over my chambray button-down but it still pisses me off that I can’t get the full wear of my quilted Barbour jacket this winter. Sometimes I’ll get ready, we’ll go to Churchill’s, and the temperature drops 30 degrees by the time we’ve taken 15 Jell-O shots. The walk from the front door of Churchill’s to the Uber that’s 10 feet away can be unbearable. How do you even dress for that?”

The hassle of being at the mercy of the changing weather is hard enough for the couple, but has proved to be an even bigger problem for another member of their family.

“We’ve had to increase the Xanax prescription for our dog, Mabel, because she has no idea what season it is. One day her Barbour coat is on, the next day it’s off. Her anxiety is through the roof.”

Mabel, net worth of $3.2 million, has no idea what season it is.

“The ice in her LaCroix filled dog bowl melts before she can even take it out and chase it all around the kitchen. Sure it’s less of a mess for the housekeeper to clean up, but that’s Mabel’s favorite part of the day. The ice in dog bowls is melting, y’all. And that’s sad,” lamented Mary Cameron.

Refusing to let the weather control their lives, the couple will spend the next two months island-hopping between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

“We’re going to where we know the weather will be constant and we won’t have to wake up every day faced with these decisions. If I could sue the weather I totally would, and I’d get Stacy Miller at Miller Law Firm to handle it,” said Craig VI, unaware that one cannot sue the atmosphere.

“I can see why they call it “climate change” now that I have to change my entire wardrobe multiple times on a daily basis. This is a fashion nightmare,” added Mary Cameron.

Special thanks to Dale Moody at Cornerstone Properties for selling this lovely couple their home in Five Points.

If you’re struggling with what to wear during these difficult times, download the new app from Glenwood South Tailors that we covered last week.

Raleigh Tailor Goes Mobile With New App

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Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations Releases Game Changing App

A native of Raleigh, Brian Burnett also happens to be the best dressed man in Raleigh. He should be, since it’s his profession. For almost two years, Brian has operated Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations, Raleigh’s premier mobile tailoring and alterations venture. They’re located in Glenwood South, right around the corner from Broughton, which makes them the most ITB tailor in town. They also just released a new app that makes it even easier to use their services.

Since I’m a media empire startup that covers technology, local businesses, and Raleigh, I sat down with Brian for an exclusive interview. I learned about how he and his team of fashion experts have brought back the element of concierge service and communication to the tailoring world. We also talked about the new mobile app, which is available in the AppStore.

WNFIV: First, let me say that you really are the best dressed guy I’ve met in Raleigh. And that’s coming from someone who still wears New Balance 991s with khaki pants.

Brian: Yeah, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that…

WNFIV: We’ll get to my style later. I’m going to need an overhaul for Fyre Festival in a few months anyway. Let’s talk about the app. Why does a tailor need one?

Brian: Well, we pride ourselves on our professional communication, in-person and digitally. We already offer mobile alterations and tailoring, where we come to your home or office, fit you, and return your items. And we also offer iStyling™…

WNFIV: Sorry to interrupt, but what is iStyling™?

Brian: iStyling™ is how we offer tailoring consultation and virtual alterations through FaceTime, texting, Instagram, you name it. With so many forms of communication available today, it’s a perfect solution for customers who can’t get to us. Just let us know your question and we’ll advise you.

WNFIV: So since I’m partially colorblind I could FaceTime you and you’d tell me what to wear so I don’t look like an idiot?

Brian: Exactly. Someone could ask what to wear to a business school or job interview. In your case, you could ask “Which pastel polo goes best with this Barbour jacket?”. So as you can see, we’re mobile in every way, which our executive clients value. Creating an app puts us in your pocket and makes that communication even easier.

WNFIV: So would you say you’re the Netflix and Uber of tailoring?

Brian: I’d say we’re the Raleigh of tailoring, and this app lets our clients reach us faster and easier than ever.

WNFIV: A lot of people build pointless apps just so they can tell people “I’m building an app.” when they’re at networking events. What does your app actually do?

Brian: Our clients can use the app to easily schedule appointments for all of our services, including both in-store and mobile tailoring and alterations, and iStyling™.

WNFIV: Have you thought about letting your clients add profiles on the app to show off how great they look in their tailored clothes? Then clients could match with each other based on how good they look. You could swipe right if you liked them and if you’re a match there’d be a catchy slogan like, “You two are a good fit!” you know, because it’s a play on words.

Brian: Yeah, we’re probably not going to do that, but let me walk you through our app. You can see all the services we provide on the main screen. At the bottom you can tap to schedule an appointment.

Brian: Then choose the type of appointment you want to schedule.

Brian: Select the time and date.

Brian: Enter your information.

Brian: The appointment is now scheduled and you can add it to your calendar right from your phone. You’ll also get a follow up e-mail.

WNFIV: This is amazing. I had to stop going to Crabtree for tailoring after the fake mall shooting, so I’m really glad someone took the initiative to make an app like this.

Brian: Thanks, we worked really hard on it.

WNFIV: So when I do a breaking news story on this I need a good title. I’m thinking “Raleigh Takes Its Clothes Off For New App” or “Raleigh Undresses for New App”.

Brian: How about just “Raleigh Tailor Goes Mobile With New App”?

WNFIV: That sounds good.

With this new app, Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations is definitely the most cutting edge outfit inside the beltline. Yeah, I went there. So go see Brian, tell him I sent you and he’ll give you 15% off your first item (slacks or suit jacket, no outerwear or fur) once you’ve downloaded the app.

We’ve partnered with Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations to bring you this story. We’ll follow up with Brian in the coming months as part of our People of ITB series where we take a closer look at the most interesting people in Raleigh. 

Development Beat: Washington Terrace Demolition Begins

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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of February 20, 2017

Washington Terrace Demolition Begins

La Madeleine French Bakery & Café Coming Soon

Brier Creek Is Getting a Holiday Inn Express

RHDC meeting this week on the Weaver House

Washington Terrace Demolition
Washington Terrace, a low-income housing project in the heart of East Raleigh, will soon be torn down to make way for one of the City’s largest affordable-housing projects to-date.

An aerial view of Washington Terrace

Built in 1950, the 23-acre, 245 unit development is known as “the first rental community built for African American professionals” and has housed a number of prominent and well-known members of Raleigh’s African American community, including Clarence Lightner. Lightner was the first popularly elected Mayor of Raleigh and the first African American elected mayor of a metropolitan Southern city, serving from 1973 to 1975.

The aging neighborhood fell into foreclosure and was purchased in 2014 by the nonprofit housing agency DHIC, with the help of a $2.1 million loan from the City. Following a yearlong process that saw input from more than 300 residents, civic and nonprofit leaders, and other area stakeholders, a master plan for the future of Washington Terrace was unveiled in December 2015.

