by William Needham Finley IV™


James B. - page 2

James B. has 92 articles published.

Development Beat: Cantina Coming to Five Points, Chipotle Coming to North Hills, Trophy Expansion

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Week of May 21, 2018

Lola’s Cantina in Five Points

Chipotle coming to North Hills

Orvis grand opening at Ridgewood

Demolition set for old NC Equipment Co. building

Peace Street hotel finally approved

Trophy expanding their Morgan Street location

Work underway on The Dillon’s Urban Outfitters

Metropolitan apartments receives pool permits

Contact with news or to be featured in the Development Beat.


EXCLUSIVE: Lola’s Cantina Coming To Five Points

We covered the news of Lola’s coming to Five Points in an article last year and didn’t have many details on what exactly it would be. We aren’t even sure if it’s called “Lola’s Cantina” or just “Lola’s.” William Needham Finley IV decided to investigate by taking a picture on his way to a power meeting at Third Place last week.

As you can see from these exclusive images, we can now deduce that this establishment will be serving beer, margaritas, and cocktails.

We were also able to uncover that they will serve street tacos, burritos, and nachos.

We’re not sure of an exact opening date, but the landlord of the space said it should be ready towards the end of June/beginning of July. This should be a hit with the Five Points neighborhood.


Chipotle Coming to North Hills

Kane Realty Corporation announced that Chipotle will be opening in the Lassiter District (between Verizon and Panera Bread) in the fall of 2018. The North Hills location will be their sixth restaurant in Raleigh.


Dads Already Fly Fishing In Orvis Parking Lot

Photo: Zach Hearon

When we first reported that the beloved Tripps restaurant at Ridgewood Shopping Center would become Raleigh’s second Orvis location, we joked that fly fishing fans would be camped out in YETI cooler igloos waiting for the grand opening.

It turns out we weren’t that far off the mark.

Orvis, which has offered “Quality Clothing, Fly-Fishing Gear, & More” since 1856, currently operates a location at the Triangle Town Center Mall. The new location, designed by our friends at New City Design Group,  celebrated its grand opening this past weekend, and already appears to be a hit among Raleigh’s fly fishing fans.


Demolition Set For Old NC Equipment Co. Building

Demolition permits have been issued for the old North Carolina Equipment Company building, a property best known for the iconic tractor sign resting on its roof. Taking its place at 3101 Hillsborough Street will be The Standard, a 5-story student apartment complex and 452-space parking deck.

As part of the 2017 rezoning request, a condition was offered by developer Landmark Properties that ensured they would do everything they could to preserve the iconic sign. We’re pretty sure ITBlake the intern’s protest contributed to this decision.

“The tractor sign will be placed on the Hillsborough Street frontage and lighted,” the rezoning application stated, although it should be noted there is not a 100% guarantee this will happen. Landmark Urban Construction Raleigh will handle the demolition.

Peace Be With You, And Also With Hotels Featuring Rooftop Amenities

After weeks of discussion, City Council finally bestowed its blessing upon the long-delayed boutique hotel at 615 W Peace Street, located between the Peace Street McDonald’s and Starbucks.

The approval of the case allows the developers to create an unenclosed deck, patio, or shade structure on the top of the building that can extend 12 feet above the maximum height limit.

Developer MJM Group, which specializes in hospitality projects, is in discussions to select a boutique brand to manage the hotel. The 40-45 room hotel is expected to open in 2020.

Trophy Expanding Morgan Street Location


Our friends at Trophy Brewing are expanding their Morgan Street location. Known for producing the best beer (Trophy Wife) and the second best beer (Cloud Surfer) in America, Trophy has operated in their 827 W. Morgan Street location since 2012. Part of that building has been occupied by a laundromat and convenience store for decades.

Trophy will expand into that space and also add more outdoor seating. Construction should start in late fall and finish in summer or fall of 2019. We were planning on making the announcement in a sit down 20/20 style interview between ITBlake the intern and Trophy owners David Meeker, Chris Powers, and Woody Lockwood. However, ITBlake isn’t old enough to interview breweries yet. For more details, check out the N&O’s story.

Urban Outfitting The Dillon

Permits have been issued for the Urban Outfitters that will be located in The Dillon. Our friends over at August Construction Solutions, known for their work in transforming a large portion of North West Street into sleek, stylish office spaces, will be overseeing the Urban Outfitters fit-out.

Although ACS has done many retail projects across the country — it’s their bread & butter — owner Michael Iovino told us he’s especially excited about the chance to work on such a key project in the heart of downtown Raleigh.

“This is the first time since our inception that one of our national clients has built a location in Raleigh. We are excited to showcase our abilities. The Dillon is a high profile project and UO is a likewise tenant. The opportunity to work with Kane Realty Corp. to prove there is a local asset with such a national reach so close to The Dillon, Peace and North Hills amplifies the magnitude of this Urban project for ACS” said Iovino.

Work on Urban Outfitters is expected to wrap up by the middle of August, and is currently scheduled to open to the public on August 23.

ITBlake Flips A House

Metropolitan Pool Party

Captured by photographer Brian James Patrick Oschwald.

It was never determined what started the fire that destroyed the Metropolitan apartments that were under construction near Glenwood South. The 241-unit luxury apartment building was set to open in the fall of 2017. The fire, of course, delayed those plans. ITB Insider’s exclusive on-the-scene coverage was Pulitzer-worthy and saved at least one life. You’re welcome.

In November 2017, a set of permits for the rebuilding of The Metropolitan were issued to Clancy & Theys, who will serve as general contractor. Last week, permits were issued for the apartment’s fancy new pool, whose construction cost was estimated at just under $400,000.

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Development Beat: Roundabout Condos Coming to Hillsborough Street, For Real

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Week of May 14, 2018

Luxury condos coming to Hillsborough Street

Historic house holds up Fairweather condos

Potential buyer looks to restore Gables Motor Lodge

New bar planned for Glenwood South

Lumina Clothing closes

La Stella on Hillsborough Street is La Gone

Peking Duck & Dumplings replaces Pho Vietnam on Hillsborough Street

Contact to be featured in the Development Beat.


Luxury Roundabout Condos On Hillsborough Street

Hillsborough Street is no stranger to new housing projects. The last few years have seen a wave of development, mostly in the form of luxury student housing featuring ground-floor retail.

Last week, the developers of The Paramount and the Aloft hotel unveiled plans for a different kind of Hillsborough housing project: a five-story luxury condominium building dubbed “The View on Pullen Circle.”

The 35-unit condo building will be situated at the roundabout connecting Hillsborough and Pullen, offering views of the NC State bell tower, the Gregg Museum of Art and the Aloft Hotel.

William Needham Finley IV is talking with his attorney Stacy Miller of Miller Law Group, to determine if the developers infringed upon the Five Points roundabout apartment complex concept that he unveiled in 2016. This could potentially reach the Supreme Court.

The one and two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 900 to 1,300 square feet, will start in the upper $300s. Development partner Mark Andrews noted in the press release we were sent that, “The View on Pullen Circle offers residents a remarkable location and upscale features.” Those upscale features include a rooftop terrace and deck, along with parking and bike storage underneath the building.

Work on the property will be overseen by the South Atlantic Construction Company, and is expected to begin later this year with a completion date of late 2019 or early 2020.


Move House, Get Out The Way

When we first reported on plans for The Fairweather, a new five-story luxury condo development boasting spectacular views and proximity to Dix Park, we noted that its construction would require the teardown of a warehouse and two single-family homes. One of those buildings, at least, has now been saved from the wrecking ball.

Last week, it was announced that one of those homes, known as “The Rogers House” will be relocated across town by well-known historic home saver and walking proponent, Matt Tomasulo (aka Mike Tomatosoupasaurus).

It seems that “historic” is a bit of a tricky term when it comes to describing the 87-year old, 1,188 square-foot house currently sitting on the lot at 517 S West Street. Its age alone seems to qualify it, but it technically isn’t considered an “official” historic house.

A letter from the State Historic Preservation Office dated March 18, 2013, lists the home as falling under the “Old Fourth Ward Historic District,” although it was determined that the district was not eligible for listing in the National Register. Apparently, “this area lacked sufficient integrity, primarily as a result of numerous demolitions over the years.”

The home will be moved to the corner of Hargett and Bloodworth, not far from where Tomasulo’s other historic home relocation project, Guest House Raleigh, ended up.

Once it’s moved and the other home at 523 S West and the Motor Parts Warehouse fronting Harrington are demolished, work will begin on The Fairweather.


Renewal of Raleigh’s Gables

In the first ever edition of the Development Beat, we reported on a plan to sell the iconic Gables Motor Lodge. After much speculation (Mordecai Outraged Over Rumored Buyers of Iconic Property) that included a Dave & Buster’s, a Wahlberg-themed Food Hall, and a Big Lots, it looks like the property has finally found a buyer with a plan worthy of the space.

A group of buyers, including musician Tift Merritt and hotel developer Daniel Robinson, have plans to redevelop and expand the property. Representatives from Gables Lodge LLC appeared before the Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council last week to unveil their plans, which include adding a pair of two-story buildings, bookmarking the existing lodge and bringing the total number of rooms to 19. In addition, the group is looking into the possibility of adding a water feature, and fencing around the property line.

The developers noted that they want to make something that “pays tribute to Mordecai,” and in so doing, will do everything they can to ensure the iconic sign out front would be incorporated into the project.

New Bar on Glenwood South

The one-time home of the David Wade Salon and, more recently, Feelgoodz fair-trade footwear, will soon be transformed into a two-story bar/nightclub.

Site plans for the building at 612 Glenwood indicate the space will be developed by the Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co. The plan for the structure is to add a second story “for bar area” as well as an “addition of 789 SF outdoor bar area with improved site area at rear.”

The preliminary sketches make it look as though there will be outdoor seating in the front of the building, with an outdoor bar and metal staircase out back. We don’t know when this new bar will open, or even what it’s going to be called.

