by William Needham Finley IV™

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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

Development Beat: Washington Terrace Demolition Begins

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Week of February 20, 2017

Washington Terrace Demolition Begins

La Madeleine French Bakery & Café Coming Soon

Brier Creek Is Getting a Holiday Inn Express

RHDC meeting this week on the Weaver House

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

An aerial view of Washington Terrace

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

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

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

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

A rendering of The Village at Washington Terrace

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

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

A rendering of the future Village at Washington Terrace

With Your Permit-ssion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fire Station No. 15

Sir Walter’s Legacy

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

The Weaver House

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

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

The Weaver House, post-car accident

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

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

322 E Davie was recently renovated

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

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

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

A rendering of the new rear portion of the home

Site Unseen

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

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

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

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

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

The site of the proposed Lumley Road Hotel

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

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

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Week of February 13, 2017

St. Mary’s luxury townhomes break ground

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

Work begins in the old The Velvet Cloak spot

so•ca in Cameron Village to open in March

German grocery store Lidl coming to Raleigh

Raleigh is getting a Chronic Tacos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Estate Report

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

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

To feature listings here, contact for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new Lidl store will likely resemble its European counterpart

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

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

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

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

The Valentine Commons apartments

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

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Week of February 6, 2017

Blue Tower Restaurant to be demolished for One Glenwood project

Kane Expands Plans For Smokey Hollow

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

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

New Retail Planned for Glenwood Near Crabtree

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

One Glenwood

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

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

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

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

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

605 Hillsborough Street in 1996

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

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

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

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

A rendering of the proposed Smokey Hollow development

With Your Permit-ssion

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

The Capital Club building at 16 West Martin Street

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

HQ Raleigh will be taking over the top five stories of the building, a $2.2 million project, that will renovate about 20,000 square feet of space. While much of the building was originally designed and utilized for office space, floors nine through twelve originally offered the Capital Club space for its own offices, “as well as a billiard room, lounges, kitchens, dining rooms, and a ballroom,” which makes it sound more like the mansion from Clue than a standard office building. It seems these amenities were a must have since, according to the historic landmark application, “the Capital Club Building is associated with the lives of the individuals who dominated the governmental, commercial, and industrial affairs of the state during the five decades beginning in 1885.”

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

A few other permits worth mentioning:

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

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

If at first you don’t succeed…

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

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

Stormwater retention plans for Spencer Ridge

So far, so good.

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

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

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

Rezoning for Retail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5710 Glenwood

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

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Week of January 30, 2017

Another 20-story tower coming to Hillsborough Street

Real Estate Report: Super ITB Office Space

Lilly Pulitzer and Copper Penny coming soon to North Hills

Kickboxing chain coming to Raleigh

Glenwood is getting a new Sheetz

Gordon Grubb buys Peden Steel property for $10M

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

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

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

301 Hillsborough

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

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

400 H

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

Shimao Shenzhen Qianhai Canal City

Real Estate Report

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

Office may or may not come with an Audi

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

Note: To feature listings here, contact for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

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

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

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

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

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

A rendering of JDA’s newest Self-Storage facility

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

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

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

Floor plans for the new Sheetz

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

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

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

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

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

Development Beat: Cary Mayor Fuels IKEA Rumors

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Week of January 23, 2017

Cary Mayor drops IKEA bombshell

Permits approved for Hillsborough Street apartment complex

Super ITB townhouse for rent

Two historic demolitions of last resort

A new Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen planned for Capital Boulevard

IKEA Rumor Mill Continues to Churn
Rumors continue to circulate about an IKEA coming to Cary. On Monday, another cryptic bombshell was dropped. On his blog “Harold’s Blog”, Harold Weinbrecht wrote:

“Tuesday I met with the town manager to go over several issues….We also talked about the redevelopment of the mall called project emerald. Apparently, the potential business wants it to remain a secret even though it was on the front page of the News and Observer. All I can say is that project emerald equals blue and yellow. We will see how this is presented to the council in the future.”

At first, we weren’t sure if Harold Weinbrecht was Cary’s version of WNF IV. It turns out Harold is the Mayor of Cary. So is the Mayor of Cary cryptically blogging out real facts? Or is he trying to stir up publicity to attract IKEA? In the age of alternative facts we honestly don’t know what to believe anymore.

