by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: The Disappearance Of The Cameron Village McDonald’s

in Development by

Brought to you by York Properties

An investigation into the Cameron Village McDonald’s

Wegmans now open in Raleigh

Wine tasting at Seaboard Wine (10/5)

Ashley Christensen’s chicken sandwich restaurant coming to Raleigh

Union Station Phase II Approved

Apartments planned for Glenwood

City Council elections are October 8th – more info. here

Barktoberfest on October 5th

Updates on The Wade

Other News

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The Disappearance Of The Cameron Village McDonald’s

It’s been months since the golden arches at the Cameron Village McDonald’s went dark. We received numerous questions about the topic, so we decided to investigate.

We assumed the location, like many others across the city, had simply shut down for remodeling. But as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into a month with no sign of a permit application, we wondered: what’s going on? Let’s start with the basics. 

Raleigh’s so-called permit database has no record of any issued or applied-for renovation permits for the McDonald’s at Cameron Village, although these applications do sometimes fall through the digital cracks. 

The most recent activity at the location was a complaint filed June 28, 2019 claiming that “Pipes bursts [sic] inside the building and water is flowing into the main place they make food.” So THAT’S why the McFlurry machine was always broken. 

McGone but not McForgotten

The complaint was determined to be “Unfounded” when the City investigated a few days later. Odd, but not unusual, coming from a corporation that still has a terrifying clown as a mascot in 2019.

Wake County ownership records for the property at 416 Oberlin Road pointed us in two different directions: Regency Centers, which owns Cameron Village (our friends over at York manage the center), and a company out of Cary named “The Richards Advantage.”

Richards Advantage appears to be a former McDonald’s franchisee. An archived version of a website tied to the company lists the same phone number as the Facebook page for McDonald’s of Cary. The Facebook page for the Cameron Village location has not been updated since May of 2018. Their last post indicates they were, “laying down 100% fresh beef and cooking it right when you order.”

It appears Richards Advantage once operated seven McDonald’s locations in Cary, plus one on the campus of Duke University, and most likely the Cameron Village location.

Unfortunately, the only phone number we could find for Richards was disconnected, and while the McDonald’s of Cary Facebook page still lists the old Richards Advantage phone number, the moderator of the page let us know that a new franchisee had acquired the seven Cary locations in October 2018. 

So where does that leave us? Well, the Regency Centers page for Cameron Village lists the McDonald’s parcel (B0246) as vacant and available. At this point, we can only assume the Cameron Village McDonald’s has served its last Happy Meal.

Of course, the “why” of it all is the most interesting question. Sure, McDonald’s has been shuttering some of its locations. According to 24/7 Wall St. the number of McDonald’s franchises went from from 15,828 in 2016 to 13,948 in 2018. But you rarely see one close, especially in a location as desirable as Cameron Village.

While we don’t know what the future holds for this piece of premium real estate, there are rumors that ITB Insider plans to lease the property to launch a new co-working space. If WeWork can create a company out of thin air, then so can we.

Wegmans Opened And ITBlake Was There

Wegmans has opened in Raleigh. We haven’t seen a frenzy like this over a grocery store since the Cameron Village Harris Teeter avocado shortage of 1989.

ITB Insider was the first media empire to get an exclusive look inside the store last week. We can only assume that the ensuing hysteria was due to our reporting.

On Sunday morning, the N&O’s Brooke Cain provided the following coverage of the grand opening for Wegmans.

Pictures like this began to go Raleigh-viral on social media. The response ranged from cyber-bullying to others sharing their excitement for the new grocery store.

Instead of dunking all over these people on social media, we chose to see the beauty in people willing to wait in line for hours for a grocery store to open.

According to an inside source, Wegmans did over 13,000 transactions on Sunday. Other media outlets have reported that 30,000 people visited the store. We’re glad to see the addition of another grocery store in the area, but the Cameron Village Harris Teeter still reigns supreme.


Tasting at Seaboard Wine 10/5

Our friends at Seaboard Wine at HighPark Village are hosting a free tasting this Saturday (10/5) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Ariel from Advintage Wines will be pouring a selection of whites and rich reds to help us transition from summer to fall, if the weather would ever actually get cooler.