Lumina Clothing Company to Close

Lumina Clothing Company, a staple of the North Person Street district, will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.

The company announced last week its plans to close their flagship location, located at 215 E Franklin Street. The store will be holding sales through the end of the month, and a closing party will be held before the store shuts down for good as a way of thanking all of those who “helped make [Lumina] such a vibrant part of the community.”

0 For 2: Second Restaurant in Former Hillsborough Street Bookstore Closes

It seems like only yesterday we were reporting on the permits issued to our friends over at Rufty-Peedin Design Builders to transform the former Hillsborough Street Bookstore into the stylish, if short-lived, H-Street Kitchen.

In the time since, H-Street has come and gone, replaced — briefly — by a second location of La Stella Wood Fired Kitchen, which still operates out of a space on Fayetteville Street. On Friday of last week, La Stella announced they would relocating their Hillsborough Street location to a space on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary.

A Defeated Pho on Hillsborough

Speaking of short-lived Hillsborough Street haunts, just two years after permits were issued for Pho Vietnam on the ground floor of 2811 Hillsborough, a brand-new restaurant, Peking Duck & Dumpling, has opened in its place.

The restaurant, whose motto is “We believe good times deserve great food,” offers diners everything from roast duck to spicy pork ear. Credit to Triangle Food Blog for bringing this to our attention, and credit to Philadelphia’s Chinatown for helping us appreciate how delicious duck can be.

Development Beat: Pizza Coming to Dock 1053, More Apartments On Glenwood

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Week of May 7, 2018

Pizza restaurant coming to Dock 1053

Sterling Glenwood (formerly the Beckanna) apartments set for expansion

Progress on McNeill Pointe shopping center

Neon art coming to Dix Park

Wahlburgers finally opened downtown

Construction commences for 22-story FNB Tower

Raleigh’s newest Dog Park opens

Soft opening for Seoul 116

Contact to be featured in the Development Beat.


Lynnwood Bringing Pizza Place to Dock 1053


Lynnwood Brewing Concern, which operates a grill and taproom in North Raleigh and a brewery and bar at Dock 1053 on East Whitaker Mill Road, will soon add a new restaurant to Dock 1053.

Wilson’s, named after Lynnwood’s owner’s dog, will focus on “flatbread pizzas and crafted sandwiches” and will feature “several house-made sodas & mixers” in their craft cocktails. Check out the full article from Broughton alumnus Hart Roberts. Wilson’s is set to open in late August.

More Apartments Planned on Glenwood Near 440

Grubb Properties is planning to expand the Sterling Glenwood apartment complex, formerly known as the Beckanna, from 254 units to 493 units. The property, which Grubb purchased in 2013, is located directly across the street from the recently opened 296-unit Sojourn Glenwood luxury apartment complex owned by Grubb Ventures. Grubb Ventures is owned by Gordon Grubb and based in Raleigh, while Grubb Properties is owned by Gordon’s brother Clay Grubb and based in Charlotte. We can reasonably deduct that this apartment expansion is the product of an intense sibling rivalry.

Site plans were filed by Grubb Properties indicating plans to renovate the two existing apartment towers at Sterling, which were originally built in 1964. They also plan to add two new apartment towers and a parking deck to the site.

The new buildings will stand 128 feet tall and appear to be about 10 stories tall. No word on when construction might begin.


Progress On McNeill Pointe

Once home to the Ham ‘N’ Egger diner, which later became the Oak City Diner before being torn down in 2008, McNeill Pointe is now under construction just across the street from Mami Nora’s restaurant. When complete, McNeill Pointe will comprise a total of four buildings and over 30,000 square feet of space for office, retail, and restaurant uses.

Work has begun on the first round of tenants, House of Hops and The Simple Greek. This is the second location for Raleigh’s House of Hops craft beer retail store, which has been serving a variety of beers since July 2014. The Simple Greek is the brainchild of Marcus Lemonis, host of the CNBC reality show “The Profit” and promises “real Greek food made with fresh, healthy ingredients using authentic family recipes.”

This is a real billboard promoting The Profit television show. This is not photoshopped.

The $7 million project is getting built out by the Raleigh-based Centre Construction Group, although Triangle Enterprises out of Cary is listed as the contractor for the House of Hops build out.

Neon Art Coming to Dix Park

Dix Park will soon play host to “Light the Woods with Sound,” an interactive public art installation from Raleigh visual and neon artist Nate Sheaffer. The installation will be displayed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from May 11 to May 27. The event is free but they ask that you register in advance.

More about the installation:

“Sheaffer created 384 neon light tubes which will hang in the trees of Dix Park. Connected to a theremin, an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact, artists will perform songs and musical interpretations that will Light The Woods with Sound.”

Sheaffer owns and operates Glas, a teaching facility/gallery/art factory/studio, and has over 30 years of glass blowing experience. “Light and music appeal to us on primitive levels, reaching into the core of our minds’ response to the world around us. For me, music, light, and art are inseparable, essential.”

This project is made possible by the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, the Office of Raleigh Arts, and the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. Partners for this public art project include Glas Neon, Optic Artworks, and Emily Alexander.

Wahlburgers Opened

After what felt like years of anticipation, Raleigh’s first location of the celebrity-chain burger joint Wahlburgers opened on Fayetteville Street last week. The restaurant offers a “upscale fast-casual” burger menu, which we imagine falls somewhere between Five Guys and Chuck’s.

The burgers will all feature “Wahl Sauce” — a blend of ketchup, mayo, pureed caramelized onions, pickles and other spices. The restaurant’s biggest draw has to be the chance to spot Donnie or have Mark rap “Good Vibrations” while bringing out your order.

According to the News & Observer, the most famous brothers have yet to visit the Myrtle Beach, S.C. location, which opened a year and a half ago (can you really blame them?). We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the Wahlbergs.

22-Story FNB Tower Breaks Ground In DTR

The new 22-story FNB Tower on Fayetteville Street broke ground last week. Located next to the building that houses Stacy Miller’s office and Miller Law Group, the tower will have 239 residential units spread throughout 13 stories, six stories of commercial office space, and two floors of amenities/tenant storage space.

Developed by Dominion Realty Partners, the building will serve as the regional headquarters for First National Bank. Choate Construction, which is based out of Atlanta but operates a regional Raleigh office, is overseeing construction on the $116 million project. For more on the project, check out the video.

The Dog Days of Spring

Pet owners, rejoice: your dogged search for a new place to cajole with your canine friends has come to an end. Raleigh’s newest dog park officially opened this past weekend.

Grand opening ceremonies for the new Buffaloe Road Dog Park were held on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 1.5-acre park is located next to the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center at 5908 Buffaloe Rd and features two separate areas, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs. The fenced-in off-leash area also offers multiple entry gates, dog waste stations, a drinking water pad, and shade for you and your pets. Sounds like a howling good time!

A Soft Seoul 116

Less than two months after work began on their space at 116 N. West Street, City Market Sushi’s sister restaurant Seoul 116 held a soft opening in a space that was once home to the famed Blue Martini.

Our friends over at NC Triangle Dining were on hand for the opening, and shared some of Seoul 116’s succulent dishes on Twitter.


Development Beat: A More Perfect Union Station

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Week of April 30, 2018

Dedication ceremony held for Union Station

Oberlin Road closed near White Memorial

Event: Wine & Food Evening supporting Dress for Success Triangle

Buku will remain downtown

Work begins on self-serve beer spot on Glenwood

Heirloom Brewshop underway at The Dillon

Council may or may not decide on Peace Street Hotel

Land near Moore Square to be redeveloped

Stough Elementary will be torn down, rebuilt

City Council to hear more on Sir Walter Apartments


A More Perfect Union Station

A dedication ceremony was held on Monday for Raleigh’s Union Station, the brand-new, $111 million multimodal transportation center. The station is expected to open to the public in mid-May, with Amtrak service starting in June.

The event was held to honor the partners that helped bring this facility to life. Among those partners were our friends over at York Properties, who were selected last year to manage the station’s three stories of commercial and office spaces.

John Koonce ( – 919-645-2765) is handing the retail leasing and Brian Wallace ( – 919-645-2773) is handling the office leasing. York is also handling the management and will coordinate the event space leasing.

The ceremony was held at the site of the new station at 510 W. Martin Street. Mayor Nancy McFarlane was one of many government officials to speak. According to McFarlane,

“Union Station is a great addition to Downtown Raleigh that will meet the city’s needs for years to come, both as a hub of transportation and a center of activity in the community. The event hall, plaza, and other public spaces are truly beautiful, and unique. They will make the station a destination of choice for residents and visitors alike.”

Guests in attendance shared some great pictures.

Oberlin Road Closed Near White Memorial

White Memorial Presbyterian Church posted the following to their Facebook page on Monday: “The City of Raleigh has informed us that a portion of Oberlin Road will be closed for water and sewer work from April 30-May 11. It will be closed from Fairview to Davis and we anticipate significant impact. Please plan accordingly for church activities.”


Event: Wine & Food Evening Supporting Dress for Success Triangle

A wine and food evening in support of Dress for Success Triangle will be held on May 12. This one-time experience features a mini-3 course food and wine pairing menu and dessert display, auction items, and raffle prizes.

The event will be held at Lucarne – 309 Blake St. (not to be confused with ITBlake Street) with food created by Tyson Detzler – Chef De’ Cuisine at Royale. There are two limited seatings (25 guests): 5:30-7:00pm OR 8:00-9:30pm. Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased here.

Buku Will Remain Downtown

Buku, a popular — and delicious — global street food restaurant that has been operating out of the Red Hat Tower on South Wilmington Street since 2010 recently announced that their lease has been extended through January. The restaurant, which recently opened a second location in Wake Forest, is now looking for a new downtown spot to call home.


Tapworks Coming to Glenwood South

A self-serve beer shop is coming to Glenwood South this summer. Featuring 50 taps, Tapworks will open in the ground floor of 222 Glenwood. Morris Construction Company out of Garner received a permit valued at $134,021 for the fit-out of a 1,815 square foot space.

