Each year, downtown Raleigh seems to have a burst of new shops. 2013 was the year of the bottle shop. As we wrapped up last year, I think it’s safe to say that 2014 was the year of the bakery. 2015 could be the year the barcade but that’s still left to be seen. Here’s the list of Winter openings and coming soons for 2015.
For a complete list of eats, drinks, and coffees in and around downtown, make sure to bookmark the DT Eats page. Try something new!
- Pictured above, the Glenwood South Carolina Ale House is finally open after being announced years ago. On the top floor of the new 3-story building at the corner of Tucker Street and Glenwood Avenue, the flagship restaurant has some pretty nice views and plenty of space for large sports parties.
- For the rest of the building at 500 Glenwood Avenue, plans are in place to set up a Mediterranean restaurant and a banquet hall. When I asked, I was told that these were hoping to be ready by August of this year.
- The construction work on the Raleigh Beer Garden is really taking shape. The beer garden, with over 100 taps, should be open later this year.
- Pho Pho Pho Noodle Kitchen & Bar is now hiring for the restaurant going into the former Oryx space in the 510 Glenwood building. Owned by Quy Duong, who also owns Sushi Blues, the new spot will be “bringing authentic Vietnamese cuisine and crafty cocktails” to Glenwood South.
- Could this be a cannoli from the upcoming Italian restaurant Big Boom? (planned for the corner space in 510 Glenwood)
— J1s Photography (@j1sphotography) January 27, 2015
- The downtown bakery scene has really heated up with the opening of Lucettegrace on Salisbury Street. There are some very tasty pastries, almost works of art, here and I highly recommend.
- Rounding out the 2014 year of the bakery is Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe in Seaboard Station. I’ve picked up some delicious breads here recently and is another recommendation.
- The Level Up, Kitchen and Barcadium, located at 126 South Salisbury Street, is opening very soon. The place wants to serve pub food and craft beer around classic arcade games.
- Still nothing new, of significance, on Ashley Christensen’s new place, Death and Taxes, planned for 200 South Salisbury Street.
- On Fayetteville Street, La Volta has closed but has quickly turned around to a new Caribbean concept called The Twisted Mango.
- The restaurant space in the Marriott Hotel is open again but this time as Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen.
- A small, cozy bar, called Anchor Bar, has opened on the 200 block of Fayetteville Street.
- WRAL reports of a new brewery coming to downtown Raleigh by the owners of Bida Manda. The article says that the location hasn’t been determined but I was at a Central CAC meeting about 2-3 months ago and the same owners were there presenting plans for a restaurant at 501 South Person Street. (The CAC didn’t vote for the needed rezoning) The renovated church at 501 South Person is probably not big enough for a brewery so either there are two projects going on by the Bida Manda folks or this is where the brewery is trying to go.
- Mo’s Diner has changed their name to Holly’s on Hargett.
- A Facebook page and website for a gastropub called Whiskey Kitchen has popped up. The maps show it going at 201 West Martin Street.
- The Boxcar Bar and Arcade has opened in the warehouse district on Davie Street. They are continuing to add more games and is a pretty fun place to visit if you’re into video games.
- A cockatil supply and tasting bar called ABV, run by Crude Bitters and Sodas and Eco-Tech Draft, is open at 517 West Cabarrus Street.
- The folks behind The Busy Bee Cafe and Trophy Brewing have opened a Bottle Shop, The State of Beer, at 401 Hillsborough Street. The new shop sells craft beer and tasty sandwiches.
- Highlighted on the blog last week, work continues on the new space for Taverna Agora on Hillsborough Street.
- A coffee, wine, and beer shop called Drink, Drank, Drunk has opened near the West Morgan Street and Hillsborough Street roundabout.
- Nearby, in the 927 Morgan Apartment building, P.G. Werth’s is now open.
- The highly anticipated opening of Standard Foods is coming soon as the restaurant, grocery store is now hiring.
The Edison Apartments at the corner of Blount Street and Davie Street.
The renovations happening at 326 Hillsborough Street are really showing off these days. The restaurant Taverna Agora, currently in North Raleigh, is planning to move to this spot in downtown Raleigh. New awnings and lots of work on a second floor are visible from the street.
This building has been empty for several years. At one point, next-door neighbor Second Empire had plans to renovate this space but that never came to be.
Here’s the view of Charter Square from East Lenoir Street. The glass going up has a nice blue and green, kind of aqua-marine hue to it. The building should be done by this summer.
Just like downtown Raleigh, this website is never finished but always a work in progress. RalCon is now eight years old and there are a ton of good things to talk about and photograph this year.
The photo above was taken on April 13, 2008. In the photo, you can see the construction of the then-called RBC Plaza tower, now PNC Plaza, and Raleigh’s tallest building. I like the photo because while the building might be the tallest, the crane used to assemble it was the tallest structure ever in Raleigh’s history. (to the best of my knowledge)
And back to the conversation…
At last week’s city council meeting, Greg Hatem, owner of Empire Properties and Empire Eats, stood up and shared some thoughts. He had a few things to say about our city’s vibrancy and the ongoing discussions with the outdoor amplified sound permitting. Here’s the video of Mr. Hatem’s comments and the following council discussion.