Seaboard Wine is also hosting a fall Wine Class series. Their next class is on October 18th, and features South African wines. Classes are $39-$45 each and last from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm. You can buy tickets here.


Ashley Christensen Opening Project Xtra Crispy In Raleigh

Move over Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, Raleigh’s James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen is getting into the chicken sandwich game. In July, Christensen revealed that her new fast casual fried chicken restaurant would be coming to Cary and Durham.

A website and social media accounts created for “Project Xtra Crispy” indicate “expertly-crafted chicken sandwiches and flavorful sides” will be the focus of the restaurant.

As if the opening of Wegmans didn’t generate enough buzz for the new SOJO (Midtown East) shopping center last week, Christensen announced that the center will be home to her newest concept.

According to the website, they are opening three locations: SOJO (Midtown East) in early spring 2020, University Hill in Durham in spring/summer 2020, and Parkside Town Commons in Cary in late 2020. We’ve already sent ITBlake out to start waiting in line.

Union Station Phase II Approved

The second phase of the Union Station project, which includes a bus station and up to 40 stories of mixed-use development, took a step forward this week. The RUS Bus, as people are calling it, will incorporate private development above the public transportation facility that will include mixed-income housing. We hereby propose changing the name to “ITBus” (short for “It’s The Bus”) because “RUS Bus” sounds like we’re supporting Russia.

Raleigh City Council approved a rezoning case that will allow GoTriangle to move forward with the project located at 200, 206, and 210 West Street. The 1.76-acre site is currently occupied by two-story warehouse buildings and was described in the rezoning application as a brownfield site.

Last December, the project received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Running and maintaining the project once it’s completed is expected to cost about $250,000 a year. In a cost/benefit analysis commissioned by GoTriangle, it was estimated that by 2053 the project will have netted more than $224 million in profit.

The rezoning case had received recommendations of approval from the Planning Commission, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, and the local Citizens Advisory Council. However, the Raleigh City Council delayed their approval by two weeks so that additional conditions related to affordable housing could be added.

Among others, they added the following condition, “The property owner will dedicate no less than 20 units or 10% of units, whichever is greater, as affordable for households earning 80% area median income or less for a period of no less than 15 years.”

Another SkyHouse Coming To Glenwood?

The developers behind SkyHouse Raleigh are seeking to expand their Raleigh portfolio with a new project on Glenwood Avenue………not far from Crabtree Valley Mall.

A recently filed subdivision application for the project indicates that the development will include a total of 248 units spread across two four-story buildings. This will include 36 studio apartments, 136 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedrooms, and 16 three-bedrooms. A third building housing an office/clubhouse is also depicted on the preliminary site plan drawings. 

The property at 5715 Glenwood Avenue is currently home to a four-story 1970s-era office building that serves as a corporate office for AT&T. The subdivision application is described as “pre-acquisition” and county records indicate that the developer, the Novare Group out of Georgia, has not yet acquired the land. Southern Bell, also based out of Atlanta, has owned the land since 1973. The Site Review plan does include a purchase agreement between Southern Bell and Novare, but County records do not reflect an actual sale yet.

City Council Elections Oct. 8th

City Council elections are October 8th. The polls are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm on Election Day. Early voting goes through Friday, October 4th. You can also vote absentee by mail. 

You can check your registration and preview your ballot. If you need to register or update, you can do that at early voting but *not* on Election Day. You’ll need to bring proof of residence. Details here.

Other News

Oak Heart Veterinary Hospital is opening another location in Raleigh. They’re also hosting a Barktoberfest on October 5th. The Oktoberfest-themed event is open to the public from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at 1600 South Saunders Street. For information about the event, and to RSVP, click here. You can also RSVP on Facebook.

The Wade, our favorite condo project and the future home of ITBlake, is coming along nicely. Contact Beacon Street Development for more information.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance is hosting another outdoor office week at Union Station. It’s like WeWork, except it’s free and their valuation isn’t plummeting.

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