Work begins on Heirloom Brewshop at The Dillon

Over at The Dillon, Heirloom Brewshop, offering premium coffee, tea, sake, and an Asian-inspired food menu, is making progress. They recently took to Instagram to show off progress of the space.

A Peaceful Resolution?

A zoning case for a new boutique hotel on Peace Street between the Starbucks and the McDonald’s could finally be decided by Council today, nearly a month after the public hearing for it was first opened. 

The case, Z-17-17, was most recently before Council on April 17, where the primary focus was clarifying what, exactly, constitutes a rooftop amenity.

Essentially, the developers would be able to create an unenclosed deck, patio, or shade structure on the top of the building that can extend 12 feet above the maximum height limit. According to a memo prepared by staff, “There is no limit on the size, or footprint, of the element. It would be possible to construct an unenclosed deck, patio or shade structure that covers 100% of the roof area.” 

Whether a decision on the case will be made today remains to be seen, but we think it’s been long enough.

A Sale on South Blount

Two properties near Moore Square were recently sold for $3.5 million. Situated at 415 S. Blount Street and 422 South Person Street, the 1.33 acres of land is currently being used as a private parking lot. A 4,235 square-foot, one-story metal building currently sits on the otherwise vacant land.

The property has been owned since the 1960s by various members and trusts representing members of the Sanders family. The pair of parcels that were recently sold were once used as a service garage for the nearby Sanders Ford dealership that was located at 329 S. Blount. Before Sanders, the property was home to Nash Motor Sales.

Although no development plans have been announced or filed for the site, the land is currently zoned DX-7, or Downtown Mixed Use, with a height cap of seven stories of office or residential development with ground floor retail.

Elementary, My Dear Stough

Site plans have been filed for the demolition and complete rebuilding of Stough Elementary School on Edwards Mill Road. The new two-story building will be about 133,000 square feet and offer 122 parking spots. Stough is currently housed in three one-story buildings totaling nearly 70,00 square feet. The oldest was built in 1967; the newest in 2003. Stough Elementary will relocate in the 2019-20 school year to a new elementary school, E-24, being built on 12004 Strickland Road in Raleigh.

Sir Walter’s Request

City Council today will hear more on Capital Realty Group’s plans to acquire and rehabilitate the historic Sir Walter Apartments at 400 Fayetteville Street.

Capital Realty Group is requesting up to $3 million in City funds for their redevelopment of the building, which serves low-income elderly individuals and couples over age 62.

The real estate firm would spend a total of $39 million acquiring and developing the property, resulting in 36 efficiency units, 114 one-bedrooms and seven two-bedrooms. All 157 units will be targeted to individuals at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income.

There are currently only 140 rental units available at the Sir Walter. Capital Realty is seeking to renovate the top floor to add an additional 18 units, one of which will be used for an on-site manager.

According to a memo prepared by City staff, which recommends Council commits up to $3M to the project, rents will not increase for the tenants, and they will continue to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent.

Development Beat: Luxury Student Housing Planned for NC State Tailgating Lots

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Week of April 23, 2018

Luxury student housing planned for NC State tailgating lots

Crunch Fitness coming to Cameron Village

Oberlin Rising dedication

Progress on Seaboard Wine at High Park and fundraiser event

Casa Providencia Opens, Heart’s Cry Hiring Development Director

Nest Fine Gifts & Interiors Coming to Cameron Village


Luxury Student Housing Coming to NC State’s Trinity and TX Lots

North Carolina State University announced last week that the Trinity and TX parking lots on Trinity Road are under contract for sale. The two lots, renowned for their popular tailgating festivities, will not be available for the 2018 football season, which is only 130 days away. The lots held a combined total of about 1,500 cars.

A preliminary site plan was filed on January 16, 2018 for Station At Raleigh, a 3-story apartment complex of 174 units (12 one bedroom, 4 three bedroom, and 158 four bedroom) located in 21 buildings, and accompanied by 729 parking spots. The contact information on the plans shows that the applicant works for Landmark Properties, a Georgia real estate firm whose website notes they are the “nation’s top developer of student housing….2 years running.”

While looking through the preliminary plans, we noticed that the name Station At Alafaya, located in Seminole County, Florida, was referenced in the exterior elevations section. It’s not uncommon for developers to reuse plans from previous projects, so we looked into The Station At Alafaya. Their website states the apartment complex is “an exclusive society for Alafaya’s trendiest inhabitants. You aren’t a resident, but rather a member of the most elite community in Alafaya.” Their long list of amenities includes a gaming lounge, golf simulator, resort-style pool, outdoor terrace, fitness facility, meeting rooms, a clubhouse, and… printing!

If the Station At Raleigh is based on the plans for the Station At Alafaya, expect similar amenities. An Instagram video from The Station At Alafaya shows that the apartment complex is basically a resort.

So, pending the deal closing within the next few months, this is what’s replacing decades of NC State tailgating. We’re sure NC State fans who have graduated will not be pleased at this news, while prospective students are salivating over living in luxury just a few football fields away from NC State’s Carter-Finley stadium. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.


Crunch Fitness Coming to Cameron Village

The former home of Kerr Drug, Eckerd, and Rite-Aid in Cameron Village will soon be occupied by Crunch Fitness, a gym that emphasizes a “No Judgements” mantra. The company has been around for nearly 30 years and has over 225 locations. Our friends at New City Design are involved in the project, so we’re sure the free weights and elliptical machines will be perfectly level. Putting this gym right next to Chick-fil-A and around the corner from Rise is a pretty genius move.


Oberlin Rising Dedication

The dedication ceremony for the Oberlin Rising sculpture and park was held over the weekend. Smedes York, Thomas Sayre, Howard Craft, Reverend Barry Young, Mable Patterson and Art Ross presented opening comments at the ceremony. The project is a monument to the community on Oberlin that was started in 1870s by freed slaves following the Civil War.

Progress on Seaboard Wine at High Park And A Fundraiser

You may recall our exclusive story on Seaboard Wine’s plans to move from Seaboard Station to High Park earlier this month. Last week, Seaboard Wine shared some progress updates on their new space.

We offered to send ITBlake the Builder over to help. Then we remembered he’s not allowed near heavy machinery, or any construction equipment at all, after “the incident.” We do not expect this to cause any delays.

Seaboard Wine will be throwing their last fundraiser event ever in the Seaboard location this Wednesday, April 25th. Sample wines from around the world with light hors d’oeuvres, plus enter the raffle to win a bottle of your favorite wine poured at this fundraiser for MS. 50% of the ticket price and 20% of the wine sales will be donated to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Tickets are $30 per person. Call 919-831-0850 for reservations. Donations can be made here


Casa Providencia Opens, Heart’s Cry Looking for Development Director

While this development won’t shut down any roads or prevent you from making it to brunch, we think it’s still worth covering. Last year, we wrote about Misty and Matt Hedspeth, the Raleigh couple that moved to Panama to save orphans. Congratulations are in order for the Hedspeths and their team at Heart’s Cry Children’s Ministry, who have been working for years to open Panama’s first, and only, special-needs orphanage. Casa Providencia, a special-needs home and therapy center, opened in March and is now caring for their first group of children.

Now that Casa Providencia is open, Heart’s Cry is hiring a Development Director. This person will find and meet with new potential supporters, create and implement a growth strategy plan, and coordinate between the Board of Directors and staff. Here’s more information on the position. We’ll have a more in-depth article on this next week. Donations to Heart’s Cry Children’s Ministry can be made here.

Nesting at Cameron Village

Home furnishings boutique Nest Fine Gifts and Interiors is coming to Cameron Village. They’ll be moving into the space that is currently home to Ann Taylor.

First opened in Wilmington, North Carolina, the store describes itself as a “premier provider of interior design and decorating services” that offers furniture, accessories, and gifts. T.L. Stewart Builders out of Sanford will be handling the $200,000+ renovation of the 4,212 square foot space.


Apex Outfitter moving into DECO’s old space
The upscale “action sports retailer” Apex Outfitter will be moving into DECO’s old space at 19 W. Hargett Street, following DECO’s move around the corner in fall of 2018.

South Moon Under opens at North Hills
South Moon Under, a “leading fashion e-commerce and brick and mortar retailer, offering women’s and men’s clothing, swimwear, accessories and gifts,” celebrated its grand opening this weekend at North Hills in a space next to Ruth’s Chris.

Cold Off the Press opens on South Street
A new smoothie and juice bar that previously operated out of a space at 219 Fayetteville Street has opened on South Street.

Nancy’s Pizza opens in North Raleigh
A deep dish pizza restaurant whose Raleigh debut we first reported on in September 2017, opened its doors this past month. The restaurant chain traces its roots back to 1971, when “Italian immigrants, Nancy and Rocco Palese, opened their first pizza parlor, Guy’s Pizza, in Chicago.” Guy’s eventually began serving “stuffed pizza,” a variation on a recipe for an Easter specialty cake known as scarciedda. Stuffed pizza is unlike most “deep-dish” variations found outside of Chicago in that the sauce is served on top of a layer of cheese and toppings, all of which rest on two layers of crust. It is, essentially, a pizza pie.

Development Beat: Alamo Drafthouse Preview, Southeast Raleigh YMCA Breaks Ground

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Week of April 16, 2018

Alamo Drafthouse preview

Southeast Raleigh YMCA and elementary school breaks ground

Dedication at Oberlin Rising on April 21st

The Dillon gets a parking deck and art

Time Warp is on April 21st

Chris Combs Classic on April 21st

Standard Foods closes

PBX® 5 Year Anniversary

Midtown Yoga Opens

Lidl Purchases Additional Land in North Raleigh

Alamo Drafthouse Preview

The much-anticipated Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open on April 26th. Located on New Bern Avenue in the Longview Shopping Center, this is the first Alamo Drafthouse in North Carolina. Featuring 11 screens, a full kitchen and bar, and Video Vortex (the largest VHS and DVD rental collection on the East Coast) this is much more than just a movie theater.