Rumors of IKEA coming to Cary kicked off nearly a year ago on Reddit:

IKEA coming to Cary? from raleigh

This was followed by some speculation in November from GoGoRaleigh and the Triangle Business Journal, and then a report in the News & Observer last week that a planned redevelopment of the Cary Towne Center may include North Carolina’s second IKEA store.

My two cents: those first two reports were mostly speculative, while the N&O article reads more like a hopeful rumor started by the mall’s owners as a way of signaling they’d be willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the Swedish furniture chain. As a huge fan of and an occasional visitor to the Towne Center, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the latter end up on the former. That is to say: the mall needs IKEA a lot more than IKEA needs the mall.

Another interesting comment in the original Reddit thread, someone claims that a “high up guy” at IKEA said they would never come to Cary, but had looked at coming to North Hills.

After informing WNF IV of this, he scrambled to get Bonner Gaylord on the phone to convince him to get North Hills to outbid Cary for the IKEA. I tried to explain that the process doesn’t work that way, but he doesn’t listen well. We’ll keep an eye on this story.

Real Estate Report

While this section is usually reserved for listing residential properties for sale in the Raleigh area, we’re mixing it up this week to help out a friend with a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom townhouse for rent.

Located near the corner of St. Mary’s and Nichols Drive, this is one of the best locations in Raleigh. Hardwoods and crown molding throughout, updated kitchen appliances, new washer and dryer, newly tiled bathroom and shower, large back deck and yard for only $1,375/month. The full listing is on Zillow, but as you can see, people are finding that ITB Insider™ is a much more exclusive method for featuring property. Contact for listing options.

Hillsborough IHOP Saved!!! For now…
Forlorn and forgotten, the once-iconic Hillsborough Street IHOP shut its doors for good in April 2016 and has sat vacant and alone ever since.

The IHOP on its last day of operation, April 9, 2016

It won’t be alone for much longer, as permits were issued last week for the construction of the new 109 Park Avenue apartments, which will go up on the lot behind the old restaurant. FMW Real Estate, the firm behind the new complex, plans to build an 87-unit, 4-story, 100,909 square foot apartment building. The work on the new building will be handled by Liberty Oak, Inc. for a permitted cost of $8,998,348.

According to site plans, the old IHOP building will remain in place; it’s described on the drawings as an “existing structure.” Despite being based out of Charlotte, FMW enjoys a good enough local reputation — largely thanks to its role in developing Dram & Draught at 623 Hillsborough. However, we’re a bit miffed that they didn’t pay homage to IHOP by building an apartment complex that resembled a stack of pancakes. We sent them this brilliant concept based on City Hall in Thames, London and they never even returned our e-mails.

If you don’t think this is a perfect fit for Hillsborough Street, you’re an idiot

Permit Party

A just-outside-the-beltline (JOTB) location on Amber Lane in North Raleigh will soon be home to a very-OTB retailer: Family Dollar. The discount retailer and fake dollar store (some of their products cost more than $1…) received permits to open its 12th outlet in the City of Oaks. Located near the intersection of Trawick and New Bern Avenue, this new 8,320 square-foot store will be built out by Wimco Corp for $500,000.

Family Dollar has a very dishonest name

A retailer specializing in “green cleaning solutions” is set to open at 201 Walker Street in South Raleigh. There’s got to be a Walking Dead joke in here somewhere. See, because the zombies are called “walkers”, and their skin sometimes has a greenish pallor… Anyone? No? Ok, well, the tenant, Green Bull Products, is apparently a purveyor of “Tough, Effective Eco Friendly Industrial Cleaning Products and Concentrates.” Dalton General Contracting will be handling this $295,000 project.

You can tell it’s been a slow week in permits, so we’ll spare you the forced pop-culture jokes and just do a quick run down:

  • The Hardee’s at 5601 Creedmoor Road will receive a $71,830 interior renovation done by Commercial Millwork & Installation
  • Some place named Wolf Flooring, which we hope is run by the makers of Wolf Cola and Kitten Mittens (Remember when I said I’d spare you the forced pop-culture references? I lied.), will soon be opening shop at 5500 Atlantic Springs Road, following a $64,602 renovation from BPG Management Company
  • The Pizza Hut at 3116 Hillsborough Street is set to undergo an expansive $275,000 interior renovation. No matter how much money they dump into the place they’ll never compete with Gumby’s. Dellinger Building Company will oversee the construction.
  • The Oakwood Mausoleum at the Oakwood Cemetery will be the recipient of a $150,000 roof renovation project care of Williams Realty & Building Co.

