by William Needham Finley IV™

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Development Beat: Most Expensive ZIP Codes for Raleigh Renters, RLT Renovations

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Week of July 17, 2017

Most Expensive ZIP codes for Raleigh Renters

Raleigh Little Theatre Renovations

Glenwood Avenue’s “Palm Reader” House to be Torn Down

Two Roosters Ice Cream Opens

Chopt Plans Second Raleigh Location

Historic Teacherage Saved From Demolition

The Five Priciest ZIP Codes for Raleigh Renters

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure how expensive it is to rent in Raleigh? Fortunately, our friends over at RentCafe put together a list that breaks down the priciest ZIP codes for renting an apartment in North Carolina. Keep in mind, the average cost of an apartment in the U.S. is $1,300/month, and the average cost in North Carolina is $1,015. Sure, Charlotte has the top 3 ZIP codes on the list, but Finley says that just means their residents can’t afford to buy homes, which increases demand for apartments and thus increases the price of rent. Raleigh shows up four times in the top ten. Here are the top 5.

1.) 27605: $1,380/month: Home to everything from Broughton High School to half of Cameron Village, it should come as no surprise that this central part of the city is also the most expensive place to rent an apartment.

2.) 27603: $1,336/month: Encompassing a large chunk of south Raleigh, the second most expensive ZIP is mostly located outside the beltline. Although, it does creep up into downtown Raleigh.

3.) 27607 $1,311/month: Existing both inside and outside the beltline, this Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP is an acronym!) houses everything from the PNC Arena and the North Carolina Museum of Art to the NC State section of Hillsborough Street. We imagine the plethora of student housing helps keep the average rent a bit lower in this zone.

4.) 27601 $1,292/month: *The* core of downtown Raleigh, 27601 appears on the return addresses of everything from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. This was probably the most surprising of all: we assumed core downtown would command the highest average rents. We think the rates were lower due to people not paying rent as a form of protesting DrunkTown, which brought down the average.

5.) 27614 $1,109/month: Located in southern Virginia, this zone is filled with neighborhoods named Swans Mill, Alpine Forest, and Meadow Branch, which could easily be mistaken for Yankee Candle scents. We assume it made the list just based on the sheer number of apartments that exist out there.

Raleigh Little Theatre Renovations

Raleigh Little Theatre (RLT) is one of the oldest continuously running community theatres in the nation. Located near the lovely Raleigh Rose Garden, the facility could use a little work. After raising over $740,000 through a major gifts initiative, RLT can move forward with renovations to the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre. According to their plans, “Proposed renovations include an updated entry, accessible bathrooms, a box office and concession console, new finishes, signage to increase visibility, and a more open gathering area connected to the garden balcony via an operable glass wall. The results will be a clearer arrival sequence, box office and concession areas that are more visible, bathrooms that accommodate people of all abilities, and a gathering area that spills directly onto the garden balcony.”

Looking through lobby to the Rose Garden

in situ studio, a design-based practice in Raleigh that specializes in modern, sustainable architecture (as well as having an all lower case name which means they’re clearly more creative than you are), will handle the renovations.

Looking inside from the balcony

39 individual and eight institutions supported the project financially, along with the City of Raleigh, who made the largest contribution ($275,000) through its Capital Improvement Plan. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 7th. First Lady Kristin Cooper, Dickie Thompson of the Raleigh City Council, and a member of the theatre’s namesake family will speak at the ceremony. We’re hearing Bonner Gaylord and Stacy Miller may perform a few scenes from Hamilton, but that’s unconfirmed.

Two Roosters Opens

Two Roosters Ice Cream was so excited about their grand opening at Greystone Village in North Raleigh that they used six Instagram pictures to make the announcement. Six! Coincidentally, their grand opening was held on National Ice Cream Day. If you’re curious: July is officially National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday is National Ice Cream Day: as per a joint resolution signed into law by President Reagan in 1984.

New Office Building Planned for Glenwood Avenue

Glenwood Avenue’s infamous “palm reader” house is about to have its Life Line cut short. But did Raleigh’s “Best Psychic” Sister Sandra, who for years offered a range of spiritual services out of the building, see this coming?

All signs point to yes. After conducting a reading of the property’s Fate Line last year, Psychic Sandra must have decided it was time to sell the land to local real estate attorney Jeremiah Jackson. Originally built in 1957, the single-story, 1,745 square-foot house is the last remaining single family residential property facing Glenwood on that side of the street between Oberlin and the Beltline.

The plan is to transform the .63 acre lot into “low intensity office use” in the form of a two-story, 10,353 square-foot office building. Although the rezoning request was approved last year, development is still in the site plan review stage, which means it might be a little while before we say goodbye forever to the Palm Reader House. And if you’re curious: Sandra the Tarot Card Reader has relocated to a space further north on Glenwood that borders on Umstead National Park.


The only Chopt that matters.

Chopt, a salad-based chain restaurant whose name reminds us more of a reality cooking show than someplace whose only offering is “the food that my food eats,” will soon open a second Raleigh location at the North Ridge Shopping Center on Falls of Neuse.

We’re not sure what this says about Raleigh as a city, but the Cameron Village location operates out of what used to be a portion of the Village Draft House, while the new store will apparently be housed in the former home of Tribeca Tavern. Are salads more popular than beer? In Drunktown??

Historic Teacherage Saved From Demolition

Not the set of a horror movie.

The developers of the new Leesville Road Market Place in North Raleigh saw their dreams crushed by Raleigh’s Board of Adjustment last week, when a proposal to tear down an on-site teacherage structure failed to garner enough votes for approval.

Never heard of a teacherage? Prepare to get schooled. A teacherage is “a building designed to house one or more teachers or administrators on or near school grounds.” Apparently, the first teacherage was constructed in Hall County, Nebraska in 1894 at a cost of $1,000. Before teacherages became all the rage, teachers often found themselves living in the homes of their pupils. Not surprisingly, this arrangement didn’t work out.

Six teacherages were built in Wake County throughout the early 20th century. The Leesville Teacherage is one of only four remaining. Initially built in 1906 as a private residence, we were unable to locate the exact time frame of when this property was owned by Wake County Schools.

When the developer made plans for the new shopping center at the site, one of the conditions was that the teacherage be relocated. Despite “exhaustive efforts” a suitable site for relocation has not been found, and a letter from Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission, which had worked in the past with the owner to preserve the structure, stated that “Although demolition of the building is not the preferred solution, RHDC concurs that reasonable efforts are being made to preserve the Leesville Teacherage and supports a donation to THDC as well as documentation of the structure…should the building be demolished.”

That donation — $75,000 — would have gone toward preserving other historic structures in the community. In spite of all this, the developers will now need to find another way forward. Although the Board of Adjustment technically voted 3-2 in favor of the proposal, four votes were required for approval because tearing down the teacherage would have been considered a variance.

Screened In

Residents of the upscale Van Dyke apartments near Cameron Village will soon be welcoming a new addition: a side porch and an enclosure for an existing porch. The enclosure is apparently being installed as a result of too many residents tripping over an ill-placed ottoman and spilling over the side of the porch. David E. Looper & Company will be overseeing this $169,000 project.

Development Beat: Downtown Hotel Opens, ITB Shopping Center Sold for $10M

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Week of July 10, 2017

New Hotel Opens in Downtown Raleigh

Six Forks Shopping Center Sells for $10 Million

City Unveils Preliminary Bikeshare Location Map

One Glenwood Updates

Developer Pulls Plans for New Hillsborough Street Apartments

Mofu Shoppe Debuts at City Market

Brier Creek Harris Teeter Sets Grand Opening Date

Residence Inn Opens in Downtown Raleigh

The new 10-story Residence Inn at 616 South Salisbury Street, located next to the Raleigh Convention Center and across from the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (Memorial Auditorium), opened last week. The 175-suite hotel will offer a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and one-bedroom corner king suites. Downtown Raleigh’s first new hotel in nearly five years brings with it “10th & Terrace” the “tallest and only full service rooftop bar in Downtown Raleigh.”

In addition to the rooftop bar, the hotel will also host a second-floor breakfast/dinner spot named The Overlook, expected to open to the public in August. Of course, the Residence Inn will also offer the usual host of amenities one would expect to find in any new upscale hotel: Wi-Fi, free hot breakfast, business centers, and a gym. Since Residence Inn, which is owned by Marriott, operates as an extended stay hotel, its suites will also offer kitchenettes.

Construction on the hotel kicked off in late 2015, back when Raleigh was facing a serious shortage of downtown hotels. This looks to be a great addition to the downtown area, with some pretty amazing views from the rooftop bar.


Creekside Crossing Sells for $10 Million

The Creekside Crossing Shopping Center (who knew that’s what it was called?) at the intersection of Six Forks and Wake Forest was sold to Raleigh Creekside Crossing, LLC last week for a cool $10.1 million, per an announcement from the center’s previous owners.

The Continental Realty Corporation acquired the property in 2014 when it was anchored by a Staples, instead of a Planet Fitness. Last week CRC said that the 60,499 shopping center was at full occupancy at the time of sale, a drastic turnaround from the near-30 percent occupancy it was facing with the loss of Staples, which probably explains why CRC was able to sell it for nearly $4 million more than they purchased it for. For more information on the sale and the property, you can check out the sales brochure here.

The center is now co-anchored by Planet Fitness, Tuesday Morning, and Dollar Tree. If you’re wondering why Kroger was absent from this list of anchors, it’s simple: Kroger is considered a “shadow anchor” for Creekside. Aside from being the coolest real estate term I’ve heard all year, a shadow anchor is essentially a nearby business that draws a lot of traffic into a shopping center.

While Creekside Crossing was built in 1999, the Kroger building has been there since 1991, and the two parcels have always had different owners. So basically, the Kroger walks amongst the Creekside Crossing shops, but it is one of them.

While we don’t know much about the LLC that acquired the property, we are excited to see what this investor might have in store for Creekside Crossing’s future. Personally, I’m holding out for the return of Radio Shack.

City of Raleigh Debuts Bikeshare Map

More than three years after completing the master plan process for its new 300-bike, 30-station bike share system, the City of Raleigh has now made available a draft map proposing the future locations of these new stations.

While the map reveals a few “outlier” stations including locations at Meredith College and the North Carolina Museum of Art, the vast majority will be clustered around downtown, including one at the museums, another at Moore Square, a spot at the future Union Station, and, of course, a Dix Park location.

Downtown and nearby downtown locations
Hillsborough Street locations

The system is expected to be fully operational by Spring 2018. If not, we imagine the Mayor will be most displeased at the lack of progress. (That’s a Star Wars joke, people.)

Developers of One Glenwood Unveil Virtual Tour

It’s been five months since demolition work began at the old Blue Tower Restaurant spot at 605 Hillsborough Street to make way for the new One Glenwood project. Last week its owners put out an impressive promotional video offering a digital tour of the planned mixed-use development. Unfortunately, we can’t embed the video, but that’s why screenshots exist.

Developed by Heritage Properties out of Towson, Maryland, the 10-story, 219,500 square foot mixed-use commercial/office building at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Glenwood in downtown Raleigh will include 14,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a 650-space parking deck on a separate site across W. Morgan Street.

Developer Pulls Plug on Hillsborough/Bagwell Project

A new apartment complex that would have been built on the corner of Hillsborough Street and Bagwell Street has been withdrawn. Despite winning approval of both the Planning Commission (a 9-0 recommendation) and the Wade Citizens Advisory Council (who voted 19 in favor, 9 against, 9 on the fence), City Council gave developers two weeks to decide if they could live with a 4 story building on the site. Hoping to build five stories, the developers requested a denial of their case. So instead of a $7M mixed use building, NC State students can continue to enjoy a decommissioned gas station turned auto-repair shop.

Pho Nomenal’s Mofu Shoppe Opens at City Market

photo by

The highly anticipated sit-down restaurant offering from the phenomenally successful owners of the Pho Nomenal Dumpling food truck opened to rave reviews last week, earning an average of five stars on the social networking site Yelp.

The owners, who funded construction of the restaurant with the $50,000 they won on The Great Food Truck Race, are now offering downtown Raleighites a permanent spot to “enjoy the flavors of Asia,” offering dishes that are “inspired by the foods commonly eaten in several Asian countries and represent our identity in a unique way.” Check out more pics from, who attended the sneak peek event.

If A Store Opens In Brier Creek, Does Anyone Care?

The first phase of the new shopping center The Corners at Brier Creek is set to make its debut next week with the grand opening of a brand-new, 67,000 square-foot Harris Teeter. The ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 8 a.m. on July 19, and the store will be offering “weeklong, in-store sampling” in celebration. Crowds are expected to be in the tens of people.

Development Beat: Boutique Hotel Planned for Peace Street

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Week of July 3, 2017

Boutique hotel planned for Peace Street

The Cortez opens on Glenwood South

Bruegger’s closes North Hills location

Empire Properties buys former Occidental Life building

Another Atlantic Tire & Service is coming, courtesy of Rufty-Peedin Design Builders

Chubby’s Tacos expands

Sunnybrook Pointe apartments could be coming soon to East Raleigh

Boutique Hotel Planned for Peace Street

A near-vacant lot on West Peace Street in between McDonald’s and Starbucks (go America!) could soon become home to Glenwood South’s first boutique hotel.