The menu blows the standard $7 box of Milk Duds and $12 bucket of popcorn right out of the water. Starters range from fried pickles to loaded cheese fries, and yes, avocado toast. With vegan options, sandwiches, pizzas, brunch (served all day, every day), cookies, milkshakes and more, this is a legitimate restaurant that just happens to be inside of a movie theater. Guests can order from the menu at any time during the movie and have their food brought to them inside the theater.

They’ve got a ton of beers on tap, including 27 from North Carolina breweries, with another 8 rotating taps to go with an extensive list of bottles and cans. Guests can grab a 32 ounce “Crowler” that can be filled with a draft beer and then sealed. There’s also an impressive cocktail menu, which will include movie-themed drinks from time to time, and wine with plenty of rosé all daaaaay.

During the media preview, which we were invited to, the owners stressed the fact that they are a “community of neighborhood theaters” and do things differently than your normal theater chain. With programming aimed at all demographics (Saturday mornings sometimes feature a cereal bar and show kid-friendly movies/tv shows) and relationships in place with many local groups (Raleigh Little Theatre, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, VAE, and many more) this place should be a big hit.


Southeast Raleigh YMCA Breaks Ground

The home of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA and Southeast Raleigh Elementary School broke ground last week. Located at 1436 Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh, the 32 acre property will include the joint YMCA and public school, mixed-use housing, and commercial spaces. Southeast Raleigh Promise, an independent nonprofit, will take the lead role in supporting children, families, and neighborhood needs in Southeast Raleigh.

The Southeast Raleigh Promise organization described their goals:

“We envision a site, along the Rock Quarry Road corridor, that has tangible, physical resources including a state-of-the-art YMCA with quality wellness facilities, a pre-K-5 school, safe and affordable housing for families, access to healthy food, and accessible spaces for recreation and play.”

In September 2016, the YMCA announced it hoped to have the school portion of the development — which would be run by Wake County in a joint partnership — open in 2019. The rest of the facility may be ready around the same time.


Oberlin Rising Dedication On April 21st

A dedication for the Oberlin Rising sculpture and park will be held at 11:00 am, this Saturday, April 21st. Located at 801 Oberlin, the sculpture was created by Thomas Sayre and includes work from Howard L. Craft, an African-American poet and playwright, and others. The project is a monument to the community started in the 1870s by freed slaves following the Civil War. The art is on private land and funded by the York Family, who have lived in the nearby area for decades.

David Crabtree recently covered the project and interviewed Smedes York, Joe Holt, and Thomas Sayre about their involvement. It’s a really fascinating look at the history of this area and what went in to the project.

The Art of Parking at The Dillon

The Dillon, Kane Realty’s mixed-use development in the warehouse district, has now opened its 950-space parking deck. The deck will feature fully-automated pay stations, with no cashiers on site. Daily parking will cost $2/hour or $18/day.

While the parking deck is exciting news to many who can never seem to find a parking spot on their way to leveraging synergies at HQ Raleigh, it wasn’t the only new development at The Dillon recently. Some of the artwork commissioned by the developers is now visible to the public. Ashton Smith, friend-of-the-media-empire and owner of her own newsletter empire (Raleigh, over-easy), got a look at some of the new art last week.

Kane Realty issued a press release announcing that several original commissions are set to be installed. Curated in partnership with CAM Raleigh, local and regional artists will be featured in a variety of works. No word on if a 40-foot mural of ITBlake the intern will be commissioned.


Time Warp at the City of Raleigh Museum

Time Warp, Raleigh’s hottest party that has everything, is coming up on April 21st. For more details, check out WNFIV’s write up. The party will raise funds to support the City of Raleigh Museum. Buy tickets here.


2nd Annual Chris Combs Classic On April 21st

The second annual Chris Combs Baseball Classic will be held on April 21st at NC State’s Doak Field. Broughton will play Middle Creek at 12:00 pm and Johnson-Lambe has once again agreed to donate a set of game jerseys to the team that raises the most money. All proceeds go to ALS Awareness in the name of Team Chris Combs. Combs is a Broughton and NC State alum who was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The Walk to Defeat ALS will also be held on Saturday at the Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh. Donations can be made here.

Standard Shutdown

The TBJ has reported that Standard Foods, a restaurant and grocery store that served as a downtown showcase for fresh, farm-to-table ingredients, has shut down. This is not the first time Standard Foods, located at 205 East Franklin Street, shut down. It closed for several months in 2016 before reopening in October. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the food Instagrammers out there.

PBX 5th Anniversary On April 22nd

While this isn’t related to development, we want to wish our friends at PBX® a happy 5th birthday. They’ll be hosting an Outdoor Pop Up Mat Class to celebrate at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 22nd. Please RSVP here for the free event.

Midtown Yoga Opens In North Hills

Midtown Yoga, the locally-owned studio on the ground floor of North Hills’ Park Central Apartments, celebrated its grand opening this past weekend. The Raleigh Construction Company began work on the space back in October of 2017. Midtown Yoga owner Emily Wallace had previously been holding Yoga classes in outdoor spaces at North Hills.

Lidl Buys Up Land in North Raleigh

It’s been nearly a year since we first reported on German grocery chain Lidl’s plans to open a second Raleigh location on Buffaloe Road. Lidl US Operations, LLC recently paid $1,222,881 for the vacant 6.17 acre property located at 4117 Buffaloe Road to the trustee of the Buffaloe family (seriously) who used to own the land. The new store will be about 35,962 square feet in size, and be accompanied by a 180-space parking lot. Lidl opened their first Raleigh location on Wake Forest Road in November 2017.

Development Beat: Krispy Kreme Isn’t Going Anywhere

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Week of April 9, 2018

Krispy Kreme sells for $4.7M, will stay in current location

301 Hillsborough Street sold again

Calavera coming to Tasty 8s spot

Sojourn Glenwood Place apartments now leasing

A taste of Nashville coming to Glenwood South

National landscape conference April 13th

Funguys Brewery announces grand opening date

Durham Distillery expands


Krispy Kreme Isn’t Going Anywhere

Local news outlets did a great job of manufacturing a crisis when they reported that Krispy Kreme sold two parcels of land on N. Person Street for $4.7 million to Broadstone KKD Portfolio LLC. The buyer is a subsidiary of real estate investor Broadstone Real Estate. People flipped out over the news.

William Needham Finley IV took it upon himself to actually call the company and do journalism.

While the answers technically aren’t in the above video, reporters found the lease agreement that indicated Krispy Kreme would remain in that location.

The lease agreement is for 20 years, but those agreements can be terminated or altered, Krispy Kreme could go out of business, the world could end tomorrow, etc. For now, Krispy Kreme is fine. Everyone can calm down.


301 Hillsborough Street Sold

TBJ reported that 301 Hillsborough Street has been sold to a Boston developer (Mark Wahlberg?). The previous owners, the Lundy Group and Hyde Street Holdings, purchased the 1.85 acre property about 3 years ago for a little over $10 million (1.18 acres of that was owned by the City and sold for $6.3 million). They had planned a $160 million development on the property that included a 20-story multifamily tower, a 20-story office tower, 40,000 square feet of retail space, 220,000 square feet of office space, and a 176-room hotel.

The 1.85 acres sold for $17 million to the Fallon Company (Jimmy Fallon?), a Boston developer. The sale spurred an educated discussion about downtown land values on Twitter.

Please contact if you’re interested in purchasing this parking spot. Since yesterday, the price has already increased to $46,021.


Calavera Replacing Tasty 8s

Calavera, an empanadas and tequila bar formerly located at 444 S Blount Street, will replace Tasty 8s on Fayetteville Street. Our friend Dr. Brett Wells (the best dentist in Raleigh), owner of Tasty 8s, recently posted the news to the company website. After three and a half years and nearly a quarter million hot dogs served, Wells decided to close Tasty 8s due to his growing dental business (thanks to all the advertising from ITB Insider, we assume) and partner with Calavera. They hope to open by June.


Glenwood Place Apartments Now Leasing

The 296-unit luxury apartment complex Sojourn Glenwood Place is now open. The complex is also set to include about 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Developer Gordon Grubb unveiled plans for Glenwood Place over three years ago. Located on the northbound side of Glenwood Avenue just inside the beltline, Glenwood Place was to have around 800 dwelling units, 900,000 square feet of office space, a 250-room hotel, and around 110,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space.

The rezoning case never found its way to City Council for approval. Instead, Grubb announced in late 2016 that they would be scaling back to “hundreds” of apartments, 600,000-800,000 square feet of additional office space, 70,000-140,000 square feet of retail, and a new hotel. All of this would be allowed under the property’s current zoning conditions.


Tin Roof Bringing Nashville to Glenwood South

Site plans have been filed for the Tin Roof Restaurant and Bar, which will be located at 300 Glenwood Avenue at the intersection with West Lane. The plans were filed by the owners of Tin Roof, a popular live-music bar in Nashville with about 15 other locations around the country.

The Glenwood property is currently home to a one-story, 4,000 square-foot brick building constructed in 1940 that for years had been home to Clark Art. The Tin Roof in Nashville offers a lunch and dinner menu in addition to serving as a bar/nightlife hotspot with live country music.

National Landscaping Conference

Our close friend the City of Raleigh is co-sponsoring a national landscaping conference, Leading with Landscape, on April 13th. The event takes place at Hunt Library on Centennial, right near the lovely North Shore townhomes we covered a few weeks ago. They will be doing free tours for the public on the weekend, covering “diverse cultural landscapes” including campuses, public parks, African-American heritage areas, Modernist sites, and more. Tours will be led by experts in history and landscape design who will reveal “the rich landscape legacy of North Carolina.” More details here.

Funguys Brewing Opening April 14

If you like mycology-themed pizza joints like Mellow Mushroom, then you’re probably going to love the new Funguys Brewery, which recently announced a grand opening date of April 14. The so-called “start-up microbrewery” will be located off Wake Forest Road near Mami Nora’s at 2408 Paula Street.