The multiphase redevelopment process, in which the City will invest about $6.8 million, began in earnest last week when 36 demolition permits were issued for the teardown of the affordable housing development.

Phase I of the new development — titled “The Village at Washington Terrace” — will see the construction of 162 apartments, a new community center with a children’s play area and recreation space, a community garden, and a child care center. Residents also drew attention to the need for health care services and retail, which will likely be addressed in later phases of the redevelopment.

A rendering of The Village at Washington Terrace

Phase II will include 72 units of affordable housing for seniors, while later phases will likely include homes-for-sale. The DHIC plan also includes a “pilot financial capability workshop series in the neighborhood that will help to build a local pipeline of mortgage-ready families who want to extend their roots in the community”.

It’s hard to see the loss of a historic Raleigh neighborhood as a good or positive thing, but from all accounts DHIC has gone to tremendous lengths to ensure The Village at Washington Terrace will be as important an asset to the community in 2017 as the original Washington Terrace was in the 1950s.

A rendering of the future Village at Washington Terrace

With Your Permit-ssion

La Madeleine French Bakery & Café Coming Soon 
Ooh-la-la! North Raleigh will soon be home to North Carolina’s latest location of the French-inspired cafe chain La Madeleine. The cafe will open in the former Mimi’s Cafe space at the Plantation Point shopping center near Triangle Town Center.

The chain obnoxiously refers to its menus as “Les Menus,” a flaw we were willing to overlook once we saw some of the goods they have to offer: chocolate croissants, lemon madeleines, apple turnovers and much, much more. But come on: Les Menus? French-inspired, sure, but the chain is based out of Texas. The $150,000 fit-out for this new space will be handled by Ganaway Contracting Company.

La Madeleine can get away with calling its menu “Les Menus” because this is what its food looks like

Garland gets an upgrade AND their Chef is up for a James Beard Award
The only other dining establishment to receive permits last week was downtown Raleigh’s Garland, an Asian fusion restaurant that will soon be the recipient of a new basement cooler. This exciting $16,000 project at 16 W. Martin Street will be handled by Greg Paul Builders. I’m sure they’re more excited about the fact that co-owner and Chef Cheetie Kumar was recently named a 2017 James Beard Award semifinalist.

Construction Begins on Flex Office Space
Work on a new flex office space has begun out by the airport at 8801 Westgate Park Drive, where Ragland Properties recently received permits for a one-story, 11,364 square foot industrial building. According to site plans filed last year, the building will house a mix of light industrial uses, office, and retail space. The $470,000 building shell will be built by Jeffrey Cheney, who, as far as we know, bears no relation to the former Vice President.

Is Brier Creek in Raleigh? No, But I Did Stay at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night
Over in Brier Creek, permits were issued for a new, four-story, 112 room, 68,088 square foot Holiday Inn Express. In case you were wondering, the difference between a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express is the latter’s lack of a restaurant. The new hotel will be built at 10450 Little Brier Creek Lane by Palmetto Design Associates for $7.3 million.

Holiday Inn Express Breakfast Buffet: It’s the most important meal of the day, although we’d swap that pancake machine out for a waffle maker.

Fire Station Gets Sprinklers
Permits were issued for a sprinkler installation at Fire Station 15. While we don’t imagine the occupants of this building are the type to trigger the need for said sprinklers, the building is 42 years old, and there’s probably some kind of building code requiring the new sprinklers. This $70,000 project at 1815 Spring Forest Road will be handled by Engineered Construction. One interesting fact about Fire Station 15, courtesy of our friend Mike Legeros: in 2009, a solar panel system was installed to help power a thermal hot water heater. Cool!

Fire Station No. 15

Sir Walter’s Legacy

Raleigh’s esteemed Historic Development Commission is set to meet again this week, where they’ll discuss projects ranging from a new two-car garage in the Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood to a deferred demolition case for a home on East Lane Street that we covered a few weeks ago.

The Weaver House

Built in 1922 by David and Ernestine Weaver, the beautiful Weaver House at 1203 E. Lane Street is a two-story frame dwelling that “combines elements of the Queen Anne and Craftsman styles.” The demolition case was scheduled to be heard at last month’s meeting but was postponed until this Thursday.

When we first wrote about this project, we noted that this historic Raleigh landmark had suffered damage caused by a collision from an uninsured motorist in June 2016.

The Weaver House, post-car accident

Like many of our readers, we wish the owners had been able to find a way to save the house, but it seems like they were left with no choice. While Raleigh has no shortage of historic homes, we really enjoyed the aesthetics of this one. Plus, the Weavers were a big part of Raleigh’s history. David Weaver managed the dance hall in the Masonic Temple at 427 South Blount Street, which stood at the edge of Raleigh’s African American commercial district and was a vital part of the community. He operated a social club, beer garden, billiard parlor, and a soda shop. Weaver was also the local booking agent of the New York-based Gale Agency. Through the agency, Weaver, a musician himself, brought jazz greats like Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. Check out the full Historic Landmark Report for more information on the Weavers.

There was one other RHDC case that caught our eye: a second-story addition for a home at 322 E. Davie Street in the Prince Hall historic district.

322 E Davie was recently renovated

This one‐story frame house with “weatherboard siding, an asphalt‐shingled triple‐A gable roof, a front porch with replacement metal supports, replacement windows, and diamond‐shaped gable vents,” could soon increase greatly in size, should the RHDC and the City decide to grant its owners permission.

The application, prepared in part by the fine folks over at In Situ studio, notes that the addition will be constructed “so there is the least possible loss of historic fabric and so that the character-defining features of the historic building are not destroyed, damaged or obscured.”

These historic features, the applicants note, are “primarily embodied” in the front of the house, and while the original footprint also included an L-shaped portion along the rear/east side of the house, it did not contain the same “character-defining features.” The addition will sit atop the original L-shaped portion.

A rendering of the new rear portion of the home

Site Unseen

It’s doubtful any of our readers will find this coincidence as interesting as I did, but it just so happens that the two site plans we’re looking at today are for the same exact building types as the two new building projects we examined above. And yes, unlike Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I believe in both coincidences and leprechauns.

Our first coincidence of the day comes care of Highwoods Properties, which recently filed site plan documents for a new 92,075 square foot, three-story office building on Corporate Center Drive in West Raleigh near the I-40 interstate and a little north of Hillsborough Street.

The area highlighted in red is where the new building would go, but you knew that already, didn’t you, smarty-pants?

Preliminarily titled 751 Raleigh Corporate Center, the new office building will be built on a 10.467 acre space and include about 305 parking spaces. The site plan documents list HagerSmith Design as the main consultant. Personally, we’d have gone with either 751 or “The Raleigh Corporate Center” as both seem to afford better branding opportunities, but who knows. At least it’s convenient to the highway.

