by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Gables Motor Lodge Approved, Highway to the Valet Zone

in Development by

Brought to you by York Properties.

Week of June 18, 2018

Gables Motor Lodge rezoning approved

Morgan Street Food Hall announces opening date

Union Station to open June 27

Silence of the Lambos: Alchemy may lose its Valet Parking Zone

Kroger closing its Raleigh locations

Western Boulevard Senior Apartments break ground

City to sell 517 South Blount Street

IHOP name change not permanent

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


Green Pastures Ahead for Gables Motor Lodge

In the first ever edition of the Development Beat, we reported on a plan to sell the iconic Gables Motor Lodge. After much speculation (Mordecai Outraged Over Rumored Buyers of Iconic Property) that included a Dave & Buster’s, a Wahlberg-themed Food Hall, and a Big Lots, a much more suitable plan has been approved by the local Citizens Advisory Committee.

The Mordecai CAC voted (95-1) to recommend approval of rezoning case Z-14-18 last week. The rezoning will allow for the addition of a pair of two-story buildings to the site, bookmarking the existing lodge and bringing the total number of rooms to 19. In addition, the developer is looking into the possibility of adding a water feature, and fencing around the property line.

The developer had noted that they want to make something that “pays tribute to Mordecai,” and in so doing, will try to ensure the iconic sign out front is incorporated into the project.

The case still needs to be approved by City Council, but strong support from the local CAC always goes a long way towards approval. You can watch the entire presentation from last week here.


The Foods in the Hall

The highly anticipated Morgan Street Food Hall announced last week that it will be opening its doors on July 23.

The 20,000 square-foot space at 411 W. Morgan will be home to about 20 different restaurants, as well as a number of retail carts selling food and food-related items.

To date, the restaurants confirmed include: Bella’s Wood Fired Pizza & Tapas, Boba Brew, Carroll’s Kitchen, Cocoa Forte, Cousins Maine Lobster, Cow Bar, Curry in a Hurry, Hook & Cleaver, Iyla’s Southern Kitchen, Makus Empanadas, Mama Bird’s Cookies + Cream, MKG Kitchen, Morgan Street Java & Creperie, Oak City Fish & Chips, Raleigh Raw, Raleigh Rolls, Sassool, The Bowls, The Broth, and Wicked Taco.

This is probably more restaurants than existed in the whole of downtown Raleigh just fifteen years ago. We’re looking forward to the opening.


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Union Station Readies for Rail

Raleigh’s new Union Station will soon begin servicing rail passengers. The station’s opening was delayed slightly due to the platform not meeting required regulations regarding its slope, which was apparently too steep by one percent.

Much of this area, which includes three stories of commercial and office spaces, will be managed by our friends over at York Properties.

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

Silence of the Lambos


The following is a true story. We are not making any of this up.

Owner of an array of downtown hot spots, including the Capital City Tavern and the Oak City Tavern, Dan Lovenheim is also the proprietor of Glenwood South’s Alchemy nightclub. His Lamborghini can often be found in front of Alchemy, parked in the nightclub’s valet zone.

It turns out, not everyone appreciates seeing something other than a Yukon from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac parked along Glenwood. A number of local businesses in the area began complaining that the valet zone in front of Alchemy was “not being operated for the lawfully-intended purpose.” The initial application for a valet zone was approved in February 2016. Apparently, the valet area is often used as reserved parking for the Lambo.

According to a report prepared by City of Raleigh staffers, the claim “was later substantiated by parking enforcement agents who monitored this area nightly and cited the owner’s vehicle on several occasions.” Staff had telephone conversations with the owner, as well as two personal meetings regarding the misuse of the valet zone. The owner continued to state this was untrue.

More recently, several Raleigh police officers corroborated that no valet parking was taking place. Two ranking officers have stated the Club owner admitted the same to them during a meeting on October 30, 2017. It seems the City of Raleigh did more detective work on this issue than Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. And we applaud their efforts. We can’t just give away parking spaces for uses other than parking willy-nilly.

Since Glenwood is technically a highway, one could state that it is, in fact, a highway to the valet zone. We’ve all been in that situation, sitting on Glenwood South, searching for a parking spot to go to Dillo. Revvin’ up your engine, listen to her howlin’ roar. Metal under tension, beggin’ you to valet park and go. It’s a highway to the valet zone, you’re gonna park your car right in to the valet zone. Well, probably not much longer after today’s City Council meeting. They’ll vote on whether they should return the three parking spaces currently designated as Alchemy’s valet zone back to the public.

Kroger Klosing

In an announcement that shook the supermarket world, Kroger announced last week that it would be closing all 14 of its area locations, a move that will affect about 1,500 employees.

Only four of those stores are actually in Raleigh. Of those, one, at 8345 Creedmoor Road, will reopen as a Harris Teeter and the other, at 7905 Falls of Neuse Road, will reopen as a Food Lion.

Kroger first opened in the region in 1989 and acquired the Matthews, N.C. based Harris Teeter chain in 2013.  Kroger has now come to the conclusion that the region is “over-stored.”

No plans have yet been announced for the future of the Krogers located at 6300 Creedmoor or 350 Six Forks Road, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any permits issued at those spaces.


Senior Living Apartments on Western Break Ground

Site work is wrapping up for the new Overture Centennial Apartments on Western Boulevard across from Pullen Park. Apparently, Overture is a “brand” of senior living complexes, something we missed when reporting on this in the past. The complex will cater exclusively to the 55+ crowd.

Although permits for the building itself have not been issued, the site plans we reported on described it as a 182,720 square foot, three-story 180 unit complex that will include 235 parking spaces. The plans also broke down the unit sizes: 108 one-bedroom units and 72 two-bedrooms.

City To Sell Blount Street Property

City Council today is expected to authorize the sale of a cinder block structure at 517 S. Blount Street to a company that could redevelop the derelict property into a three-story mixed-use development.

Built in 1950, the existing 2,275 square-foot structure would likely be demolished in order to make way for an as-yet unknown new development. The property is zoned DX-3, which means downtown mixed-use with a height restriction of three stories.

An LLC that appears to be owned by an Orthopedic Surgeon submitted a bid of $495,000 for the land. The proceeds will go toward affordable housing efforts in the City. Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved.

Don’t Expect IHoB Signage Anytime Soon

For those of you who missed IHOP’s gimmicky “name change” marketing campaign (the pancake chain recently announced it will now be known as the International House of Burgers) we have some good news: the classic signage adorning Raleigh’s IHOP’s won’t be changing anytime soon; or ever, really.

It turns out the name change is only a short-term marketing campaign, and not an official or legal name change that will require the signage in front of your favorite breakfast spot to be upgraded. Raleigh’s gone through enough changes recently, and we’re glad to see at least one thing remain constant, even if it is just the logo for a chain breakfast joint.

Dads Won’t Stop Fly Fishing In Orvis Parking Lot

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  1. Interesting as always but I caught a mistake. When my family moved to Cary in 1973 there was a Kroger at Mayfair Plaza. It closed shortly after that saying there was no future in Cary.

  2. I love when douchery (the Lambo) meets its match. I say tow that thing and let the front end under-bumper scrape on the ground all of the way to the lot.

  3. We’re gonna need an update on the fate of that Lambo and the parking spots. I see that every week with a parking ticket on it when I’m at the Nog Run Club at RBG…

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