Development Beat: Teardown Tuesday

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The warehouse that will soon be no more

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The warehouse that will soon be no more

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Build

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An aged warehouse on Atlantic Avenue owned by UPS and a trio of homes near Rex Hospital owned by the City of Raleigh will soon be torn down, thanks to a series of demolition permits issued last week.

3500 Harden Road. Where's the front door?

3500 Harden Road. Where’s the front door?

The trio of homes, located at 3500, 2504 and 3510 Harden Road, were built in 1991, 1991 and 1950, respectively. Surprisingly, the 1950 home is, by far, in the best shape of the three, although it is beset by two rather unfortunate, I guess you could call them “accessory structures.” These structures, like the other two homes slated for demolition, could unkindly be referred to as eyesores.

3510 Harden Road. Sorry to see it go!

3510 Harden Road. Sorry to see it go!

The City of Raleigh acquired the three parcels over the course of the last three years, beginning in October of 2014 with 3510 and completing its collection in January 2016 with 3500.

As is sometimes the case, we actually know what’s coming next for these soon-to-be-vacant lots: a new fire station!

The new Fire Station 14 — the old one is less than half a mile away at 4220 Lake Boone Trail — was designed by Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects and will begin construction in June of next year.

Not surprisingly, Mike Legeros, an author, photographer, historian & fire buff, has written extensively about not only the plans for the new station, but the history of the existing one.

If you want to read about the original station’s history, including when it opened, how much it cost, what kind of trucks it was stocked with & an assortment of photos, click here to read Legeros’ historical post.

If you want to know more about the new Station No. 14, including what it will look like, a detailed timeline of its future and an extensive report on what new features it will boast, click here to read Legeros’ more recent article. He’s even got recent shots of the soon-to-be-demo’d homes!

Unfortunately, Raleigh is lacking in any historians specializing in shipping and logistics firms who share the kind of passion Legeros has for fire stations, so we don’t have nearly as much information on our next project: a 30,200 square-foot warehouse built in 1969.

Located at 3901 Atlantic Avenue in North Raleigh, the warehouse being torn down is not the distribution facility local residents are no doubt familiar with, if only for the constant flow of brown trucks onto Singleton Industrial Drive off Atlantic.

The warehouse that will soon be no more

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The warehouse that will soon be no more

No, that facility, built one year later in 1970, is nearly three times the size of the warehouse up for demolition, and has been owned by UPS since its inception. More on that in a second.

The United Parcel Service acquired the warehouse at 3901 Atlantic Avenue in November of 2013. Prior to that, it was owned for nearly 40 years by a private firm that leased out the space to various commercial tenants.

We imagine the demolition is part of an expansion of the overall facility off Atlantic Avenue; whether this has anything to do with UPS’ recent acquisition of a logistics company based out of Research Triangle Park is beyond us, but we’d say: probably not.

One mildly interesting fact we came across when looking into the history of this parcel was that, while “United Parcel Service” is listed as the owner for 3901 Atlantic, the site of the actual UPS distribution center, located on an adjacent parcel at 2101 Singleton Industrial Drive, is owned by “BT OH LLC” — which we quickly determined to be a subsidiary of UPS.

Prior to BT OH’s acquisition of that 80,000 square-foot warehouse, it was owned by the Ralcar Corp, which we also determined to be a UPS subsidiary.

The UPS Distribution Facility off Atlantic Avenue

Wake County

The UPS Distribution Facility off Atlantic Avenue

So that means UPS has had a distribution hub here in Raleigh since 1970, right? Well…maybe.

According to its official corporate timeline, UPS did not serve all addresses within the 48 continental United States until 1975, after years of court battles that eventually allowed for “common carrier” privileges: essentially the right to deliver packages.

Of course, there were some states where UPS did not need permission to deliver its parcels: North Carolina may have been one of those, but we scoured the internet, came up empty-handed and didn’t feel like driving out to the library on the off-chance of tracking down this piece of minute trivia. So sorry!

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