MJM Group, a local developer, filed a request with the City that would upzone the .36 acre parcel from Neighborhood Mixed Use with a three-story cap to Commercial Mixed Use with a five-story cap, paving the way for a “unique, smaller hotel product type as compared to existing full service or limited service hotels.”

County records indicate MJM purchased the land through a subsidiary in November 2016 for $1 million, about $60,000 more than its tax-assessed value. An old sales flier for the property lists a potential building capacity of three stories and 30,000 square feet. Should the rezoning be approved, we imagine that capacity goes up by another 20,000 square feet, but that’s just speculation.

We don’t have much information on what the hotel will look like, or whose brand it will operate under. The rezoning application includes materials that will be allowed for the building’s facade: glass; concrete and/or clay brick masonry, cementitious stucco, cementitious siding including lap and panel products, native and masonry stone, natural wood, precast concrete, and metal panel and/or trim. That really narrows it down.

The site layout also remains a mystery at this point. The application notes that “building and parking placement will be determined at site plan.” MJM Group, specializes in hospitality projects, and has built hotels under the Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels brands.

The Cortez Opens on Glenwood South

Glenwood South’s newest restaurant, The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail, held its grand opening this weekend following nearly six months of renovations at 413 Glenwood Avenue. We first reported on this project back in January, although we were unaware at the time that they would specialize in “fresh, eclectic seafare.” The concept comes from the brothers Ibarra (Hector and Charlie) and their chef, Oscar Diaz from Jose and Sons.

While there’s certainly no shortage of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants scattered throughout Raleigh, we’re pretty sure there’s not many offering “eclectic seafare.” Hopefully this means that Cortez, like the sea from which it draws its offering, will cast its spell on diners and hold them in its net of wonder forever. With apologies to Jacques Cousteau.

Bruegger’s Closes North Hills Location

Bruegger’s Bagels closed the doors at their North Hills location last week, after Kane Realty declined to renew their lease. John Kane of Kane Realty told the Triangle Business Journal they wanted to go in a different direction with the space, and were looking to place a tenant that would operate both day and night. No word on whether Bonner Gaylord’s dream of opening his own surf shop in North Hills will become a reality.

Bruegger’s operates 14 other locations in Raleigh alone, so North Hills customers won’t have to travel too far to find another location. We imagine the folks who left 1-star reviews on TripAdvisor aren’t too upset.

“It’s bagels, for goodness sake” might be a good name for a bagel shop.


Empire Expanding

Greg Hatem’s Empire Properties, which owns large swathes of downtown Raleigh, added another piece to its collection last week when it acquired the former Occidental Life building on Wade Avenue near Cameron Village.

The property, which was once home to the Occidental Life Insurance Company and built in 1956, recently underwent millions in renovations and remains in use as an office building. Empire Properties will handle the leasing while Trademark Properties will continue to manage space in the building.

Raleigh’s Hottest Tire Shop

Atlantic Tire’s other Raleigh location, on Marvino Road

Raleigh’s second location of Atlantic Tire & Service will be built out by none other than Rufty-Peedin Design Builders. After a groundbreaking in May, permits were issued for the project last week. Steven Peedin, co-founder and President of Rufty-Peedin Design builders, said that “Atlantic Tire has been a trusted service business within our community for nearly two decades. Owner Anthony Blackman and his Atlantic Tire team have worked hard to build a thriving business serving our community with integrity and commitment.”

The new facility will feature “eight service bays, the latest in environmentally friendly design as well as comfortable and accessible customer service areas” in a 6,534 square-foot space located at 3001 Wakefield Crossing Drive. Atlantic Tire & Service owner Anthony Blackman said they had chosen to work with Rufty-Peedin for their “experience with complex commercial building projects and ability to manage site engineering, permitting and design, and the construction process.” We couldn’t agree more!

Chubby’s Tacos Expands in Size

The Chubby’s Tacos at the Lake Boone Shopping Center looks poised for a minor expansion, as indicated by permits issued last week to the Culver Building Company.

The $215,605 permit is described as an “interior expansion and alteration.” We’re not sure how much it might be expanding by at this point, or if it’s branching out into an adjacent space. Hopefully the work doesn’t force the restaurant to close for any length of time. While we do think the place is a little small, it’s more than worth it once you taste the food. Plus: you can always sit outside.

It’s Always Sunny in East Raleigh

A plan to develop an eight-building affordable housing apartment complex in east Raleigh off Sunnybrook Road could move one step closer to construction, pending the outcome of a Board of Adjustment case.

The Sunnybrook Pointe Apartments would house 180 units spread across eight, three-story buildings on a roughly 13 acre lot. The units would break down into 66 three-bedroom units, 108 two-bedrooms, and six one-bedrooms.

This new multifamily complex is being developed by Sunnybrook Pointe Partners LP. We couldn’t find much out about the firm, although it appears to be linked to Raleigh developer Mark Tipton. Tipton is also behind the firm Carolina Equities, which received a tax-exempt bond in 2013 to develop the site as Grace’s Landing. At some point, the name — and the architect — changed, but the plan to build affordable housing on the site has remained in place the entire time.

In April 2017, Raleigh’s City Council voted unanimously to approve granting the Sunnybrook developers $2 million from the City’s affordable housing fund. That vote also authorized funding a number of other affordable housing projects, which Councilor Baldwin described as “awesome work” and said was the most progress she’d seen to date on affordable housing.

Development Beat: Hargett Place Brings Rowhomes to Raleigh

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Week of June 26, 2017

An inside look at Hargett Place

Kane begins development of North Hills East II project

Student housing planned for Hillsborough Street’s North Carolina Equipment Co. building (the one with the bulldozetr sign on the roof)

North Face store getting a facelift

Wayback Burgers to open first Raleigh location

Foxwood Luxury apartments coming to Southern Virginia (or North Raleigh)

New Poké restaurant planned for Brennan Station

Luxury Urban Living at Hargett Place


There’s a unique new development going up in downtown Raleigh, and no, it’s not another apartment. What was once a parking lot a few blocks from Moore Square is now the site of Hargett Place, Raleigh’s newest rowhome development. Located at S. Bloodworth Street at Hargett Street, 17 three-story luxury rowhomes range from 1,700 to 4,000 square feet, with an additional 700 to 1,000+ square feet of outdoor living space. The project was developed by Trish and John Healy of Hyde Street Holdings and built by Greg Paul Builders. Fonville Morisey Barefoot is handling the sales and marketing of Hargett Place, priced from $690,000 – $1.5 million.

Each rowhome features a rooftop terrace, a kitchen balcony, a ground level courtyard, and an oversized 1-car garage with parking for a second car. These homes are one-of-a-kind for the downtown area, with 10-foot ceilings on the main level, Viking appliances, field finished white oak hardwoods, and elevators and dumbwaiters in some of the homes.

We actually got to check these out a few months ago and were quite impressed with the project. I’ve toured many urban residences over the years and Hargett Place manages to combine downtown living with what actually feels like a home environment. One of the biggest take-aways is the outdoor space on each level that offers some amazing views of either downtown Raleigh or historic Oakwood.

Seven of the homes have been sold to date and there are two move-in ready homes in Building 1. The remaining homes should be completed by spring of 2018. Having worked on similar urban projects like the nearby Oakdale at Mordecai and upcoming Chatham Walk in downtown Cary, we don’t imagine Fonville Morisey Barefoot will have much trouble selling the remaining Hargett Place homes. Contact Fonville Morisey Barefoot for more information: 919-926-5574 or

North Hills East II Is Coming

In 2016, Kane Realty announced plans to expand North Hills by 32 acres through an expansion plan titled North Hills East II. Per master plan documents filed last year, Kane Realty said the project would consist of 20 development tracts and three open space tracts located along the 440 beltline. These tracts would be developed by Kane “in a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use fashion designed to complement established commercial development in the vicinity, while also seeking to preserve the character of the adjacent Farrior Hills neighborhood located on the eastern side of St. Albans Drive.”

Earlier this month, plans were filed for the first stage in the new development: an apartment complex currently known as Gaddy Residential. The name is actually rooted in the history of the 13 acre parcel on which the apartments will be developed. For years, the land was owned by Charles W. Gaddy, a “Raleigh real estate investor and philanthropist” and his heirs. Note: this is *not* the legendary WRAL broadcaster Charlie Gaddy.

The site plans describe a five-story, 367,000 square foot development of 322 residential units (199 one-bedroom units, 108 two-bedrooms, and 15 three-bedrooms). A surface parking lot of 325 spaces will sit on the east side of the development.

Although it’ll be a little while before any construction starts on this project, we’ll keep an eye out for any updates.

More Student Apartments Coming to Hillsborough Street

Last week, we reported on the rezoning case that could soon bring a market-rate, 30-unit apartment building to the intersection of Hillsborough and Bagwell Streets. Now, we’re able to take a look at yet another Hillsborough Street apartment complex, set to be located a few blocks away at 3101 Hillsborough.

Known as The Standard, the complex will replace the former home of the North Carolina Equipment Company, whose iconic bulldozer sign still sits atop the existing structure. Landmark Properties tried to rezone the property last year to build a four-story student housing complex with ground floor retail and a maximum of 506 residential units and 775 beds. When the case was rejected by Council, Landmark submitted plans for a three-story, 217-unit development.

With the recent filing of rezoning case Z-16-17, it appears that Landmark has decided once again to change course, and is now requesting permission to build a five-story, 220-unit student-oriented housing complex with ground floor retail and a parking deck. In a neighborhood meeting earlier this year, Landmark representatives told residents they would seek to emulate The Stanhope, a student housing complex located next door.

While the original rezoning case generated some controversy as to the future of the bulldozer sign, we could find no reference to it in the pages of Z-16-17, although it was apparently discussed during the neighborhood meeting held in April. Our hope is that the bulldozer will eventually find its way into the development; if not atop the structure, then perhaps in a courtyard as a piece of public art.

North Face-Lift

The North Face, the outerwear company popular among Raleigh residents who likely will never reach elevations higher than that of Pilot Mountain, is set to undergo a minor renovation to its Crabtree Valley location. Permits indicate that $50,000 worth of alterations will be done to the space by Horizon Retail Construction. As this company appears to be something of a specialty contractor — they are based out of Wisconsin — we imagine that this project, while small, does require some expertise, so we’re curious to see how it turns out.

Wayback To The Future

Wayback Burgers, the popular burger chain that got its start in Newark, Delaware as Jake’s Burgers more than 20 years ago is coming to Raleigh. They recently began remodeling a space at Plantation Square on Capital Boulevard that will be home to their first Raleigh location.

The company did not begin franchising until 2009, although it now has six locations in North Carolina alone. As it happens, I have a bit of a personal connection to this place, having attended the University of Delaware between 2000-2004. Jake’s was, hands down, the best burger and shake place in town. It was sort of on the outskirts, but well worth the trip.

It looks like they changed their name from Jake’s to Jake’s Wayback Burgers, before dropping “Jake’s” in 2014. Although Raleigh already offers a range of specialty burger joints, we’re pretty excited about Wayback making its way into the city, even if, like its original Newark location, it is somewhat on the outskirts.

Foxwood Luxury Apartments Underway in North Raleigh (Southern Virginia)

More than a year ago, we reported that sitework was underway for the new Foxwood Luxury Apartments (which is an oxymoron) in North Raleigh, or what some would consider Southern Virginia. Last week, permits were finally issued for the apartments, setting the stage for a 2018 opening. It looks like the complex will consist of 164 residential units spread out across five, four-story buildings. Units will range in size from one to three bedrooms, and offer high ceilings, walk-in closets, a “gourmet” kitchen, hardwood floors and in-suit washer/dryers. Sounds luxurious…

This is not photoshopped. This is a real image of a Fox mascot at the groundbreaking.

Permits were also issued for the pool, club house, parking garage and other supporting structures. While its “outside the outer beltline” location may seem unappealing, Google Maps reveals that the Triangle Town Center Mall is only five minutes away by car and 20 minutes away by foot if you’re willing to play Frogger across 540: and the Walmart is even closer! So. Much. Luxury.

Pokémon Go To The Restaurant

Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road will soon be home to a new joint called Poké Restaurant, although we don’t know much more about it beyond that. Our guess is it will focus on variations of the traditional Hawaiian dish poké, whose description “raw fish salad” makes our stomach churn.

The Raleigh poké restaurant joins two other new poké spots in the Triangle, ZenFish in Durham and One Fish Two Fish in Carrboro. The News & Observer recently published a lengthy profile noting that while “poké bowls appear on the menus of many sushi and Asian fusion restaurants, ZenFish and One Fish Two Fish appear to be the first fast-casual restaurants devoted exclusively to serving them.”

While we’re not sure if the new Poké Restaurant will follow in the footsteps of the Durham and Carrboro spots, we can’t wait to let other people find out for themselves.

Development Beat: Council To Decide on New Hillsborough Apartments

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Week of June 19, 2017

New apartments could come to the corner of Hillsborough and Bagwell

St. David’s School working on $8M middle school

New pizza shop opens in former Porter’s Spot on Hillsborough Street

CycleBar to open in North Hills

Raleigh Gymnastics Expands

Person Street fitness center closes

New Hillsborough Apartments Await Council Approval

The City Council will once again hear a rezoning case that would allow for an apartment complex at the intersection of Hillsborough and Bagwell Streets. The owner is seeking to build a four-story complex comprised of units that are three-bedrooms or less. In the March 7 public hearing, several Councilors expressed concern about the potential that the complex would be student housing that rents by the room, rather than the unit.

