by William Needham Finley IV™

Development Beat: Work Begins on Orvis at Ridgewood, Where’s Wahlburgers?

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Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders.

Week of March 5, 2018

Orvis under construction at Ridgewood

Where’s Wahlburgers?

Raleigh Little Theatre reopens Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre

City Council set to approve sale of downtown parcels

Demolition begins for Marbles expansion

Late night at downtown Chick-fil-A

Father & Son opens in new location


Work Begins on Orvis Coming to Former Tripps Location

In September 2016, the beloved Tripps restaurant at the Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue closed its doors for good. The 6,000 square-foot building has remained empty since then, but a new tenant will soon be making its way into the space.

On February 21, permits valued at a total of $236,394 were issued to Jenkins & Stiles out of Knoxville for a project that will transform Tripps into Raleigh’s second Orvis location.

Orvis, which has offered “Quality Clothing, Fly-Fishing Gear, & More” since 1856, currently operates a location at the Triangle Town Center Mall. Although we don’t have a solid opening date for the new location, we imagine Raleigh’s fly-fishing fans will be camped out in YETI cooler igloos waiting for the grand opening.


Where’s Wahlburgers?

Note: An error with the City’s previous permit database caused the permit issued date & contractor name for Wahlburgers to remain blank. The new database indicates the permit was issued in September 2017, which means I was dead wrong about the lengthy period of time between permit applied for and permit issued. As I had never encountered this kind of error with the database before, I took what was displayed at face value, when I should have looked more into it beyond stopping by the storefront. Apologies, and I won’t be making a similar mistake again. 

Wahlburgers, the downtown restaurant that’s already drawn backlash from mobs of anti-chain residents, has remained in a holding pattern since last May when it first applied for renovation permits to suite 105 at 319 Fayetteville Street.

Although most of the signage is now in place, it does not appear as if the contractors have received the go-ahead for any of the interior work. The windows are mostly papered up and a brief glimpse into the dark interior offers up only a stack of drywall.

A spokesperson for the company said the restaurant would open last fall. At the time, we noted that the permit for Wahlburgers was undergoing a lengthy review process. A random sampling of Raleigh restaurant permits showed an average of 33 days between application and issuance. It’s been 305 days since the renovation permit for Wahlburgers was applied for, and no indication of when it will be approved.

The original announcement of the restaurant was met with backlash from those who don’t want downtown Raleigh to become overrun with chains. One of the more vocal opponents was Zack Medford, first of his name, King of Coglin’s and Isaac Hunter’s, owner of bars, breaker of chains, and dipper of chopsticks in wax. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.


Raleigh Little Theatre Renovated

Raleigh Little Theatre unveiled their newly renovated Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre on Sunday. After raising over $740,000 through a major gifts initiative, RLT began work on a massive renovation of their Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre last fall.

Originally built in 1990, the renovation improved the accessibility and aesthetics of the space. A folding glass door that opens on to the balcony overlooking the Rose Garden was installed. All of the seating in the theater was replaced and new sound equipment was added. They also moved to an LED lighting system that is more flexible and energy efficient. The lobby renovation was designed by in situ studio, with Southeastern Property And Development Company as the contractor.

At the reopening, remarks were given by Board President Georgia Donaldson, Mayor Nancy McFarlane (a proponent of dinosaurs in Dix Park), and Nan Strader, representing the Gaddy and Goodwin families. Cast members from Tintypes (inaugural production of the theater in 1989) and Beanstalk! The Musical! gave performances as well. Beanstalk! The Musical! will reopen the space to the public on March 16. We’re hoping the second production will be the play that WNFIV wrote based on his 36 hour relationship with a customer service representative on Valentine’s Day.


From City Parking Lot to 7-Story Mixed-Use

City Council will decide today whether to move forward with the disposition of a trio of downtown properties on Blount Street. The sale that could eventually lead to a new seven-story mixed-use development.

The .24 acre L-shaped collection of now-empty lots on the southwest corner of E. Cabarrus Street and S. Blount Street were bid upon for $834,000 last year by a pair of men about whom we could find no information. The proceeds from the sale will go toward the City’s affordable housing efforts.

Between 1984 and 2003, the City spent a total of $135,500 acquiring the three parcels. The property is currently zoned DX-7-UG, which means a mixed-use development up to seven stories in height could be built on the land. The City notes in its zoning handbook that the DX-designation is “intended to provide for intense mixed use development of the City’s downtown area.”


Losing Their Marbles

Permits were approved and demolition began last week on the former home of Bradley’s Service Station at 101 South Blount Street, which will make way for an expansion of the Marbles Kids Museum.

The space, dubbed “Color Pop Corner” will be “transformed into a vibrant gateway to Marbles and the Moore Square District, with a playful mural, colorful concrete grid and urban plantings.”

In September 2017, we reported that the museum had acquired an adjacent parcel of land at 207 E. Hargett Street. The two-story, 15,658 sq ft building was built in 1950 and previously owned by the Longleaf School of the Arts. Marbles purchased the building from MDO Holdings for $3.1 million. Marbles will begin expanding into the space in 2020.

Late Night at downtown Chick-fil-A, Sort of

A mere ten years after downtown Raleigh transformed from a government city that shut down at 5:00 p.m., the Chick-fil-A on Fayetteville Street has announced some innovative plans to capitalize on the wave of customers. They will now stay open until 7:00 p.m.

The restaurant celebrated its new 7:00 p.m. closing time (the Cameron Village location is open until 10:00 p.m.) this past Friday. We imagine once the news begins to spread the restaurant will be booming. Although we’re pretty sure they could remain open until 10:00 p.m. and do well, we understand that progress takes time.

Father & Son Move In Together

Father & Son, the beloved antique shop that fled its former home on West Hargett Street so the building could be turned into a five-story mixed-use complex, held a soft opening at its new location at 302 S. West Street this past weekend.

When Father & Son announced it would be leaving its longtime location last year, it was believed that the store would have to relocate out of Raleigh altogether. In October, the owners announced they had found a new location on nearby South West Street.

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1 Comment

  1. In view of the Orvis siting on Wade, one wonders how much longer the store at Triangle Town Center will be open. That mall, and particularly the outdoor section, seems to be in a death spiral, with so many empty storefronts.

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