Luxury Bowling for North Hills, No More Pizza Hut for Western Blvd.

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While the process itself has not yet begun, Remapping Raleigh Fever is already sweeping through neighborhood CAC meetings, where attendees this past week have been treated to a variety of presentations on the kinds of changes the remapping will bring to their communities.
Although we touched on the remapping program last month, the crux of it is that more than 30 percent of the land in Raleigh will have its zoning designation changed, resulting in an adjustment of the allowed uses for the property. For anything zoned residential, this could mean a change in the amount of dwelling units per acre. For an industrial property, it might alter what type of business may operate there.
The process can be complicated and highly technical. Explanations, however, from south Raleigh resident Veronica Alcine at the Central CAC and City Councilor Russ Stephenson at the Five Points CAC last week helped break down the most important aspects of the process. For the most part, they explained, residential properties will not be affected, as the focus is largely on commercial and industrial developments.
The presentations received a somewhat mixed reaction from CAC attendees. The vice-chair of the Central CAC warned that “we can’t be asleep on this” and Stephenson’s presentation at Five Points was followed by one from Tim Nyles, a member of Grow Raleigh Great, a group protesting the way the Unified Development Ordinance, which triggered the remapping, is being applied.
The group was allegedly formed after a “crazy, wild-eyed” scientist appeared on Hillsborough Street warning that by approving a seven-story residential mixed-use project across from N.C. State, the City Council had set off a chain reaction that would go on to destroy both the city of Raleigh and the entire space-time continuum. The dark, dystopian future from whence the scientist claimed to have traveled is one plagued by an overwhelming number of too-tall buildings and oversized grocery stores.
Happening Now-ish
Person Street Bar patrons will soon be able to enjoy their booze — and possibly their smokes, if they feel like doubling up on poisons – outdoors, thanks to a new courtyard being added the rear of the business. The muddy, vacant space currently sits unused save as a repository for some old furniture and other assorted garbage. The $10,000 project will be undertaken by Redwine Renovation & Correction.
The upscale bowling alley Sparians at North Hills, which closed earlier this year, will soon be reopening as Kings Bowl. Permits were issued July 2 for the $750,000 renovation. Although the concept of luxury or upscale bowling would have been foreign, if not laughable, to the thugs and hustlers who ruled the dark alleys in the 1960s heyday of “action bowling,” it is a trend that has spread slowly across the country in recent years. Kings itself has six other locations, and plans to open the North Hills spot in August.

Like Sparians before it, Kings will offer customers a full-service restaurant to go along with their full-priced bowling. Kings has also announced plans to add shuffleboard, more television sets and additional billiard and Ping-Pong tables.
The oddly named Whale-n Convenience Store should be opening soon, as permits were issued last week for $600,000 worth of work at the intersection of Lynn and Hilburn Roads in north Raleigh. Plans submitted to the city more than two years ago requested approval for a gas station/convenience store with an attached restaurant and a six-pump island. Whether the station will offer lantern fuel procured from whale blubber remains to be seen.
North Raleigh residents looking to pick up some craft beer for a backyard cookout that will no doubt feature organic, farm-raised beef and gluten-free hamburger rolls will soon have the option of stopping in at the Hop Yard in the Falls River Town Center. The store, which will feature a 16-tap tasting bar, is coincidentally being built out at a cost of around $16,000. Some quick math tells this reporter that works out to about $1,000/tap. Here’s hoping that means the beer is at least on par with the award winning brand “Milwaukee’s Best,” which is brewed for freshness and classic taste.
Everyone planning their annual summer ski getaway should appreciate the $14,000 in renovations scheduled for Glenwood Avenue’s Alpine Ski Shop. The store bills itself as “The Southeast’s #1 Ski & Snowboard Shop.” With such a plethora of snow-capped mountains, upscale resorts and accompanying ski shops dotting the region, this is a bold claim indeed.
Coming Soon
Planning Commissioners last week selected a new vice-chair and heard cases for a site plan and two rezonings.
After his nomination, Erin Sterling Lewis was quickly selected as the vice-chair of the Planning Commission.  
The site plan the Commission heard was for a 14,820 square-foot Walgreens to be built at the intersection of Louisburg and Perry Creek Road in northeast Raleigh. The Commission approved the request, which means that unless it is appealed to city council, the approval will be final on July 28.
The first zoning case was for Stone’s Warehouse, a property owned by the city’s Community Development department. The city is in the process of selecting a developer to transform the space.

Stone's Warehouse on Davie Street.

Jennifer Wig / Raleigh Public Record

Stone's Warehouse on Davie Street.

The Planning Commission had to vote on whether to recommend approval of a two-year waiver, as the property had been rezoned in 2013, and there is supposed to be a two-year wait between rezoning requests. The Commissioners voted to recommend both this and another motion for the property, which would terminate the master plan, a necessary step in allowing the project to move forward.
The other zoning case was for a property that’s already well under construction – the 23-story luxury apartment building SkyHouse. The development resides downtown, at the intersection of East Martin and Blount Streets.  


James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The Commission requested a two-week deferral on the case — which would bring the property in line with current zoning regulations – to give the developer time to think about having a zoning frontage in the request.
Pizza What?
While the Development Beat doesn’t normally cover retail or restaurant closings – there’s simply too many of them, and this reporter is far too lazy to keep up – reader Chris P. sent us an inquiry about the former Pizza Hut restaurant at 3912 Western Boulevard. One of the last remaining sit-down style Pizza Huts in the area, the restaurant closed its doors for good at the end of June.


James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

Signs plastered to the store’s windows instruct customers to call the Hillsborough Street location, which is takeout only. The signs also promise that the store will be relocating, but Joyce Humphrey with Pizza Hut’s regional Raleigh office said a site for the new restaurant has not yet been chosen. Humphrey said there had also been no decision as to the type of Pizza Hut – sit-down or take-out – that will replace the Western Boulevard location.
Jack Alphin, the real estate agent listing the property, said the owners are looking to rent or sell the existing space.
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