During the March 21 hearing, Ted Van Dyk of New City Design, the architectural firm responsible for this project, told Councilors the building would likely cap out at around 28-30 units. The owners have offered two new conditions, no ‘rent by the room’, and also that the building will be at the four story height as measured from Hillsborough Street. The small area plan is still under consideration, and may include broader height recommendations than the current UDO.

The developers have also offered a number of conditions relating to its facade, including a minimum of 75 percent masonry or brick siding, and a near-complete lack of EIFS (a sort of synthetic stucco) or vinyl as siding materials.

“We hope Council will appreciate the work we have done to address community concerns. This mixed use project could be a major investment in the revitalized Hillsborough Street, and bring business and residents who can live, work, study, and play to the street. The Phase 2 streetscape, at a cost of $17 million and currently under way, is meant to beautify the street and attract investment and redevelopment- we hope that our project can be part of the effort,” said Van Dyk.

The case has managed to win the approval of both the Planning Commission (a 9-0 recommendation) and the Wade Citizens Advisory Council. The CAC voted 19 in favor, nine against and nine on the fence. Council will have the option of holding the case open (which they have done since March), sending the item to committee (it was sent to the Growth & Natural Resources Committee in April) or voting to approve or deny the rezoning.

Pizza Place Opens in Former Porter’s Spot

Due to the lack of pizza options on Hillsborough Street, Bocci Trattoria & Pizza, an Italian restaurant with locations in Cary and Durham, opened its first Raleigh location this week in the former home of McDaid’s Irish Pub. Prior to McDaid’s, Porter’s Tavern operated in the space before closing in 2013.

We first reported on this new restaurant back in February. Bocci held a soft opening last week for “Friends and Family” – of which we are neither, but thanks to the miracle of Facebook, we were able to get a peek at the restaurant’s new interior.

CycleBar to Open Second Raleigh Location in North Hills

CycleBar, a “premium indoor cycling studio” will soon open a second Raleigh location, this one on the ground level of the Park Central Apartments at North Hills.

The franchise has a location in Brier Creek, so in a way, the North Hills spot will be its first true Raleigh location. Here’s how CycleBar described themselves in a press release announcing the North Hills location:

“At CycleBar, instructors lead classes for as many as 48 riders in a state-of-the-art CycleTheatre. Most classes last just under and hour, and heart rate, estimated calories burned, and power are all recorded and sent to the rider along with a playlist of the music from the ride. A leader board is also displayed for those with a competitive spirit.”

A leader board? As someone who will run an extra ten minutes on the treadmill just to make sure I leave after anyone who started before me, I like that idea a lot.

The facility will occupy 2,962 square feet of space, and its $238,000 fit-out will be handled by our friends over at the excellently-named Diamond Contracting.

St. David’s Begins Building New Middle School

St. David’s School, a private Episcopalian K-12 institution that first opened in 1972, will soon be adding a new $7.8 million middle school facility to its White Oak Road campus.

The building is part of a larger initiative being run by the school titled “Inspired Futures”, which seeks to expand the physical campus and the types of programs offered to its students.

The new middle school project, which also includes outdoor and courtyard improvements that will benefit the entire campus, looks to be the most significant of the new facilities planned. At nearly $8 million, it’s certainly the most expensive. A new upper school is budgeted at $3.3 million, and a satellite athletic facility on Yonkers Road has a price tag of $500,000.

If you’re curious what an $8 million private middle school looks like, we were able to track down this YouTube video that offers a virtual tour of the place.

Until 1990, St. David’s was known as Hale High School, and offered only a high school education, which was inferior to the education provided by Broughton High School. In the fall of that year, the school was combined with St. Timothy’s Middle School, which offered grades 6-8. The facility was renamed as St. Timothy’s-Hale School. They began offering fifth grade classes in 1994. In 2003, it added grades K-4 and changed its name to the St. David’s School. All of this information is irrelevant since it has nothing to do with Root, Lacy, Daniels, Martin, or Broughton.

The new middle school will be built out by Brasfield & Gorie, a national construction firm with an office here in Raleigh.

Person Street Fitness Center Set to Close

O2 Fitness, which operates 23 locations throughout North and South Carolina and whose headquarters is located in downtown Raleigh, will reportedly be closing its Person Street location at the end of this month.

An employee at the nearby Seaboard Station O2 confirmed that the Person Street location will be closing at the end of June. The site was previously home to Retro Fitness, although given the growing popularity of the Person Street corridor, we don’t imagine the property will be re-imagined as yet another gym.

Interestingly enough, the founder of O2, Michael Olander Jr., owns a number of downtown Raleigh properties, including the O2 headquarters at 135 E. Martin. Olander earlier this year purchased 208 Fayetteville Street for $3.75 million.

Raleigh Gymnastic Rolls Into New Space

The Raleigh School of Gymnastics on Hargrove Road will soon be expanding into an adjacent space, adding more than 1,000 square feet of space to its long-standing facility.

Founded in 1976, the school bills itself as “one of the most successful private gymnastics schools in North Carolina.” The fact they’ve stayed open for more than 40 years seems to back up this assertion. There must be some sort of gymnast-labor law preventing the owners from having their students handle the construction in a Rocky IV-esque training scenario. The $50,000 expansion will be handled by Alexander Design Build.

We aren’t sure why this isn’t legal

Wilmington Street Taco Bell Prepares for Major Renovation

The Taco Bell at 3224 South Wilmington Street in South Raleigh is set to undergo a major transformation: its owners will be spending more than $300,000 on renovations that will include a revamped dining area, renovated bathrooms, exterior facade and roof improvements and, most importantly for its car-bound customers, a new canopy over the drive-thru speaker box. The renovation will be performed by local firm Qualified Builders.

Development Beat: Former Ham ‘N’ Egger and Oak City Diner Spot Being Developed

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Week of June 12, 2017

Development coming to Oak City Diner spot

Ridge Road gets pre-schooled

Stone’s Townhouses

Texas takes over Hargett Street block

Arrow Haircuts opening in North Hills

Remedy Diner could move down the street

New bar on Glenwood South

Blast from the past: Capital Boulevard’s abandoned hotel

Former Ham ‘N’ Egger and Oak City Diner Spot Being Developed

Once home to the Ham ‘N’ Egger diner, which later became the Oak City Diner before being torn down in 2008, the site just across the street from Mami Nora’s restaurant has sat empty for the better part of a decade.

Within recent weeks dirt has begun to move at the intersection of Wake Forest and McNeill Street. Over three years ago developers acquired the land and submitted the plan for McNeill Pointe, Wake Forest Road’s newest shopping center. Although no building permits have been issued yet, developers Dale Elmore and Bobby Lewis have begun the application process for the first two shell buildings. The permits, which call for two one-story, 8,400 square foot shell buildings that will be “mirrored from each other” are currently under review by City staff.

RIP Oak City Diner

When complete, McNeill Pointe will comprise a total of four structures and offer more than 30,000 square feet of space for office, retail, and restaurant uses. The leasing agent for the property, Avison Young, told the News & Observer earlier this year that the space was 45 percent leased and that tenants would include a nail salon, a Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, a House of Hops, and more. The project is expected to cost around $7 million, and should open by the end of the year.

McNeill Pointe

Ridge Road Getting a New Preschool and Day Care

The Goddard School, a franchised early childhood education center will soon open its first ITB location. While four other Goddard Schools exist in Raleigh, the first ITB location will be across the street from Ridgewood Shopping Center.

The school, which boasts that its “unique nurturing approach will give your child the opportunity to develop into a joyful, confident learner who is prepared for success in school and in life,” opened its first location in Malvern, PA — not far from this reporter’s hometown! — more than 30 years ago.

Goddard now operates 460 locations in 36 states, so we can’t be sure this isn’t some sort of pre-pyramid scheme or day care cult. Why so many locations? Why so many states? In our area, they have schools located in Wake Forest, Cary, North Raleigh, and Brier Creek, which is basically Virginia. The ITB location will, naturally, be larger than the North Raleigh and Brier Creek schools at 11,000 square feet. When asked for his thoughts on this new school encroaching on ITB territory, Finley gave a typical measured response, “If it’s not White Memorial or St. Michael’s, then I don’t care.” Fair enough.

Townhomes Coming to Stone’s Warehouse

In March, we reported that work had begun on the redevelopment of the old Stone’s Warehouse on Davie, which will become Transfer Co. Olde East, a “food production hall, market, and gathering place” that will also include more than a dozen townhomes.

Last week, the City began reviewing the first round of permits for these new homes, which will be built on the southeastern side of the property along Chavis Way. While the submitted cost for each of the four townhomes is the same — $160,000 — one is slightly larger at 2,526 square feet, while the other three come in at 2,121 square feet.

While it’s hard to say exactly how long the review process may take — at this point, City records indicate that contact information for several subcontractors needs to be submitted in order to move forward — we take it as a good sign that the townhomes are moving forward so soon after work on the warehouse began.

Arrow Haircuts Coming to North Hills

Arrow Haircuts, a local barbershop chain offering haircuts, hot shaves, and — most importantly — free beer to its customers, will soon be opening a new location in the Park District at North Hills shopping center. The fifth location in the area for Arrow is projected to open in late 2017 in a 1,460 square foot space on the ground level of the new Park Central Apartments.

The company announced the new location on its Facebook page last week, thanking their loyal and amazing customers for the support they’ve shown over the past three-and-a-half years. Arrow currently has locations in Cameron Village, downtown on E. Hargett, on Wade Avenue, and on 9th Street in Durham.

Remedy Diner Moving

Popular vegan/vegetarian eatery The Remedy Diner on E. Hargett Street could soon be relocating to a new spot at the 927 West Morgan Apartments in the former home of P.G. Werth’s, which closed earlier this year after two years in business. Interestingly enough, the new location would put Remedy just down the street from Irregardless Cafe, another local restaurant popular with the vegetarian crowd.

Parliament on Glenwood South

A new bar from Jason Howard, who owned Brooklyn Heights and recently opened The Cardinal Bar on West Street, and Zack Medford, Ben Yannessa, and Brad Bowles of Isaac Hunter’s Hospitality, is coming soon to the ground floor of The Rockford in Glenwood South. The Parliament will be located at 322 Glenwood, which had had previously been home to Loud City Smoke Shoppe.

Texas Real Estate Firm Acquires Hargett Street Block

If it wasn’t for the excellent newsletter put out by Ashton Smith, we would have missed this one:  A real estate firm from Texas recently bought the entire 500 block of E. Hargett Street for $5.9 million. On that block sits the Wintershaven Apartments, a low-income housing community of 61 apartments, along with a few other lots. The block was purchased earlier this month by Artesia Real Estate, a property management and real estate investment firm based out of Austin, Texas. No word on whether they plan to redevelop the block, but the site is zoned for construction of up to three stories. We’ll keep our eyes open for any redevelopment plans that may be filed in the coming months.

Capital Boulevard’s Abandoned Hotel

Longtime readers of the Development Beat — Hi Mom & Dad! — may recall that we’ve written about the old Capital Plaza hotel on Capital Boulevard more than a few times. In my very first column I referred to it as “an ugly scar on the already pockmarked face of Capital Boulevard” and when plans began to surface about a potential redevelopment, I was so excited that I wrote two whole articles about it.

So I was thrilled when I saw a post on Reddit of what we’d call an urban explorer video shot at the Capital Plaza. The video’s author won’t allow embeds, so the best I can do is share this link, but it’s seriously worth clicking through. I’d been curious about this place for going on seven years now, and I know I’m not the only one who wanted to see what it looked like inside.

Development Beat: Restaurant Planned for Askew-Taylor, Retail Coming to Fayetteville Street

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Week of June 5, 2017

Restaurant planned for Askew-Taylor Building

Retail coming to 208 Fayetteville Street

Food Courts announce new vendors

Bike Share vendor selected

Cameron Village gets lit

Details on Sprinklergate at 616 Oberlin apartments

Southern Tide coming to North Hills

Restaurant Planned for Askew-Taylor Building

After nearly 70 years in business, Askew-Taylor Paints & Arts on Glenwood Avenue closed its doors for good last October, bringing an end to decades of service from a family-owned business. Since then, the property at 110 Glenwood has sat vacant and unused. That could soon change.

Site plans filed last week on behalf of an LLC whose owner appears to be a real estate manager for McDonald’s indicate that the 97-year-old building will be transformed into a restaurant. That being said, we’re pretty sure Askew-Taylor won’t be replaced by a McDonald’s.

The architect listed on the plans, Matthew Konar out of Durham, doesn’t have any McD’s projects listed on his resume. To the contrary, his body of work includes renovations at the Raleigh Times Bar, Sitti, and The Farmhouse in Durham, among others.

The site plan drawings keep the existing structure completely intact but also indicate a plan for a wooden deck/outdoor amenity area on the back of the property.From the plans, we can guess the restaurant will be approximately 4,000 square feet in size, and say for sure it will seat 44 and offer 16 parking spaces.

Retail Coming to 208 Fayetteville Street

208 Fayetteville street will soon be home to retail and office tenants. The three-story, 28,000 square foot property was recently acquired by MDO Holdings, a real estate holding company owned by Michael Olander Jr., who also founded O2 Fitness. MDO Holdings purchased the building for $3.75 million.