Durham Distillery Expands

Durham Distillery will double the size of its distillery operations by expanding into adjacent property at 715 Washington St. (we don’t know where that is). Thanks to strong sales of its Conniption gins and its vodka and liqueurs, the distillery will add 2,369 square feet of space to house new equipment and production facilities. This will allow them to double capacity and expand distribution to Europe. The larger footprint will allow Durham Distillery to install a second still as well as an automated bottling line. Plans for future private event rentals are also in the works.

Development Beat: Seaboard Wine Moving to High Park

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Week of April 2, 2018

Seaboard Wine is moving to High Park

MS Walk on April 7 at PNC

Mordecai Bottle Shop coming to Gateway Plaza

Peace Street hotel up for a vote

Oberlin Road is closed between Clark and Hillsborough Street this week

Bonobos coming to North Hills

Kane Realty buys nearly 7 acres near Union Station

Boylan Flats to become extended stay hotel

Work begins on Capital Boulevard Popeye’s


Seaboard Wine Moving To High Park

Seaboard Wine is moving on up to the Whitaker Mill side of Five Points. They’ll be moving from their current location in Seaboard Station, which has been their home for the last 33 years (21 as Seaboard Wine and 12 years as Simple Pleasures’ Warehouse). Fun fact: Seaboard Wine was the first ever tenant in Seaboard Station.

We consider them the best tenant in Seaboard, and not just because they are a partner and the exclusive retailer of our ITBlessed wine glasses. At first, we thought they were moving because of the rumors that Castle Erotica was buying up Seaboard Station, which Peace recently decided to sell. We reached out to owner Doug Diesing for details.

“We are looking forward to moving into a professionally run retail center with a commitment to locally owned businesses and are excited to be a part of the Five Points, Anderson Heights, Hayes Barton, and North Hills neighborhoods,” said Diesing.

That made sense to us. Knowing nothing about commercial real estate, we can confidently say that this is a smart move. With the Seaboard Station sale up in the air and the massive amount of construction in the area, that location can’t be the best spot for a business over the next 12-18 months.

Seaboard Wine will be located next to Taste in the High Park shopping center on Whitaker Mill Road. They will continue to be a full service wine store with a wide selection from around the world, plus wine and bar accessories, glassware, cocktail mixers, and bitters. Their tasting bar will host wine classes, special events, and will sell wines by the glass. Tentative plans are to move the first week of July and be open by July 9 with the same great staff.


Walk MS Coming Up on April 7 at PNC Arena

Walk MS 2018 will be held at PNC arena on April 7, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m. (registration at 7:30 a.m.). The walk has raised $186,771.67 towards their 2018 goal of $400,000 to support critical services and research to help end MS. You do not need to attend in person, you can be a “virtual walker.” No matter how you choose to support the cause, please help with this great event. More information available here.


Mordecai Bottle Shop Coming to Gateway Plaza

Raleigh Architecture Company

Mordecai Bottle Shop is coming to the Gateway Plaza shopping center. When we first reported on the plans for this shopping center managed by York Properties, no tenant names were available. However, plans indicated a “beer garden” would be included. That beer garden is actually the city’s first combined bottle shop, taproom, and brewery. While the center itself is being designed by Gensler Architects, it was the Raleigh Architecture Company that designed plans for the Mordecai Bottle Shop.

From our super secret sources: Mordecai Bottle Shop is slated to open this summer. Owner Andrew Christenbury, a Chapel Hill native, said, “Mordecai will be a one-stop shop for people who love beer. You can taste the beer we’re making, try craft beers from other local breweries, and pick up a variety of beer to take home.” Christenbury has worked in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years and previously served as the head brewer at G2B in Durham.

Mordecai Bottle Shop will offer:

Brewery – they’ll use a two-barrel system to create small batch brews. Christenbury plans to experiment and collaborate with other brewers across the state.

Taproom – an indoor bar will offer Mordecai’s own beer on tap, along with craft beer from a variety of local and regional brewers. It will also sell wine.

Bottle Shop – customers can purchase a variety of craft beers to take home.

The Mordecai space will also have a covered patio and outdoor seating, with a small outdoor stage for local bands and entertainment.

Originally built in 1968, LODEN Properties is revamping the 6.8 acre Gateway Plaza shopping center, which will also include a Food Truck Rodeo, a Makers Mart, a stage area, and more. The $354,967 “reconstruction of an existing space” for the Mordecai Bottle Shop is being handled by JCI Builders, Inc.

Peace Be With You

This week, City Council will hold a public hearing for the rezoning of a lot on West Peace Street in between McDonald’s and Starbucks, where developer MJM Group plans to build a specialty hotel. The property is currently zoned neighborhood mixed-use with a height cap of three stories. MJM Group hopes to see it upzoned to commercial mixed-use with a height cap of four stories. We reported on these plans in July 2017, and have since learned that the hotel would have about 50 rooms and a lounge on the top floor.

The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the case, despite noting that it was inconsistent with the Future Land Use Map. The Hillsborough Citizens Advisory Council recommended denial by a vote of 28-2, citing major concerns over traffic and the building’s potential height, which would be capped at 68 feet.

Given the massive redevelopment of the surrounding area, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this case get approved, although the surrounding neighbors are clearly not in favor of approval.

All Roads Lead to Closed

Be advised that every road is closed in Raleigh. For the next week, Oberlin Road is closed between Clark and Hillsborough Street due to a waterline replacement project.

From the City of Raleigh’s website: “Beginning April 2, Oberlin Road from Clark Avenue to Hillsborough Street will be closed to through traffic with access for local traffic only. This detour is planned for one week while the 36 inch waterline installation crosses Oberlin and work to tie in with existing waterlines occurs in the intersection of Clark and Oberlin. Local businesses will be open and accessible.” More information is available here.

We offered to send ITBlake the intern to help with the traffic, but the City politely declined.

Bonobos Coming to North Hills

Bonobos, an e-commerce menswear brand, will be opening in the Main District at North Hills this Spring. The store will be located between Fink’s Jewelers and Southern Tide and will be the first Bonobos store in North Carolina. Launched online in 2007, Bonobos is focused on “delivering great fit, excellent customer experience, and a fun approach to menswear.”


Kane Realty Buys 6.8 Acres Near Union Station

TBJ reported on Monday that Kane Realty purchased 6.8 acres of land near Union Station and plans to put a mixed-use development on the property. Located on Cabarrus Street, the property is currently home to office buildings for Clancy & Theys Construction Company and Haven House Services, a non-profit that provides community-based services to at-risk youth and their families in Wake County. No word yet on where the existing tenants will relocate.

Boylan Flats Apartments Will Be An Extended Stay Hotel

Capital Boulevard Cajun

Popeye’s Chicken continues to grow its Raleigh footprint. Final sitework permits were recently issued for its new location at the Starmount Shopping Center on Capital Boulevard. Site plans for the new space were filed back in January of 2017. Since those plans were filed, Popeye’s added another Raleigh restaurant on Western Boulevard, in a space once occupied by Greek Fiesta. We’re not sure when the Capital Boulevard location will be opening, but late summer/early fall is probably a safe bet.

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Development Beat: North Shore Ready For Residents, Union Station Progress

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Week of March 26, 2018

North Shore townhomes now available on Centennial

Slingshot Coffee relocating to South Bloodworth

Union Station progress

Seoul 116 Coming to West Street

lou lou boutique opens at North Hills

Slim’s to upgrade fencing

Mellow Mushroom coming to Brier Creek


North Shore Ready For Move In

Work has finished on another building at North Shore, a new residential townhome community on Centennial Campus that we wrote about last April. The project, developed by White Oak Properties and being sold by The Glenwood Agency, is located next to Lake Raleigh and is near the Lonnie Poole Golf Course and Hunt Library.

Centennial Campus has come a long way in the last 20+ years and it’s nice to see high quality residential development added to the mix of commercial tenants and hotels in the area. North Shore offers several different floor plans, ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet.

The new units range from 2 to 3 bedrooms with 2.5 to 3 full baths, large screened in-porches, and a one car garage with a one car parking pad. Master bedrooms have a large walk in closet, en suite bath with dual vanity and tiled shower, and kitchens come with quartz countertops, hardwoods, and stainless appliances. There’s also a new swimming pool on the property, which we assume offers better pH levels than nearby Lake Raleigh.

With all the existing amenities, the location close to downtown Raleigh, the State Farmers Market, Dix Park, and direct greenway access, we can’t imagine these stay on the market that long.


Slingin’ Coffee

Work is now underway on a brand new manufacturing facility for the popular Raleigh based company Slingshot Coffee, which specializes in cold brewed coffees. Slingshot currently operates out of a 5,00 square-foot space on Brookside Drive. Its new facility is a 12,555 square-foot warehouse at 1415 S Bloodworth Street. The $304,832 addition/renovation project is being handled by Ellington Contractors.

Slingshot recently reached a deal with Publix to offer their wares in 300 of its stores. The cold brewed coffee can currently be found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target. We imagine their new facility will go a long way to making sure it’ll never go out of stock.

State of the Union Station

Raleigh’s hottest train station will be unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 30th at 9:30 am. The Hogwarts Express is expected to tear through the oversized ribbon while traveling approximately 150 miles per hour to officially open Union Station in downtown Raleigh. Rail service should begin some time in May.

Here are a few updates from our friends at York Properties. Approximately 13,000 square feet of office and retail space is available for lease, including two ground floor/plaza level retail suites at 1,732 and 2,115 sf., a second floor mezzanine office suite available at 6,262 sf., and a third floor retail suite overlooking parking and Martin Street at 2,700 sf. Contact John Koonce at York for more information, and tell him we sent you. We’re trying to win free train passes for life. We’ve also included photos from Ashton Smith, Raleigh’s top tour taker and author of Raleigh, over-easy, the best newsletter in circulation.