The second site plan of the week is even more coincidental: another Brier Creek hotel! Set to be located on Lumley Road just west of 540 and conveniently close to both the Brier Creek Target and the Brier Creek Regal Cinemas, this new 10-story, 247,728 square foot hotel is being developed by Winwood Hospitality.

The site of the proposed Lumley Road Hotel

The site plans list the name of the project simply as the “Lumley Road Hotel”. As Winwood operates under the Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, and Hilton Garden brands, we can’t say for sure what type of hotel this will be, although that decision isn’t usually made until later on in the process. It will offer a total of 259 guest rooms and a 259 space parking deck to match, as well as nine Maidenhair Trees, 19 Nuttal Oaks and 14 Athena Elms. Because what those 259 future guests will *really* care about is the species of the trees they won’t be able to see through their blackout curtains.

How ITB Insider™ Won A Major Award

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Being a startup is all about winning awards. And after being in existence for over six months I have yet to win any. That all changed last night when Raleigh’s hottest startup, ITB Insider™, took home a major award at the 2017 Downtown Raleigh Alliance annual meeting. Commonly known as the “DRA”, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance “supports downtown’s revitalization by contributing to its economic success”. They do a lot of great things for the city, which you can read about here because I’m too overwhelmed with joy to explain them to you right now.

One of their biggest events is the annual meeting, where they talk about Raleigh, give out awards, and probably do other stuff that I’m unaware of because I’ve never actually been to one. My standard protocol is to avoid the crowds by staying home and tweeting about the event. By using the hashtag they’ve selected for the evening, my tweets will show up on the big screens at the event for all in attendance to see. In the past I had just used Twitter to provide commentary on the evening, but this year I knew I needed more. It was time to take control of the event and give myself an award.

After realizing the event was being held last night, I checked with a source and began my work. 

With the keys to the castle in hand, I proceeded to captivate the audience.

I leveraged synergies and mentioned my wonderful lawyer Stacy Miller and Miller Law Firm, who I knew were in attendance.

I knew my plan was working because I received a text from another person at the event who thought I was there. 

And then, it happened. I won my first award as a startup media empire. The Downtown Best Media Empire Award was given out to me, by me, so that I could get the respect and adulation that I think I deserve.

I assume there was a 10 minute standing ovation and that people were crying tears of joy. “Finally, he did it! He’s worked so hard,” said someone really important, probably. “All those Tweets and Instagrams, all those impressions and pageviews he’s gotten over the last six months, this is so deserved,” said another CEO, I assume. “His investigative work on the Trolley Pub almost ruining the Raleigh Christmas parade, and that piece on The Alley closing, no wonder he won this,” added another attendee.

I obviously had a ton of people to thank.

It truly was an amazing experience and a great night for all. Congratulations to the other award winners as well. I look forward to going to Johnson-Lambe to get them to make an actual award for me that I’ll proudly display at our startup media empire headquarters. Here’s to more success in 2017.

Development Beat: Luxury Townhomes Coming to St. Mary’s

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Week of February 13, 2017

St. Mary’s luxury townhomes break ground

Real Estate Report: an ITB home from Ryan Boone Real Estate

Work begins in the old The Velvet Cloak spot

so•ca in Cameron Village to open in March

German grocery store Lidl coming to Raleigh

Raleigh is getting a Chronic Tacos

The Saint
Hallelujah. After more than three years, construction has finally begun on 220 The Saint, a long-awaited upscale townhome development on St. Mary’s Street near downtown Raleigh.

Leo Suarez over at The Raleigh Connoisseur was the first to break the news back in October 2013. We’ve also written about the project in the past. After a lack of updates, we looked into the project again in August 2016 with little success: the lots were vacant, that was it.

The Saint was pitched as a development of 17 luxurious townhome units that would feature elevators, rooftop gardens, two-car garages, European style kitchens, and “other expensive touches”. The units originally ranged in size from 2,700 to 4,700 square feet and in price from $750,000 to $1.4 million.

This may have changed, as permits were issued last month for four of The Saint’s new townhomes, being built by Pomarico Construction Corp. The four new townhomes will come in two different sizes, 3,294 sf and 3,454 sf and will start at a cost of $624,695.

We were also able to track down eight additional permits for The Saint that the owners have applied for but have not yet been issued, bringing the total number of units to 12. Of course, additional townhomes may be added at some point in the future, but none of the permits applied for or issued drop below 3,294 sf in size, while two of them are larger than the originally announced 4,700 sf.

We’ll keep an eye on this as the project progresses.

Real Estate Report

Prime Wade Avenue location for less than $270,000
Raleigh real estate agent Ryan Boone, ITBRealtor.com, brings this beautifully maintained 1,200+ square feet, three bedroom ranch to the ITB market this week.

This home features a large living room with a fireplace and built-ins, and gorgeous hardwoods throughout. There’s room to grow with 1,158 unfinished square feet in the basement, and a hedge-lined fenced front yard provides plenty of privacy. Check out more photos and details here. With a price tag under $300k, it’s probably going to be sold by the time you finish reading this sentence. Email Ryan@HudsonResidential.com or call 919-438-0548 for a tour.

To feature listings here, contact wnfiv@itbinsider.com for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

Work Underway In Former Velvet Cloak Inn Spot
Work is officially underway for 1505 Hillsborough, a student housing development that will be built in the legendary Velvet Cloak Inn location on Hillsborough Street.

The former Velvet Cloak Inn was torn down last month to make way for 1505 Hillsborough

You may recall we wrote about the demolition of the Velvet Cloak back in December, which resulted in many readers asking us for information on how to reclaim pieces of the iconic hotel. We tried (honestly!) but to no avail, which we suppose means the countless memories made at this once-grand Raleigh hotel will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. I’m told Finley is working on an oral history of the place, so stay tuned for that.

Permits were issued for both 1505’s five-story, 217,786 square foot apartment building and its six-story, 113,322 square foot parking deck. The work on the complex, which has a listed cost of nearly $29 million, will be handled by Summit Contracting.

so•ca Receives Final Permits
The owners of the popular downtown restaurant bu•ku recently received their final interior alteration permits for so•ca, a “cocina Latina” (Latin Kitchen). They’re set to open in early March in the space previously occupied by Faire in Cameron Village.

While Raleigh already has its fair share of both midrange and upscale Mexican restaurants — with many more on the way — we’re actually really excited about this one. With seating for 150 inside and 100 more outside, so•ca will offer a menu that will draw inspiration from “Colombia and Mexico, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Chile.”

North Carolina Gets Its First Lidl
Up in North Raleigh, vertical construction is set to begin on Raleigh’s latest grocery store, German chain Lidl (lee-dil). Go ahead and Google it, we didn’t know what it was either. It will be the chain’s first North Carolina location and will open at 4308 Wake Forest Road, in what is now an empty lot between McDonald’s and Red Lobster.

