by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: History Museum Plans Expansion, Guasaca Opens on Hillsborough Street

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Museum of History plans expansion

Guasaca opens on Hillsborough Street

A sneak peek at the Nash Square hotel

Trophy Brewing begins expansion on Morgan Street

NC Football Club seeks county funding for downtown stadium

Chido Taco coming to McNeill Pointe

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Museum of History Plots Expansion

NC Museum of History

The NC Museum of History is planning to expand in downtown Raleigh.

North Carolina’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is soliciting proposals for a renovation and expansion of the facility. According to NCDNCR, the existing 199,642 SF museum “has begun to outgrow its mission and functional requirements.” As a result, the existing facility will be renovated and expanded, and an addition will be built across the street on the site of an existing parking lot.

The new building will include approximately 190,000 SF of gallery space, educational space, a new auditorium, support services space, a restaurant, and a conference center. The remainder of the site will “support a below-grade parking structure, outdoor interpretive activities as well as a new drop-off area for students and other groups that regularly visit the museum.”

The existing museum, which was completed in 1992, will be connected to the new facility via a pedestrian bridge over Wilmington Street. The total cost of the project is around $200 million. For that kind of money, we’re hoping they’ll add exhibits that come to life at night.


Guasaca Comes to Hillsborough Street

Guasaca has opened their new location on Hillsborough Street in the ground floor of the Target building.

We consider Guasaca Raleigh’s – and possibly the country’s – best quick-service restaurant. They specialize in arepas, white or yellow corn cakes, stuffed with a choice of fillings, such as steak, chicken, pork, and of course, guasaca – a delicious combination of guacamole and salsa. UPDATE: someone commented to inform us that guasaca is actually a combination of guacamole and Italian dressing. We still have not confirmed if this is accurate. Stay tuned for updates.

We first covered this in August, when permits for the upfit of the 2,285 square-foot space were issued to JCI Builders. We expect the restaurant will be quite popular with the college crowd and give neighbors Chipotle and Taco Bell a run for their money. Fun fact: this is one of ITBlake the intern’s favorite restaurants.


A Look At Nash Square Hotel Plans

Nash Square Hotel

Images of the new hotel planned for Nash Square were recently unveiled.

The new downtown hotel filed an “Administrative Alternative” request last week, seeking relief from certain portions of the city’s building code regulations. The request describes the exterior as being a combination of brick, metal, and mortar, and calls out one particular section as a “5 story floating form that creates a top to the architectural hierarchy” – whatever that means.

We especially appreciate the Firestone sign peeking out of the background in the main rendering. We hope they keep the name “Hotel Sign” for this hip and trendy downtown addition.


Trophy Brewing Begins Expansion

Trophy Brea

Trophy Brewing is expanding their Morgan Street location.

After announcing plans to expand in May of 2018, renovation permits have been issued to Trophy Brewing. The project consists of a 756 square-foot addition, as well as the renovation of more than 5,000 square feet of what used to be a convenience store and laundromat.

We had reported back in November that it looked like construction was getting ready to start; as it happens, the permits issued last week were applied for back on December 18.

The renovation and expansion will hopefully wrap up by this fall, and we’re excited for the opportunity to drink and dine at the new and improved eatery.


NC Football Club Remains Set on Raleigh

919 to MLS Stadium Downtown RaleighSource: North Carolina FC Website

More than a year-and-a-half after the North Carolina Football Club unveiled their plans for a $150-million, 22,000 seat soccer stadium complex located at the northern edge of downtown Raleigh, the club has requested funding from county tax funding, a sign that the project is still alive.

WRAL reported last week that the NCFC was “one of eight groups to submit a plan after Wake County officially requested information about future hospitality projects that could be funded” by the County through the Room Occupancy and Prepared Food and Beverage taxes.

The stadium would be built at the edge of Halifax Mall along Peace Street, but fortunately, the mall, downtown Raleigh’s most underrated gem, would remain largely intact. The infamous Archdale Building, which looks like a PlayStation 2, would have to come down. A tragic loss, to be sure, but such is the cost of progress.

For a full accounting of NCFC’s funding request and future plans for the stadium, check out WRAL Sport’s comprehensive report.

Chido Taco Coming to McNeill Pointe

McNeil Pointe

McNeill Pointe along Wake Forest Road will soon be adding yet another new restaurant to their growing list of offerings: Chido Taco.

Chido, a Spanish language equivalent to the American slang word “cool,” does not appear to be a chain of any kind, although there are a few restaurants and taco trucks bearing this name throughout the country. We expect it to be a delicious addition to SoJo.

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