West Street Seoul

City Market Sushi will soon open a sister restaurant, Seoul 116, on North West Street near Clouds Brewing. The new Korean restaurant will operate out of the former home of More. Kitchen & Bar (previously home to Blue Martini, RIP) at 116 N. West Street.

Permits were issued for the $252,037 alteration of the 3,717 square-foot space last week. Brookwood Builders, a local company that was also behind the International Breakfast & Burgers spot at 222 Glenwood and Bolt Bistro & Bar on Fayetteville Street, is doing the work.


lou lou For You You

lou lou boutiques, a store that apparently loathes capital letters, celebrated the grand opening of its first Raleigh location at 4120 Main at North Hills. lou lou, not to be confused with lululemon, offers “quality, affordable women’s fashion accessories, jewelry, scarves, bags, & more.” A grand opening celebration held on March 23 offered free gifts to the first 50 customers, which was a let down to their 51st customer, Bonner Gaylord.

Black Fences Can Be Very Slim’ing

The back patio at Slim’s on Wilmington Street will soon get an aesthetic upgrade in the name of public safety, as the owners plan to replace the existing chain-link fence with a new, 8′ tall wrought-iron fence. The new fence will be about three feet taller than the one currently in place, a measure that will “prevent injuries to trespassers attempting to climb over a fence of less height.”

Mellow Out in Brier Creek

A new Mellow Mushroom is one step closer to sprouting, as final sitework permits were issued recently to Bailey, NC-based IB General Contractors. The restaurant will be located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway, currently an empty lot. As we noted when we first reported on this, Mellow Mushroom’s locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all feel like a natural part of their environment; unique and identifiable as the design is, each restaurant gives off a sense of belonging. We’re curious to see whether that effect can be replicated in a soulless place like Brier Creek, especially on a parcel surrounded by a lot of vacant land, but in the end, all that really matters is that they continue serving up their most excellent pizza. We imagine it could be open by this fall, but no opening date has been announced yet.

Making Animé Real

A unique new shop offering animé, manga, figures and merch, along with live screenings and a virtual reality experience, has opened in the Oak Park Shopping Center off Glenwood Avenue. Animé Paradaisu is located at 5208 Hollyridge Drive in the former home of the Oak Park Tea Room.

Although traditional comic-book stores have suffered in recent years, Paradaisu’s neighbor, Capitol Comics II, has so far remained successful, and I imagine Paradaisu’s unique concept and niche appeal will help it stand out.

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Development Beat: Peace Out, Seaboard Station For Sale

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Week of March 19, 2018

Seaboard Station For Sale

Olde Towne to be developed again

Update on Capital Boulevard’s new park

Raleigh Rite Aids rebranding as Walgreens

Work begins on Publix at new Leesville Marketplace


Peace Out, Seaboard Station For Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Everything Olde Is New Again

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

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

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


Capital Idea for a Park

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

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

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

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


Rite Aid Rides Off Into The Sunset

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

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

Publix Coming to Leesville Marketplace

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

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

Development Beat: Hayes Barton Baptist Schism And Our Solutions

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Week of March 12, 2018

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

Moore Square seeking contractor

House of Swank finds a new home

Gusto Farm to Street begins work on first Raleigh location

1965 State Capital Plan Envisioned a Different Future for Raleigh

“Mystery Room” coming to Triangle Town Center


Church Wants To Pave Paradise, Put Up A Parking Lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Helps eliminate longstanding parking issue – adds 78 spaces.

-Costs less than half of the parking deck option.

-Retains real property for expansion and other uses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And on the Whitaker Mill side of HBBC.

And behind HBBC.

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

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

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


Moore Square Seeking Contractor

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

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

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


A House of Swank Makes A Home

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

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

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


Gusto Farm to Street Coming to Wake Forest Road, JITB

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

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

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


Blast From the Past

Courtesy of Oak City CRE

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

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

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

Magical Mystery Mall

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

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

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

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

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Week of March 5, 2018

Orvis under construction at Ridgewood

Where’s Wahlburgers?

Raleigh Little Theatre reopens Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre

City Council set to approve sale of downtown parcels

Demolition begins for Marbles expansion

Late night at downtown Chick-fil-A

Father & Son opens in new location


Work Begins on Orvis Coming to Former Tripps Location

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

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

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


Where’s Wahlburgers?

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

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

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

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

The original announcement of the restaurant was met with backlash from those who don’t want downtown Raleigh to become overrun with chains. One of the more vocal opponents was Zack Medford, first of his name, King of Coglin’s and Isaac Hunter’s, owner of bars, breaker of chains, and dipper of chopsticks in wax. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.


Raleigh Little Theatre Renovated

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

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

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


From City Parking Lot to 7-Story Mixed-Use

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

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

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


Losing Their Marbles

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

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

In September 2017, we reported that the museum had acquired an adjacent parcel of land at 207 E. Hargett Street. The two-story, 15,658 sq ft building was built in 1950 and previously owned by the Longleaf School of the Arts. Marbles purchased the building from MDO Holdings for $3.1 million. Marbles will begin expanding into the space in 2020.

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

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

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

Father & Son Move In Together

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

When Father & Son announced it would be leaving its longtime location last year, it was believed that the store would have to relocate out of Raleigh altogether. In October, the owners announced they had found a new location on nearby South West Street.

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Development Beat: More Townhomes For St. Mary’s

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Week of February 26, 2018

More townhomes planned for St. Mary’s Street

One Glenwood Developer acquires nearby land

North Ridge Country Club adding Golf Swing Building

Rebus Works to add convenience store and coffee shop

Calavera closed

More Apartments coming to Crabtree


More Townhomes Coming to St. Mary’s

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

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

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

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

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

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


One Glenwood Developer Buys Surrounding Land

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

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

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

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


A Swinging Good Time

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

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

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


Rebus Works Wrestles Retail

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

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

Calavera Closes

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

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

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

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

Triple H and his business partners.


Developer Finds Way to Build Even More Apartments Near Crabtree Mall

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

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

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

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

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Week of February 19, 2018

Permits issued for Peace (Smokey Hollow) development

The Creamery building sold

Raleigh is planning a new civic campus

Regal North Hills is getting new seating

Work begins on Raleigh’s newest fire station


Work Begins on Peace

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

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

According to the permits, the phases are as follows:

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

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

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

The project is expected to be completed by 2020.


Creamery Building Sold

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

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


Raleigh Planning to Centralize City Government Buildings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sitting in Style at Regal North Hills 14

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


February’s Hottest Permits

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

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

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

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Week of February 12, 2018

Castle Video building under contract

Construction progress at Alamo Drafthouse, Downtown YMCA

Seaboard Wine adds ITBlessed glasses

Moore Square Parking Deck set for million dollar renovation

Developers of The Willard release renderings

City to unveil plans for new Civic Campus


The Last Castle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Alamo Drafthouse Progress

Image: Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

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

Image: Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

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


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Progress on Poyner YMCA in Downtown Raleigh

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

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

Seaboard Wine Adds ITBlessed Wine Glass Section

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

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

More Renovations for Moore Square

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

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

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

New Renderings Unveiled for The Willard

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

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

What Will Raleigh’s New Government Campus Look Like?

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

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

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

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

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Week of February 5, 2018

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

Smashed Waffles opens on Hillsborough Street

Design contract to be awarded for Pullen Aquatic Center

Poke-ing around on Hillsborough Street

City to acquire land for Southern Gateway Corridor

Work begins on bartaco in North Hills

Light of the World Church adds rooftop solar


Taylor’s Capital Service Closes, What Next?

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

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

ITBest of the Week February 5

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

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

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


Get Smashed on Hillsborough Street

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

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

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


CANNONBALL: Pullen Aquatic Center To Be Renovated

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

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

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


Poke Bar Opens on Hillsborough Street

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

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

bartaco Coming Soon to North Hills

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

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

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

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

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

Let There Be Light

Image: Carl Sigel

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

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

Development Beat: Carmichael Gym Demolition, Restaurant Openings

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Week of January 29, 2018

NC State’s Carmichael Gym to be demolished and upgraded

Work begins on new hotel on West Morgan

Downtown’s latest pizza joint opens

Michael’s English Muffins opens first retail location

O-Ku Sushi coming to The Dillon

LoveSac store coming to Crabtree Mall

South Moon Under coming soon to North Hills


Carmichael Gym Looks to Improve Its Physique

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

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

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


New Hotel’s Origin Story

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


Cowabunga Dudes, It’s Pizza Time(s)

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

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

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


The English (Muffins) Are Coming

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

When we first reported on the store back in November, the shop’s owner, Michael Annabelle Comisar, told us she hadn’t even been looking to open a retail location, and was instead looking for a space to grow their production. We’re glad it didn’t work out that way, and can’t wait for a chance to stop by and try an English muffin slathered in peanut butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon — Comisar’s personal favorite.

LoveSac, Baby LoveSac

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ITBest of the Week January 26

South Moon Under, It’s a Natural Wonder

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

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

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

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Development Beat: Taco Bell With a Bar Coming to Hillsborough Street

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Week of January 22, 2018

Taco Bell Cantina coming to Hillsborough Street

City of Oaks looks to plant more trees

Raleigh selected as finalist for Amazon HQ2

Sushi Nine reopens on Western Boulevard

Allen Edmonds coming to Crabtree Valley Mall

Strickland Road Harris Teeter set for upgrades

Moonwalk Mini Golf opens at Galaxy Fun Park

Taco Bell Cantina Coming to Hillsborough Street

A new kind of Taco Bell is coming to Hillsborough Street. Taco Bell Cantina, the so-called upscale version of the ubiquitous chain is set to open later this year on the ground floor of the 2304 Hillsborough apartments. The first cantina location opened to great fanfare in Chicago in September 2015. It has since been announced that the chain would be opening 300-350 cantinas across the U.S. by 2022.

These versions of Taco Bell differ from the traditional locations in two ways: no drive-thru, and a menu that includes Sangria, wine, and draft beers. The hours, like the menus, seem to vary by location: while many of the cantina locations remain open to 2 a.m. or later, they stop serving booze at midnight.