Sir Walter’s Legacy

Two cases set to be heard at Raleigh’s Historic Development Commission this week call for the demolition of historic Oak City homes, but only one of those cases is likely to become a reality.

Lemuel & Julia Delany House
The applicant for the teardown of 210 N. State Street, Stuart Cullinan of Five Horizons Development, described the case as a “Plan B” and a “worst-case scenario” in an interview with The Development Beat.

Cullinan, who in October had an application approved (we covered it here) that allowed for the complete restoration of the property, said the demolition request was made in the event he is unable to subdivide the property into three separate lots, one of which would be deemed “nonconforming” due to the encroachment of the 210 N. State Street home.

Lemuel & Julia Delany House

Also known as the Lemuel & Julia Delany House, the structure was built in 1917 and designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark in 2009. Although Cullinan originally wanted to tear down an attached apartment, staff and members of the commission convinced him of its significance and he agreed to restore it as well. That decision is what led to the current situation, as the apartment is what encroaches onto one of the new lots.

“The subdivision process requires a variance, then we have to go to City Council for approval,” Cullinan said. “The plan is to restore the house completely, put a protective covenant on the house so its protected kind of forever and put it on the national register, then build two new houses — so it’s kind of like this little historic trio. But if the Board of Adjustment or City Council says no, my attorney said we need to have a backup. We didn’t want to, but we submitted this demolition request.”

The request, Cullinan explained, is merely a bulwark against Council or the BOA rejecting his original plan to restore the home and create two new ones on the newly subdivided land.

“We’ve got a great plan; I think it’s an example of a win-win of preserving but also meeting the demands of the market, so we’re hoping that the Board of Adjustment will be favorable to it, and after that City Council will see the bigger picture, see this is a good thing. The Historic Development Commission fully supports what we’re doing. It’s been a great collaboration, but you never know.”

Weaver House
The other historic demolition appears to be a measure of last resort as well, but one that will unfortunately have to move forward. Built in 1922, the beautiful Weaver House at 1203 E. Lane Street is a two-story frame dwelling that “combines elements of the Queen Anne and Craftsman styles.”

The Weaver House

Designated a Raleigh historic landmark in 2008, the home suffered damage caused by a collision from an uninsured motorist in June 2016. According to the Certificate of Appropriateness application, “a police chase resulted in an uninsured vehicle colliding with the sunroom and causing substantial damage to the right half of the structure…despite ongoing negotiation with our insurance company, we are not confident that the payout timeline or the terms of the payout will provide us the opportunity to pay the current fines of $500/day or a satisfactory rebuild.”

That’s terrible. While we wish the owners had been able to find a way to save the house, it seems like they were left with no choice. While Raleigh has no shortage of historic homes, we really enjoyed the aesthetics of this one — before the car accident, of course. We recommend checking out the full Historic Landmark Report for more information on this near-century-old home.

The Weaver House, post-car accident

Site Unseen

I’m pretty sure Finley tunes out everything I write past word 251 or so, and who knows how much patience the rest of you have — so we’ll try to make this section quick. Two moderately interesting commercial site plan reviews were filed in the past week that are worth looking at:

  • SR-6-17: This site plan calls for a new 6,934 square foot building at the Greenway Village Shopping Center at 7500 Ramble Way off Louisburg Road in North Raleigh. Details are sparse at this point, the application only mentions a new “commercial building and ice machine drive through.” We’re going to go ahead and speculate that the new commercial building at Greenway will accompany the ice machine at Starmount: Pelican’s Snowballs.
  • SR-4-17: It looks like Starmount Shopping Center will soon be adding a new tenant: Popeye’s Chicken. While the application doesn’t include an exact square footage, a sales flier from Hobbs Properties, the owners of Starmount, seem to indicate it will be built out on a .54 acre “out-parcel” (aka, big empty section in the parking lot) in the center.
The giant star — for Starmount, we assume — is where the new Popeye’s will be located

Howdy, Neighbor
Nearly two-and-a-half years after his purchase of an empty lot off South Wilmington Street, friend of the Development Beat Russ M. finally received permits to build the single-family dwelling he’s been developing for years. Russ told us he’s faced a number of obstacles — and spent nearly $10,000 — to get to this point. Many of the difficulties, he said, lay with the South Park Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District for the area, which places a number of restrictions on development.