The building stretches the depth of the block and is located in between the CVS Pharmacy that is never open and the Kimbrell’s Furniture store. Efird’s Department Store opened at this location in 1918, replacing T. A. Partin’s dry goods store and Sidell’s Studio Photography in a two-story building. In 1935, Efird’s replaced the building with a steel-framed three-story building. Efird’s sold the building to the Hudson Belk Department Store in 1959. The North Carolina State Bar Association purchased the building in 1978 and remodeled it in 1998.

Our ITBFF Doug Warf, the chief marketing officer at MDO Holdings, told us more about their plans for the property, which include retail on the first floor and an office tenant in the floors above.

“We are excited to bring this historic building back to vitality. In doing so we hope to accomplish two things that are important to MDO Holdings – adding another local retail source and bringing local-minded business people to downtown Raleigh,” said Warf.

Apartment Fire Cause Remains Undetermined

Investigators with Raleigh’s Fire Department announced Friday that a cause had not yet been determined for the March fire that destroyed the under-construction Metropolitan Apartments and damaged several surrounding properties. You may recall our on-the-scene coverage of one of the biggest fires in Raleigh history.

According to the City, 100 investigators participated, over 300 interviews were conducted, multiple state search warrants were issued, and approximately 25 tons of debris were removed from the scene. A number of “potential ignition sources” were identified and evaluated.

Investigators were unable to definitively eliminate several accidental and incendiary scenarios, including electrical sources, an intentional act, and the possibility of a heating fire ignited by trespassing squatters. As a result this fire is classified as “undetermined”.

Downtown Food Courts Announce New Vendors

Raleigh’s future food courts both announced new vendors last week. Located in the old Stone’s Warehouse space at 500 East Davie Street, Transfer Co., which we covered in March, announced the following on social media.

Morgan Street Food Hall & Market, designed by our friends at New City Design Group and located in the old Jillian’s spot at 411 W Morgan St., announced Boba Brew, City Sushi, Cow Bar, Ginger+Soy, Oak City Fish & Chips, and Raleigh Raw on their website.

Bike Sharing is Bike Caring

City Council is expected later today to approve a contract for the implementation of the City’s new bike share program. Staff has selected the team of Bewegen Technologies and Corps Logistics, one of the vendors who responded to a request for proposals issued by the City. Bewegen has developed bike share systems in a range of cities, including Baltimore, Maryland and Richmond, Virginia.

Cameron Village Gets Lit

Carolina Lighting & Design, a home décor store with a location in Cary, may soon be opening in Cameron Village in the former home of the controversial Victorian Rose Bridal Shop, which was featured in not one, but two Five On Your Side™ investigations. After Victorian Rose’s owner relocated and reopened under a different name (Five on Your Side™ had to step in again), the Cameron Village spot was occupied by Southern Seasons and then Reid’s Fine Foods.

The $74,000 transformation of the space into a showroom for lights, lamps, and LEDS will be handled by TL Stewart Builders.

The 411 on 616

A few weeks ago, we broke the news on the situation over at the 616 Oberlin apartments, where residents of the top floors were given one week to move out so that a defective sprinkler system could be replaced.

City records indicate the building passed inspections and received its Certificate of Occupancy in February 2017. John Boyette, a Public Information Officer with the City, told us the general contractor for 616 recently approached the City about the building’s newly defective sprinkler system, which it planned to fix as quickly as possible.

Although not in his district, City Councilor David Cox issued an update noting that “pinhole-type leaks” had been detected “at the joints of the fittings within the piping.” Leaks that small can be difficult to detect and even harder to track down, and are generally the result of an error during the soldering/brazing process whereby the pipes and joints are fused together.

City records show that two companies did the initial fire protection work at 616 Oberlin. Since we don’t know who was at fault for the leaks, we won’t name/shame either of these businesses. Permits for the repairs have been issued to Charlotte-based Sitetec Construction. In order to repair the sprinklers they’ll have to replace all existing wall and ceiling systems.

Southern Tide coming to North Hills

Southern Tide, a lifestyle and apparel brand for men and women, will be opening a signature store in the Main District at North Hills. Located between Lilly Pulitzer and Fleur, the store is expected to open late summer 2017. The North Hills location will be Southern Tide’s first signature store in North Carolina. No word on how Vineyard Vines is reacting to the news.

H-Street Kitchen Closing for the Summer

H-Street Kitchen announced that they would take a breather during the summer and would reopen in August with some changes to the restaurant. H-Street opened in 2016, after our friends at Rufty-Peedin completed a high-profile restoration of the historic Varsity Theater on Hillsborough Street.

H-Street shared the news last week on their Facebook page. Owners figured the summer would be the best time to make some changes since most NC State students would be out of town. ITB sources have indicated they’ll make a few tweaks to the concept of the restaurant and may make a name change. We’ll keep you posted on this.

Development Beat: Old Rex Hospital Back on the Market, Boylan Bridge Brewpub Reopens

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Week of May 29, 2017

Old Rex Hospital site for sale again

Boylan Bridge Brewpub is open, for real

Mural coming to South Wilmington Street

New apartment complex coming near Glenwood South

North Hills Target to get beer upgrades

Work begins on Alamo Drafthouse

Old Rex Back on the Market

Source: UNC Wilson Library

Following a review by Governor Roy Cooper’s new administration, the State has put the Old Rex Hospital site back on the market. The Raleigh Public Record reported last year that the property had been listed for sale through a Request for Proposals process that began in November 2016 and would have ended in March.

In a press release issued Friday, N.C. Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders announced that:

“After thoughtful evaluation, the State Property Office will resume actions to sell the old Rex Hospital site. This is a strategic decision in managing our state’s assets made in the long-term best interests of both the taxpayers and the state.”

Although owned by the State, the site’s development potential is controlled by the City of Raleigh, which rezoned it to OX-5 (Office Mixed-Use with a maximum height of five stories) as part of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan that went into effect earlier this year.

Situated at the intersection of Wade Avenue and St. Mary’s Street, the Old Rex campus was specifically singled out in the City’s Wade-Oberlin Area Plan, where it was described as the only site on Wade Avenue where new retail uses should be allowed. The City hopes to limit that retail use — no one wants to see a Brier Creek style development here — to about five percent of the total square footage.

An addendum to the original RFP includes an interesting “Program Summary Sheet” where the respondent is asked to break down by square footage the various uses they would develop on the site, including Condo, Apartment, Retail, Office, Hotel, and “Other.” We’ll keep a close eye on the project, as Finley has described this as one of the most sacred sites inside the beltline due to the “number of ITBabies born there”. We’re unsure if that will factor into the sale price.

Boylan Bridge Brewpub is open, for real, we promise

The Boylan Bridge Brewpub has finally reopened after being closed for 15 months to repair the damage caused by a collapsed wall in the building’s basement. After a few false reports, which we covered in March, we now have photographic evidence to prove the establishment is actually open.

Real customers at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which is open.

New Mural Coming to South Wilmington Street

Patrons of the Moore Square Parking Deck will soon be greeted with a 55-foot long mural on the brick wall adjacent to the entrance ramp off South Wilmington. David Meeker, a local developer, and co-owner of Trophy Brewing, submitted plans for a mural that would adorn the northern wall of 237 S. Wilmington, a property now home to Beasley’s, Chuck’s and the Fox Liquor Bar. Bryan Costello of Holder Goods and Jed Gant of Raleigh Murals Project are also involved in the project.

A major work application for the project was filed with Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission as the mural will be painted on a noncontributing resource in the Moore Square historic district. As the application notes, the wall is already painted, and “a mural is essentially changing the exterior paint color.”

Boylan Flats Begins to Rise

The Glenwood South area will soon welcome yet another new apartment complex: the 5-story, 48-unit Boylan Flats.

Situated in the vacant lot at 615 North Boylan Avenue behind the Peace Street McDonald’s, the new 45,610 square-foot apartment building will offer residents a 1,025 square-foot rooftop open space area. While this is an amenity that can be enjoyed by all, parking spaces will be a rarer commodity: only 37 off-street spaces are planned for the 48 units.

Given the site’s relative proximity to the downtown core and a number of other rapidly growing areas, we imagine a number of residents may be able to go without a car. Davidson & Jones is serving as the general contractor for this $6.5 million+ project.

A Spirited Renovation at Target North Hills

Retail giant Target is known for its almost supernatural ability to predict what its customers want. By that measure shoppers at the North Hills location must really love beer.

A $260,537 permit was issued last week to TDS Construction for a project described as an “interior showcase beer stand area fixture” that will include wall and door finishes. We aren’t sure from the permit if this is just another name for a walk-in beer cooler or something more elaborate. We’ll do some digging and keep you posted.

Work Begins on New Alamo Drafthouse

Raleigh will soon be home to the state’s first location of famed cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse, as permits for the new $5.5 million complex were issued last week to McDonald-York Construction.

Although we first reported on plans for this new cinema/eatery back in January, the project was not officially confirmed by Alamo until May. The 11-screen theater, which will also include a beer hall, is set to open by the end of 2017 in the Longview Shopping Center on New Bern Avenue. While the site plans originally called for a 58,000 square-foot structure, the size listed on the permits comes in at a more manageable 39,934 square feet.

If you’re wondering, yes, Alamo Drafthouse is the same theater chain that recently made the news for announcing a “Women Only” screening of the new Wonder Woman movie.

It’s Pho Time in North Raleigh

Visitors to North Raleigh’s Celebration at Six Forks will soon have something new to celebrate, as permits were issued last week for the new Vietnamese restaurant Pho Sure Cafe.

Scant details are available on the place, although we do know that $245,000 is being spent on “alterations and repairs” of the 1,992 square-foot space. 3Y Construction will be overseeing the work on this project.

Bath & Body Works Beautification

Bath & Body Works, a store whose wares offer customers the opportunity to cleanse and beautify themselves and their surroundings, will soon be undergoing a makeover of its own, one that will require a lot more than bath salts and coconut hand creams to complete.

The 5,384 square-foot store — which, by our estimation is packed with about 4,800 square feet worth of candles — in Crabtree Valley Mall received half a million dollars in permits last week for an “interior alteration” store renovation project that will be handled by Cahill Construction.

Development Beat: 616 Oberlin Residents Forced To Move

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Week of May 22, 2017

616 Oberlin residents forced to move

Shelton’s Furniture is moving back ITB

Rumors swirl over Village Subway

Work begins on Downtown Raleigh YMCA

Cary is getting an IKEA

BBQ planned for 510 Glenwood

Biscuitville set for upgrades

American Girl Store Will Return to Crabtree Valley Mall

616 Oberlin To Residents “You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here”

616 At the Village is a new apartment complex on Oberlin Road located across the street from the Harris Teeter block of Cameron Village. Residents began to move in over the last few months, excited about being located next to the iconic Cameron Village. That excitement fizzled on Saturday when residents received an e-mail telling them they had until this Saturday to find a new place to live. Finley received an e-mail from a source who had moved into the building earlier this month. We called the now former resident to find out more.

“They terminated my lease completely, but promised to give me my application and administrative fee back. They say they’re offering up to $1,000 in moving expenses. They said the sprinkler system isn’t up to code so they have to tear out the ceiling, which means the people on the top floors have to move. Some people were allowed to move down to units in the lower floors, but I have no idea how they were chosen. They told us it would take 3 to 4 months. I don’t even understand how they got an occupancy permit to begin with. They started leasing in March and a good number of people had already moved in. There was a girl crying outside the building because she had moved in four days ago and was told she had to leave.”

This is the most amazing part:

“I walked by the office twice today and they were giving tours of the units. There was a mother with her college kids walking around touring the first floor. It was unbelievable.”

Oddly, the website is still listing a “Leasing Special” where people can “move-in today!”

According to our source, people living on the first and second floor are allowed to remain, but they received a notice that they’ll have to move up to the higher floors in November while work is done to their units. I guess the silver lining to all this is that the traffic on Oberlin won’t be AS bad since there are fewer people living there. But seriously, we feel terrible for the folks who’ve just been kicked out. We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.

Shelton’s Furniture Moving Back to Raleigh

In what can only be described as a “furniture miracle” Shelton’s Furniture is moving back to Raleigh. After saying goodbye to Shelton’s in March, we are pleased to report that they’ll be back in Five Points soon. According to their website they will be located at 233 Bickett Boulevard and will be open as soon as June 1.

Cary Is Actually Getting an IKEA

Although we don’t normally stray outside the city limits of Raleigh for this column, we did speculate back in January on the rumors of a new IKEA coming to Cary. It’s now been made official: a new IKEA will be moving into the space now occupied by the Sears and Macy’s department stores at the Cary Towne Center Mall.

The press release states that the Town Council will review the IKEA proposal for an approximately 359,000 square foot store and a two-level parking structure with 1,000 parking spaces. If approved, the IKEA could open as early as summer 2020.

As we wrote last time, Cary Towne Center has been struggling lately, and we hope this new store will serve as the shot in the arm the mall so desperately needed.

Work Begins on Fayetteville Street’s YMCA

Raleigh’s newest YMCA plans to open by the end of 2017 in the heart of downtown Raleigh in a 26,000 square-foot space in the recently renovated 227 Fayetteville. A press release issued last month noted that “LRC Properties acquired 227 Fayetteville in late 2012 and recently completed a $14.5 million renovation on the 10-story building. The developer received a 2016 Imprint Award from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for its work.”