It’ll probably be a few months before Raleighites are able to order booze-infused Mountain Dew Twisted Freezes, as permits for the fit-out of the new space were only issued last week.

ITBest of the Week January 19


Oak City Arbory: 100 Trees Coming to Downtown Raleigh

The City of Oaks is about to get a little bit greener. Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is soliciting proposals for the installation of 100 trees on city-owned right-of-ways in the downtown area, a project they hope to complete by the end of March.

Locations for the new and replacement trees are spread out across the entire downtown area. Some of the more notable spots include the Museum of History, Fred Fletcher Park, Nash Square, and the Red Hat Amphitheater.

Per the RFP, planting trees is a much more complicated process requiring more specialized expertise than we would have imagined. The trees themselves are supposed to be sized between 1.5 and 4 inches in diameter, and include a diverse variety of species such as black gum, cherry, crepe myrtle, dogwood, elm, ginkgo, hornbeam, etc. Surprisingly, only nine of the 100 trees to be planted will be oaks.


Sushi Nine Reopens

It’s been two years since Sushi Nine on Western Boulevard burned down. As of this month, they are now open for business.

The restaurant, which reopened in early January, is offering customers the same menu in a new, larger space built on the ashes of its former location, which previously housed Ten Ten Chinese Buffet and Golden Corral before that. The old 6,400 square-foot building was torn down in February 2016, and the groundbreaking on the new 6,800 square foot space was held in early 2017. Thanks to our friends at New City Design for bringing Sushi Nine back.


Raleigh is a finalist for Amazon’s HQ2, Charlotte is not

Amazon announced last week that Raleigh had been selected as one of twenty finalists for HQ2, the company’s second headquarters. Charlotte, who also had submitted a proposal, did not make the list. Upon hearing the news, Durham’s Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham reached out to Amazon for clarification on why Durham wasn’t mentioned on the list. We are not making this up. Amazon replied and confirmed that they were referring to the entire Triangle region, not just Raleigh.

The HQ2 facility is supposed to bring 50,000 new high-paying jobs to the area. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon, but Raleigh is already growing at what seems to be an unsustainable rate as it is. There are obvious pros and cons to HQ2 coming to the area.

Short and long term economic impact
More ITB Insider readers
Robots, probably

Increased traffic
Higher cost-of-living
Tons of tech bros

There was a great piece on Business Insider last week addressing some of the negative impacts Amazon’s original headquarters has had on the City of Seattle. On the other hand, local developer John Kane has an interesting write-up over on WRAL’s Tech Wire about how well-suited Raleigh is for the new Amazon headquarters.

Amazon said they’ll make their decision “sometime this year” so be sure to circle that on your calendars.


Allen Edmonds Coming to Crabtree

Allen Edmonds, a high-end shoe and men’s accessory retailer, will soon be hocking its wares from Raleigh’s own Crabtree Valley Mall. Permits were issued last week for the $72,000 upfit of a 1,404 square foot space on the second floor of the mall that once housed Lacoste.

In addition to its signature handcrafted luxury shoes — so luxurious that a “shoe care plan” is advertised as a way of “protecting your investment” — the store also offers belts, shirts, scarves, and other such fashion accessories.

Harris Teeter to Receive A Near $1 Million Face-lift

The Harris Teeter at the Leesville Shopping Center on Strickland Road is about to undergo an expansive renovation. Nearly $1 million worth of permits were issued last week for “interior alterations and repairs” at the 20,000 square-foot store.

Just a few miles from the recently opened Brier Creek Harris Teeter, this location was originally built in 2000. While a million dollars ($981,415 to be precise) worth of repairs might seem significant, we imagine the store’s size, combined with the need for a variety of different types of repairs and improvements helped bump the cost up significantly.

Black light Mini-Golf Course Is “Out of This World”

In October, we reported that permits had been issued for a brand-new mini-golf course at the Galaxy Fun Park on Falls of Neuse Road. Now, just three months later, Moonwalk Mini Golf is open for business.

The space-themed indoor course features black light art created exclusively for Galaxy and 18 holes of “out of this world” fun. This course is, to our knowledge, the first and only indoor miniature golf option in Raleigh. That may not a big deal to some, but outdoor courses are seasonal and limited by the whims of Bonner Gaylord’s weather dome, and sometimes you just need to get your mini-golf game on.

Development Beat: New Outdoor Dining Planned For City Market

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Week of January 15, 2018

City Market wants to add dining in a parking lot

New boutique coming to North Hills

Growler USA to open in downtown Raleigh

Father & Son Antiques set to close for planned relocation

Triangle Racquet Sports plans Racquet Sports & Health Center

Office building planned for Crabtree

City Market Wants to Add Parking Lot Dining

A new outdoor dining option could soon come to downtown Raleigh — and this time, it won’t be at the expense of the city’s sidewalks. The owners of City Market, a collection of shops and restaurants that sits adjacent to Moore Square, have filed a case with Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission that would allow them to transform an old parking lot into a new space that would include both parking and outdoor dining.

According to the application, the 6,100 square foot parking lot in question is located at the intersection of South Blount and Wolfe Streets — it’s the one that backs up to Big Ed’s. The asphalt lot is set to be removed and replaced by two different surfaces: “decomposed granite on the east of the site and new asphalt on the west.”

This renovation has been given the name of “The Backyard,” by the owners, with the goal of enhancing “the functionality and aesthetics of the space to create an engaging pedestrian experience and outdoor dining experience” for patrons of City Market.

The application also contains more information on decomposed granite material than you could ever possibly want. For example, they’ll be using Chapel Hill Gravel, a “beige material with a muted clay tone,” that has been approved for use in other historic districts, but not yet Moore Square.

The case won’t be heard until later this month, and even if it’s approved, we can’t imagine work starting on it any sooner than this summer.


lou lou Boutique Coming to North Hills

lou lou Boutique, a women’s fashion accessories store that’s not to be confused with lululemon, will soon make it’s way to North Hills. Permits were filed last week for the interior completion of a space at 4120 Main at North Hills. The store will offer “quality, affordable women’s fashion accessories, jewelry, scarves, bags, & more!” The $89,750 renovation of the 1,829 square-foot space is being handled by Davidson & Jones Construction.


Blount Street Beers

Growler USA, the microbrewery pub and restaurant chain whose plans to open in downtown Raleigh we first reported on in May of last year, is set to open later this month in its spot at the Blount Street Parking Deck.

The street level space is located in the city-owned parking deck at 314 South Blount Street across from City Market. Growler currently has 17 locations across the country. While the locations boast slightly different beer and menu offerings, they claim to offer up to 100 varieties of beer on tap. As the name implies, many of these beverages can taken home in a growler.

The Raleigh location will also offer patio dining, but if the weather stays the way it is, we don’t imagine anyone will be sitting out there during the grand opening.


Father & Son Preparing For Move

Father & Son, downtown Raleigh’s beloved vintage thrift store, will close this Saturday, January 20th, as it prepares to relocate from its longtime home on Hargett Street to a new space at 302 South West Street.

When it was announced in 2016 that the 3-story building at 107 West Hargett would be turned into a new five-story development featuring retail and office space, it was believed that Father & Son would need to relocate to a new space outside of downtown Raleigh, a tragic blow to the store’s fans.

Fortunately, the owners announced this past October that they had reached an agreement for the space on South West Street. An opening date has not been set for the new location due to construction in the area.


48-Acre Property Set to Become 50+ Court Racquet Facility

Triangle Racquet Sports plans to develop a $25 million, 50+ court Raleigh Racquet Sports and Health Center. The center would be located on a city-owned 48.63 acre parcel at 6205 Mt. Herman Road in northwest Raleigh. The facility would be open to the general public, offering a 16-court “Family Zone” where anyone can play free of charge. The additional courts would be available only to members and those who pay to reserve them in advance.

Triangle Racquet Sports is seeking to partner with the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department on the project. Although the entire cost of building the facility will be covered by Triangle Racquet Sports, the City will get 50 percent of the court reservation fees and 20 percent of any third-party leasing fees. Triangle Racquet Sports is requesting a one dollar per annum 50-year lease for the property. The facility is modeled after the USTA National Training Facility in Florida, a massive development featuring more than 100 courts.

The project will also include construction of a public park with amenities such as playground, walking trails, community picnic shelter, and public restrooms. The project needs approval from City Council. In a memo, City staffers expressed support of the project, noting that there was a “considerable public benefit,” a need for additional public tennis facilities, and a potential $3.5 million economic impact to the community.

Development Announced Near Crabtree

A two-and-a-half acre parcel of land on Creedmoor Road near its intersection with Glenwood Avenue was sold at the end of last month to a subsidiary of East West Partners for $7 million. The land is currently home to a three-story, 31,000 square-foot “solar glass” exterior building constructed in 1972.

East West Partners plans to tear down the building within a few months and replace it with a Class A office building. The 175,000 square foot building will be called Crabtree Terrace and will include a parking deck and retail space. Construction on the new building is expected to begin this summer.

Development Beat: A Place At The Table and Other Restaurant Openings

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Week of January 8, 2018

A Place at the Table opens

Brookside Pizza opens

Pooleside Pie practice

Work begins on the News & Observer’s new offices

The Willard on Glenwood South

Manhattan Pizzeria coming to Falls Pointe

Renovations to North Carolina Railroad Company offices

Finding A Place at the Table

After years of planning, Raleigh’s most charitable restaurant has finally opened its doors. A Place at the Table is now serving breakfast and lunch from its brand new space at 300 West Hargett.

Monday was the first official day of business for the pay-what-you-can eatery, and if the lunch crowds we witnessed are any indication, the restaurant should be able to provide low and no-cost dining options to Raleigh residents for years to come.

The set up isn’t too different than the space’s previous tenant, Cafe de los Muertos. You order at the counter, choose a seat at the bar or at a table upstairs or downstairs, and your meal is brought out to you. I enjoyed a late breakfast of mouth-watering waffles and bacon, while my dining companion, none other than William N. Finley IV himself, had a panini.