If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, click here.
First, the downtown vibrancy piece. According to a yet unpublished study by the University of North Carolina Planning School, “Raleigh is in the bottom 20% of vibrant communities” in the nation. That statement is definitely something to follow up on.
The most obvious question to see in the study is whether this is only referring to the downtown or the city as a whole. Clearly, if the entire city was included then I don’t feel there’s too much of a shock here. More information is needed as to the study’s metrics.
Next, the ongoing debate over outdoor amplified sound permits. There are currently six restaurants and bars in the Fayetteville Street district that have applied for these permits. Hatem’s comments suggest a larger “issue” that the Fayetteville Street area is basically becoming a party district, where trash, bodily fluids, and signs of partying linger. His discussion of downtown vibrancy suggest that what’s needed are less bars but more retail and a downtown grocery store.
The complaints about more outdoor sound permits may be premature as the city is currently running a pilot program for addressing the very same issue over in Glenwood South. Rather than more restrictions, the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative has helped launch the Glenwood South Hospitality District. This pilot runs through November 30, 2015 and attempts to create more synergy between residents and business owners when complaints come up. We should wait and see the results of this program before we start restricting things in other districts.
I think Hatem’s points are fair though. I’ve walked downtown Raleigh on Sunday mornings and some of the sidewalks really do look hungover. There are lots of opinions here but for me, it’s just a cleanliness issue, and only on the weekends.
Again, this may seem a moot point because there were discussions between the council and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) in 2014 about increasing the resources put toward safety and cleanliness in downtown. I point you to a budget note from the DRA asking the city manager for more funding for the issue.
At the June 2, 2014 Budget work session, Council members discussed the safety and appearance of downtown Raleigh. Council Member Crowder asked that the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) review its budget to determine if funding could be reallocated to provide additional cleaning and safety efforts in downtown. Council Member Baldwin commented on the lack of cleanliness in city parking decks.
It’s all growing pains for sure as businesses and residents haven’t lived this close together in this city for decades because of our now growing, attractive, and revitalizing downtown. The currently in-progress Downtown Experience Plan may help to address these concerns by providing a more mix of uses in downtown.
Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.
I recommend email readers click through to the website to see the embedded video.
At this week’s city council meeting, progress was made to two very interesting projects. The overhaul of Market and Exchange Plazas was approved and money will be spent to start construction. The city owned Stone’s Warehouse and nearby buildings should be sold soon to Transfer Company LLC, who want to renovate the building, add more space, and include townhomes on the site.
Market and Exchange Plaza
Watch the video snippet above. If it doesn’t work for you, click here.
From the agenda:
On December 12, 2014 formal bids were opened to perform improvements to Market Plaza and Exchange Plaza; each plaza provides pedestrian access between Fayetteville and Wilmington streets. The project involves renovations and improvements to both plazas, which are in varying states of disrepair. Improvements include the installation of new concrete unit pavers, concrete paving, seat walls, planting, site lighting, storm water drainage, electrical service, water service, irrigation, screen enclosures, and shade structures.
A total of four bids were received. The lowest bid was submitted by Holt Brothers Construction, LLC in the amount of $1,129,897. Funding is appropriated in the capital budget and will be transferred administratively. SDMWOB participation is 100%.
Recommendation: Authorize the City Manager to execute a contract with Holt Brothers Construction, LLC in an amount not to exceed $1,129,897
Council members continuously made comments about how they didn’t know about this project but there have been images, plans, and public meetings about it for about a year now. We’ve discussed it on the blog already and it’s great to see this plaza project move to the next step.
I am pretty sure that this project will then wipe out any last remnants of the previous Fayetteville Street Mall design that is still left from the 1970s. Go get a taste of it, if you want, before it’s gone.
Watch the video snippet above. If it doesn’t work for you, click here.
From the agenda:
During the January 6, 2015 Council meeting, the Budget and Economic Development Committee presented the following recommendation:
The Committee recommends upholding staff’s recommendation to select Transfer Company, LLC for the redevelopment of the Stone’s Warehouse site, authorizing Community Development to coordinate preparation of a purchase agreement, and authorizing staff to amend zoning application Z-25-14 to include split zoning, with conditions to accommodate the proposed uses as proposed by Transfer Company, LLC. The Committee’s recommendation was with the understanding that a majority of the proceeds from the disposition of the property would go toward development of affordable housing in this area and to assist with the Rex Senior Center relocation.
After discussion on the future of the Rex Senior Center, it was directed that the item be placed on this agenda and that administration work with the parties involved to determine Transfer Company, LLC’s proposal for the Rex Senior Center. A memorandum from staff outlining the discussion is included with the agenda packet.
