Mar 10, 2023 - Real Estate

Smoky Hollow development anticipates a lively spring

Smoky Hollow plaza. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Smoky Hollow, the mixed-use development on Raleigh's downtown edge, is beginning to fill out.

Why it matters: It's been a challenging time for new developments — as vacancy rates for offices shot up to 19% in downtown Raleigh over the past year due to remote work.

  • A lack of reliable office foot traffic has plagued downtowns, and trophy projects like Smoky Hollow serve as an important bellwether for growth.

Driving the news: Phase two of Smoky Hollow (the first phase included the Peace apartments and a Publix) was one of downtown's largest projects in the past two years, with more than 220,000 square feet of office space and nearly 300 apartments.

  • While the apartments quickly filled up, it has taken longer for retail and office tenants to open.
  • A third phase could include a tower up to 40 stories tall. No timeline has been announced for its construction.

What they're saying: Over the next two months, the area should begin to feel livelier, as new businesses, Stacey Buescher, managing director of operations at Kane Realty told Axios on a recent tour.

What's open:

🍗 Midwood Smokehouse opened recently and is attracting a larger lunch and dinner crowd than the U-shaped development has seen previously.

🙏 Dose Yoga + Smoothie Bar was the first tenant to move in last spring.

🧋 Milklab, a boba tea and ice cream shop, opened in November.

🍽 J. Lights Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, also opened in November.

Much of the construction on the tapas bar and restaurant Madre is complete. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

What's next:

🍺 New Anthem Beer Project, a popular Wilmington brewery that is opening its first location in the Triangle. Buescher said New Anthem could start serving beer at the end of the month.

💇‍♀️ HUSH, a locally-owned salon, could open in the next month.

🍽 Madre, a Mediterranean tapas restaurant, is currently building out the largest restaurant space in Smoky Hollow. Tyler Helikson, an owner of Happy + Hale and Madre, told Axios he's targeting a late April or early May opening.

💼 Five new office tenants, including leases from Slalom Consulting, Scalene Design and the family foundation of Raleigh entrepreneur Bill Spruill, 2ndF.

🍸 Chapel Hill cocktail bar The Crunkleton

💪 Fitness studio Heat Studios. Openings for it and The Crunkleton are further out.


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