At a neighborhood meeting concerning the project held last year, a Lidl representative was surprisingly tight-lipped with details on the new store: he wouldn’t even confirm what kind of products would be sold. We reached out again last week after noticing some site work was underway for the project, but were stonewalled once again. Our guess: it’s going to be a lot like German competitor Aldi, which has a location just down the street.

The $1.98 million job will be handled by Fulcrum Construction, who we heard narrowly beat out Level Contracting and Fixed Hinge builders for the project. Yes, that was a physics joke.

The new Lidl store will likely resemble its European counterpart

Chronic Tacos Coming To Raleigh
Chronic Tacos, a popular quick-service Mexican chain, that of course originated in California, is coming to Raleigh. Judging by its website, Chronic Tacos looks to be a slightly more upscale version of Chipotle with a Día de los Muertos aesthetic and all-day breakfast options. The restaurant will open at the new Sprouts grocery store anchored Olive Park shopping center on Falls of the Neuse Road (again, Finley made me add in “the”) and the $215,000 fit-out is being handled by Piccola Builders.

Won’t You Be M.E. Valentine?
That didn’t take long. Built just four years ago, the owners of Valentine Commons student apartment complex off Hillsborough Street on M.E. Valentine Drive are already looking to expand.

A rezoning case filed last week requests that the property be rezoned to a higher-density designation, which would “allow sufficient flexibility for redevelopment so that existing facilities can be updated and new facilities added to meet the demands of the market for quality student housing.”

We’re not sure what kind of improvements the Valentine Commons might need at this early stage: it already boasts a great location, countless amenities, ranging from tanning beds to game rooms and much more, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

The Valentine Commons apartments

How Raleigh Races Should Be Run

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Runologie Wins ITB Gold By Not Closing Raleigh Streets
On the nicest Sunday afternoon in February that I can ever remember, five runners raised money for charities and didn’t negatively impact anyone in Raleigh. The first ever “Run For Good” consisted of five runners on three treadmills placed on the sidewalk outside of Runologie and State of Beer on Hillsborough Street. No roads were closed. No businesses lost money from streets being shut down. No one was standing on the corner ringing a cow bell at 7:00 in the morning. No one had to drive all over town just to get to Rise Biscuits and Donuts or brunch. No drunk concert “performance” by the lead singer of Smash Mouth. No fake studies that say a race had an $8.13 million economic impact were conducted. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. So amazing that I made a film about it that I’ll probably send to Sundance.

Two individuals and a relay team ran for four hours on those treadmills to raise money for three different organizations. Jason Tischer, Umstead 100 defending champ, raised funds for Team Tassy, an organization that pays for job creation and job training programs to eliminate poverty in Haiti. Omer Abdulrahman, a refugee from Sudan, raised money for the ACLU of North Carolina. The relay team of Brent Francese, Alex Warren, and Gavin Coombs (Uwharrie 20 Miler defending champ) raised funds for Common Cause NC, a group working to end gerrymandering. Runologie donated 15% of sales that day to the non-profits. Over $4,000 was raised at the event, which was sponsored by Runologie and State of Beer, with donations from Lysaght & Associates, John Montgomery Violins, and many more.

Before the event, I offered to jog lightly for 4 minutes, but ended up opting out. I didn’t want to throw the other runners off their pace. My Mom forced me to run Cross Country at Broughton, where I learned that pace is a pretty big deal.

This is how all races in Raleigh should be done from now on. Have five people run while everyone else drinks beer and raises money for good causes. I’ve always said we need to run road races on the beltline. It’s roughly the distance of a marathon and it wouldn’t impact any ITB roads. But this is an even better solution. Why stop at 3 treadmills? I don’t care if every sidewalk in downtown Raleigh is lined with thousands of treadmills, as long as it means the streets are never shut down and I never miss another brunch. And it’s not just for running, the possibilities are endless. Dogs of ITB treadmill runs, babies of ITB treadmill first steps parties. This is a billion dollar idea.

I hereby, quid pro quo, move to only run Raleigh races in this manner from now until the end of time. I second that motion and will now send it along via Twitter to the City Council so that they can make it into a law. I’m pretty sure that’s how laws work now, but I still need to check with my lawyer, Stacy Miller.

Raleigh Parents Nearly Riot Over Summer Camp Site Crash

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I received the following Tweet on Monday morning:

“Seriously. If my kids don’t get into Pullen art camp and camp at Jaycee, I will have a rage blackout. #ITBproblems cc @WNFIV”

This is how I was alerted to what turned out to be a near riot over the City of Raleigh’s Summer Camp sign-up process. Apparently, the city offers summer camps for children from ages 3 to 16 in 36 locations in Raleigh. Parents were told that camp sign-up would be handled through a website that opened at 5:30 am on Monday morning. The website did its best Healthcare.gov impression and totally failed, crashing repeatedly and causing parents to lash out. Here is a brief sampling of the reaction: (these are real)

“Raleigh Parks and Rec has gone way downhill the last few years. Can’t say I’m surprised once again a major fail by them! I would not recommend them!”

“It was hung up, we HAD to cancel the transaction which logged us off. This is an AWFUL way to book camps!!!!”

“AWFUL. I was almost in tears at 5:50 AM on a Monday morning. My friends and I were in a text freak-out string. What is being done to fix and prevent it in the future? Would love to know.”

Hell hath no fury like an ITB mom text freak-out string. According to Andy Specht’s coverage, the city processed more than 8,000 summer camp registrations Monday morning, which caused the site to crash, resulting in a total panic among parents.

I totally understand the backlash. Having to deal with your kids during the summer is an ITB parent’s greatest fear. That’s why most parents send their kids to Camp Sea Gull or Seafarer for as long as they possibly can.

My first reaction to the news of the site being down was to view this as an opportunity. If I could log on to the site and reserve as many spaces as possible, I could then resell the spaces to parents who weren’t lucky enough to register. Basically I would create the Airbnb of summer camps.

I logged on and read through the camps and was dumbfounded. I figured these camps would consist of throwing some kids in a gym all day for dodgeball and limited water breaks. I had no idea how much time and effort the city puts into these. Below are just a few that I would sign up for if I hadn’t already aged out.

Bricks 4 Kidz – Jurassic Brick World with LEGO® Bricks
You’re about to enter Jurassic Brick Land! Build a world with LEGO4 Bricks that comes to life with a gentle Brontosaurus, ferocious Velociraptor, and terrible T. Rex.

Bricks 4 Kidz – LEGO® Bat League: Heroes and Villians!
Enter the dark city where a dangerous jokester and other evil villains wreak havoc. Thankfully there is a bat hero who comes out each night to fight against these evil-doers! Campers will improve their building skills and crime-fighting passion in this thrilling camp of bat heroes and villains!

CSI Forensics
Who done it? Campers will investigate a mock crime scene, finding clues through scavenger hunts, fun activities and discussions. They will use experimentation and forensic technology to explore, gather and analyze evidence to solve the mystery of the week. Campers will participate in a mock trial, acting as lawyers, judge and jury.