How the pay-what-you-can concept works: you can choose to pay the “suggested” menu price, set your own price, pay for your meal and someone else’s, or eat for free in exchange for some volunteer labor. Any gratuity added counts as a donation rather than a tip. Nearly every employee there was actually a volunteer, as A Place at the Table only has five paid employees.

I went in prepared to love this place, mostly because I think the concept is fantastic, but I had no idea how a restaurant staffed almost entirely by volunteers would operate. It operated just fine, and then some. In addition to the volunteers, A Place at the Table received support from partners including: York Properties, Plan A Architecture, Kevin Israel, Venture Law, Riley-Lewis General Contractors, Bagchi Law, bu•ku, so•ca, and more.


Brookside Pizza is Open

The long-awaited upgrades to Brookside Market are starting to take shape. The shopping center, located at the corner of Brookside Drive and Glascock Street, saw the opening of Brookside Market & Pizza last week, bringing the number of pizza restaurants in the downtown and nearby areas to…..we’ve lost count by this point. Fortunately, you can never have enough pizza.

We haven’t had time to try it out, so we checked out their Yelp review and came across some major drama. An Elite Yelper had given the restaurant a 3 star review back in December. That caused another Yelper to call her out for abusing her Elite Yelper status. The Elite Yelper went back and updated the review, which you can read below if you have nothing better to do. What a time to be alive.
Read Cassie B.‘s review of Brookside Market & Pizza on Yelp

Pooleside Pie Pizza Practice

Speaking of pizza, acclaimed chef Ashley Christensen has been working on some pizza recipes of her own. Her new pizza restaurant, Pooleside Pie, is expected to open in 2018.


Renovations Underway on N&O’s New Offices

Permits have been issued for the future home of the N&O’s offices, which will be on the 14th floor of One City Plaza on Fayetteville Street. The roughly $1.6 million alteration of the 20,583 square-foot space is being handled by Inner-Tech. We hope the renovations end up nicer than their holiday party, which looked like a scene from the Saw movies.

No word on whether construction will be held up due to constant Kroger pop-up ads. The good news is they’ll be located right next door to our favorite lawyer, Stacy Miller.


A Peek at The Willard’s Paperwork

The developers of Glenwood South’s new seven-story hotel/condo combo known as The Willard appeared before the Board of Adjustment to receive the necessary approvals to move forward with the project.

Despite being mind-numbingly boring, the paperwork gave us a glimpse at the plan review process. For starters, there’s a minimum of eight(!) City staffers working on this project, each analyzing a different trade aspect of the job, from stormwater and fire protection requirements to urban forestry and transportation impacts. Take a look at the list of questions the City has for just one of those eight trades.

We’ll keep you updated as the project progresses.


Made in Manhattan

A new pizza joint will be opening soon at the Falls Pointe shopping center at 9660 Falls of Neuse Road, as permits have been issued last week for the fit-out of Manhattan Pizza. The restaurant will open in the space once occupied by Greek Fiesta, following $232,034 worth of renovations.

Railroad Tycoons Redecorate Lavish Offices

When we learned that the North Carolina Railroad Corporation had offices in Raleigh, we imagined their offices would be a spectacle of mid 19th-century Biltmore extravagance: Persian rugs, leather sofas, fine wood-paneled walls, rich mahogany desks.

It turns out, this isn’t the 1850s, and the corporation isn’t staffed by robber barons. NCRC is actually housed in a 1,413 square-foot space in a 1980s-era brick office building on Highwoods Boulevard. The amenities apparently include a kitchenette and an outdoor picnic area; no mention of a billiards room or even a bowling alley. The $95,870 renovation will be handled by Spec Con Inc.

Development Beat: Wiley Set For Upgrades, Bagels Coming to Glenwood, Pizza to DTR

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Week of January 1, 2018

Expansion and renovation planned for Wiley Elementary

Glenwood South to get a taste of NY

Hatem’s Empire Eats to open pizza joint later this month

New details emerge on new Downtown Hotel

Dogwood Bar & Eatery opens on Glenwood South

Closets by Design to be manufactured on Atlantic

Demolition of Cargill Plant and Dob’s Restaurant

Expanding Raleigh’s “Most Architecturally Outstanding Elementary School”

In 1923 the City of Raleigh hired Atlanta architect C. Gadsen Sayre to design four modern school buildings, including a new location for the Wiley School, then located at the intersection of Morgan and West streets.

According to County records, the new 16-classroom building at 306 St. Mary’s was built for a cost of $264,225 and first opened in September 1924. Named for Dr. Albert W. Wily, a villainous robotics engineer and scientist from an alternate Earth in the year 20XX, Calvin H. Wiley, the first superintendent of public instruction in North Carolina, it has been referred to as “Raleigh’s most architecturally outstanding elementary school.”

The original structure was last renovated in 2004, and now plans are underway to once again renovate and expand this historic school. Site plans filed last month indicate that a new two-story, 43,368 square-foot building will be built on the campus next to the original 1923 structure facing St. Mary’s Street. The new building will sit on the southern side of the original closer to College Place.

The plans aren’t exactly packed with details; aside from the building’s size and layout, it contains this one nugget of relevant information: “restoration of existing buildings, new building additions, some site modifications, new storm drainage, no change in use or occupancy.”


NY Bagels Coming to Glenwood South

Bagels are finally on their way back to Glenwood South. Permits were issued last week for the fit-out of an 815 square-foot space at Suite 180 in Glenwood Place at 301 Glenwood Avenue, which is also home of the well-known Sushi Blues Cafe.

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

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



Cowabunga, It’s Pizza Time

Love em’ or Hatem, Empire Eats provides downtown Raleigh diners with a wide range of dining options; from barbecue to burgers to Italian and Lebanese. Within the next few weeks, Empire plans to add another category to that ever-growing list: pizza.

Named the Pizza Times and located at 210 South Wilmington Street, the new spot will offer counter-service slices and pies to go, catering to “lunch and late night” crowds.

Interestingly enough, we weren’t able to find any permits issued for work at the space, although we imagine any renovations to the space were handled by Empire’s in-house contracting firm, Empire Eats Construction.


Marriott To Add a New Element to Downtown Raleigh

New details have emerged on the plans for a new hotel at 603 S. Wilmington street, a site that made the news a few years back when the City approved a rezoning request that allowed for the construction of a building up to 12 stories tall.

It looks like the new hotel, owned by Narsi Properties, will operate under Marriott’s Element brand. It will be one of two Element hotels to open in the area; another near RDU is set to open this summer on Airport Boulevard. Like the recently-opened Residence Inn on Salisbury Street, Element-brand hotels are designed for “longer-stay travelers.”


Dog Days of Winter

The newest offering from Bunch of Fives hospitality company, the Dogwood Bar & Eatery, held its Phase One grand opening last week, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

Bunch of Fives is the group behind Southern Charred, Mofu Shoppe, Anchor Bar, and Milk Bar. Dogwood features “local craft beer, craft cocktails and a great location to hang out with friends.” According to Dogwood’s website, the new bar will set itself apart with “the cocktails & rosé on draft and shareable plates such as charcuterie boards and flatbreads!”

Phase One of the Dogwood entailed the indoor/outdoor bars, a “grand wraparound heated porch” and “chic lounge furniture and décor that emphasizes retro midcentury designs.”

The owners are playing coy with what’s in store for phase two, saying that it will “bring a huge addition to Raleigh that’s sure to excite” but it sounds like it will involve dogs in some way, and open later this year.

Note: in a somewhat interesting coincidence, dogwoods were some of the first trees planted at the site of the then-new Wiley School when it opened in 1924 on St. Mary’s a block over.

Building Closets on Atlantic

Closets by Design, the franchised closet-builder with locations around the country, filed documents last month outlining plans for a “light manufacturing” facility on a vacant lot at 4500 Atlantic Avenue in North Raleigh.

The new facility will be housed in a one-story, 24,450 square-foot building that will sit on a 4.25 acre lot.

Although we initially imagined this project as some sort of manufacturing facility for custom-building a lot of the closets’ components; after all, do you really want a guy literally building a set of drawers from scratch in your master bedroom? But it turns out this is a store/warehouse facility, which would make it the second Closets By Design store in Raleigh. The chain also has locations in Durham, Cary, and a number of North Carolina Cities.

Double Dose of Demolition

A restaurant turned ministry and a one-time soybean processing plant in Southeast Raleigh will soon be reduced to rubble. DH Griffin will be handling the larger of the two jobs, the teardown of the former Cargill Plant at 1400 S. Blount Street. The 11,920 square foot plant, which went “idle” in early 2014, is not the only building on the large 10-acre property; there are a number of still-active grain elevators, and several warehouse and administrative buildings which are not included on the demolition permits.

Cargill announced in January 2014 the plant would be closing down, resulting in the loss of between 20-25 jobs; at the time. Cargill employed a total of 47 people in Raleigh. According to county records, the processing plant was originally built in 1914. Per Hill’s Raleigh City Directory we believe the space was originally home to The Buckeye Cotton Oil Company; we even found an old photo of the plant on the State Archive’s Flickr account.

Image courtesy State Archives of NC. Copyrighted by the News and Observer.

Sitting in front of the massive Cargill along South Wilmington Street is the former home of Dob’s Restaurant, which was originally paired with what was known then as Dob’s Motel.

Over the years, the motel switched its name to King’s, and the restaurant was turned into a space for the True Holiness End Time Ministries. While the Biblical end times have not arrived just yet, it does look like it’s the end of the road for True Holiness’ one-time home in front of Cargill’s grain elevators.

County records indicate it was built in 1957; a Hill’s guide from a few years later listed it as Dob’s. We’re not sure when the motel became King’s or when the restaurant turned into a ministry, although both properties have been owned by the Chetna Company since 2012.

Mike Legeros got some great aerial footage and pictures of the demolition.


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