Follow Up, Top Ten Empty Spaces to Fill Around Downtown

I may turn this post into a yearly thing so that we can follow the retail scene in downtown Raleigh. About a year ago, I posted a list of ten empty spaces that should be filled with retail or office space or something. In my opinion, they were the top ten spaces that get a lot of exposure and should be contributing to the downtown sidewalk culture. Now, we can take a look at the progress and see what else has changed in a years time.

The 2008 top ten list:

  1. Progress Energy II
  2. Wilmington and Martin Street
  3. 14 West Martin Street
  4. 114 Fayetteville Street
  5. The Raleigh Sandwich Shop
  6. Odd Fellows
  7. Commerce Place
  8. Boylan Pearce
  9. The Depot
  10. City Market

Unfortunately, there is not much to report. The current state of this list is very similar to the state it was in about a year ago. The old Music Hall at 14 West Martin street now has Club Fourteen and the City Market building has on-going construction work in the half facing Martin Street while the back half sits empty. Jibarra has opened in The Depot space but the rest of the building still sits empty. The emptiness at 114 Fayetteville has spread next door with the closing of the Fayetteville Street Tavern.

New Additions:

  • RBC Plaza – This tower offers three retail spaces to the core of downtown. Unfortunately, they have been empty for almost a year.
  • Hargett Street – The intersection of Hargett and Wilmington streets has become one of downtown’s busiest and the empty spaces along the 100 block of East Hargett street is missing out on the action.
  • The Hue – The condos are for sale and so is the empty retail space along Dawson and Hargett.
  • Joe’s Place – Who will add more neon to the now closed Joe’s Place at 301 Martin Street?

Similar Posts:

    None right now. Must be a new project.


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  1. Excellent list!!! I do agree that these spaces need to get filled with tenants, ASAP. Also, I liked the first photo, as it shows some of the nicer historic buildings we managed to salvage and re-use.

  2. You could also add the RBC deck…there’s a retail spot on each side. One facing Wilmington and another on Blount–both empty.

    Also the old Capital City grocery plus a few other slots there at Seaboard Station (a couple next to Peace China I believe).

  3. I’m pretty sure the vacancies are a result of absurd lease prices.

    Look at some of the places that have already tried some of these locations. They didn’t even have the capital to make it a few months. Examples:

    222 Glenwood – That espresso place was open a month.
    The Depot – I can cite a million reasons these places had to fail, but again, they only made it a few months.

  4. I’m not saying absurd leases are not to blame, but those two examples you gave are bad ones. The 222 Glenwood espresso place closed due to the guy not knowing how to run a business and the Depot closed because the guy was from NYC and didn’t really care to research the area a bit better.

    I really miss that bar (The Hurricane) in the Depot. I went there like 2-3 times a week because they had a crap load of tvs and cheap wings all the time. They were projected to break even and on the weekends during game season they were packed. Didn’t they have some issues with not paying contractors though which led up to their eventual middle of the night closing and packing up?

  5. I would add the empty retail bays under The West condos. This is prime retail space given the proximity to Glenwood South’s busy corridor only one block away. Understandably The West would want to attract more upscale tenants into their building, so is likely holding their lease prices relatively high.

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