Permits issued last week indicate that in order to make way for the new gym, existing escalators and “abandoned stairs” will need to be torn out. There will reportedly be a ground-floor entrance from Fayetteville Street, although the YMCA itself will occupy two upper floors.

BBQ Planned for 510 Glenwood

Last week, we noted that the 17-year-old condominium 510 Glenwood was set for a serious face-lift. The N&O followed up later with news that Matt Kenner, owner of the Milk Bar, just a block away, will be opening a barbecue joint on the ground floor of 510. We’re just glad it won’t be another new Mexican restaurant.

Rumors Swirl Over Village Subway Plans

Last week, the Triangle Business Journal ran a “subscribers only” (as in, you gotta pay to play) article teasing a potential reopening of the famous Village Subway in Cameron Village. Other news outlets fell for it and ran some non-stories themselves. WNCN did some digging and reported:  “A spokesperson for York Properties, the company that owns Cameron Village, says it’s too early in the process to discuss any details and there’s no master plan, but there have been discussions about bringing back Raleigh Underground.”

Discussions! No offense to the good folks over at TBJ, but if this is the kind of “exclusive content” they’re offering subscribers, I’m glad I saved myself the $97 annual fee. Also, to clarify WNCN’s report, Regency Centers actually owns Cameron Village. Finley knows what’s going in the Village Subway space, in fact he even mentioned it in the story that no one read about The Fresh Market reopening over a year ago. This project is very early on and we respect York Properties too much to start throwing out clickbait stories. We’ll provide updates in the next few months.

Raleigh’s Only Biscuitville Set for Upgrades

There are approximately 51 Biscuitville locations in the State of North Carolina, and only one of them resides in Raleigh. Situated at the corner of Wake Forest Road and Hodges Street, the restaurant is a popular breakfast spot, especially with local commuters.

In fact, I’ve never driven by a Biscuitville location in the morning that didn’t have a line of cars snaking into the street, although it doesn’t look like this project will do anything to expand the parking lot/drive-thru area. The exterior/interior renovations will cost $43,000 and be handled by Qualified Builders, a business name we imagine leads to a lot of “Who’s on First?” type-situations.

She Was An American Girl (Redux)

Last fall, we reported on the opening of a unique holiday store at the Crabtree Valley Mall: it wouldn’t be selling Halloween costumes or Christmas ornaments, but rather, the beloved American Girl dolls.

Originally, this pop-up location was set to be open from October 1, 2016-January 31, 2017. But as Amanda Hoyle over at TBJ reported last week, the store is set to reopen in the same location (the former home of Rack Room Shoes next to Sears) beginning in July, although it will reportedly close again in January 2018.

Development Beat: New Tenants at Dock 1053, New Downtown Pizza and Beer Spots

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Week of May 15, 2017

Dock 1053 to get a new cafe and bar, and event space

Benny Capitale’s pizza coming to Fayetteville Street

Growler USA coming to Blount Street Parking Deck

North Ridge Country Club upgrades to Leisure Pool

North Hills is trying to create a Neighborhood Conservation District

510 Glenwood is getting a facelift

Hummingbird Cafe Coming to Dock 1053

The owner of PoshNosh Catering announced plans to open two new businesses inside the former food distribution warehouse on the corner of Whitaker Mill and Atlantic Avenue now known as Dock 1053. Hummingbird will operate as a cafe serving breakfast and lunch during the day. After 5 p.m. it will become a bar serving small plates, cocktails, wine, and champagne. According to the N&O, the stools will be repurposed from other venues, including Finch’s. Whitaker & Atlantic will be an event space that features an additional kitchen, bar, and bridal suite. Dock 1053 is currently home to several offices, artist’s working spaces, a furniture store, the Pinetop Distillery, and the Lynnwood Brewing Concern.

Grubb Ventures, which owns Dock 1053, recently acquired the nearby Peden Steel property, as we reported in January. The company is reportedly planning to develop a project similar to 1053, although the current tenant, Waste Management, still has several years remaining on its lease.


New Pizza Place Coming to Fayetteville Street

This pizza’s for lovers. Benny’s, a pizza chain billing itself as home of the “Virginia Slice” will soon take over the space at 121 Fayetteville Street previously home to Crema. The chain adds a different surname depending on its location, including a Benny Cappella’s in Chapel Hill and a Benny Pennello’s in Charlotte. The website notes that Benny Capitale’s will be opening in Raleigh this summer, offering $4 slices of cheese and $5 slices of pepperoni, sausage, and monthly specialty pizzas. Whole pies will be available ranging from $30-$38 dollars. Mama Mia, that’s a pricey pizza! The $28,000 renovation of the 1,615 square-foot space will be handled by Fusion Contractors.

They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot Pub

An endless array of draft beers are offered at Growler USA

The Blount Street Parking Deck is about to get a whole lot boozier. Microbrewery pub and restaurant chain Growler USA will soon open its newest location in a street-level space in the city-owned parking deck at 314 South Blount Street. Growler currently has ten locations across the country, including one in Charlotte. 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 $358,000 renovation of the 2,152 square-foot space will be handled by Sparkman Construction.

Hilton Midtown Renovations

A massive 18-phase renovation of the Hilton Midtown Raleigh that will involve pricey, floor-by-floor renovations of the entire property is now underway care of Continental Contractors, which received permits with a combined listed cost of more than $4.7 million last week. We wonder if any of the contractors working on the job will be allowed to stay there during construction.

North Ridge Country Club Upgrades to Leisure Pool

North Ridge Members Forced To Practice Putting Due to Lack of Leisure Pool

Wading pools are out and leisure pools are in, apparently. The North Ridge Country Club on Falls of Neuse last week received permits for a $340,000 project that will replace the club’s existing wading pool with a brand-new leisure pool. For the unwashed masses who don’t know the difference, a wading pool is a “shallow artificial pool for children to paddle in,” while a leisure pool is just what you call a regular swimming pool when you’re in an amenities race with other country clubs in the area. Hopefully no one decides to throw a Snickers bar in upon completion. Aquatic Management Group will be handling the work on this project.

Progress on Exploris School

A 47,915 square foot building on Kindley Street just south of the Meymandi Concert Hall will soon be torn down — even the slab will be removed — in order to make way for the new home of the Exploris Charter School. Built in 1986 and previously the site of a Duke Energy data center, the building was acquired by Exploris for $4.4 million in April 2016. Exploris will consolidate both its middle and elementary schools into the new location, a ten-story structure that will also house commercial office space. Metcon will be handling the $50,000 demolition.

North Hills Neighbors Seek Shelter From Storm of Subdivisions

In an effort to “preserve and enhance the general quality and appearance of their neighborhoods,” residents of North Hills in February submitted to City Council a petition requesting consideration for a “neighborhood built environmental characteristics and regulations analysis.”

The analysis is the first step in creating a Neighborhood Conservation District, an overlay that helps preserve neighborhoods by regulating built environmental characteristics such as lot size, setbacks, residential density, building height, and vehicular surface area. Per the petition, the intent is to “maintain the current built character of the area and prevent subdivision of existing lots.”

City Staff performed an exhaustive analysis of the neighborhood in question, which we’ve linked here. At this point, the staff recommendation to Council is to authorize the initiation of a text change that would “incorporate the North Hills neighborhood built characteristics and regulations into the UDO.” The text change would also “modify the list of standards that can be regulated by the NCOD and contemplate a threshold for City Council authorization of a neighborhood study.”

Approval of the text change will require a public hearing before Council. We wish the neighbors the best of luck!

Land Swap Meet

A joint effort from Wake County, the City of Raleigh, and the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness and Catholic Charities could soon lead to the development of the Oak City Center on Wilmington Street.

Before the site can be redeveloped into a new home for the outreach center, however, City Council will need to approve a minor property exchange with Wake County.

Per today’s City council meeting agenda, “The exchange will involve a 0.142 +/- acre portion of the City’s 41.84 acre property located at 1500 South Wilmington Street for a 0.261 +/- acre portion of Wake County’s 4.2 acre property located at 1430 South Wilmington Street. The property exchange will be shown on a recombination plat and title transferred with deeds between the parties.”

While this seems like an odd bit of bureaucratic red tape to have to jump through, its inclusion as an item in the consent agenda likely means the approval will go through without any trouble.

510 Glenwood Set for a Facelift

One of the first new developments in downtown Raleigh, 510 Glenwood was built in the heady days of 1999. The luxury condo building is fast approaching its 20th birthday and facing much stiffer competition than it did when it opened 17 years ago. As a result, the building’s owners have announced that a major exterior renovation will be starting as soon as this week.

Per City records, a permit for facade alterations has now completed its final review. The $123,795 project will be handled by JM Thompson Construction. Our friends at New City Design Group will be handling the design work.

Downtown Discotorium

While we aren’t sure what a “discotorium” is, that’s what will replace the Mosaic Wine Lounge at 517 West Jones Street, which closed at the end of April.

This week’s City Council agenda notes that the owner of the Five Seventeen Lounge and Discotorium requested a two hour parking zone in the daytime and a passenger loading zone in the evening be established on the south side 500 block of West Jones Street. The two-hour zone will allow for short-term restaurant parking, while the passenger loading zone will offer customers “the convenience of having a safe and convenient area for curbside drop off and pick up in the evenings.”

While we have no idea what kind of place Five Seventeen will be — although we hope the owners take some aesthetic cues from The Simpson’s Disco Stu — the former Mosaic Wine Lounge was, for more than 10 years, “a home for many underrepresented music genres in the Triangle.”

Development Beat: The Wade Breaking Ground Soon

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Week of May 8, 2017

The Wade luxury condominiums breaking ground soon

Outdoor driving range planned for West Raleigh

Empire Properties wants to build a new mixed-use development in DTR

Update on two of downtown’s new hotels

Moore Square renovation project out for bid, again

The Wade

One of Raleigh’s newest condominium projects will soon break ground. Located in Historic Hayes Barton at 620 Wade Avenue, The Wade will be a five-story building consisting of 27 condominium residences that come in two and three bedroom floor plans.

The project is being developed by Beacon Street Development, the same group behind the Fairview Row condominiums in Five Points. Beacon bills The Wade as “a meticulously designed community where no detail has been overlooked.” We met with Beacon to make sure they really weren’t overlooking any details.

“What’s great about infill projects like The Wade and Fairview Row is that they allow you to design around existing infrastructure. We believe that you can really limit a project’s impact while increasing density if you design it the right way. When you’re working with buildings in these locations you can encourage walkability, which contributes to that lowered impact on the environment and on the city infrastructure,” said Jim Wiley, President of Beacon Street Development.

From its location near the corner of Wade Avenue and St. Mary’s Street, The Wade will be in walking distance to Cameron Village, Fred Fletcher Park, Five Points, Glenwood South, and downtown Raleigh.

“We’ve worked on a lot of projects in a lot of different places. While visiting these great places we try to better understand the design and planning that contributes to the overall experience. We see great buildings and try to figure out how to use great planning principles. Architecture will change. Great planning principles are true, like adhering to age-old proportions seen in Greek columns, for example,” said Wiley.

In addition to 10-foot ceilings and over-sized windows, future residents of The Wade can choose from a wide selection of flooring, cabinetry, lighting and more when customizing their residence.

The Wade – Dining Room

“Our desire is to offer the highest quality possible. We want to give people exactly what they want,” said Justin Hime, Director of Sales and Marketing at Beacon Street.

The building will feature several amenities including an office conference space, rooftop terrace, dog washing station, virtual concierge service, fitness room, Google Fiber, and an outdoor rose garden. Beacon is working with Frank Liggett of Liggett Design Group to create a traditional southern landscape on the grounds. A video rendering of the project was recently released.

Even in its current state as an undeveloped piece of land, William Finley IV has confirmed that The Wade is already more luxurious than the accommodations at Fyre Festival. We’re working with Beacon to give you exclusive access and keep you up to date as this project progresses.

Outdoor Driving Range Planned for West Raleigh

A rendering of the Drive Shack Florida location

The Board of Adjustment heard a case yesterday for a proposed “outdoor sports arena” that would be located in West Raleigh at 1021 Corporate Center Drive.

The owners, an LLC by the name of AIS Forestry & Farming, were required to petition the City for a special use permit in order to operate an “Outdoor Sports and Entertainment facility in excess of 250 seats.” The facility would be located on roughly 66 acres of land that sits adjacent to Interstate 40.

A source with knowledge of, but not directly affiliated with the project, told us that the site would likely be the home of Raleigh’s first Drive Shack, a “golf-related leisure and entertainment business” that sets itself apart by selling batteries, circuit boards, and speaker wire. Kidding about that last part, we just love Radio Shack jokes.

Drive Shack is basically a 3-story indoor/outdoor driving range with suites and a restaurant and bar. While Drive Shack is new, consider it a competitor to Topgolf, which currently operates about 30 locations throughout the country. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.

Downtown as Destination

While downtown Raleigh isn’t lacking new condominiums and apartments, the number of available hotel rooms has failed to keep pace with the city’s tremendous growth over the past decade. Fortunately, a number of new hotels have either broken ground or been announced in recent months. Here’s an update on two of those.