Holt Brothers Football Camp
Torry and Terrence Holt, former NC State and NFL football stars, will lead this one-week camp experience for boys AND girls interested in learning about sportsmanship and teamwork.

First of all, where were these camps when I was a kid? These sound incredible. Jurassic Park and Batman LEGOs that you get to keep at the end of the week, CSI: ITB and Law & Order: ITB Victims Unit rolled into one camp, and a football camp with former NFL players! I now see why parents had a full on meltdown over the possibility of not getting their kids into these camps.

Unfortunately, the registration wasn’t working for me either, which led to plan B. I would create my own summer camp where kids could come and learn how to run a media empire. At Finley’s Fun Work Camp, kids learn valuable life skills through the following activities:

Wash the Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon – learn teamwork skills as you attempt to wash and detail these Wade Ave 500 road warriors.

Manage a La Croix stand – not only are the profit margins huge at $5 per can, your little one will learn about supply and demand, managing inventory, sales, and marketing.

Constructing the downtown Raleigh canal – kids love heavy-duty construction equipment. So why not let them use it?  Kids will have access to the finest heavy-duty equipment as they begin to dig out the canal.

Excavate Dix Park – we all know what lies beneath Dix Park. Let your kid be one of the first to uncover fossilized remains of the dinosaurs that used to roam these lands. (Any dino-DNA discovered during excavation will remain property of ITB Insider™ for future use in genetically engineering actual dinosaurs.)

Pick up my morning Rise biscuits and donuts so I won’t have to deal with the delays from road closures.

You’re probably thinking that all these activities are going to be super expensive. Fortunately, I figured out how to incorporate my sponsors to decrease the cost to campers. Snacks and lunch will be catered by 80Fresh and the SUV pick up and drop off lines will be brought to you by Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac. I’ll also be sure to use Walk West for my sign-up website so it won’t crash and cause an outrage. For just one case of La Croix a day, you can sponsor a child to attend Finley’s Fun Work Camp.

My lawyer Stacy Miller, with Miller Law Firm, said I’d be violating all sorts of child labor laws, no matter how silly and outdated they were. I suggested he represent the ITB parents who were unable to sign up for camp in a class action law suit against the city and let me take a referral fee for every client he got. He said that probably isn’t the best course of action.

Anyway, this was quite the fiasco. I fully expect the Holderni to do a parody video titled “Website Crashes” based on “Lightning Crashes” by Live.

Website crashes, a new mother cries,

Her Macbook Air falls to the floor…

I’ll let them take it from here. I’ve got to go to another ITBusiness meeting. Feel free to share your experience with signing up for summer camp in the comments.

Development Beat: Iconic Blue Tower Restaurant To Be Demolished for One Glenwood

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Week of February 6, 2017

Blue Tower Restaurant to be demolished for One Glenwood project

Kane Expands Plans For Smokey Hollow

HQ Raleigh begins work on new space in the historic Capital Club Building

A new plan for the Spencer Ridge mixed-use development on Falls of THE Neuse Road (WNFIV made me include “the”)

New Retail Planned for Glenwood Near Crabtree

Demolition Begins On Iconic Blue Tower Restaurant
Once home to the legendary Blue Tower Restaurant, a 24-hour greasy spoon diner, the 67-year old structure at 605 Hillsborough Street will soon be torn down. It will be replaced by the One Glenwood development, a 10-story, 219,500 square foot mixed-use commercial/office building planned for the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Glenwood in downtown Raleigh.

One Glenwood

Developed by Heritage Properties out of Towson, Maryland, the building will include 14,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a 650-space parking deck on a separate site across W. Morgan Street. A brochure from project architect JDavis explains the design as one that intends to “create a building of its place and part of the ever-evolving city by tying the old with the new.”

Does that mean we’ll be seeing a 24-hour greasy spoon diner included as part of that ground-floor retail? Doubtful, although we did reach out to both Heritage Properties and leasing agent Trinity Partners to see if they would be willing to share any potential tenant information.

As for the space’s previous tenants, Bruce Garner, founder of Raleigh’s iconic Char-Grill hamburger chain, opened the Blue Tower sometime in the late 1940s. While county records indicate the structure was built in 1949, the first listing for the diner was in the 1948 Hill’s Raleigh City Directory. Described in a later directory listing as a place that offered “Excellent Food, Quick Service From A Sandwich to A Meal, Open 24 Hours A Day”.

Garner purportedly opened the diner, which offered “a long bar and cheap coffee”, after his neighborhood restaurant raised the cost of a cup of coffee to a whopping ten cents. Garner’s competitor is said to have closed his doors soon after the opening of Blue Tower. Garner went on to open Char-Grill in 1959. Blue Tower has been described as an “infamous diner” that offered “excellent eats at odd hours.” Some have claimed that the place was mobbed up at one point, and that the East Coast Syndicate operated out of the back. We have no evidence of this and didn’t want to risk our lives investigating.

At some point, the space was turned into a chiropractor’s office. County photographs show it has been used as such since at least 1996.

605 Hillsborough Street in 1996

The $11,750 worth of demolition permits for the old building were issued to Whiting-Turner Contracting. One Hillsborough is slated to open sometime in 2018.

Smokey Hollow Expands
As first reported last week by Amanda Hoyle in the Triangle Business Journal, Kane Realty and Williams Realty’s ambitious plans for the 12-story Smokey Hollow development at the intersection of Peace and West Streets downtown have already begun to grow. Recent purchases made on behalf of Kane and Williams have nearly doubled the size of the 4.2 acre lot. In December, they received approvals for 616 apartment units and a 51,300 square foot grocery store, which is strongly rumored to be a Publix.

While no plans have yet been announced for the newly acquired sites, we would expect them to be a mix of office, residential and retail, not dissimilar from Kane’s nearby Dillon project, expected to open next year. Kane told the TBJ he hopes to break ground on Smokey Hollow by this summer.

While the Smokey Hollow development is significant on its own, when combined with the work being done by Lundy Group at the nearby intersection of Peace and North West, the State’s plans for Capital Boulevard bridge replacements, and the City’s plans for a Capital Boulevard corridor revitalization, it can be seen as a key part of a much larger revitalization of a part of the City that has seen comparatively little change over the last few decades.

A rendering of the proposed Smokey Hollow development

With Your Permit-ssion

A space that once housed the offices of the Capital Club, a group described in a historic landmark application as “one of the oldest and most prominent organizations for men in the South,” will soon be transformed. HQ Raleigh, a co-working space in downtown, will occupy five floors of office space in order to offer its members shared conference rooms, a cafe, and a bar in the flexible workspace.