Russ, who works in construction and has shared with us a number of creative ideas for residential development, hopes to build much of the house himself. We’re excited to see how it turns out. As we like to keep things positive, we won’t be repeating his comments on what he’s gone through so far. The only way I’d be comfortable quoting him directly, in fact, is if I pulled a Herb Powell on him:

Herb Powell from James on Vimeo.

The Development Beat: Goodbye Busy Bee, Hello Trophy Tap & Table

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Week of January 16, 2017

Trophy Brewing’s newest restaurant begins work

Real Estate Report: a new ITB home from Cornerstone Properties

New Mayan restaurant on Fayetteville Street receives permits

Brigs restaurant rebuilds after fire damage

Sushi Nine breaks ground

Exclusive renderings of another new hotel for downtown Raleigh

Planned apartments no longer coming to Ridgewood

Planning Commission updates

Goodbye Finch’s

Before we get to this week’s development news, let’s all take a moment to thank Finch’s for their decades of service to Raleigh. They closed their location in Raleigh for good on Sunday, and will reopen in Durham in the spring of 2017. They will be missed.

Trophy Tap & Table

Despite William Needham Finley IV’s best efforts to “Save the Tots,” permits were issued last week to allow for the conversion of the former Busy Bee Cafe/Mash & Lauter into the new Trophy Tap & Table. Home to the Busy Bee for more than eight years, the spot at 225 South Wilmington will soon offer a new range of beers and a menu focused on chicken of the rotisserie variety. Notably absent from the new menu will be the Bee’s famous Tater Tots. Tragic, but we imagine the owners, who also founded Trophy Brewing, are looking forward to opening another storefront location in which to serve their beloved beer. And if the chicken is as good as the pizza over at Trophy on Morgan Street, customers will certainly be pleased. The Raleigh Agenda first reported on this change back in December 2016. The work for the renovated space, which will include an interior bench and an equipment change in the kitchen, will be handled for $3,000 by the building’s landlord.

Real Estate Report

A super ITB property is being sold by our friends at Cornerstone Properties. At over 2,600 square feet, this 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom new-build is located at 1007 Marilyn Drive in the Lacy, Martin, and Broughton (ITB trifecta) school district. This is an ITB no-brainer. Construction begins this February. Contact Broughton alumnus Dale Moody ( for more information, 919-607-4606. The lot next door, 1009 Marilyn Drive, is also available from Cornerstone Properties if you want to bring your own custom home plan.

Note: To feature listings here, contact for options.

With Your Permit-ssion

Tulum, a new Mayan restaurant coming to 411 Fayetteville Street should soon open to the public, as it received its construction permits last week. The $265,000 worth of work will be handled by Edward Donohue. This spot has previously housed La Volta, Twisted Mango, and San Lorenzo. Owner/operator Alfredo Lara, who also runs two Mi Cancun restaurants in the area, told the Raleigh Agenda last year that Tulum’s food will be traditional Mexican fare with a Mayan touch. We just hope the menu doesn’t include tacos with a side of ritual human sacrifice.

What’s in store at Tulum

The popular North Raleigh brunch spot Brigs Restaurant in Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road should be reopening its doors very soon, as permits to repair damage caused by an electrical fire earlier this month were issued last week. Brigs has four other locations in the region: two in Cary (ugh), one in Durham (double ugh) and another in Wake Forest (triple ugh). We’re glad to see they didn’t let a fire shut them down, and look forward to their grand reopening.

Brigs Restaurant

A bright future is in store for the customers of Capital Boulevard Storage at 8740 Wadford Drive, where permits were issued last week for a large rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system to be installed across six buildings. We first wrote about this new project in February 2016, which is being built by our friends over at Rufty-Peedin Design Builders for a listed cost of $5,870,000. Long in the works, the solar panel system is one-of-a-kind in Raleigh. The work will be done by Sundance Power. We’ll be following this one closely, so keep an eye out for updates.