Residence Inn Marriott in Downtown Raleigh
Finley got to check out the Residence Inn by Marriott last week, thanks to our friends at Raleighwood Media Group who were hosting a tour of the progress. Located at 616 South Salisbury Street, the hotel has some amazing views within the rooms and meeting rooms, as well as on the 10th floor rooftop bar that overlooks Memorial Auditorium aka the house that Ira David Wood III built. They’re planning to open in mid-June of 2017. We’ll take another look when they have a grand opening.

Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites – 200 West Davie
In an effort to shore up the number of hotel rooms in the City’s downtown core, Council reduced the number of parking spaces required for downtown hotels to 1/2 a space per room last year. This ordinance did not apply to the developers of the new Hilton Dual Brand Hotel coming to downtown. As a result, the developers had to file a variance request in order to benefit from the 1/2 space per room deal available to other downtown hotels.

The site plan for this hotel, which we covered back in January, describes a 13-story (bad omen), 259-room hotel that will be a “dual brand” Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites. I think “dual brand” means they charge you twice for the same room, but I could be mistaken.  The site plan also notes a proposed 14th-story terrace and differs from a 2015 proposal calling for a Hilton Garden Inn at the same location.

The Empire Strikes Back

With his latest project, Greg Hatem hopes to triple the number of stories allowed on the site at 404 and 406 South Dawson. Empire Consolidated Development, founded by Hatem, has filed a rezoning request with the City to allow for a mixed-used building up to 12 stories tall next to Crank Arm Brewing on Davie Street.

404 and 406 South Dawson could soon be home to a 12 story mixed-use building

As for the building’s occupants, it appears at this time that the only guaranteed uses will be office and ground floor retail. Residential use may be included as well, but it’s too early to say for certain. Despite its preliminary nature, construction could start on this development by 2018, if approved by the City Council.

Moore Square Redux

With the recent reopening of the former Moore Square bus station, Raleigh residents are now turning their eyes across the street to Moore Square park itself, wondering when the City will begin its long-awaited renovation of the space.

Although work on the project was bid out more than a year ago, Councilors ultimately decided to reject all submitted proposals and start the procurement process over from scratch. It’s a little complicated and a lot boring to explain why they did this, but long story short, there’s a million ways to bid out a government job, and Council decided to go with a more open process.

The job itself, as defined in the bidding documents, “consists of landscape renovations to Moore Square including the construction of a new public pavilion. The park improvements include a new central lawn, planted areas, pedestrian walkways and gathering spaces, sidewalk improvements, site lighting and furnishings, a play area, integrated public art and a jet-field water feature.”

The bids aren’t due until June 5, and we don’t imagine Council will be awarding that project until August at the earliest. This means we might see some dirt moving on this project by the end of the year, but that’s taking an extremely optimistic view of things. Planning on this project started more than eight years ago and construction is scheduled to last about 12 months.

Development Beat: Bidding Farewell to Finch’s

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Week of May 1, 2017

Finch’s has been torn down

Mellow Mushroom Expands

Happy + Hale Sets its Sights on North Hills

Renovations begin for historic downtown home

New Mexican restaurant to replace old Mexican restaurant on Hillsborough

Pizza delivery chain Toppers set to open in North Raleigh

Finch’s Bids Farewell

In January, Finch’s on West Peace closed their doors for the last time. By the end of April, those doors, along with the rest of the building, had been reduced to rubble.

Situated far back on a lot bordering the Capital Boulevard Bridge over Peace Street, the iconic eatery has now been torn down as part of a four-year $36 million NCDOT project to replace that very bridge.

While we haven’t been able to nail down an exact date for when Finch’s opened, the 1948 Hill City Directory lists 401 W Peace as being home to “Pinyoun’s Roy Drive Inn.” In 1963, it was listed as Finch’s Drive In. A nice write-up of Finch’s says it was opened by Howard Finch in the 1940s and went through a number of iterations over the years.

Finch’s most recent owner, Peggy Jin, took over in 1991, and has announced plans to relocate the famous Raleigh restaurant to Durham, citing downtown Raleigh’s high rents as a major factor.

Mellow Mushroom Plans New Location

Peace Street’s popular pizza joint The Mellow Mushroom will soon be joined by a second Raleigh location (sort of), as site plans were filed last week for a new Brier Creek location.

The new location — Mellow Mushroom’s 19th in the state — is listed in the site plans as 9600 Brier Creek Parkway, near the Meadows at Brier Creek apartments. The restaurant will be housed in a new, 6,435 square-foot building. The developer, BCRD Holdings, acquired the land in October 2016. A press release put out by CBRE states that “9400-9650 Brier Creek Parkway, a 13.24 acre site in Raleigh, NC was purchased by BCRD Holdings, LLC for $2,750,000.”

If 13 acres seems like a lot for a Mellow Mushroom — it is. The site plans list the Mellow Mushroom development as consisting of just over two acres.

While 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 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.

The Chapel Hill Location, after a renovation by Brookwood Construction

Happy & Hale to Open North Hills Location

Happy + Hale, a health food restaurant offering its customers “healthy fuel that nourishes the body, fulfills the soul, empowers the community and balances the planet” announced last week that it will be opening a second Raleigh location at the Park Central Apartments in North Hills.

Co-owner Tyler Helikson told Amanda Hoyle that he was so excited about the new location that he wanted to “scream it from the mountain top.” That’s a lot of passion! Not surprisingly, Hoyle reached Helikson “after a bike ride.”

Higgs-Coble-Helms House Begins Renovation

The Higgs-Coble-Helms House at 417 N Blount Street was first built in 1878 and remodeled sometime after 1950 following a major fire that destroyed the property’s “historic tower feature” and portions of the front of the house.

Its new owners are now undoing some of those mid-20th century modifications. Described in an application with the Historic Development Commission as “Eclectic Victorian,” the HCH House is set to undergo a number of renovations, including the replacement of six over six double hung windows with two over two double hung windows. Those numbers refer to the number of panes in the windows; double hung simply means the window has two “sashes” that open independently of one another. The design work was done by local firm Clearscapes.

In addition, the owners plan to reduce the enclosure at the front in order to reflect the footprint of the historic tower, and demolish the rear porch  and replace it with a wood and glass enclosure. While a number of other necessary renovations will take place, these are the ones we imagine will be most noticeable to passers-by.

As much as we like the owner’s “Eclectic Victorian” description, we found another one from the RHDC that probably paints a more precise picture:

The overall style of the two-story, wood frame Higgs-Coble-Helms house is Italianate but it has the asymmetrical composition typical of Queen Anne dwellings. Its second-story windows are capped by pedimented surrounds supported by brackets that are echoed throughout the house. It also features the only tin roof on N. Blount Street. The dwelling houses state offices.

Coco Bongo Coming to Hillsborough Street

La Rancherita, which replaced Chile Bomba in 2014, is now being replaced by yet another Mexican-themed restaurant, Coco Bongo.

Although permits were only issued last week, its signage has been up for quite some time. New Raleigh published a photo back on April 9 that included both the new signage and a “Coming Soon” window banner.

Not surprisingly, the required renovations for this project are quite small. The permits issued last week totaled only $4,000, which covers interior alterations but “mainly kitchen upgrade.” Carolina Design & Construction will be handling the renovation of this 2,650 square-foot building.

Toppers Pizza Coming to North Raleigh

North Raleigh residents will soon be able to rejoice in the opening of a new kind of pizza delivery/takeout joint: Toppers, which sets itself apart through its “more ‘hipster’ type menu offerings and culture.”

That’s a direct quote from an article about the expansion of this Wisconsin-based chain into Raleigh, in case you thought we were making that up. Toppers offers a wide range of menu items, including Mac N Cheese and Taco pizzas. If you’re wondering how the company’s plan to establish a hipster culture played out, we think this screenshot from their website is an excellent example.

Permits for the restaurant’s 1,400 square foot space at 1600 Ronald Drive were issued last week to Tom Sawyer Builders.

222 Glenwood Adds Nail Salon

Residents at 222 Glenwood will soon have to travel no further than the ground floor of their building the next time their nails are in need of some serious damage control. Permits were issued last week for the Polished Nail Bar, which we imagine will offer the standard range of nail salon services. Commercial 1 Construction will be handling the fit-out of this 267 square-foot space.

Pauline’s Grocery Store Coming to Bragg Street

It looks like a small grocer may soon be opening shop in a former residence on Bragg Street near its intersection with Fayetteville Street in South Raleigh. Although we couldn’t find much beyond the name — Pauline’s Grocery Store — of this future establishment, we do imagine the surrounding residents will appreciate having a grocer so near by. Permits for the $6,000 renovation were issued to Herman Alford’s Home Improvements last week, although one section of the permit notes that the work is already complete.

Game of Rezones

Case Z-33-16: The owners of the Hawthorne Ridge Apartments in North Raleigh are seeking to increase the permitted residential density on their property by 50 percent. We actually covered this project somewhat extensively last year. The rezoning would allow for adding up to 300 units to the 600 unit development and would “rehabilitate much of the existing site rather than demolishing all of the buildings.” Their case will be heard in tonight’s Council Meeting.

Case Z-13-16: Should Council choose to approve this rezoning case, a mostly wooded lot at the intersection of Benson Drive and St. Albans Drive near North Hills could be rezoned to allow for a maximum of 20 stories of commercial development. The property’s current zoning caps the maximum height at seven stories. While the rezoning documents offer no glimpse as to the development planned for this site, there is one note indicating that it will likely be a mix of ” residential, office and retail uses.”

Development Beat: Grand Openings, Grand Closings

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Week of April 24, 2017

Supreme Auto Service to move, building to be demolished

Edward McKay’s Used Books Closes

Progress on Southeast Raleigh YMCA

Kendra Scott and Lilly Pulitzer Open

Moore Square bus station to reopen May 1

ComedyWorx Finds a new home

Supreme Auto Service Building Demolition

The building housing Supreme Auto Service and Rose & Sons Transmissions is set to be demolished. It will be replaced by the city’s latest self storage facility. Located at 410 West South Street on the cusp on downtown Raleigh, the building dates back to 1981, although both Rose & Sons and Supreme Auto Service have been in business much longer. Fortunately, we’ve heard the businesses will relocate.

After acquiring the land for around $1.9 million in 2016, the Atlanta-based firm NitNeil Partners plans to build a “high end” four-story, 123,000 square-foot climate controlled facility on the site. According to promotional materials, NitNeil utilizes “respectful and progressive architectural design”. While this sounds nicer than the average storage facility, it’s not exactly the most inspiring use for the space. The rendering does make it look more like an office/mixed-use building than the typical storage facility.

Storage facility planned for 410 W. South Street

Edward McKay’s Shutters Raleigh Location After 20 Years in Business

Well this is about as bad as it gets when it comes to reporting recent retail news: Edward McKay’s Used Books & More announced last week that it would be closing its long-standing Capital Boulevard location. No explanation was offered, and really, none would have sufficed. Admittedly, I’m a little biased: Ed McKay’s was one of the few stores I actually enjoyed shopping in. Thanks to YouTube, we’ll always have their commercials to remember them by.

It’s Fun to Plan for the YMCA

Site plan for the Southeast Raleigh YMCA

Plans were filed to subdivide the 32-acre parcel in Southeast Raleigh that will be the future home of a YMCA facility, affordable housing, a school, and more.

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.

The Southeast Raleigh Promise organization, a task force helping plan out the site, 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.”

The YMCA is hosting a community festival at the Walnut Creek Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.

Moore Square Bus Station to Reopen

After a year-and-a-half long construction process, the bus station formerly known as Moore Square — it has been rebranded as the “GoRaleigh Station” — will reopen to the public on May 1. While the station has undergone a number of renovations and upgrades, this will certainly be the most significant overhaul.

About a year ago, we spoke to Gil Johnson, project manager for the GoRaleigh Station. Although Johnson described the lighting as the biggest change, which will have a large impact on the look and feel of the place, we’re pretty stoked about the new bathrooms.

Johnson said they will also be adding an arrival/departure screen “like at an airport.” The station previously had a digital readout board with arrival times. However, Johnson said the new one will be much more detailed and will be able to display all the information at once. The station will also have self-service ticket terminals and Wi-Fi service that is presumably independent of the Downtown Raleigh Wi-Fi Network.

All platforms are set to reopen on Monday, May 1. According to GoRaleigh, all routes along Martin Street will return to GoRaleigh Station and all platforms will service GoRaleigh routes and some GoTriangle routes.

Kendra Scott and Lilly Pulitzer Open at North Hills

Upscale women’s stores Kendra Scott and Lilly Pulitzer both opened last week in North Hills. The Kendra Scott opening included mini-makeovers, a “braid bar”, live music, raffle prizes, and more. 20% of the day’s proceeds went to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.

The Lilly Pulitzer opening consisted of sips, sweets, and presents with your purchase. We are not clear on what the BONUS mystery gift is, but Finley is looking into it.

Royal Jesters – ComedyWorx Finds A Home

ComedyWorx, the local improv club whose longtime home on Peace Street is being torn down for the Smokey Hollow project, will apparently be moving in to a new space on Hillsborough Street at the Royal Building across from Meredith College.

Permits were issued for a $24,000 renovation of a 2,137 square foot space within the building at 3801 Hillsborough. A historical landmark, the building was constructed in the early 1940s and was home to the Royal Baking Company, which expanded to that location after the success of its downtown location at 109 S. Wilmington St. In the 1930s, this was actually the first company in Raleigh to offer its customers sliced bread. The founding family sold the business off in the 1950s. The space remained in use as a bakery until 1985 and as a baked goods warehouse and distribution center until 1996. We’re glad ComedyWorx was able to find a new home so quickly.