The Capital Club building at 16 West Martin Street

The 12-story building at 16 West Martin Street was designed and built in 1929 in a style described as one that embodied “the combination of Art Deco motifs with traditional regional architectural practice.”

HQ Raleigh will be taking over the top five stories of the building, a $2.2 million project, that will renovate about 20,000 square feet of space. While much of the building was originally designed and utilized for office space, floors nine through twelve originally offered the Capital Club space for its own offices, “as well as a billiard room, lounges, kitchens, dining rooms, and a ballroom,” which makes it sound more like the mansion from Clue than a standard office building. It seems these amenities were a must have since, according to the 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.”

The 12th floor will be transformed back into a lounge that will be completely restored to its original Art Deco iteration. The project’s designer, Maurer Architecture, specializes in historic building renovation projects, and we imagine the lounge especially will be a sight to behold.

A few other permits worth mentioning:

  • A new Handee Hugos will open across the street from Brier Creek Elementary at 9910 Sellona Street, just south of the Brier Creek Parkway and slightly east of Aviation Parkway. The 4,520 square foot convenience store will be built for $790,978 by Bunn Brantley Enterprises.
  • A new $2.5 million, 7,797 square foot structure for online auto retailer Carvana is coming to a space on Navaho Drive. Apparently, you can buy a car off the website and have it delivered within one day, a concept that could really take impulse online shopping to a whole new level. The one-story sales and storage building will be built by Parkway C&A.
  • Permits were issued for the new $3.9 million Gresham Lake Storage Facility. The three-story, 97,832 square foot building will be constructed by the MTC Corporation.
  • A dozen $100,000 permits were issued to Balfour Beatty Construction for an extensive interior renovation project at the First Citizens Bank building at 100 E Tryon Road. The permits indicate that about 9,000 square feet of space, about 10 percent of the building’s total, will be fixed up as part of this project.
  • Feel the burn: fitness franchise Burn Boot Camp will soon be opening its fourth area location at a space in the Lake Boone Shopping Center on Wycliff Road. As the center is also home to the delectable Chubby’s Tacos, we hope the future Boot Camp bros don’t end up consuming more calories than they burn. American Enterprises LLC will handle the $77,884, 8,081 square foot project.

Now What’s the Next Step in Your Master Plan?

If at first you don’t succeed…

While D&N Development’s original plans for Spencer Ridge — a $50 million mixed-use development anchored by a 50,000 square foot grocery store at the intersection of Falls of the Neuse and Raven Ridge — didn’t work out as they’d hoped, the developer refused to give up the ghost.

A newly submitted master plan describes a scaled-back version that includes less retail and more residential. According to the application, this 17.32 acre site located north of 540 will “blend between 150-220 residential dwelling units, including Raleigh’s first voluntary rezoning commitment of affordable housing with a mix of commercial uses, including retail spaces, eating establishments, office spaces, and medical office spaces. The residential dwelling units will have most, if not all, of their designated parking spaces underground to ensure that land area impacts are minimized.”

Stormwater retention plans for Spencer Ridge

So far, so good.

The plans describe Spencer Ridge as a “pedestrian oriented community” where residents can “live, work, dine and/or shop.” At least they didn’t say live, work and play. The community will have a number of “pedestrian walks” throughout, and 10 percent of the site will be dedicated to open space that can be used for things like community gatherings and dog walking.

While the original plan faced rejection from both the neighborhood — the North Citizens Advisory Council voted 224-89 against it last August — and the Planning Commission, which voted to recommend denial in October, the developer hopes its new focus on walkability and improving the surrounding traffic flow may help this version find acceptance.

The property will contain:
-3 one-story general use buildings no larger than 10,250, 20,000, and 49,500 square feet.
-A two-story mixed-use building that won’t exceed a total of 31,250 square feet, with a maximum of 16,750 square feet of retail or eating establishment, and a maximum of 14,500 square feet of office or medical office space.
-An apartment or condo building that will have no more than 150 and no less than 190 units.

Rezoning for Retail

A vacant 1.25 acre parcel at 5710 Glenwood Avenue not far from Crabtree Valley Mall and next to a new Enterprise Car Sales lot may be transformed into a low-key retail development.

This site on Glenwood Avenue could soon be home to a small retail development

Rezoning case Z-3-17 would, according to applicant RD Construction, rezone the parcel from Residential-4 to Office Mixed-Use 3. Ty Armstrong from RD Construction told us that when they purchased the property it contained a home that had been condemned by the City of Raleigh, an eyesore the company tore down last summer. The rezoning application noted that the site has suffered from “vagrancy and loitering” in the past.

While the OX-3 designation would allow for RD to build up to three stories, Armstrong said they plan to keep an existing conservation overlay in place that would, among other restrictions, limit the maximum height to two-and-a-half stories.

“Given its immediate proximity to Glenwood Avenue, we do not feel a single-family dwelling is a feasible option,” Armstrong said, explaining that this is in line with goals laid out in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which discourages single-family residential on major thoroughfares such as Glenwood Avenue.

While Armstrong says they are still ironing out many of the specifics, the rezoning application describes the overall plan as a “small scale development that is pedestrian and transit friendly in massing and layout” and notes that the rezoning would enable “the potential provision of retail uses on the site.”

A meeting held in December allowed neighbors to make their voices heard about the project. Among the issues discussed were a preference for single-family or office over retail, an opposition to anything open at night, and concerns about light pollution, noise and traffic. Residents also argued that because the neighborhood isn’t walkable, there is no need for neighborhood retail. Sounds like RD Construction has their work cut out for them!

5710 Glenwood

Development Beat: Another 20-story Tower Planned for Hillsborough Street

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Week of January 30, 2017

Another 20-story tower coming to Hillsborough Street

Real Estate Report: Super ITB Office Space

Lilly Pulitzer and Copper Penny coming soon to North Hills

Kickboxing chain coming to Raleigh

Glenwood is getting a new Sheetz

Gordon Grubb buys Peden Steel property for $10M

20-story Tower at 400 Hillsborough Street
If ever there were a section of Hillsborough Street that would actually be improved by the addition of yet another residential mixed-use project named after its address, it’s the 400 block.

Home now to a group of one and two-story commercial buildings built in the 1930s and 40s, site plans call for a 20-story, 540,867 square foot tower. Tentatively named “400 H”, the tower will include residential units, 129,000 square feet of office space, and 16,500 square feet of retail space. A development team led by Gregg Sandreuter filed the plans last week. We’re not sure whether current tenants C U Fitness or the long-standing Artcraft Sign Company Inc. will become tenants in the new space.

We’re sure the Lundy Group, which earlier this month unveiled renderings for their long-in-the-works City Centre that will include multiple 20-story towers and combine residential, office, retail, and hotel space at 301 Hillsborough, is thrilled.

