Downtown Raleigh business files for bankruptcy

February 19, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
A popular downtown Raleigh restaurant has filed for bankruptcy protection. This comes after talk of sluggish sales in the downtown condo market.

All around, new businesses are popping up in downtown Raleigh, yet some just cannot survive. Yancy's restaurant, a popular spot on Fayetteville Street, has filed for bandruptcy protection, but remains open.

That has some people wondering if downtown Raleigh is barely surviving or thriving. Business owners in the area are blaming the sluggish real estate market.

Grocery store owner Taiser Zarka knows all too well; his plans to expand depend on the old adage, if you build it - meaning condo - they will come.

"The bottom line at the end of the day is about how much they're going to spend downtown and based on that we take our hard earned dollars and invest and expand to new locations," Zarka said.

"We have condos coming on the market and they're being sold prior to completion of the building," Glenwood Agent, Ann Cabell Baum added.

Prime downtown locations have some condo developments like West, ahead of schedule.

City planners who met Wednesday, say the banking industry and tougher lending standards are to blame.

"Some of these projects are a little more marginal, they're more difficult to get off the ground," City Planning Representative, Kristopher Larson said. "I don't think it's as much market demand as it is market cycles."

Downtown leaders say 126 condos have already sold, making way for more than 100 new units.

The RBC Plaza is fully reserved, but the question is when the people come, will businesses be there?

"Retail follows rooftops, so we're developing those rooftops now and they'll be filled with new residents," City Planning Representative, Dan Douglas said. "We want to prepare areas where they're going to need to shop."

City planners are hoping Yancy's Jazz Club will be among those places to shop and eat when downtown finally takes shape.


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