A Boutique on Tucker Street

Seven12 Devon Apartments will soon add women’s clothier Voda Boutique as one of their ground-floor retailers. The boutique describes itself as not just a retail space, but a “state of mind.” Permits for the $40,000 fit-out of the 1,346 square-foot “state of mind” were issued last week to Commercial 1 Construction.

A Flat Roof on Fayetteville Street

The Royal Building isn’t the only historic Raleigh structure permitted for renovations last week. The Haywood Building at 205 Fayetteville Street will be getting a new roof. Built in the 1930s, the property is a flat-roofed, three-story, commercial style building with a brick exterior. Early tenants of the building included the J. J. Fallon Company and the Smith Stevick Furniture Company. The building is currently occupied by Downtown Dental and a few other tenants. Baker Roofing Company will handle the job at a cost of $37,240.

Grand Opening Set for Sweetheart Treats

Sweetheart Treats, the North Raleigh specialty cupcake shop we covered in our very first ITB Insider column will hold its grand opening this weekend at the Falls River Shopping Center on 10930 Raven Ridge Road from 12 p.m. — 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. The event will feature free samples and the chance to win free treats.

Aldi Set for $300K Upgrade

The Aldi on Wake Forest Road in North Raleigh received permits for a $299,473 remodel of their existing store, which is housed in a 20,000 square-foot conventional brick building first constructed in 1966.

We were having trouble imaging what $300,000 worth of upgrades in an Aldi would even look like: the store is about as basic as they come. Bidding documents show that the work will consist of a small addition, new plumbing, HVAC, electrical systems, a loading area, sidewalks and other site improvements and more. The general contractor for the project is the Wimco Corporation. Across town, the Aldi on New Bern is set to expand as well.

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

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Week of April 17, 2017

Watts & Ward Opens

A new high school was approved for Raleigh

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

Two Roosters Ice Cream getting its first brick and mortar

Tama Tea coming to Fayetteville Street

New Townhomes for Centennial Campus

New Speakeasy Opens in Downtown Raleigh

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

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

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

New High School Approved for Capital Boulevard

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

Former site of Bobby Murray Chevrolet

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

Game of Rezones

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

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

Plans for North Hills East, located North of the Wall

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

Future Land Use Map for North Hills East

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

Future Land Use Map for Hillsborough Street and Bagwell

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

Country Club Hills Will not go down without a fight

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

Raleigh Rent Is Too Damn Stable

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

Krav Maga Studio Coming to Hargett

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

Roosters Find a Nest

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

Tea Time on Fayetteville

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

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

Life on Lake Raleigh

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

Future residents will be afforded not only the amenities of the surrounding campus — such as the magnificent new Hunt Library — but those offered by Lake Raleigh and the adjacent Lonnie Poole golf course as well.

Development Beat: Rest in Peace Street, Demolition Begins for Smokey Hollow

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Week of April 10, 2017

Peace Street businesses set for demolition

Renovations for Peace Street approved

New Pizzeria coming to Oakwood

Flythe Cyclery primed for redevelopment

Anisette Sweet Shop plans second Raleigh location

Peace Be With You, And Also With You

The Southland Ballroom. ComedyWorx. Peace Camera. ThemeWorks. These Peace Street-area properties, along with a service station and office building will soon be reduced to rubble, cleared out to make way for Smokey Hollow, a mixed-use development.

Developed by Kane Realty, Smokey Hollow will stand 12 stories tall and include 445 apartments, 61,000 square feet of retail, and 295,000 square feet of parking. Scheduled to open in 2019, Smokey Hollow’s footprint required the acquisition of several Peace Street parcels, including a handful of long-standing businesses. As we did with Shelton’s Furniture a few weeks ago, we say goodbye to these buildings.

ComedyWorx: The 57 year-old building at 435 West Peace Street has been home to Raleigh’s oldest improv club, one whose performances we’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of times. Late last year, the building’s owner sold the land to Kane Realty and the organization sought a new home, temporarily, at Goodnight’s Comedy Club.

Peace Street Camera: One of Raleigh’s most beloved camera shops opened its doors at 421 West Peace Street in 1996, the same year Canon introduced the Powershot, its first consumer digital camera. The photography world has undergone a drastic change, but Peace Camera, which relocated to the Quail Corners Shopping Center on Falls of Neuse in late 2016, has managed to keep up with the times. Offering everything from high-end DSLR cameras to tripod mounts for smartphones, we’re thrilled that the shop, originally named Southeastern Camera, has found a new home.

Look at this photograph

The Southland Ballroom: Southland Ballroom was, until recently, an intimate 350 capacity live music and events venue. Host of many Smell the Glove holiday concerts, they managed to stay open for nearly 10 months after being sold to Kane in February 2016 for more than $4.5 million. Southland’s final show was on New Year’s Eve 2016, and performed by the Talking Heads tribute band Same As It Ever Was. Most residents still can’t seem to face up to the facts that this place will be no more.

ThemeWorks: Per Finley, this shop, previously housed at 600 North West Street, is ITBs *premier* place for fancy party needs. ThemeWorks, which now operates out of a space at 1125 Capital Boulevard, is also a full-service event company, producing and designing weddings, corporate events, galas, and other social gatherings. We think it would only be fair if Kane selected them to help plan Smokey Hollow’s grand opening.

That’s a lot to take in for such a small area, so WNFIV provided another viewpoint of what’s to come.


Peace Street Upgrades

Facelift coming for Peace Street

With death, there is life. In a long overdue and desperately needed overhaul, the City approved a $2.1 million project that will widen sidewalks and add trees on the more than quarter-mile stretch of Peace from West to St. Mary’s. While the project has been talked about for almost a decade, the N&O’s Andy Specht reported on progress that occurred at last week’s City Council Meeting.

Project design is about 80 percent complete and the City plans to bid out the construction portion some time this fall. In addition to the new brick paved sidewalks on both sides of the street — and grated trees, the project will also upgrade pedestrian ramps and traffic signals, bury some overhead utilities, consolidate a few business driveways, and add a bus stop at the corner of Peace and Glenwood.

More Mixed-Use on Peace?

Across the street from the future Smokey Hollow development sits Flythe Cyclery, a beloved bike shop whose Raleigh roots stretch back more than 70 years. After owner Skip Flythe announced plans to shut down last year, the property was sold to the Raleigh Development Company. RDC is also the owner of several of the parcels adjacent to Flythe’s, opening the door to what could become another Peace Street mixed-use development. We haven’t seen any plans or heard any formal announcements as to what RDC plans to do with these properties, but it is worth noting their only other property in Raleigh is the prestigious downtown Capital Bank Plaza building on Fayetteville.

Person Street Pizzeria

Anthony Guerra has announced plans to open his own pizzeria in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood district. Guerra told the News & Observer last week that the Oakwood Pizza Box will be located at 610 N. Person Street, offering pizza both by the pie and by the slice. While the space will require extensive renovations, no work has yet been permitted and no opening date was mentioned.

Finley’s take: There’s no way this place is as good as Capital Creations.

Sweet Little Oakwood

Anisette Sweet Shop, a local bakery and coffee shop operating out of a location on Bickett Boulevard, announced its plans to open a second Raleigh location. The Anisette Little Shop will be located at 222 North Bloodworth Street. Although renovations for the recently-sold property are not scheduled to begin until the fall, the Little Shop will be open Saturdays only beginning in late May.

Hot Sauce & Ketchup Coming

Despite the name, it turns out a restaurant coming to North Raleigh will carry more than just condiments. Hot Sauce & Ketchup will feature “gourmet burgers, wings, fries, hot dogs and more.” While there’s something of a glut in the quick-service gourmet burger category right now, we imagine Hot Sauce’s unique name will help it stand out from the crowd. Permits were issued last week for work at the restaurant’s future space at the Peachtree Market on Six Forks Road, which means the restaurant should be opening its doors well before the end of this year.

Fire Drill

Morrisette Paper Company, a North Carolina industrial and personal service paper company, received permits last week to add sprinklers to its offices at its 3081 Business Park in Raleigh. We were told this upfit is in response to an unauthorized fire drill conducted by an overzealous salesman with the company. That individual, who also serves as the assistant to the branch’s regional manager, is said to have started a wastebasket fire in order to teach his co-workers a lesson in the importance of safety.

Developer Seeks Rezoning for More Crabtree Apartments

The Crabtree Valley area could soon add yet another apartment complex: this one a mile south of the mall off Creedmoor Road. The 7.78 acre parcel at 4020 Edwards Mil Road is currently zoned R-4, which allows for the development of up to 14 dwelling units per acre. The property owners are seeking to rezone/upzone the land to RX-4, which would allow for a density of up to 20 units/acre.

The application claims that the project will be a benefit to the public because it will be “providing additional housing opportunities in close proximity to office (Glen Lake), retail (Crabtree Valley Mall and Olde Raleigh), a major employer (Rex Hospital), public park amenities (Laurel Hills Park and Crabtree Greenway) and major transportation improvements (I-40/I-440). In a sense, that’s fair. And at least this place, unlike all the other recent Crabtree apartments, isn’t on Glenwood Avenue.

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

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Week of April 3, 2017

Oberlin Road Animal Hospital to be demolished and rebuilt

Oberlin Village could become a historic district

Capital Boulevard Storage open

Country Club Hills showdown

Two Crabtree projects cancelled

Sandy Forks Road sculpture moves forward

Oberlin Animal Hospital To Be Demolished, Rebuilt

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

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

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

Community Deli, Oberlin Village Could Become Historic

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

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

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

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

Capital Boulevard Storage Now Open

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

Country Club Hills Showdown

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

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

Country Club Hills will not go down without a fight

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

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

Crabtree Cancellations

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

Remember this? Lol.

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

Carolina Row, We hardly knew ye

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

Work Begins on Sandy Forks Sculpture

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

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

Inspired by the Channelwood Age, we assume.

LogMeIn Moves On In to One City Plaza

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

Aldi Expansion

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

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

Demolition Derby

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

Eagles at Poyner Place Landing Near Triangle Town Center

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

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

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

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Week of March 27, 2017

Shelton’s Furniture building will be demolished

Brewery Bhavana opens this week

Level7 opening at North Hills AC Hotel

New tenants and openings in Cameron Village

Raleigh Provisions now open

Mulino moving in, Babylon moving to new location

BBQ reincarnation

Hotel to Replace Shelton’s Furniture

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

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

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


Brewery Bhavana Opens Wednesday

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

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

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

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

Rooftop Bar at New North Hills Hotel

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

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

New Shops in Cameron Village

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

Also coming soon:

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

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

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

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

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

so•ca Now Open

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

Raleigh Provisions Opens in Downtown Raleigh 

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

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

Mulino to replace Babylon, Babylon Moving to New Location

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

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

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

As one BBQ Door Closes, Another BBQ Door Opens

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

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

Auntie Anne’s Getting a Facelift

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

Demolition for Duke Raleigh Outpatient Rehab Center

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


Development Beat: Players’ Retreat Plans Unveiled

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Week of March 20, 2017

Players’ Retreat plans unveiled

Hargett Place is holding a Designer Showcase Open House

Historic fire sets back development

Nightclub replacing Harry’s Guitar Shop moves forward

Domino’s is coming to downtown Raleigh

Holt Brothers doing work on Sheetz

New ITB cottages

Plans Unveiled for Players’ Retreat Redevelopment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hargett Place Designer Showcase and Open House

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

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

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

Fire Destroys Apartment and Damages Buildings

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

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

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

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

Real Estate Report

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

With Your Permit-ssion

Desperately-Needed Nightclub Replaces Raleigh Icon on Glenwood South

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

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

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

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

Downtown Domino’s

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

Construction Starts for Raleigh’s Eighth Sheetz

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

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

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

New ITB Cottages

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

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

Development Beat: Changes Ahead for Players’ Retreat?

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Week of March 13, 2017

Plans for a prospective development around Players’ Retreat

Boylan Bridge Brewpub reopens this week

Hillsborough Street Target moves forward

Norris-Heartt historic home restoration underway

City proposes “Teardrop LEDs” in Historic Downtown Districts

Urban Garden Planned for Raleigh

Players’ Redevelopment?

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

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

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

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

Real Estate Report

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

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

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

With Your Permit-ssion

Hillsborough Street: Target Acquired

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

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

The Norris-Heartt House

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

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

Renderings of the renovated Norris-Heartt House

Bright Lights in the Capitol City

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

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

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

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

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

New Urban Farm Planned for Raleigh

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

The future site of LM Restaurant’s Urban Farm

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

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

WNFIV’s proposed rendering of the urban farm

Development Beat: Five Points Storage Facility Moves Forward Despite Backlash, Transfer Co. Receives Permits

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Week of March 6, 2017

Transfer Co. receives permits for redevelopment of Stone’s Warehouse

Five Points storage unit project moving forward on Sunrise Ave.

Plans unveiled for Raleigh’s second Lidl grocery store

New apartments planned for Southeast Raleigh

Transfer Co. Receives Permits
More than two years after the City of Raleigh awarded a contract for the sale and redevelopment of the old Stone’s Warehouse space at 500 East Davie Street, permits have been issued for the property’s redevelopment. The downtown Raleigh development, officially known as Transfer Company, bills itself as a “food production hall, market, and gathering place” that will include a range of retailers and more than a dozen townhomes.

