New grocery store coming to downtown Raleigh

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The old Stone's Warehouse is about to get a new life

The Raleigh City Council approved a $2 million sale Tuesday of the old Stone's Warehouse that's sat vacant on E. Davie Street for years to Transfer Company LLC.

Owner Jason Queen lives in the Old East Raleigh neighborhood and has walked by the old, run-down building for more than a decade.

"You see development all over town, and it's high time southeast Raleigh had their share," said Queen.

Queen and his team at Transfer Company got together with neighbors to develop their own vision for the former bus depot - turning the historic, city-owned building into a production hub for local food entrepreneurs.

Plans call for a new 13,000 sq. ft. building, including a neighborhood grocery store and cafe, a marketplace, and a community hall accessible to downtown.
Chris Mceachin has lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. He said he feels a grocery store in the downtown Raleigh is long overdue, especially for nearby residents.

"They have to get a cab to go way to another grocery store. It's close by. All they have to do is walk down to the grocery store," said Mceachin.

"We're hoping for at least 100 jobs, and it's all established food production guys that are already in downtown or local to downtown," said Queen.

Videri Chocolate Company has already signed on as a tenant.

Owner Sam Ratto plans to create a larger production facility in the new space to ramp up distribution.

"It would probably make our business produce 1,000 to 2,000 kilos a day as opposed to the 50 we produce," said Ratto.

The project also calls for a row of 15 townhomes facing the greenway on the south side of the building.

The city plans to use some of the money from the property sale to help other local developers build affordable housing in the area.

"Our goal is to make sure it's sustainable in the long-term," said Queen.

Rex Senior Health Center, currently next to Stone's Warehouse, will eventually move to the new Wake Health Services building on Rock Quarry Rd.

Queen hopes to break ground on the project as early as next spring.

It should be open to the public by 2017.

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