Jan 17, 2024 - News

Prominent Raleigh restaurant family buys downtown office tower in auction

YMCA building

Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

Downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville Street continues to make a slow comeback from the pandemic, but one of the city's most influential restaurant groups is making a big bet on the street.

Driving the news: The Moshakos family, the owners of LM Restaurants — which runs establishments like Carolina Ale House, Vidrio and Taverna Agora — has bought the office tower at 227 Fayetteville Street in an auction for around $15 million, according to Wake County records.

  • The sale of the building, which is home to the Poyner YMCA as well as restaurant and retail space, was first reported by the Triangle Business Journal.

Why it matters: The acquisition is an expression of confidence in the street, which city leaders are desperately trying to rejuvenate. They're even working with a consultant for ideas to lift activity on the street, once dominated by thousands of daytime office workers.

  • At the same time, however, Wells Fargo, the namesake tenant for one of the largest buildings on the street, 150 Fayetteville, just said they are vacating Fayetteville Street.

Details: LM bought 227 Fayetteville St. for $14.9 million — just under the property's assessed total value of $15.5 million.

  • The building went to auction after its previous owners turned it over to its lenders.

Of note: The building is currently 100% leased, and the Poyner YMCA is expected to stay, a spokesperson for LM Restaurants said.

What happened: LM Restaurants had been working on putting an unnamed restaurant project in the nearby 150 Fayetteville building, owned by Highwoods Properties, when 227 Fayetteville St. went up for auction, a spokesperson said.

  • The family, a long-time investor in downtown, viewed the building as a chance to further invest in Raleigh and stabilize Fayetteville Street, which it believes will return to being the active center of the city.

What's next: No immediate improvements are expected to be made to the building.

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