Old warehouse turns into business incubator in part of Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Downtown Raleigh is booming but it's booming so much that some small businesses are finding it tough to find a place to set up shop.

It's getting expensive and parking is a problem. However, just on the outskirts of downtown an old warehouse is turning into a small business incubator of sorts.

The 180,000 sq. ft. building covers four acres just north of downtown. It's the largest one story building inside the Beltline.

"In its heyday, the train used to pull past the building, back into the building," said Sam Crutchfield. "They would unload the train cars filled with groceries, produce, groceries, charcoal... you name it."
Crutchfield's team is reinventing the building into smaller warehouse units and retail space for Raleigh startups that make products and goods.

"Raleigh and the Triangle is known for tech and life science, but we found that there is a lot of pent up demand for people who are making things," said Crutchfield.

It will be similar to other shared work spaces around the Triangle, but this is for manufacturing entrepreneurs.

"By combining folks under one roof, there's going to be synergies get created, new ideas," said Crutchfield. "Hopefully, new businesses will start up by people sharing ideas and potentially sharing spaces, tools, and equipment.

Blackjack Brewery is already there. Another local company that makes natural mosquito repellent will also rent space.

The final layout will really be up to the new tenants.

"We're trying to let this happen as organically as we can," said Crutchfield. "We have some ideas on what we'd like it to look like, but we continue to be excited and impressed by some of the users that come to us and say this is my business plan."

Crutchfield's vision is for the area to be a place people can come for lunch, have a coffee, and enjoy what Raleigh is making.

"We just want to bring it back to life and make it a place the community can engage with," said Crutchfield.

Crutchfield said rental rates could be half the cost of the same kind of space these businesses could find downtown.

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