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An Inside Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 2: East Raleigh

It’s no secret that Raleigh is growing fast—the cranes and construction are obvious, yes, but there’s MUCH more coming. That's why we're introducing the “Future of Raleigh” series. We tapped our partners at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty, along with a couple of local experts and business owners, to help us bring you the inside scoop on all the exciting things to come—not just next month or next year, but five years into the future (because the kind of *major* developments we’re talking about take a minute!). In each article, we’ll hone in on specific, up and coming neighborhood to give you a comprehensive view of who’s coming to town, what to look forward to and where you’ll be getting offline in 2020 and beyond.

East Raleigh is next up on our “Future of Raleigh” tour. The neighborhood is booming so much that it recently attracted the attention of Bon Appétit—needless to say, it’s growing at a rapid pace. While you might have known East Raleigh as an area of historic homes, home to Saint Augustine University, and since the Alamo Drafthouse moved in, the best place to see a movie in Raleigh, some badass developments are on the way that are poised to make East Raleigh the place to eat, work, and play.

The Completion of Transfer Co. 

If you haven’t visited Transfer Co. Food Hall yet, it’s about damn time. The trendy food hall has gradually been debuting a killer line up of vendors since late 2018, even warranting national attention from the likes of The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN Travel, and Bon Appetit. The last round of tenants was recently released to round out the food, drink, and sweet offerings, and the carefully curated selection hits a sweet spot.

Vendors Coming Soon

Longleaf Swine: Already serving their whole hog BBQ and smoked meats from a food truck for a few years, the transition to a permanent, larger space (next to Burial Beer) will be a big stepping stone for team blending Texas and Carolina barbeque flair.

Alimentari at Left Bank: A creative collab between the chef from Durham’s Mothers and Sons and Saxapahaw’s nationally renowned Left Bank Butchery. They plan to bring Italian specialties, pasta by the pound, and the first whole-animal butchery and charcuterie shop in downtown Raleigh. Look for an opening in late summer 2019.

Mama Crow’s:  A burger and salad shop, Mama Crow’s promises fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, plus hand-cut fries and house-made cheeses.

Sweet Peas Urban Garden: As one of the Triangle’s most successful urban farms, and located just two miles from downtown, Sweet Peas grows nutrient-dense microgreens and veggie shoots. 

And, if you missed it, here are the already opened vendors:

  • Bul Box: Asian flavors served up in—you guessed it—a perfectly portable box
  • Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar:  fresh seafood from the NC coast
  • Benchwarmers Bagels: basically famous wood-fired bagels and slammin’ coffee
  • Che Empanadas: Argentine-style baked empanadas
  • Chhote’s: authentic Indian street-food 
  • Captain Cookie and The Milkman: small-batch cookies and ice cream sandwiches
  • Dank Burrito: chef-inspired tacos, burritos, and bowls

But It Doesn't Stop There...

From the moment the Asheville brewery opened its doors, Raleigh has been begging for a bigger Burial Beer Co. To be fair, they opened a 670 sq. ft. space—most apartments are bigger. The good news is, they heard the pleas (and saw the lines wrapping around the building) and expansion is underway for a 2,000 sq. ft. space, connectivity to the rest of Transfer Co., bathrooms, and modest patio space.

Transfer Co. also recently unveiled plans for a ballroom/event space and a 50+ desk co-working space. The 3,000 sq. ft. event space is said to be designed for both small and large gatherings, from luncheons to 350-person concerts. Look out for Transfer to offer their own events as well, including live music, pop-ups, markets, and more. Based on the calendar of events space has hosted in its fledgling year (and even pre-opening), we’re expecting bold things on the horizon.

Strip Malls Are Getting a New Look

Chances are, if you haven’t heard of the upcoming Gateway Plaza, you’ve heard murmurs of some of the businesses moving in the refurbed space along the Capital Blvd. corridor. In June of 2016, Loden Properties and York Properties announced the first plans to transform the strip mall into a destination development. 

Perhaps the biggest news is that HQ Raleigh, Raleigh’s first homegrown co-working space, has announced they’ll be moving in. HQ@Gateway, as they’ve dubbed the space, will be the anchor tenant, occupying 20,000 sq. ft. and offering a 150-person event space, a 50-person classroom space, and of course flexible office and co-work space. In a press release, Jason Widen, co-founder of HQ Raleigh, hinted that they would be introducing new programming at Gateway, including a retail and food and beverage accelerator. A big bonus that can’t be ignored, parking! HQ@Gateway expects to open summer 2019. Check out some construction development Instagram stories here and watch for more from us soon on the Gateway project.

