Published: The News & Observer, Jul 11, 2004
Developer buys David Allen site
Hatem snags acre in Glenwood South
RALEIGH -- If location is everything, developer Greg Hatem's latest
purchase has it all: an acre of downtown land between the booming
Glenwood South entertainment district and the Triangle Transit Authority's
planned State Government Center station.
Hatem's Empire Properties has contracted to buy the former site
of the David Allen tile and marble company at Harrington and North
streets. He plans to redevelop the site into a $4 million mix of
restaurants, shops, offices and condos.
"It's a perfect location," Hatem said. "It's the
first place you'll go when you come off the TTA. It's up on a hill.
"It's got great visibility, and a rooftop restaurant will
have a view of downtown over to Glenwood South."
A decade ago, the site in a industrial area, just south of the
former Pine State Creamery and adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks,
wouldn't have seemed so attractive.
But the southernmost blocks of Glenwood Avenue, including the old
creamery, have been redeveloped into a bustling strip of bars and
restaurants. Two blocks away, the TTA has chosen a site at Lane
and Harrington streets for a station that it plans to open in late
Real estate experts said the former tile company land stands out
because only a few other sites are available for redevelopment in
the Glenwood South area, and those parcels are much smaller -- only
about a quarter-acre.
"Glenwood South at this point is pretty much occupied with
retail," said Diana Conn, a commercial real estate appraiser
and president of Paramount Appraisal Group. "There really isn't
that much else left out there in that immediate area.
"Now people will be looking for other retail space, so this
will expand it into the surrounding area," Conn said. "Without
the Glenwood Avenue address, they may be able to get in for lower
The area's popularity and scarcity of sites has sent property prices
Land for the 510 Glenwood condominium and retail project cost about
$15 per square foot when it was assembled in 1997. Only a half block
away, but six years later, developers of The Paramount condo project
on Johnson Street paid about $40 per square foot, Conn said.
Hatem, one of downtown's largest landlords, wouldn't say how much
he has contracted to pay for the David Allen site. But in 2000,
he paid $1.5 million for three-fourths of an acre on North Street
with a 24,000 square-foot building now occupied by Capital Fitness.
That comes to $62.50 per square foot. Hatem said he will pay about
25 percent more per square foot for the former tile company.
The site has three buildings on it. Hatem plans to renovate a 4,000-square-foot
building at Harrington and North streets for offices. An adjacent
6,000-square-foot warehouse will be razed and replaced with a four-story,
20,000-square-foot structure with retail on the lower floors and
three condominiums on top. A two-story, 7,000-square-foot building
facing West Street will be renovated for a restaurant with rooftop
The David Allen Co. had occupied the site since the 1920s, but
the property became available after the company moved to Rush Street
in South Raleigh about a year ago, Hatem said. The redevelopment
project is expected to take a year to complete.
Staff writer Dudley Price can be reached at 829-4525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.