Capital Boulevard Storage

Other Recent Permits of Note:

  • Gap at Crabtree Valley Mall (per the AP Stylebook, it is never to be referred to as “The Gap,” only “Gap” or “Gap Inc.” — who knew?)  is set for a massive, $660,000 expansion into an adjacent space. The work will be handled by Commercial Contractors Inc.
  • Anchorlight Studios, an “interdisciplinary creative space, founded with the intent of fostering artists and small businesses at varying stages of their development” received permits for their new space at 1407 S. Bloodworth Street. The $122,000 worth of work is being done by Ellington Contractors.
  • Permits for renovations at Durant Park’s Campbell Nature Lodge, which will include the replacement of all HVAC equipment, ADA improvements to the second floor, the replacement of roof and canopy, and various aesthetic upgrades were issued to Scotia Construction. The listed cost for the project is just shy of $1 million at $999,200.

    Durant Park

ITBreaking Ground

After being destroyed in a tragic fire in 2016, the beloved Sushi Nine broke ground on construction of their new restaurant. We covered this news over on the Raleigh Public Record when they received permits in December to rebuild in the same location. The owners worked with New City Design to design the new building. We’ll keep you updated on the construction progress.

Site Unseen

For the second week in a row, we’re reporting on plans for yet another new hotel in downtown Raleigh. The proposed 12-story, 192,964 gross square feet 192-room hotel is planned for 413 McDowell Street. Currently home to an Enterprise Rent-a-Car and across the street from Poole’s Diner, the land was purchased by the Winwood Hospitality Group in July 2015 for just over $4 million. County records indicate it was “sold” to a subsidiary of Winwood in June 2016. Winwood operates a number of local hotels, including the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn, both near the Crabtree Valley Mall. Updated renderings, received from Winwood on 1/16/17, indicate it would be branded as a Courtyard by Marriott and include ground-floor dining and retail options. Construction should begin in the fall of 2018. We hear Raleigh is in desperate need of more Mexican restaurants, so hopefully that’s the direction Winwood intends to take.

A 2.68-acre open lot near New Bern Avenue and New Hope Road, currently owned by Young & McQueen Grading Company, could soon be turned into a recreational field. Site plan review case SR-2-17 would see this empty space on Corporation Parkway behind the Wal-Mart transformed into a rec field with an accompanying 33-space parking lot. Plans depict a soccer field.

The new field would be located at 1751 Corporate Parkway in Brier Creek

A Zest for Zoning

The first rezoning case of 2017, Z-1-17, would allow for the redevelopment of 5.91 acres on a site at 7900 Falls of Neuse in North Raleigh. Presently home to a La-Z-Boy furniture gallery, a condition added to the property in 1994 prohibits any use outside of furniture sales on the land. We imagine the applicant, Ashby Furniture, has something like that in mind. If it were up to us, we’d use the land to rebuild a much, much larger space for New York Bagels & Deli, currently located in the shopping center across the street. If there’s a better bagel shop south of the Mason-Dixon, we’ve yet to find it. Z-1-17 is being handled by Capital Civil Engineering, which also worked on the REX Healthcare center in Holly Springs.

Planning for a Better Raleigh

Raleigh’s Planning Commission met for the first time this year to discuss a range of issues, from a new site plan for the Ridgewood Shopping Center to regulations governing transit easement and amenity installations. As fascinating as we find these meetings, we know this sentiment is not shared by all our readers, so here’s a quick recap:

  • SP-12-16: Ridgewood Shopping Center — this plan calls for a 21,159 square foot mixed use building with 14 structured parking spaces on a 9.86 acre site on Wade Avenue, just inside the beltline. Although new apartments were originally included as part of the redevelopment of this long-standing, Whole Foods-anchored center, they were dropped in part due to a perceived oversaturation in the multifamily market. Planning Commissioners unanimously recommended the site plan for approval.
  • CP-5-16: This more technical case (an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan) would have removed the proposed extension of West Morgan Street from the Street Typology Map; but commissioners unanimously recommended the case for denial.
  • TC-2-17: Transit Amenities: This text change would codify regulations relating to developer requirements for transit easements and amenities, which, per staff notes, had been planned somewhat haphazardly in the past. The case was referred to the Commission’s Text Change Committee for further discussion.
  • Z-38-16: This rezoning case would allow for a three-story mixed use development at the intersection of Buffaloe and New Hope Roads. The local Citizens Advisory Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of the project; Planning Commissioners last week chose to defer the case to a later date.
  • Z-41-16: Also deferred by the Commission was a case that would allow for more intensive residential development to a space on Everspring Road in Northeast Raleigh by rezoning it from R-1 to R-6.
  • Z-36-16: This rezoning case, which we wrote about back in November, would allow for the transformation of St. Augustine University’s Tuttle Community Center on North Tarboro Street into the Tuttle Public Health Center. Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend approval of the case.
  • Z-22-16: This case would rezone a 2.6-acre property at 7930 Six Forks Road from Residential-4 to Commercial Mixed Use with a three-story cap. No residents attended a neighborhood meeting about the case in June 2016; Planning Commissioners voted to unanimously recommend the case for approval.
  • Z-39-16: A 2.5-acre property on Green Acres Lane off Capital Boulevard could soon be rezoned to allow for the construction of a parking lot that would complement a “car sales” facility on Capital. Commissioners voted 8-1 to recommend approval.
  • TC-7-16: The first text change case of 2017 is a very exciting one: it would amend Section 1.1.12.C Historic Development District Design Guidelines of the Raleigh Unified Development Ordinance by renaming it to ““Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts and Landmarks.” Woah!! Commissioners unanimously recommend approval of the case.
  • CP-4-16: This amendment to the Comprehensive Plan would amend the Raleigh Street Plan and Area Plan Location Maps. Because this topic was so fascinating, Commissioners voted unanimously to leave it open to further discussion. We can’t wait!


The Development Beat

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Welcome to a new chapter in ITB Insider™ history. Today, we expand our media empire to cover the world of real estate development in Raleigh. More than 60 people move to Raleigh every day, and I want to know where they’re living and what they’re doing here. That’s where my new investigative journalist, James Borden, comes in. While at the Raleigh Public Record, James has covered everything from the Dix Park controversy to breaking the epic story about the North Raleigh party mansion. (Seriously, go read the party mansion story.) James is first to a lot of stories because he’s an actual journalist that digs through records and finds facts instead of just tweeting all day about La Croix. He’ll be contributing a weekly article focused on development to ITB Insider™ and will keep me informed on a variety of issues going on in Raleigh. James announced the move last week and people seemed pretty excited about it.

We may tinker with the content and format, so let us know what you think. Now that we’re the number one place for development news, we’re also open to sponsorship deals from real estate brokers and developers (e-mail me at if interested). Without further ado, I present James Borden’s first Development Beat for ITB Insider™.

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders

Week of January 9, 2017

Since William Needham Finley IV has the attention span of a White Memorial pre-schooler, I’ll hit the highlights before digging into the details:

Dix Park gets first tenant

Real Estate Report: 19 Bedroom ITB house goes on the market

Two new Mexican restaurants coming to Glenwood

Progress on the new restaurant from the Pho Nomenal Dumplings duo

Updates on Tower IV at North Hills

News on a downtown Raleigh hotel

Welcome…to Dorothea Dix Park
The first new tenant for downtown Raleigh’s premier destination park was approved by City Council last week through a memorandum granting a nine-year lease to the nonprofit Dix Park Conservancy.

The Conservancy, which has a public-private partnership with the City to help develop the Dix Park Master Plan, will most likely occupy the early-20th century Flower Cottage at 2105 Umstead Drive for the staggering cost of $1/year. In addition to leasing the property, The Conservancy has agreed to contribute $2 million for the development of the Master Plan, and may add another $1 million for other planning costs. 

The Flower Cottage at Dorothea Dix Park

Built in 1910, the 1,200 square foot cottage was initially used as a residence but currently sits dilapidated and unused. The Conservancy will be responsible for all renovations and improvements, of which we imagine there will be plenty. On the upside, the organization will also have access to the adjacent 2.75 acres of open space, which can be used for “public and/or private events.”

Rumor has it that an early screening of William Needham Finley’s long-in-the-works “Dix Park” film will be held here. As long as it’s not organized by the Junior League of Raleigh, we’re sure it’ll be a smashing success.

Real Estate Report

Every week, we plan to highlight an interesting Raleigh property that’s currently on the market, be it commercial, industrial or residential. In the future, we’ll leverage local realtors to get their properties listed here. E-mail if you’re interested in featuring a listing here. Credit where it’s due: the one and only Triangle Explorer brought this one to our attention over the weekend.