The old Stone’s Warehouse

On February 3, the Transfer Development Company officially signed the $2 million+ deed for the 87,791 SF property. The company, a consortium spearheaded by Monarch Properties’ Jason Queen, will eventually transform the one-time Carolina Coach Garage and Shop into a mixed-use development featuring town homes, restaurants, and retail.

Tenants announced thus far include the Videri Chocolate Factory, Boulted Bread, and Local Seafood. Queen told us that “other tenants have asked to wait and let them announce when ready.” An online listing for the property includes 20 available spaces for lease, ranging from a 5,048 square-foot anchor restaurant space with “rooftop seating and great skyline views” to a 70 SF kiosk space within the property’s “food hall.” According to plans filed with the City, the Food/Community Hall will occupy 6,590 of the building’s total 42,800 square feet.

The Food Hall

On March 1, less than a month after Transfer officially acquired the property, four permits were issued to C.T. Wilson Construction allowing work to begin on expanding the main warehouse space from 26,902-square-feet to 42,000 square feet, a renovation of the existing storage building, and new plaza and mezzanine areas. Queen said they hope to open in the summer of 2018.

Real Estate Report

William Needham Finley IV wanted me to share his success at being a “real estate tycoon” in this week’s real estate report. A house from Ryan Boone Real Estate that was recently listed in the Development Beat went under contract in three days. Finley swears he had everything to do with this, although the prime location on Wade Avenue and listing price of under $300,000 may have had something to do with how fast it went under contract.

To feature listings here, contact for options.

Five Points Mini Storage Receives Permits Amid Neighborhood Backlash
Five Points Mini Storage, a five-story 83,411 square-foot storage facility will go up at 1515 Sunrise Avenue. The project is being built out by 10 Federal Construction, a division of the development group 10 Federal, that owns the property. According to Finley, Five Points residents are NOT happy about this. One of his sources from the neighborhood had this to say, “A five-story storage unit facility snuck in the approval two days before the new UDO changed, which would have limited it to three stories. The City can’t do anything about it and the neighbors are livid. We’re going to have a five story tower in the middle of Five Points.”

It’s possible that 10 Federal assumed the project needed to be five stories since it is located in Five Points. We’ll keep an eye on this, but hope that residents deal with this better than they did with the recent warm weather.

A Rendering of the Storage Facility, As Described by a Five Points Resident

With Your Permit-ssion

Double Trouble
Permits were issued last week for not one, but two storage unit projects. And neither of them are getting built by our friends, and expert self-storage builders, Rufty-Peedin. The horror.

Aside from the aforementioned Five Points Mini Storage building, the second project is actually the second phase of the Millbrook Self Storage development at 2013 E. Millbrook Drive. The new three-story, 43,682 square-foot storage building will be constructed by Imperial Design Builders.

I’d Buy That for a Dollar
Dollar stores, which outside of storage units appear to be the most common project type in this great city of ours, also had a banner week last week, as renovations to the Dollar Tree at 6234 Glenwood Avenue were permitted right alongside a retaining wall for a brand-new Family Dollar at 1730 Trawick Avenue. The Dollar Tree renovations will be handled by Titan Contractors. Wimco will be building the Family Dollar’s retaining wall.

Southeast Raleigh Spice
Things are heating up at Farmington Square, a Southeast Raleigh shopping center that will soon be welcoming the new restaurant Caribbean Spice. Located on New Birch Drive just off Rock Quarry Road, work on the 1,550 SF Caribbean Spice will be handled by Imperial Design Build.

Put a Lidl on It: Second Raleigh Location Unveiled

The new Lidl store will likely resemble its European counterpart

Lidl, the German discount grocer chain that broke ground last month on its first North Carolina location on Wake Forest Road in North Raleigh, filed plans for a second location in the City of Oaks.

The new 35,962 SF grocery store would be built at 4115 Buffaloe Road at the intersection with North New Hope. Details are sparse at this point, and representatives from Lidl once again did not respond to any inquiries. What we can tell you is that the store will boast 180 parking spaces and stand nearly 30 feet tall. Because those are the kind of details you *need* to know about a new grocery store.

Site plans for the new Lidl on Buffaloe Road

As we mentioned in our earlier write-up of the Wake Forest location: we’re not even sure what the product lineup at one of these places will be like. A higher-end Aldi, perhaps. Judging by some photos of the chain’s European locations, the aesthetic appears to fall somewhere between Ollie’s Discount Warehouse and the grocery section at Target.

So we’ll definitely be checking this place out. Besides, any store than hails from the Land of Chocolate probably has a heck of a dessert selection.

Apartments Planned for Southeast Raleigh

Quarry Trace, a new three-story, 96-unit apartment complex could be coming soon to the intersection of Rock Quarry and Barwell Roads in Southeast Raleigh. The multifamily development would be built out on a triangle-shaped, 8.43 acre parcel of land just south of Barwell Elementary.

The land was acquired by a subsidiary of the Taft Development Group in December 2016, and Taft is listed as the developer on site plans filed with the City. Taft, which has built a number of apartment complexes throughout North Carolina, developed the 401 Oberlin Apartments in Cameron Village and the Hammond Road Business Park. We imagine our readers are more familiar with 401 Oberlin.

401 Oberlin

As for the Quarry Trace: the three-story, 121,509 SF building will stand 43 feet tall and be accompanied by 222 parking spaces. The 96 units will be broken down as follows: 12 one-bedrooms, 60 two-bedrooms and 24 three-bedrooms.

Development Beat: West + Lenoir Townhomes Coming to DTR

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Week of February 27, 2017

Luxury Townhomes are Coming at West + Lenoir

Demolition Continues on Iconic Velvet Cloak Inn

Tomasulo Walks Historic Home Across Raleigh

Hillsborough Street Adds New Italian Spot

Colony Theater Could Reopen

The Butcher of North Raleigh

Work Wraps Up On West Street

Downtown Raleigh’s West + Lenoir Luxury Townhomes Underway

We’ve been covering the Hillsborough Street and Glenwood area a lot lately, which is why it’s refreshing to see a project pop up in another rapidly changing area of Downtown Raleigh. West + Lenoir, a new luxury townhome project located at 602 S. West Street, will begin construction near the end of March. Developed by Lambert Development, the project will offer 12 luxury townhomes, each with a garage and private rooftop terrace with some amazing views of the Raleigh skyline.

The four different floor plans range in price from $459,000 to $579,000, and in size from 1,303 square feet to 1,729 square feet. Six of the townhomes will have 2 bedrooms with 2.5 bathrooms and a 2 car garage, and the remaining six will have 3 bedrooms with 3.5 bathrooms and a garage.

The project wraps around the corner of West Street and Lenoir Street in an area that’s just a few blocks from The Warehouse District, Red Hat Amphitheater, the new Union Station, and Dix Park. Our friends at Chappell Residential, who are handling sales and marketing for West + Lenoir, have provided a great map of all that’s going on in this area.

In addition to what you see here, plans for a new restaurant and retail projects in 2017 are in the works. We reached out to Johnny Chappell, Owner/Broker at Chappell Residential, a full service real estate firm based in downtown Raleigh, for his thoughts on the increased activity in this part of town. “We’ve lived in this area for the last seven years, and it’s awesome to now see so much interest in new residential and commercial opportunities,” Chappell said. “It’s about to become the next niche neighborhood, just a few steps from the Downtown core,” adding that he’s also working on a pair of sites for condos nearby.

The first homes should be ready this fall. Visit or contact Johnny Chappell at 919-909-0004 for sales information. While we added the La Croix can to the rendering, we do hear rumors that they’ll offer La Croix Lemon White Sangira Mocktails on the rooftops when it opens. We keep an eye on this as things develop.

Demolition on The Velvet Cloak Inn Continues

Exclusive rooftop footage of the demolition.

Sadly, demolition of The Velvet Cloak Inn continues, and is expected to be finished by the end of March. There’s no way we could begin to cover the history of this iconic hotel in this week’s post. Fortunately, William Needham Finley IV got an exclusive tour from the nice folks at Summit Contracting Group last week. He shared a few of the videos below, but is working on a much larger project to give this icon a proper send-off. He’ll provide more information later this week.

Looking forward to attending the Oscars next year to win best documentary. #oscars #velvetcloak #titanic

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

Be sure to watch this one with the sound on. It’s already generating Oscar buzz for 2018.

Walk [Your Historic House]
On Saturday morning, Raleigh residents Matt Tomasulo, the founder of Walk [Your City], and Nicole Alvarez, a designer with Clearscapes, moved the historic Gorham House across town from its longtime home on East Lenoir Street to a new space on the east side of town at 420 S. Bloodworth. The couple plans to turn the two-story Victorian, which dates back to the late 19th century, into a boutique inn that should open in 2018. Follow the progress of the Guest House on Instagram.

 The most dangerous game of Jenga ever.

With Your Permit-ssion

New Italian Restaurant Coming to Hillsborough Street
Bocci Trattoria & Pizza, an Italian restaurant with locations in Cary and Durham, is set to open a brand-new location on Hillsborough Street in the former home of McDaids Irish Pub. Carolina Design & Construction received $10,000 worth of permits last week for the renovation of this 4,955 square-foot space.

The future home of the newest Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria

Colony Theater
More than a year after Ambassador Cinemas shut down the old Colony Theater on Six Forks Road, it looks like the 45-year old picture house could be getting a revival. Permits were issued last week for a $5,900 “renovation to existing theater” that will entail the installation of new seats and a new concession stand at the once-beloved independent picture house. Originally opened in 1972 as a single screen theater named “Six Forks Cinema” under the Jerry Lewis Cinemas franchise, the space was eventually taken over by Ambassador Entertainment, which operates a number of local art house cinemas. The Colony was closed in December 2015.

Pool Party
More than a year-and-a-half after construction began on The StateView Hotel on NC State’s Centennial Campus, permits have been issued for the space’s in-ground swimming pool. Located at 2451 Alumni Drive and scheduled to open in the summer of 2017, the five and a half story hotel and conference center will contain 164 rooms across four guest room levels.

The StateView Hotel

The StateView Hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Hotel collection: independent hotels that utilize the Marriott Branding. W.M. Jordan, the project’s general contractor, will be responsible for building out the pool.

Southern Craft Butchers to open in Lafayette Village
Bloody good news folks: Southern Craft Butchers, a locally-owned, locally-sourced “nose-to-tail whole animal butcher shop” will open soon in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. The upscale shopping center — which for some reason boasts a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower — recently received $84,029 worth of permits for Southern Craft, which aims to bring “the idea of the local butcher shop and the art of butchery together.”

Those of you raised on Lunchables and Oscar Mayer prepackaged deli meats may scoff at the notion of butchery as an art, but as an occasional patron of South Philly’s traditional Italian butcher shops, trust me: it’s an art. A delicious, delicious art.

North by North West Street
If there’s a downside to writing about development in a city that’s growing so quickly, it’s the tendency to overuse words like transformation, modernization, renewal and, if your reading list includes a lot of Calvin & Hobbes, transmogrification.

One such area of Raleigh that brings these words to mind is the section of Peace Street between Capital Boulevard and West Street. The area is in the midst of two DOT bridge replacement projects and will soon receive significant improvements, including a new park from the City’s Capital Boulevard Corridor Improvement Plan and will eventually house Kane Realty’s Smokey Hollow mixed-use development.

On the other side of Peace Street, across from the planned Smokey Hollow project and far north of the aforementioned West + Lenoir luxury townhome project, a slightly different redevelopment has been underway for more than a year. This project has involved the reuse and re-adaptation of several existing buildings owned by The Lundy Group and renovated by August Construction Solutions.

August Construction Solutions, known to some as the “Wizards of West Street” for their work in transforming an old lighting shop and an underutilized warehouse on North West Street into high-end, modern offices, is nearing completion on the work at 707 N. West.

The initial renovations at 707 began in May 2016, right on the heels of ACS’ project at Lighting Inc. at the intersection of Peace and West. Last fall, ACS wrapped up work on their own, brand-new headquarters in a section of the 707 building, and began fitting out the adjacent space for mortgage firm Equity Resources.

Just over two months later, the warehouse — which had most recently been used as a practice and recording space for musicians — has seen its recording rooms ripped out and replaced with glass-enclosed offices, many of them offering a spectacular view of downtown Raleigh.

A view from the new offices

While there’s been a lot of changes to the 5,360 square-foot space: a new roof, a loading dock turned into a reception area, the aforementioned offices — there’s also a certain familiarity; the layout is largely intact, the old support beams are still in place and the conference table, in particular, reminded us very much of something we’d seen before. In fact, we had, back when we got a tour of ACS’ offices in October.

“They saw what we’d done with our office,” Michael Iovino, President of ACS, said of Equity Resources, and asked “Can we copy that?”

We don’t blame them. Although we’d probably have asked for the same floors — personally installed by ACS Superintendent Steve Hackney, a Virginia Beach resident who recently capped off an astounding 62 weeks on the road overseeing the North West Street projects — as well.

While there is one remaining tenant space left to be filled in and fitted out at 707, all that Iovino could say at this point was that there were some interested parties, although we’re confident the 2,300 square-foot space will likely be occupied by another office tenant in the not-too-distant future.

The new offices
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