Raleigh's Seaboard Station development plans 'going to be insane' for food, fun, living

Michael Perchick Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Raleigh's Seaboard Station plans include 'insane' places for food, fun
The plans feature three new residential buildings, a new hotel, and more. "This is going to be the place you want to be."

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A lot has changed since John Florian moved down to the Triangle about three decades ago.

"When I first came down, downtown really had nothing to offer. It's got a great deal to offer right now," said Florian, who serves as Executive Vice President of Hoffman & Associates, one of the firms working to develop the area surrounding Seaboard Station.

Their plans feature three new residential buildings, the largest of which (The Signal) has 298 apartments and is 60% leased. Two other buildings, The Point and The Miles, have a combined 279 residences and anticipate move-ins starting this summer.

"It's a great location adjacent to downtown, adjacent to (William Peace University), and really had a lot of potential that wasn't really being captured. So we're really bringing this into what we feel, the full potential of a new neighborhood in Raleigh," said Florian.

This project will also include a 149-key Hyatt House hotel, which could play a role in addressing an issue that has hampered the city.

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The move signals continuing development in Knightdale, Zebulon and east Raleigh.

"It's going to be great for the future expansion of the Convention Center and other things in downtown Raleigh. And we're seeing really great demand in the hotel market and feel like that's going to be a really successful part at a lot of energy and revitalization to the, you know, this part of the area," Florian said. The hotel will also include High Rail, a rooftop bar and restaurant, which is set to open in late summer.

The Raleigh Convention Center reports that 45% of its lost business between 2018-2020 was caused by a lack of hotel inventory, which is viewed as a key factor when events are considering the capital city.

"Ten, 15 years ago, there were empty pockets in this community. There were buildings that weren't being utilized. So now to have Seaboard here where I know the plan, I see the vision, it is going to be a game-changer for this community," said Roger Kornegay, who opened up a franchise location of The Yard Milkshake Bar last week.

It is the first food and beverage retailer in the newly developed space, with five others expected to open by the end of the year.

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Kornegay and his wife run Raleigh Food Trap, which has racked up hundreds of thousands of followers across various social media platforms. The duo often feature local restaurants in their videos, though did not initially plan to enter the industry themselves. Instead, they learned of the concept while watching a 'Shark Tank' episode, which highlighted the brand's over-the-top desserts.

"I never once planned for any of this. We didn't start a social media platform, Raleigh Food Trap, and say, 'Hey, you know, in three years we're going to buy into something and bring it here.' We never saw any of this coming," said Kornegay.

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So far, Kornegay said the business has hired about 20 workers and intends to hire 30 people.

"To see it all come together, to see just the smiling faces, the people that have shown up, it's really kind of hard to hold back the tears," said Kornegay.

More than 70% of retail space has been leased or is in active lease negotiations.

"We've had the retailers do their own individual storefronts, creating some authenticity into that character. We're really excited to see that come together," Florian said. "The food that's coming here is going to be insane. The fun that's coming here is going to be insane. So when you think about downtown Raleigh, this is going to be the place you want to be," added Kornegay.

Construction, which initially began during the pandemic, has affected existing businesses on the site, though the general area is being developed by different firms. Seaboard Railroad Station and Logan's Garden Shop, which announced earlier this month its plans to move, are not being handled by Hoffman & Associates, nor is the 111 Seaboard Avenue Shopping Center. Hoffman & Associates does own 802 Semart Drive, which includes four existing businesses.

"The shared interest is as we finish construction and everybody wants some parking and nobody really wants to pay for it. So we've built a lot of parking. We're going to, we're good at parking over here. We'll have parking in this, in this block next door, and as this street construction has now come to a conclusion, I think the new residents are going to really help everybody," Florian said. "So there's there's always growing pains in any type of type of an urban redevelopment situation, but now it's really going to be reaping the benefits of it."

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