Development Beat: New Building Report

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Monday, September 19, 2016

After a week’s hiatus — apologies to all our readers who wish it had been longer — the Development Beat is back, but before we get into today’s new building report let’s look at a few interesting things that happened in our absence.

First: the “menu changes” we announced were coming to Bolt at City Exchange Plaza downtown are even more significant than we imagined: two days after our report, it was revealed that Bolt would be transformed into a pizza restaurant, something we’re very excited about. Our friends over at the Raleigh Agenda are a little more skeptical. 

Second: Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded and named after the Wahlberg brothers Mark and Donnie, will be opening in the Hudson at 319 Fayetteville Street in the space previously occupied by The Oxford. We’re a bit more torn on this one: Mark Wahlberg is fantastic, but burger chains of the non-fast-food variety are usually pretty meh. Overpriced and overhyped seems to be the case 9/10 times.

A TV show was made about the brothers Wahlberg running the WAhlburgers franchise. I never watched

Is there a third Wahlberg brother? I don’t care enough to look it up.

Third: Speaking of burgers, Greg Hatem’s Empire Eats real estate and restaurant firm, will be operating the new cafe in Moore Square they plan to name Square Burgers. Shake Shack (one of those underwhelming burger chains we mentioned above) is said to be an inspiration. According to the News & Observer: “It would serve square patties on potato rolls with local cheese and “unique Southern toppings,” Empire wrote in its proposal. It would also offer salads, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, hot dogs, milkshakes and local craft beer.” We’ll hold judgment on this one ’til it opens, because despite the very customer-unfriendly seating policy at the Raleigh Times, they do serve pretty decent burgers.

There’s probably more that happened in our absence, but those are the ones that caught our eye. Oh, and there’s apparently some kind of gas shortage going on, but that’s not relevant to our column. Unless people panic and there’s not enough gas for workers to drive to Raleigh construction sites, but to our knowledge, that hasn’t happened yet. We are curious to see if it has any effect on this morning’s commute.

So: new building permits. Nothing terribly exciting issued over the last two weeks. The Sheetz project in North Raleigh we wrote about last year and then again this past June finally received vertical permits. While we’ve sung the praises of Sheetz in the past, it’s hard to defend the chain and their often subpar subs after the one-two punch of getting to visit the amazing Wawa store pictured below while on vacation last week, and driving into a Sheetz this past Saturday and discovering they were out of gas due to a shortage caused by a pipeline spill. Scary stuff.

A retro Wawa in a Historic District in Wildwood, NJ

A retro Wawa in a Historic District in Wildwood, NJ

The new, 7,412 square-foot Sheetz will be built at a cost of more than $1.5 million by Venture Construction out of Norcross, Georgia.

Also receiving new building permits last week was Millbrook Self Storage, a project we don’t appear to have covered before. It’s listed on the permits as “Phase 2” but the address, 2101 E Millbrook Rd, is the only one that the developer owns in the area. The owner, Longview Acre, owns several other properties throughout the city.

The new two-story, 44,060 square-foot storage facility will be built at a cost of nearly $2.6 million by Imperial Design Build out of Fuquay-Varina. Speaking of F-V: many of the tweets we saw related to the gas situation (embedded above) were from people in that city. Hopefully Imperial’s employees will be able to make it to work today!

The final nonresidential new building permit from the past two weeks seems to be a pretty small job: a new 1,680 square foot shell building addition to the House of Lights property at 330 Yonkers Road.

The $36,000 project will be handled by Buildcorp Inc. (which sounds a bit redundant to our ear, almost like saying “ATM Machine”) based out of Chapel Hill.

The House of Lights, care of NAI Carolantic Realty

The House of Lights, care of NAI Carolantic Realty

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