The Gables Motor Lodge Property in Mordecai
*Note* As it happens, my new editor was so excited about this property that he demanded additional research so he could write his own separate post, which contains answers to some of the questions we’ve seen asked on social media in the last few days.

The Gables Motor Lodge is now for sale. Listed for a cool $1.5 million we imagine this 19-bedroom, 14-bathroom property could sell for well above asking price. The three-lot property is located at 1217, 1219, and 1221 Wake Forest Road in the historic Mordecai neighborhood. 

The 8,000 square-foot Victorian motor lodge was first built in the 1920s and is located on a .51 acre lot just outside of downtown Raleigh. This is truly one of Raleigh’s most iconic properties, and no matter what happens to it, we hope the buyer leaves the old signage in place.

The Gables Motor Lodge

With Your Permit-ssion

On December 30, permits were issued for the latest iteration of the long-suffering Helios Cafe at 413 Glenwood Avenue. The issued permit is for “The Cortez Restaurant,” a new concept from the brothers Ibarra (Hector and Charlie) and their chef, Oscar Diaz from Jose and Sons. This was first announced in early December, and LLC filings indicate plans have been in the works since at least June of 2016. Hutchins Construction will handle the $28,000 worth of renovations.

Jose and Sons was recognized by City Council in September as part of Hispanic Heritage Month

Also coming to Glenwood South is the new La Santa Cantina Mexican restaurant, which received permits January 4. The $12,000 project by Morris Construction will renovate the space formerly occupied by the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe at 222 Glenwood Avenue. Like most local Mexican joints, it appears the walls will be adorned with enchanting artwork. Tobacco Road itself just reopened this past weekend in the former home of Natty Greene’s at 505 West Jones Street.

La Santa restaurant shared some of their future artwork from Alexa Paint and Design on their Facebook page

Work on the recently announced Mofu Shoppe restaurant from for the award-winning folks behind the insanely popular Pho Nomenal Dumplings food truck also received its final permits on December 30. For those of you in the dark: Raleigh’s most famous food truck was the 2015 winner of the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Also, the slogan on their webpage is “Two Girls, One Truck.” That’s pho-cking funny. And a little bit gross, to be honest. Integrated Commercial will be handling the $89,000 worth of renovations at 321 South Blount Street in City Market.

Speaking of first time storefront locations, Sweetheart Treats
, a local purveyor of delectable desserts such as cupcakes, cake push pops, Rice Krispy treats, brownies and more, will soon be opening its doors in suite 105 at the Falls River Shopping Center on 10930 Raven Ridge Road. Owner Mary Hinton, who previously operated Sweetheart Treats out of her home, told us they hope to open by the end of the month. Hinton said in addition to the standard dessert fare, the shop will also be offering a Cupcake Bar with alcohol-infused cupcakes.

Ma’am, have you been drinking tonight?
No, but I had about four cupcakes…

Rounding out our restaurant news for the week, permits for the first Raleigh location of the award-winning national BBQ chain City Barbeque were issued December 30 for a spot at the new Olive Park shopping Center, where work is also underway for Raleigh’s second Bad Daddy’s burger joint. The fit-out of suite 108 will be handled by Wimco Corp for $375,000.

Speaking of Olive Park: the center also received permits on December 30 for Happy Smiles Dental, which will be built out by Old Fields Construction for $250,852.

Other recent permits of note:

  • A $105,785 interior alteration for an RPD training center at 4205 Spring Forest Road to be handled by Diamond Contracting
  • A trio of automotive shops including 1-800 Radiator, Lucho-Lube (heh) and Bryan’s Auto Repair at 2407 Paula Street, all of which will be done by Greensboro’s Bar Construction
  • $25,000 “stair and platform” addition at Finley’s favorite club Still Life at 401 N. West Street. That work will be handled by JBK Construction.

Site Unseen

A wave of site plan reviews were filed in the final weeks of 2016, an appropriate finale to a year that’s seen tremendous growth within the City of Oaks. Amanda Hoyle over at the Triangle Business Journal did the hard work of actually talking to the relevant parties for most of these projects, so we’ll just link to her articles when we can.

