by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Wiley Set For Upgrades, Bagels Coming to Glenwood, Pizza to DTR

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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of January 1, 2018

Expansion and renovation planned for Wiley Elementary

Glenwood South to get a taste of NY

Hatem’s Empire Eats to open pizza joint later this month

New details emerge on new Downtown Hotel

Dogwood Bar & Eatery opens on Glenwood South

Closets by Design to be manufactured on Atlantic

Demolition of Cargill Plant and Dob’s Restaurant

Expanding Raleigh’s “Most Architecturally Outstanding Elementary School”

In 1923 the City of Raleigh hired Atlanta architect C. Gadsen Sayre to design four modern school buildings, including a new location for the Wiley School, then located at the intersection of Morgan and West streets.

According to County records, the new 16-classroom building at 306 St. Mary’s was built for a cost of $264,225 and first opened in September 1924. Named for Dr. Albert W. Wily, a villainous robotics engineer and scientist from an alternate Earth in the year 20XX, Calvin H. Wiley, the first superintendent of public instruction in North Carolina, it has been referred to as “Raleigh’s most architecturally outstanding elementary school.”

The original structure was last renovated in 2004, and now plans are underway to once again renovate and expand this historic school. Site plans filed last month indicate that a new two-story, 43,368 square-foot building will be built on the campus next to the original 1923 structure facing St. Mary’s Street. The new building will sit on the southern side of the original closer to College Place.

The plans aren’t exactly packed with details; aside from the building’s size and layout, it contains this one nugget of relevant information: “restoration of existing buildings, new building additions, some site modifications, new storm drainage, no change in use or occupancy.”


NY Bagels Coming to Glenwood South

Bagels are finally on their way back to Glenwood South. Permits were issued last week for the fit-out of an 815 square-foot space at Suite 180 in Glenwood Place at 301 Glenwood Avenue, which is also home of the well-known Sushi Blues Cafe.

UPDATE: We received the following e-mail from the owners of NY Bagel.

“IM emailing you due to your blog about NY bagel on glenwood I would like to state that New york bagels and deli also known as NY bagel in raleigh on falls of neuse and in cary on kildaire farm road is not affiliated with this new location on glenwood we are family owned and no one come close to our made from scratch everyday Ny water bagels, we feel as if this blog was representing our bagel shop beacuse it says there other “locations” we would just like it to be clarified that this is not our good name.”



Cowabunga, It’s Pizza Time

Love em’ or Hatem, Empire Eats provides downtown Raleigh diners with a wide range of dining options; from barbecue to burgers to Italian and Lebanese. Within the next few weeks, Empire plans to add another category to that ever-growing list: pizza.

Named the Pizza Times and located at 210 South Wilmington Street, the new spot will offer counter-service slices and pies to go, catering to “lunch and late night” crowds.

Interestingly enough, we weren’t able to find any permits issued for work at the space, although we imagine any renovations to the space were handled by Empire’s in-house contracting firm, Empire Eats Construction.


Marriott To Add a New Element to Downtown Raleigh

New details have emerged on the plans for a new hotel at 603 S. Wilmington street, a site that made the news a few years back when the City approved a rezoning request that allowed for the construction of a building up to 12 stories tall.

It looks like the new hotel, owned by Narsi Properties, will operate under Marriott’s Element brand. It will be one of two Element hotels to open in the area; another near RDU is set to open this summer on Airport Boulevard. Like the recently-opened Residence Inn on Salisbury Street, Element-brand hotels are designed for “longer-stay travelers.”


Dog Days of Winter

The newest offering from Bunch of Fives hospitality company, the Dogwood Bar & Eatery, held its Phase One grand opening last week, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

Bunch of Fives is the group behind Southern Charred, Mofu Shoppe, Anchor Bar, and Milk Bar. Dogwood features “local craft beer, craft cocktails and a great location to hang out with friends.” According to Dogwood’s website, the new bar will set itself apart with “the cocktails & rosé on draft and shareable plates such as charcuterie boards and flatbreads!”

Phase One of the Dogwood entailed the indoor/outdoor bars, a “grand wraparound heated porch” and “chic lounge furniture and décor that emphasizes retro midcentury designs.”

The owners are playing coy with what’s in store for phase two, saying that it will “bring a huge addition to Raleigh that’s sure to excite” but it sounds like it will involve dogs in some way, and open later this year.

Note: in a somewhat interesting coincidence, dogwoods were some of the first trees planted at the site of the then-new Wiley School when it opened in 1924 on St. Mary’s a block over.

Building Closets on Atlantic

Closets by Design, the franchised closet-builder with locations around the country, filed documents last month outlining plans for a “light manufacturing” facility on a vacant lot at 4500 Atlantic Avenue in North Raleigh.

The new facility will be housed in a one-story, 24,450 square-foot building that will sit on a 4.25 acre lot.

Although we initially imagined this project as some sort of manufacturing facility for custom-building a lot of the closets’ components; after all, do you really want a guy literally building a set of drawers from scratch in your master bedroom? But it turns out this is a store/warehouse facility, which would make it the second Closets By Design store in Raleigh. The chain also has locations in Durham, Cary, and a number of North Carolina Cities.

Double Dose of Demolition

A restaurant turned ministry and a one-time soybean processing plant in Southeast Raleigh will soon be reduced to rubble. DH Griffin will be handling the larger of the two jobs, the teardown of the former Cargill Plant at 1400 S. Blount Street. The 11,920 square foot plant, which went “idle” in early 2014, is not the only building on the large 10-acre property; there are a number of still-active grain elevators, and several warehouse and administrative buildings which are not included on the demolition permits.

Cargill announced in January 2014 the plant would be closing down, resulting in the loss of between 20-25 jobs; at the time. Cargill employed a total of 47 people in Raleigh. According to county records, the processing plant was originally built in 1914. Per Hill’s Raleigh City Directory we believe the space was originally home to The Buckeye Cotton Oil Company; we even found an old photo of the plant on the State Archive’s Flickr account.

Image courtesy State Archives of NC. Copyrighted by the News and Observer.

Sitting in front of the massive Cargill along South Wilmington Street is the former home of Dob’s Restaurant, which was originally paired with what was known then as Dob’s Motel.

Over the years, the motel switched its name to King’s, and the restaurant was turned into a space for the True Holiness End Time Ministries. While the Biblical end times have not arrived just yet, it does look like it’s the end of the road for True Holiness’ one-time home in front of Cargill’s grain elevators.

County records indicate it was built in 1957; a Hill’s guide from a few years later listed it as Dob’s. We’re not sure when the motel became King’s or when the restaurant turned into a ministry, although both properties have been owned by the Chetna Company since 2012.

Mike Legeros got some great aerial footage and pictures of the demolition.



  1. Every time I see that Cargill site, I can only think of Amazon HQ2. There is so much potential on the south side of DT it’s ridiculous.

  2. True what “John” said. Wilmington Street is penciled into the Wake transit plan as a Bus Rapid Transit route. City plans look forward to extending Wilmington Street to the south edge of Raleigh, allowing BRT to cover 3 miles from DT to Renaissance Park. In between, there are wide open spaces. The answer to the question, “Density! If not here, where?” is “Density! On the South Wilmington Street BRT corridor.” Where reliable transit can obviate the need for more parking decks, more cars and more congestion.

    Next stop(s): New Bern Ave and Western Boulevard. BRT ahead.

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