Other Vendors at Gateway Plaza

Brew Coffee: the third location for the popular Raleigh coffee shop serving coffee and beer on tap.

Mordecai Beverage Co.: a new brewery, taproom, and bottle shop. The brewery will operate a two-barrel system creating small-batch brews and collaborate with other breweries around the state. Expected to open early summer.

Union Special: This soon-to-be bakery is coming from the former executive pastry chef at all of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants. Mouth watering yet? 

Craft Habit: a DIY craft retailer and workshop offering high-quality supplies and hands-on classes. 

Little Makers Academy: a local childcare provider

Gateway Arts Project: an art studio with a gallery.

Carmen’s Fashions: retailer for formal wear catering to the Hispanic community.

Azure Violins: maker of handcrafted violins.

Gateway Restaurant: a no-frills restaurant that has been at the shopping center before renovations and plans on staying (a huge relief to local run clubs that rely on this hidden gem).

Another Park Project in Town: John Chavis Memorial Park

Dorothea Dix Park might be grabbing all the headlines for its upcoming overhaul, but Chavis Park, is also undergoing some major renovations. The park nabbed a not too shabby $12.5 million in park bonds and won around $750,000 in grant money from a national competition supporting outdoor recreation centers in urban and underserved areas. Just as Dix Park asked for community input and released a Master Plan, the Chavis Park planning stage followed the same format (releasing a Master Plan in 2014). Construction is slated for Spring 2019-Fall 2020.

John Chavis Memorial Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as it was developed in 1937 as a “separate but equal” rec facility in parity with Pullen Park. It’s notably home to a 100-year-old carousel showcasing carved wooden horses. The coming updates will transform the park into a destination. 

Park features include:

  • Interactive new water features, and splash pads
  • Adaptive use of the original carousel building
  • Outdoor performance spaces
  • New playgrounds with traditional and natural play features, plus climbing structures
  • Linear skate spots, fitness zones, and pocket play zones
  • New community center and aquatic center
  • A Central Plaza

Battle of the Boutique Inns 

Transforming historic properties into trendy, boutique inns seems to have caught fire in Raleigh. Montford Hall, The Longleaf Hotel, and two projects located on Raleigh’s east side, Guest House Raleigh + Rogers Cottage, and Gables Motor Lodge are all stirring up excitement.

Guest House Raleigh and Robert’s Cottage

The story of Guest House Raleigh is pretty epic. In short, a local couple bought a historic home, moved it across the city, and then transformed it into a thoughtfully designed modern inn. Guest House Raleigh opened in Fall 2018. If we weren’t stoked enough by the gorgeousness of Guest House, then the owners teased that the owners have another (very similar) project in the works, Rogers Cottage. The house is another historic property moved on the same day as Guest House, and the owners have slowly been transforming it while opening Guest House to the public. Details are fuzzy on what’s in store for Rogers Cottage, but based on the sneak peeks we’d happily move in.

Gables Motor Lodge

Gables Motor Lodge dates back to 1925 and was recently purchased by musician Tift Merritt and hotel developer Daniel Robinson. The 19 bedroom, 13 bathroom property is located on Old Wake Forest Road, a part of the Mordecai community. Robinson is known for his work bringing The Durham Hotel to life, however he’s been quoted saying, “this is by no means an extension of The Durham. Tift is a dynamic, creative force — and to try to limit what we can do collectively through any form of replication would be foolish on my part.” Plans haven’t been released for the lodge. We’re looking forward to seeing what these two powerhouse creatives design.     

A Neighborhood You Def Want to Be a Part Of

We’re all about getting *offline*, so while developments may feel far away, we can’t help starting to dream about what may come. So just close your eyes and picture it’s 2024. We’re all enjoying:

  • More mouthwatering food options (you never have too many)

  • An awesome space to host your wedding, work party, dog’s first birthday... 

  • More programming (think concerts, markets and more) at the increasingly beautiful Chavis Park

  • Your pick of co-working spaces 

  • Awesome local options for your in-laws to stay 

  • A useful public transit system so we can zip around town, no problem.

  • And a bunch of stuff we don’t even know about yet...

In short, there’s a lot coming to ‘hood. If you want to live among the action, give our partners at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty a shout. Not only are they knowledgeable about Raleigh (case and point: they helped us write this!), but they’re experts on the ins and outs of home buying. 

And if you’ve got the idea that Real Estate Agents are all essentially Used Car Salesmen, think again. We’ve been hanging with them at our new Premium neighborhood happy hours, so we can personally attest to the fact that they’re easy to talk to, trustworthy, and on top of their game. Click here to get the convo going

An Inside Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 2: East Raleigh
An Inside Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 2: East Raleigh