Sep 7, 2022 - News

Developer David Meeker outlines next two projects

A rendering of three historic homes turned into retail spaces.
Rendering courtesy of Carpenter Development

For more than a decade, David Meeker and his firm, Carpenter Development, has been one of the most influential developers around downtown Raleigh — known not for building new towers but for filling in interesting concepts between them.

  • Since 2008, Meeker has had a helping hand in retail and restaurant projects like Trophy Brewing, State of Beer, Young Hearts Distilling and Runologie, often converting old spaces into new gathering places.

Driving the news: Meeker, the son of former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, is adding two more projects to his growing footprint.

Next up: The Bend, which focuses on three historic homes at 849 W. Morgan St. They're sandwiched between two of his already existing establishments, Trophy Brewing & Pizza and Irregardless Cafe — the beloved vegetarian institution that Meeker bought from longtime owners in 2020. He also owns another nearby building home to The Factory coworking space.

  • Meeker told Axios that the homes — whose appearances his wants to preserve as much as possible — could fill out a section of downtown that he believes is lacking in amenities like a coffee and bottle shop, especially as more than 400 apartments are coming to the street on the former Goodnight’s Comedy Club location.

Details: The homes would be connected by a boardwalk-like walkway and include a shared backyard.

  • Already, he told Axios, he has reached an agreement with a partner to put in three separate concepts into the houses.
  • And while he is not yet ready to announce them, he said they would be in keeping with his preference for local charm over national brands.
  • The project could be ready as early as fall of next year.

What's next: Meeker also has grand designs elsewhere, in what he believes will be Raleigh's next development hot spot.

  • Located just south of downtown and Interstate 40 near several used car dealerships at 2701 S. Wilmington St., Meeker hopes to build what he is calling SoHi — a four-building development home to restaurants, shops and office space.

Meeker is optimistic about the location, noting it was a busy gateway into downtown before South Saunders Street expanded.

  • SoHi would sit next to a potential Bus Rapid Transit stop and would be half a mile from Kane Realty's ambitious Downtown South project.

A partial opening is projected for 2024. It will be built with green infrastructure in mind, including solar panels, rainwater harvesting cisterns and electric-vehicle chargers.

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