Seaboard Station undergoing revitalization, but some small businesses won't be part of it

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Some businesses feel squeezed out by Seaboard Station overhaul
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The multi-million dollar mixed-use project to reimagine Raleigh's Seaboard Station is in progress, but some small businesses say they won't be part of it.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Construction crews are making headway in Seaboard Station's redevelopment. Concrete is down and the frame going is up. The multi-million dollar mixed-use project is in phase one right now. Small-business owners have mixed reactions.

"This is the last thing we were hoping for," said 2 Girls Antiques and Estate Décor Co-Owner Stacy Zanfardino.

She and the other co-owner, Debbie Lineberry, spent Tuesday morning scouting a new space.

Their small business is gearing up to move.

The women said they're being asked to leave by April as crews continue working on the new Seaboard Station.

"We were hoping to get grandfathered in, and maybe they would want us in the new retail spot, but it's going to be very expensive," said Lineberry.

The owners said it will take months to pack up the place. One-of-a-kind antiques, furniture, art, jewelry and other items fill the 1,400-square-foot space.

They estimated there are as many as 20,000 pieces to haul away after being placed here not so long ago.

"The stress of opening during COVID and taking a chance in the first place, that was a whole deal, and all the work that we put in, all the time that we put into the store, and the thought of having to redo everything," said Zanfardino.

J. Betski's Restaurant has already left Seaboard Station after 15 years.

Peace China manager Luk Siu wants to stay put.

"Ever since COVID happened, our other business shut down, too because of lack of workers," Siu said. "So, we're still trying to be here."

The project is being developed by Hoffman & Associates.

Seaboard Station will eventually feature more than 600 housing units in three buildings. There will be more than 130,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment spaces.

"We are dedicated to supporting locally-owned and operated businesses and working with the community as we expand this dynamic neighborhood. When we joined Seaboard Station in 2018, we worked alongside our retailers to create individualized plans. We continue to engage and keep our retailers informed about the construction and timelines for the project. Any adjustments made to current leases were made within the terms of the tenant contracts we made with our retailers," said Hoffman & Associates Executive Vice President John Florian.

The situation is certainly not ideal for Zanfardino and Lineberry, but they're working through the stress.

"We did it once, we can do it again," said Lineberry. "We've just got to find the right spot."