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Life on Campus at NC State: December 2020

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North Carolina State University Campus Aerial View Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Hello fellow Wolfpackers. For those who missed the last one of these I posted in this series, you can find the October 2020 post here. This year has been weird in a lot of different ways and that is certainly reflected in the developments that have gone on around campus. There’s been some closings and some previously announced developments have completed, but there hasn’t been a whole lot in the way of new announcements due to that whole global pandemic thing and the massive budget shortfalls.

Carmichael Gym Renovations Completed:

The first of the items I included in this December 2020 post is that the Carmichael Gym renovations have finally been completed.

Carmichael has undergone numerous large-scale renovation efforts in the last few decades with one large expansion to the original gym in 1987, the completion of the Recreation Center in 2007, and a wholesale renovation of the locker rooms and fitness rooms located in the original gym in 2016. This led up to the completion of the Wellness and Recreation Center in 2020 that sits directly at the corner of Cates Avenue and Morrill Drive on campus.

I’ve visited a few college campuses and I have personally never seen anything that looks this nice. It’s also very 2020 of it all that this new facility finally opened and the majority of students aren’t even on campus to enjoy it.

I’ve embedded a few tweets below that show what the new addition looks like.

Elevators at Owen and Tucker:

Not anything too exciting with this one, but I guess with no students being on campus this fall, the University moved ahead with some minor construction on Owen and Tucker Halls during the fall semester. The two residence halls were completed in 1947 and now seventy-three years later elevators have finally been installed.

Centennial Campus Rezoning:

NCSU is working on completing a rezoning request for Centennial Campus that would allow the University to increase the square footage of buildings located on Centennial and allow construction of office towers of up to 28 stories. There’s been a lot of development on Centennial in recent years and if this request is approved, we’ll likely see even more public/private partnerships for non-academic buildings on the campus.

East Village Bar & Grill:

East Village Bar & Grill was a staple for decades on Hillsborough Street, complete with the smallest bathroom known to mankind, dirt cheap Bud Light, and a parking lot that was hilariously sloped directly downhill into the side of the bar.

EV closed back in 2019 with plans to reopen in the area. An apartment building with ground level retail has since been constructed in the spot. I recently saw the following quote posted by EV in response to a comment on their Facebook page as linked above:

That comment was posted in September 2020, so here’s hoping that should this pandemic ever be resolved, one of Hillsborough’s long-time bars will return at some point in 2021. I’m really hoping it’ll open back up next year as the only real bars left on Hillsborough are Players’ Retreat and Mitch’s Tavern, both of which have been closed most of this stupid year.

I’ve included a couple of links below to some renderings posted by EV back in February of what they were planning at the time for the new location to look like.

EV Renderings: (1) and (2)

IHOP Closing:

The original Hillsborough Street IHOP closed back in 2016. The IHOP eventually moved to the ground level retail located underneath the newly constructed Stanhope Apartments in 2017. This location had been temporarily closed for most of 2020, but recently announced its permanent closure.

Sub Conscious Closing:

Sub Conscious opened on the far end of Hillsborough Street at the edge of campus back in 1984. The business recently closed as the owner of the property sold the building. Per the comments on this post from the Raleigh Reddit, it looks as though another apartment complex will be constructed in the spot.

As nice as it is to see more student foot traffic on Hillsborough St. (in a normal year), I would really like to see some development on Hillsborough that wasn’t simply “student apartment with ground level retail”.

New Student Apartments Near Western:

New student apartments are set to be constructed at 1128 Gorman St., just south of Western Boulevard.

Crafty Crab Opening:

This restaurant recently opened at the corner Hillsborough Street and Gorman Street past the far edge of campus away from Downtown Raleigh. It most recently housed an Applebee's and if you didn’t know that, all you would really need to do is look at the exterior to figure that out.

Wing Stop to Open on Avent Ferry:

To go along with all of the other pizza and wing spots surrounding NCSU, Wing Stop recently announced that they would soon be opening their fourth Raleigh location. This location will be located in the Avent Ferry Shopping Center across Western Boulevard from NC State.

Blue Ridge Cinema Sold:

The Blue Ridge movie theater used to be the only discount, second run $1.50 or $2.00 theater I knew of in the area. It was previously owned by Carmike, but flipped to AMC a few years ago and began showing first run movies at normal pricing. Its most noteworthy features were that it still had non-stadium seating and the floor was permanently sticky. It never really had been updated or refurbished, and considering that the K-Mart that sat on Western Blvd. just down the road from this theater recently was sold, this theater’s days had been likely numbered for a while.

Unsurprisingly, it was recently announced that the property was sold to a commercial real estate developer. Considering the immense growth seen through other areas of the city, I wouldn’t be shocked to see that entire stretch along Blue Ridge be developed into a larger shopping center (i.e., apartments, hotel, retail, restaurant, etc.). It’s a massive stretch that now includes a closed movie theater, a closed K-Mart with the largest continually empty parking lot found in Raleigh, along with Grand Slam USA and an apartment building constructed back in the 1980’s that looks like something out of a horror film. Will be interesting to see how the ownership and development of the different areas along this stretch of Blue Ridge take shape in the coming years.

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That’s all I’ve got for this one.

Go Pack, don’t do a dumb against Georgia Tech.