SR 1-17: The first site plan of 2017 was for a proposed Alamo Drafthouse cinema/eatery in the Longview Shopping Center at 2000 New Bern Avenue in East Raleigh. According to Hoyle, no deal has been inked with the owners of Alamo Drafthouse, which operates 25 locations around the country but none in North Carolina. Raleigh already has, of course, Raleighwood, and there’s the CineBistro over at Waverly Place, plus a number of other chains that serve beer or liquor, which we believe is one of the main appeals of the Drafthouse chain. If built, the site plan notes the new theater would clock in at around 58,000 square feet.

The Longview Shopping Center could eventually be home to North Carolina’s first Alamo Drafthouse

SR 103-16: Local developer and hero of the historic preservation movement James A. Goodnight filed site plans proposing to turn an existing gas station at 502 W. Lenoir Street into a brand new restaurant. Our friend James Willamor brought this one up on Twitter a few weeks ago, where we also heard the rumor that the new joint will be titled “Raise Up.” No such information is contained on the site plans, which only indicate that Goodnight plans to turn it into a restaurant/bar, and reduce the size from 5,084 square feet to 4,583 square feet. Built in 1948 and most recently home to Dusty’s Service Center, Goodnight has owned the property since 2014.

Dusty’s Service Center in 2011

SR 101-16: More mixed-use for North Hills, new plans for the long-in-development Tower IV. We’re glad Hoyle wrote about this one, because the informational pages on the project found on the North Hills and Kane Realty websites contradict each other, and the site plan drawings only add to that confusion. It turns out Tower IV is actually *two* towers: a 20-story office tower and a 31-story residential tower. They’re also planning to cram a hotel and some retail use in there somewhere. The site plans indicate the towers will come in at a whopping 735,665 SF, with, 1,046 parking spaces, 35,199 SF of open space, 300 residential units and 198 hotel rooms. We cannot confirm nor deny whether WNFIV will be given the penthouse suite based on the “IV” at the end of his name.

A rendering of the proposed Tower IV at North Hills

SR 102-16: There’s been a lot of fear mongering in recent years, especially by those lunatics over at the Raleigh Public Record about an alleged lack of downtown hotel rooms, so hopefully this site plan will shut them up for a little while. This site plan describes a 13-story (bad omen), 259-room, 260,890 gross square-foot hotel that will be a “dual brand” Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites developed by CN Hotels. I think “dual brand” means they charge you twice for the same room, but I could be mistaken. The hotel will be located at 200 West Davie near the intersection with South McDowell. 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. This project was first brought to our attention by the ever-dutiful James Willamor on Twitter last month. 

A rendering of the hotel proposed for the site in 2015

SR 108-16: Greystar, the apartment developer behind a number of Raleigh multifamily projects including The Gramercy, The Devon Four25, the Devon Seven12 (yes, those are the real names), 927 West Morgan and more, is now planning to expand outside the downtown core. Greystar plans to develop the Overture Centennial apartments on Western Boulevard across from Pullen Park. The site plans describe the Overture as a 182,720 SF, three-story 180 unit complex that will include 235 parking spaces. As of now, the plans call for 108 one-bedroom units and 72 two-bedrooms. Given Greystar’s track record, we imagine this will be another upscale complex catering to wealthy Raleigh urbanites who want to live in proximity to both Pullen and Dix Parks.

The proposed location for the new Overture apartments

A Zest for Zoning

While rezoning cases are a lot rarer in the era of the Unified Development Ordinance than they were in days past, there were a pair worth looking at filed in the month of December.

Z-45-16: A minor request to remove a restriction on a property — it would remain zoned commercial mixed use — for some acreage out by Triangle Town Center at the intersection of Triangle Town Center Road and Old Wake Forest — filed by apartment developer Faison Inc. In 2008, Faison submitted plans for the Triangle Place Promenade Apartments, and it looks like they’re still hoping to build some multifamily with limited retail out on the site.

Some new apartments could be built near Triangle Town Center

Z-47-16: Most rezoning cases are filed by developers seeking to increase the allowed use on a given parcel of land; this one caught our eye because it was put together by residents of the ITB Country Club Hills neighborhood off Glenwood Avenue and a little south of Woman’s Club Drive in an effort to reduce the overall zoning from R-4 to R-2. According to the applicants, this would “preserve the existing character” of the area and “discourage teardowns and the construction of houses that are not harmonious with existing neighborhood development.” Normally one of the only ways residents can fight encroaching development is to purchase surrounding lots; we like this more realistic — and legalistic — approach a lot better!

Residents of this Glenwood neighborhood want to preserve its character
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