301 Hillsborough

Sandreuter, a partner at Charlotte’s Beacon Partners and the president of Cary’s Hamilton Merritt, told the Triangle Business Journal that he wants 400 H to be a “smaller, newer” version of downtown’s PNC Plaza; a building that would foster a “vertical community.” Does that mean he hopes residents will work in the building’s office spaces? Unbeatable commute times for sure, but I think I’d start to feel a bit cooped up.

The 244′ high building will include 220 residential units: 120 one-bedrooms, 90 two-bedrooms, and 10 three-bedrooms. 674 parking spaces will be provided for the residents and building tenants. As the property is already zoned to allow for a 20-story development of this nature, the developers will be able to move forward as soon as the site plan is approved.

400 H

While project architect Gensler has designed a number of interesting projects across the globe, including the new headquarters for the Alfred Williams Furniture Company over at 201 S. Salisbury, our favorite has to be the Shimao Shenzhen Qianhai Canal City in Shenzhen, China. Hopefully, the design of 400 H will mimic the Shiamo. The architectural rendering could pass for a matte painting from the new Bladerunner movie, it’s that cool:

Shimao Shenzhen Qianhai Canal City

Real Estate Report

If you’re in the market for some premier office space, our friends at NAI Carolantic Realty have an outstanding ITB location for you. Located at 3515 Glenwood Avenue, this 75,000 SF, 3-story Class A office space is super ITB. How ITB is it? Well there’s an Audi in the rendering if that tells you anything.

Office may or may not come with an Audi

According to the TBJ, Raymond James and Associates Inc. just signed on to take up about 12,000 square feet on the second floor. William Needham Finley IV hinted on Twitter about expanding his media empire and leasing the top floor, but it turns out you have to rent more than 50 square feet and they don’t take La Croix as a form of payment. Contact the listing broker, Jimmy Barnes (919-832-0594), if you’re interested. Tell them you saw this post and they’ll give you the first 10,000 square feet for free. (No they won’t.)

Note: To feature listings here, contact wnfiv@itbinsider.com for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

Raleigh’s First Copper Penny
Permits were issued for Copper Penny, a high-end women’s clothier that will open soon at North Hills. We’re not sure about the etymology of the store’s name, although it seems an odd choice given that most of their clientele has likely never handled currency in denominations of less than $50. The North Hills location will be the first Triangle location. Cline Contracting will handle the $73,000 fit-out of a 2,492 square foot space next to Scout & Molly’s boutique.

North Hills wins Lilly Pulitzer Prize
As William Needham Finley IV reported in June, Lilly Pulitzer is coming soon to North Hills. The popular “resort wear designer” Lilly Pulitzer — not to be confused with the pharmaceutical company that was the first to mass-produce penicillin — will open in the former home of Learning Express Toys. The $175,000 renovation of the 2,428 square-foot space will be done by Horizon Retail Construction.

iLoveKickboxing is Coming
Fitness franchise iLoveKickboxing received permits to open their first Raleigh location at 8629 Glenwood Avenue. The $250,000 renovation of the 3,372 square foot space will be handled by Zachary Michael, Inc. Instead of using a portaband saw to cut the interior trim for the space, we heard the contractor chose instead to smash the Cherry Oak wood into pieces using only kickboxing moves. Just a rumor though. If the intense music in this video doesn’t scare 10 pounds off of you then we don’t know what will.

Night at the Museum of the Lost Ark
This one’s kind of interesting: in December, the State put out a bid for the relocation of about 500 artifacts for the Museum of History, which were being stored at a warehouse on Navaho Drive, to a space at the Hammond Road Business Park. Both spaces are probably too small for any kind of Ark of the Covenant/”Top Men” situation, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the collection contains the Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Akhmenrah. That’s probably why the bid specifications stated very clearly that all work must be done during the day.

Self-Storage Sprawl
Site work permits have been issued for yet another Self-Storage facility, this one to be located off Glenwood Avenue on Doie Cope Road. The 4-story climate controlled Class A facility is being developed by Johnson Development Associates and the site work is being handled by Sitescapes. What is going on in Raleigh that we need so many Self-Storage units? I learned from Breaking Bad that they’re *not* a good place to cook meth, but there has to be some other nefarious purpose.

A rendering of JDA’s newest Self-Storage facility

Retaining Wall Permits Approved
Speaking of site work permits — well, retaining wall permits, to be exact — Oak City Contracting received a quintet of them for “City Walk”, a new townhome complex near Triangle Town Center. I covered this project back in December 2015, and I’m *still* not sure why something built eight miles from the downtown core is titled “City Walk,” but hey, there is a bowling alley within walking distance, which almost makes up for it. The development from the Lennar homebuilding company will consist of 132 attached townhomes, apparently separated into clusters of no more than five apiece.

Aw Sheetz
While I may be of the opinion Raleigh has far too many self-storage facilities, there’s one type of development the city could always use more of: gas station/convenience store hybrid Sheetz. As far as we can tell, there’s only seven of them located within city limits, and while that seems like a good amount — think about it, 7-Elevens, 7 dwarves, 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch — there are approximately 121 self-storage facilities, which means Sheetz has a lot of catching up to do.

So I was very excited to see that demolition permits “For Future Sheetz” were issued last week for a space at 8101 Glenwood Avenue that previously housed Eatman’s Carpets Outlet and a City of Raleigh recycling drop-off site. In a pretty unusual twist, I was actually able to find some details on the construction bid for the new building. It looks like those bids are due either today or tomorrow, so if you’re a subcontractor who’s reading this, reach out to CBI General Contractors or Wimco Corporation ASAP.

Floor plans for the new Sheetz

Per the plans and specifications, Raleigh’s eighth Sheetz will be 6,407 gross square feet in size and stand 24′ 7″ (when you include the roof) high. Apparently, the bid does not include a gasoline distribution system or the canopy, so we’re not sure if that’s getting built separately or what. The plans were drawn up internally by Sheetz in-house architect Convenience Architecture & Design PC while the engineering work was done by Keller Engineers.

The demolition portion of the project — which involves tearing down a 22,941 square foot structure built in 1971 — will be handled for $50,000 by Bristol Environmental. As we mentioned, the construction portion of this job is still out for bid, but we’ll be sure to announce the winner here as soon as they’re issued permits. Try not to let the suspense kill you.

Eatman’s Carpet Outlet at 8101 Glenwood in the glory days of 1996

Who Recycles the Recyclers?
While it won’t be long before the former city-owned recycling facility is repurposed into a new Sheetz, it looks like the Waste Management recycling center on Atlantic Avenue could eventually be transformed into a new “creative class space.” Amanda Hoyle reported last week in the Triangle Business Journal that Gordon Grubb, who developed the Dock 1053 project on Whitaker Mill Road, recently purchased a 19-acre site at the intersection of Atlantic and Whitaker Mill. Known as the Peden Steel — not to be confused with our wonderful sponsor, Rufty-Peedin Design Builders — site, the property is now occupied by a 60,000 square foot exposed steel warehouse and an accompanying 7,500 square foot cinder block office building, both constructed in 1957.

