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Week of November 13, 2017
New Starbucks opens in Cameron Village
City Plaza construction shuts down Ice Raleigh
Target opens on Hillsborough Street
Moore Square closes for renovations
Michael’s English Muffins to open permanent retail location
Remedy Diner relocates
New hotel announced for Glenwood South
Last week, we asked everyone to donate to the YMCA’s We Build People Campaign. You still have a day left to donate and enter “ITB” when you credit a campaigner.
Our third and final cause of the week is Hilltop Home’s annual “A Christmas Carol” sponsorship. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Thursday, December 7th show of Raleigh icon Ira David Wood III’s beloved musical, held at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts (also known as Memorial Auditorium). You can also purchase individual tickets for $95 without a sponsorship package. Includes ticket and donation to Hilltop Home, a private, non-profit intermediate care facility that is home to 22 children with severe to profound developmental disabilities. Children receive individualized medical, therapeutic, and educational services in an intimate, homelike setting.
New Starbucks in Cameron Village Opens
It’s an early Christmas miracle. Residents rejoiced as the new Starbucks in Cameron Village opened this week. The new location is across the street from the previous location inside Harris Teeter. The temporary closure during the move left many distraught last week, so we’re glad to see this up and running.
While there is not a drive-thru at the new location, contractors appear to be finishing work on an outdoor seating area that could potentially double as a helipad for Tahoecopters or drone pickup/delivery. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.
No Ice Skating in Downtown Raleigh
Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile, and on every street corner you’ll hear: “When does Ice Raleigh open this year?”
Well, we hate to be the bearers of War on Ice Skating news, but Ice Raleigh — a seasonal outdoor ice rink located in City Plaza — will be closed this year. It’s sort of a long story, but basically the City told the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (the group that puts on Ice Raleigh) that the Astroturf space normally used for the rink would be unavailable due to construction on the new 22-story FNB Tower. DRA tried to find another location but was unable to. The FNB tower groundbreaking got pushed back to Feb. 2018, meaning the Astroturf location was available, but it was too late for DRA to secure the location for proper installation.
This doesn’t mean Christmas is canceled in Downtown Raleigh. The annual 2017 ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh is November 18th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place December 2 in City Plaza from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Hillsborough Street Target Now Open
Last week, the Hillsborough Street Target welcomed the students of NC State into its bright-red, scaled-down space in the former home of The Alley. The 23,000 square foot space is officially a “flexible-format” store, which runs smaller than the average 135,000 square foot regular Targets and the 174,000 square foot Super Targets.
WNFIV was invited to the sneak peek but, out of respect for The Alley, couldn’t bring himself to attend. Here’s a tour of the new space.
Explore the new target with me! https://t.co/UCnl8vKcAx
— Hillsborough Street (@LiveItUpRaleigh) November 7, 2017
Considering the majority of the items purchased at the new store will be furnishing micro-sized dorm rooms or cramped four-bedroom apartments, it makes perfect sense to have a smaller store (they were once known as CityTarget or TargetExpress stores) in this location. But was it too much to hope that they’d find enough spare room for at least *one* bowling lane?
Moore Square Park Closed for Remodeling
Although the official groundbreaking ceremony for the loooooong-anticipated Moore Square Park renovation was held last Thursday, it wasn’t until yesterday that one of downtown’s oldest parks was closed to the public.
While planning on the Moore Square renovation began more than 8 years ago, and was finally bid out to contractors (for the first time) last year, it was not until September 2017 that Council finally awarded a construction contract for the $10.6 million overhaul to American South General Contractors of Sanford.
American South had bid the job at more than $13 million, but worked with the City to come within the project’s remaining budget. In order to do this, a few modifications, including the size of the trellis, changes to the seat walls, and the removal of a “grove room,” were required.
Construction is expected to take about a year and will include landscape renovations, a new public pavilion, a new central lawn, planted areas, pedestrian walkways and gathering spaces, sidewalk improvements, site lighting and furnishings, a play area, public art, and a jet-field water feature. No word on if the water feature will feed into the potential downtown Raleigh canal.
Michael’s English Muffins Getting A Retail Location
Raleigh’s only source of fresh-baked English muffins will soon have a permanent spot to call home, now that permits have been issued for the renovation of a space at the Towne Square shopping center.
The shop’s owner, Michael Annabelle Comisar, told us she hadn’t even been looking to open a retail location, and was instead looking for a space to grow their production. The English muffins are currently sold at a number of farmers markets and other retail locations around the area.
“Per the landlord, the space needed to be open to the public,” Comisar said, and she decided to open a small cafe location where customers could either purchase the muffins in bulk or enjoy them on site with a variety of spreads. Her favorite: peanut butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Comisar, who named the English muffins after her late father Michael, said she hopes to open by the end of the year, but doesn’t want to set a hard date due to the high expectations associated with the holiday season.
Remedy Diner, the downtown vegetarian mainstay that first opened on East Hargett Street in 2008, officially moved in to its new space at 927 Morgan Street last Wednesday. The new, larger space can now seat up to 60 diners at a time, nearly double the amount that could squeeze into the original location, allowing Remedy to serve up twice the number of Buffalo Non-Chicken Wings, Veggie Reubens and Fake Meatball Subs.
New Hotel Planned for Glenwood South
In a move no doubt designed to capitalize on the influx of tourism set to flood Hillsborough Street now that the Target has opened, plans were announced last week for a new AC Hotel by Marriott near the intersection of Hillsborough and Glenwood.
The new five-story hotel, known as “The Willard” will have about 125 rooms. An additional two stories will house 25 condominium units. Four office buildings known collectively as Cooper Square at 21 Glenwood Avenue will need to be torn down in order to make way for the new development.