by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Taylor’s Capital Service Station Set for Redevelopment by Mysterious New Owner

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Week of February 5, 2018

Taylor’s Capital Service Station closes after sale to mysterious developer

Smashed Waffles opens on Hillsborough Street

Design contract to be awarded for Pullen Aquatic Center

Poke-ing around on Hillsborough Street

City to acquire land for Southern Gateway Corridor

Work begins on bartaco in North Hills

Light of the World Church adds rooftop solar


Taylor’s Capital Service Closes, What Next?

On December 17, 2017, the .3 acre property at 630 Hillsborough Street that has been home to the iconic Taylor’s Capital Service station for over three decades was sold to a developer going by the name “Hillsborough 630, LLC.”

Just over a month later, Taylor’s has closed its doors for good, leaving many wondering: what’s coming next? We wish we could tell you, but the new owner is shrouded in more secrecy than the Illuminati’s collaboration with Taco Bell. The LLC is itself registered in Wyoming, but the documentation shows the company was registered by a firm that specializes in private LLC registrations, and no information on the real company ownership was available. The LLC’s North Carolina address was also a bust: it’s a mail forwarding company in Sanford.

ITBest of the Week February 5

The one piece of potentially legitimate information we found was a deed filed in December between Hillsborough 630 and BB&T Bank, which lists a real person and another LLC by the name of Highpoint Properties. We found a few Highpoint Properties across the country, including one based out of North Dakota that was apparently involved in a lawsuit over a residential subdivision. The phone number for the North Dakota Highpoint rang to a private residence, and we were unable to confirm their potential involvement in the redevelopment of Taylor’s.

So where does that leave us? The property is zoned NX-7, or neighborhood mixed-use with a maximum height of seven stories. Under this designation, the mysterious new owners are permitted to develop residential, retail, service and commercial uses, but not bars or nightclubs.

Here’s my prediction: Taylor’s will be torn down, probably within the next 3-6 months, and replaced within the next 1-2 years with an apartment development featuring ground floor retail. Reminder: across the street from Taylor’s sits Allen’s Automotive, which we are also guessing will be turned into an apartment building since it was bought by Charlotte developers last year.


Get Smashed on Hillsborough Street

Smashed Waffles, a Pawnee, Indiana Greenville, NC based waffle-delivery service, opened last week on Hillsborough Street. We first reported on this back in August because we take waffles very seriously.

The new waffle shop is located on the ground floor of 2304 Hillsborough, next door to the future home of a Taco Bell Cantina, and will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will remain open to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Smashed Waffles are cooked with a dough-based batter instead of buttermilk, are smaller than traditional Belgian waffles, and feature elaborate topping choices. These include everything from the “Cracker Jack” which is topped with “sweet caramel popcorn and dressed with a caramel and brown sugar drizzle” to “The Campfire” topped with “a marshmallow cream sauce, Nutella drizzle, graham cracker crumbles, and powdered sugar.”


CANNONBALL: Pullen Aquatic Center To Be Renovated

City Council is expected to award the full design contract for a planned $4 million renovation of the Pullen Aquatic Center to Osterlund Architects. The Center consists of an indoor 50 meter x 25-yard Olympic pool, a warm water therapy pool, and offers lap and recreational swimming, water exercise, swim lessons and aquatic therapy programs.

According to a memo drafted by City Manager Ruffin Hall, maintenance and repair of the Pullen Aquatic Center is a high priority “due to the intense usage throughout the year by individual patrons and swimming organizations” and we assume a massive amount of cannonballs.

Osterlund was awarded a design contract for a study of the facility in March of 2017. An investigation of the space found that work beyond their initial scope would be required. The firm had previously overseen a renovation of the Center in 2013. Pullen Aquatic Center was one of eight city-owned aquatic facilities included in a broad study that began in 2015 that served to prioritize needed repairs and renovations at each location.


Poke Bar Opens on Hillsborough Street

Poke Bar, a California-based franchise offering its own spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish poke, opened its first North Carolina location last week right here in Raleigh at 2604 Hillsborough Street. Poke is often described as a “raw fish salad” and has seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the last two decades.

The new restaurant, which aims to “provide fresh poke without sacrificing taste, health, and quality in a fast casual restaurant environment,” is sure to be a hit among college students looking to expand beyond the traditional fast-casual offerings.

bartaco Coming Soon to North Hills

In October, Kane Realty announced that bartaco, “a hip eatery specializing in tacos and rice bowls” would be making its way to the North Hills shopping center. Last week, work finally began on the restaurant’s new space next to Mura.

On January 25, three permits valued at just under $400,000 were issued to McCarty Construction that will allow them to add an exterior cooler, a fence, and fit out the 5,680 square foot restaurant space. We imagine it should be opening within a few months.

City Spends $2M+ For 12 Acres on South Wilmington

A large swath of land on South Wilmington will soon be in the hands of the City — at the low, low cost of $2 million plus closing costs. The roughly 12-acre site encompasses the properties listed as 2916, 3000, 3020, and 3100 S. Wilmington Street, and will be used to help revitalize the City’s Southern Gateway Corridor.

The City has been looking at ways to improve and enhance the southern gateway of South Saunders and South Wilmington Streets into Raleigh, and last February adopted the Southern Gateway Corridor Study and its recommended Comprehensive Plan amendments. The purchase of the South Wilmington land is the most concrete step to date in this planned revitalization.

Let There Be Light

Image: Carl Sigel

The Church of the Nativity on Ray Road will soon be utilizing another natural element in order to benefit its members: the sun. Permits were issued last month to Southern Energy Management for the installation of a new 106-panel rooftop solar array at the church’s campus. The system is being installed on the roof of Curry Hall, and will power two of the church’s buildings on the campus.

Those familiar with the church’s work through their Becoming the Good Soil program, which seeks to reduce the effects of climate change, should not be surprised to learn the church is looking to reduce its own carbon footprint.


  1. South Saunders Street,as well as the surrounding area has always been considered the “Working Man’s side of town” . The City of Raleigh would do well to attempt to make the business corrodor affordable for those start up’s

  2. Jen,

    Appreciate the information, and this is something I should have mentioned: the previous owner of the property was “630 Hillsborough, LLC” whereas the buyer/new owner was “Hillsborough 630, LLC,” – I suspect this was another angle of their obfuscation tactics.


  3. James – Very likely…either way you shake it, it’s an out-of-state developer who smells chum in the water…sneaky bastards.

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