Empire Properties S. Dawson St. property

So Empire Properties just purchased another set of plots next to what the already purchased over on S. Dawson. This new purchase includes Fiction Kitchen.

Their land total there now equals 1.5 acres. That is a large amount of property there. They applied to have the location they already owned to be rezoned to DX-12 last year.

What do you guys think?

I don’t think they will/hope they don’t redevelop. My hope is, at most, they remodel or just maintain like they did with the old office building right next door.

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I don’t think they would have asked for the rezone if that was the case. They also spent a lot of money for that. Close to 2 million.

It would be nice if they reused the store fronts, but I doubt it. That area is growing fast.

They only requested rezone for the empty lot next to Crank Arm though (unless I missed an update)

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I think we have to assume they plan on redeveloping the whole block until proven otherwise. They wouldn’t amass that much property at those prices if they weren’t.

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I hate to admit you are probably right- it would just make me extremely, EXTREMELY sad to see that many old-school storefronts be torn down for some “modern” garbage. When I visit Asheville, there is maybe one building you could consider tall, yet it’s alllllll the beautifully maintained old storefronts and old stone buildings that really make me feel like I’m in an interesting, bustling city. To lose that entire block of classic storefronts would be an abomination and an assault on Raleigh’s history.

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I mean, there has been a movement to integrate older storefronts into newer buildings. One City Center in Durham did it where they could on Main Street, and there are some projects going up in Raleigh that seem to have that idea as well.

They took some historic tax credits in renovating the former DrPepper bottling plant along Dawson. Pretty sure those hold stipulations limiting redevelopment… Although I’d be surprised if Empire is held to the same standard as everyone else.

Does Empire have a history of demolishing old buildings for new ones? They could also just be adding to their stock of real estate that they’ve already amassed around downtown.

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I’d find it surprising if Empire even considered demolition. It’s just not what they do.

Since they are building taller nearby with their recent rezoning, why not buy close by and capture some future land value increase?

Just a guess though.

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Could someone map out the new property in addition to the others they’ve apparently purchased?

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Almost their entire history (no pun intended) downtown is preservation minded. I don’t know if it is from an altruistic well, or a business minded well (they mine tax credits), but I think we have to assume they’ll preserve the spaces unless we hear otherwise. They are very good spaces with structural brick and pressed tin ceilings. My gut says they add a few stories on top of them, like the condo Greg added over Mahler Gallery (look at the rear of Mahler from Salisbury) or the Father & Sons building addition being done by another developer.


They’ve only demolished one, the spot on Fayettevile St next to Capital City Tavern

The Department of the Interior regulates that, and I doubt they give two, uh, poops, about who Empire is.

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Empire properties in this area…


Also, isn’t the L the only new construction that Empire has delivered? They had proposed the Lafayette that fell through about a decade ago. (22 stories, 80 condos, 125 room hotel, 15,000 sf retail, rooftop pool & bar)


I wish they could get ahold of the Boyettes Automotive space. That is a nice corner cafe setup there. The warehouse district used to have many more small brick retail and industrial spaces, but Dillon mostly cleaned those out or ripped their faces off and and incorporated them into larger buildings. After the Clearscapes/311 space, it is my favorite remaining building.

I definitely agree. I could see them developing another rooftop space like they did with Raleigh Times.

I believe so. They also proposed a residential tower across from West Condos. David Allen Buildings There was a concept rendering at one time but I can’t find it now. It was to be incorporated into the older structures site.

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