Grubb purchased the property from the Peden family on January 19 for $10 million and intends to develop a project similar to Dock 1053, which houses a brewery, a distillery, a neon art studio, and more. A spokesman from Grubb Ventures told the TBJ that while Waste Management has a number of years left on its lease, Grubb worked out an agreement that allows for some flexibility, which means some Raleigh artisans may soon have a new place to call home.

Old School Foster’s Cookout

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My heart skipped a beat when I saw the title of the Facebook invitation. It read “Old school Foster’s cookout”. I immediately had flashbacks to the NDF (Nelson’s Dance Floor), parking lot band parties, Chris the bartender, and so much more. I miss Foster’s every single day. Every time I see news about a new Harris Teeter, or Starbucks moving out of Harris Teeter and across the street, I start to come up with wild conspiracy theories that result in Foster’s returning. It turns out this is a party and cookout at the new Red Cup Bar & Arcade, located at 2910 Hillsborough Street.

Red Cup is Raleigh’s newest barcade concept that mixes a traditional bar with classic arcade games, air hockey, pinball, skee-ball, and Hoop Fever, which is the best game ever. Co-owner Ralph Nelson, who brought us Foster’s and Nelsons (aka Mecca), has not commented on whether they will have a Nelsons Dance-Dance Floor Revolution game available.

To reminisce about Foster’s and celebrate the new venture, Red Cup is holding a cookout this Saturday at 5:00 pm. Kids and dogs are welcome. While it isn’t the return of Foster’s, we shouldn’t lose hope that there will one day be a glorious reopening of that icon in Cameron Village. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.

Finley’s First Podcast Appearance

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Podcasts are all the rage right now and I need to start one. After owning the right equipment for over a year and Tweeting about how I was totally going to start a podcast, it was time to start practicing. So last week I was a guest on Richard Averitte’s “People I Follow” podcast, which is actually not a podcast about being a stalker or potential serial killer. “People I Follow” refers to people that Richard follows on Twitter. Richard is a great guy who interviews guests from all walks of life for this podcast that runs on Raleigh & Company.

We covered a lot of important issues which I’ve recapped below.


2:20 – The origins of ITB Insider. We talk about how it’s the “year of ITB” since ITB Insider™ is now 10 years old.

5:15 – Richard says I’ve morphed into a news source.

6:30 – We talk about how ITBNN was born.

7:10 – Richard says I have an image of a playboy living off a trust fund, hungover on a Sunday and eating Capital Creations pizza and Goodberry’s. I explain that I don’t have a trust fund and that I’m now looking to work with local companies interested in sponsoring or advertising on a platform that gets 20,000 pageviews a month and has thousands of followers on social media.

8:25 – We discuss Abercrombie & Fitch, Woods cologne, and how ITB parents used to drop their kids off at Crabtree to get rid of them for a few hours.

10:15 – Richard talks about how I’m a startup and that I have to do a little bit of everything. I remind him that I do ALL of the work, and that this is a real full time job. I talk about James Borden’s new Development Beat column and how he’s a real journalist.

13:35 – We discuss my new partners and sponsors, Miller Law Firm and 80Fresh.

15:03 – We talk about La Croix and how I’m tired of giving them free advertising.

16:00 – Richard asks “Can something not inside the beltline be ITB approved?”

17:55 – I talk about Twitter and interacting with the Mayor and City Council.

19:40 – Dix Park and the upcoming screenplay.

20:17 – Richard asks what will happen in Raleigh in 2017. I tell him I’m starting a podcast, writing a book, possibly a children’s book as well, we’ll hold ITB Beer dinners, events, and more.

23:00 – We discuss the Trolley Pub and how I loathe it.

29:27 – I talk about Walk West and how I brokered the merger with Greenroom Communications because I wrote about the Holderni signing a puppy to a multi-year deal a few weeks ago.

30:30 Richard calls me a job creator. I thank him for all his work with the Lumberton relief effort and for letting me tag along with Blue Sky and Smithfield’s. We mention the power of the ITB garden club.

I’d give myself probably 2.5 out of 5 beltlines for this appearance. While I enjoyed being a guest on Richard’s show, I realized after listening that I need to be the one calling the shots and asking the hard hitting questions. So it’s time to finally start my own podcast. I’m going to spend the next two weeks planning and will have more details soon. Stay tuned.

York Security Guard Saves Cameron Village

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Cameron Village is back to normal after a wild night that included a visit from police and SWAT teams. We are all safe thanks to the heroism of a York Security Guard who will be awarded the ITB Medal of Honor for his bravery. Around 7:45 pm on Thursday evening, some Twitter users began to report hearing police sirens in Cameron Village and on Wade Avenue. I was on my way to the Chick-fil-A and confirmed that cops were flying down Oberlin, assuming something was happening downtown. It turns out that an attempted robbery was taking place at the Cheshire Cat Gallery, an antique store that sells some of the finest ITB heirlooms, and Chris Brunner’s “A Beautiful Experience” photography book. Fortunately, I was informed of a witness, Daniel Nolan (@DannyNolls), who was live streaming the events while sitting in his car in the parking lot.

I joined others as Daniel watched and narrated the action from the literal front row for almost an hour, providing us with #ITBNN coverage that was better than any of our competitors. That’s coverage you can ITBelieve in. I pulled out the most important parts of the video to bring you one of the best interviews I have ever seen.

We learned so much from this man. For the past week, someone has been trying to rob the Cheshire Cat Gallery. Last night was the fourth night that the store has been broken in to this week. The store manager said that the crime lord had previously tried to use drills to get in through the back doors, but was unsuccessful. The savage crime lord then started tearing holes into the wall as a way to enter the store. Earlier in the week he was able to steal some precious ITB jewelry and Samurai swords (that’s not a joke).

According to our hero, he noticed a hole in the wall in the Cheshire Cat Gallery and called the police. When they arrived, our hero let an officer into the building, who immediately called for backup. Police cars came from everywhere and were soon joined by SWAT teams. The crime lord tried to make his escape through the roof of the old ABC store location, which is where the police and SWAT team caught him. A member of the SWAT team said the reason they had so many responders is because the Cheshire Cat sells antique guns.

Since I’m a media empire, I obviously used Daniel’s live stream as a chance to plug my wonderful lawyers and sponsors, Miller Law Firm and 80Fresh, because that’s just good leverage.

Everyone owes Daniel Nolan a beer for his service to ITB last night. I’m going to start working on plans to erect a statue for the York Security Guard. 

Full broadcast:

We’ve received some additional reports from people on Facebook that I’ll update as the story develops:

“Talked to Cameron Village Bar & Grill crew. One of their cooks was also held at gunpoint by an individual during this whole thing.”

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