Council can take action to proceed with the recommendation as outlined by the Budget and Economic Development Committee.
The ongoing conversation here is how to move the Rex Senior Health Center but that didn’t stop council from approving the Budget and Economic Development Committee’s recommendation for city staff to start work on selling the property to Transfer Companny, LLC. Another council approval will be needed for the sale to take place.
For some more reading on this project, check out Stone’s Warehouse and Affordable Housing
There’s a nice cluster of rezoning requests at the city right now that could bring new development to where there is currently none or very little existing activity. The RalCon commenters have been all over it recently so I wanted to bring it up top for more exposure.
Rezoning requests don’t sound exciting but it does fuel the rumor mill. While I enjoy speculation at a “for entertainment purposes only” approach I think we should lay out what’s on the table and what the comprehensive plan says about these areas.
To date, none of the requests discussed here have been approved or denied. They have only been submitted.
301 Hillsborough Street and 320 W. Morgan Street
Case number Z-038-14 has been discussed on the blog before. It’s the site of the parking lot used by Campbell Law school along Dawson Street between Morgan and Hillsborough Street. If you need a refesher, we talked about it back in October of 2014.
The request is for a DX-20-SH. In short, that means Downtown Mixed Use zoning with a 20 story max height and a shopfront frontage.
The latest update on this rezoning request is that there are some big projects being discussed behind closed doors. The N&O writes:
The city government has been entertaining at least two “substantial and serious offers” from private developers for the 1.2-acre property. Now the city has moved to apply a new set of development rules to the land, potentially clearing the way for a private construction project.
On the opposite side of the coin, there are a group of residents that are against the rezoning. The Central CAC has voted against this rezoning in a recent meeting. The article also states that The Dawson residents are against the rezoning and instead want the height to be capped at 7 stories instead of 20.
The last piece of this story that I’ll share is what the comprehensive plan says about this area. Here are quotes from it that seem relevant.
Reinforce the William Christmas Plan by encouraging prominent buildings and uses to be developed along axial streets (i.e. Hillsborough, Fayetteville, and New Bern) and the squares. (1, 3, 4, 6)
Highest density development should occur along the axial streets (Hillsborough Street, Fayetteville Street and New Bern Avenue), major streets (as identified by the Street plan), surrounding the squares, and within close proximity to planned transit stations.
327 & 309 Hillsborough Street and 324 & 328 W. Morgan Street
Case Z-39-14 is right next door and is for the same DX-20-SH zoning. This would be the western half of the same block that has 301 Hillsborough mainly along Harrington Street.
This seems like the same story as before. The same height concerns are mentioned by the residents at The Dawson. The same comprehensive plan applies to this lot as does 301 Hillsborough.
603 S. Wilmington Street and 112 & 114 E. Lenoir Street
Moving off Hillsborough Street, case Z-42-14, is a request for a DX-12-UG-CU zoning. If you’re following along, that’s downtown mixed-use at 12 story maximum with an urban general frontage, conditional use. An urban general frontage means that while the building is up against the sidewalk, ground floor retail space may or may not be there. It allows for walk up townhomes, an office lobby, or something similar.
The property in question here is where the Baptist Headquarters Building is located next to the McDonald’s facing Wilmington Street. According to the TBJ article, plans for a hotel are in the works and the rezoning would allow it to be as tall as 12 stories.
A hotel developer has submitted plans with the city to rezone a piece of property within the Prince Hall Historic District in downtown Raleigh for a hotel and office building that could stretch as high as 12 stories tall.
Taking a look at the comprehensive plan, this area seems to have the same density and urban core concepts as the rest of downtown. Close by is the start of an identified transition area, one that steps down towards the nearby neighborhoods.
The image below shows a piece of the map whereby the areas in blue have been identified as transitional. The map is just a guide however and with it being in a historic district I bet this topic gets heated.
401, 403 & 406 W. Hargett Street, 223 S. West Street, 410 W. Martin Street, & 126, 210 & 218 S. Harrington Street
Case Z-1-15 involves quite a few properties in the warehouse district near Union Station. This request is for DX-20-CU, downtown mixed use at 20 stories maximum, conditional use. The grandest building here is the Dillon Supply Warehouse, pictured at the top of this post, which is a real cornerstone of our warehouse district in terms of size and potential.
Just like the other areas mentioned in this post, this area again is identified as needing high-intensity development as it is in the downtown.
The developer here seems to be Kane Realty Corp, the group behind North Hills. If you take a look at the zoning request the “neighborhood” meeting was held up at the North Hills offices with only 4 Raleighites attending.
The writing is on the wall that the city wants this area to be hugely successful due to the upcoming Raleigh Union Station project. (set to break ground in less than 10 weeks) If you attended enough of the Union Station meetings, there is also another component that is seen as hugely needed adjacent to Union Station. Lots of new parking was seen as a huge need here and I wouldn’t be surprised if a big parking deck component is put in this area to accommodate that.