The New Midtown

Midtown Raleigh
Midtown Raleigh

Move over downtown Raleigh. Midtown is growing up. With the highly-anticipated Wegmans opening in the Midtown East shopping center this month, plus all the new shops, restaurants and other businesses coming with it, Raleigh’s northeastern end is transforming from an industrial hodgepodge of rundown warehouses and factories to a modern, slightly gritty urban hub. Other exciting developments in the works include the new Gateway Plaza and Raleigh Ironworks as well as improvements to the I-440 interchange and Duke Raleigh Hospital. Take a look at what’s in store:

1. Gateway Plaza

Loden Properties bought the crumbling, 6.8 acre shopping center off Capital Boulevard in 2016 for $3.45 million. Union Special, a bakery, and co-working space HQ Raleigh’s HQ@Gateway have already opened. Brew Coffee Shop, Mordecai Beverage Co. and Gateway Arts Project will open this fall. 

2. Raleigh Ironworks

Dock 1053 owners Grubb Ventures’ newest concept at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Wicker Drive will breathe new life into the Peden Steel warehouse buildings. Additional development on the site features 400,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, 230 residential units, two outdoor event areas, a food hall, a 649-space parking deck and 200-plus surface parking spots.

3. Aston Properties 

Charlotte-based Aston Properties bought the property at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hodges Street for $1.3 million last year. The developer is working on a site plan, but there are no concrete details available yet. 

4. SLI Capital Property

Raleigh-based investment firm SLI Capital bought the property, which currently includes a warehouse and parking lot, across the street from Dock 1053. The developer has applied for a change of use permit to convert the site into a loft office with high ceilings and exposed beams plus additional bar and restaurant space. SLI Capital managing partner Bryan Kane says the area will be similar to Atlanta’s Midtown or Charlotte’s South End.

5. Midtown East Shopping Center

Wegmans will anchor the new shopping center. Shops, restaurants and businesses that have so far signed leases include Club Pilates, Drybar, Rowhouse, Cava, Maple Street Cafe, Nekter Juice Bar and more. A 700-space parking deck and additional street parking round out the development. 

6. Interchange Improvements

At the interchange between I-440 and Wake Forest Road, NC DOT will add a diverging diamond to ease congestion. Pedestrian connectivity will be enhanced with added sidewalks and crosswalks across both Wake Forest Road and the ramps. Construction begins late next year. 

7. RAM Realty Property

RAM Realty purchased the shopping center directly south of Midtown East (currently home to Applebee’s and Life Time Fitness) on the northeast corner of Six Forks Road and Wake Forest Road for $14 million. Plans include adding new restaurants and retailers and potentially redeveloping the Life Time Fitness building (the business closes this fall).

8. 819 Six Forks Road 
(old Sears property)

Sears sold its last remaining Triangle property to a Virginia-based developer last year for $5 million. The developer wants to rezone the property from industrial to residential to build up to 12 stories on the 10-acre site, though current plans propose only a five-story apartment building. The property is currently zoned for three stories. 

9. Hampton Inn

Loden Properties is building a six-story Hampton Inn with 152 rooms just behind Wegmans on Industrial Drive. The hotel should open in early 2020. 

10. Duke Raleigh Hospital

Duke Raleigh Hospital is building a 214,000-square-foot facility at its primary campus at 3400 Wake Forest Road. The facility, the “South Pavilion,” will offer 92 additional patient beds, nine operating rooms, an expanded café, waiting rooms on each floor, an outdoor garden terrace with eating areas and a walking path and a same-day surgery reception and waiting area. South Pavilion is expected to be complete in 2021; 40,000 square feet of additional renovations to the existing campus should be finished in 2022.

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