by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Council To Decide on New Hillsborough Apartments

in Development/ITBNN by

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of June 19, 2017

New apartments could come to the corner of Hillsborough and Bagwell

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

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

CycleBar to open in North Hills

Raleigh Gymnastics Expands

Person Street fitness center closes

New Hillsborough Apartments Await Council Approval

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

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

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

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

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

Pizza Place Opens in Former Porter’s Spot

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

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

CycleBar to Open Second Raleigh Location in North Hills

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

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

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

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

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

St. David’s Begins Building New Middle School

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

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

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

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

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

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

Person Street Fitness Center Set to Close

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

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

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

Raleigh Gymnastic Rolls Into New Space

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

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

We aren’t sure why this isn’t legal

Wilmington Street Taco Bell Prepares for Major Renovation

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


  1. Take a note from someone living in Raleigh. Fight these developers off with a stick!

  2. St. Timothy’s school was always associated with Hale until they split ways when Hale became St. David’s. You went to St. Timothy’s for K-4 (or till 6th grade prior to 1997), then automatically transferred to Hale which took you through high school graduation. A new headmaster (John Murray) had disagreements with the school’s leadership and broke the high school off from the lower school and renamed it St. David’s.

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