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Life on Campus at NC State: July 2021

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East Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With football season quickly approaching, I figured that it would be a good time to post another one of these campus updates for anyone planning to visit Raleigh for a game at Carter-Finley this fall (fingers crossed).

The last time I published one of these was back in May 2021. Since that time, not a whole lot happened athletics-wise and we certainly didn’t have a national title taken away as a result of a combination of absurdly frustrating circumstances that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to process in a healthy manner.

”Delta House Raleigh” to Open on Hillsborough:

It’s been a long time since Hillsborough Street’s heyday when bars lined the street next to campus. While Hillsborough looks much better now than it did from about 1990-2010, much of the money in recent years for downtown-adjacent development projects has been directed toward Glenwood South and the area of Hillsborough Street that intersects with Glenwood closer to Downtown Raleigh. Therefore, the area of Hillsborough Street next to campus hasn’t seen much in the way of new nightlife type of development for students.

However, there is a new bar, Delta House Raleigh, that recently announced that it plans to open in the bottom level of The Standard Apartment Complex.

With this new bar opening, SupDogs planning to open on Hillsborough St at some point in the future, and East Village Bar & Grill potentially reopening once the pandemic ends...(I’ll pause here while everyone winces)...it sounds like there may be some more student entertainment options returning to Hillsborough in the coming years to go along with the mainstays of PR and Mitch’s.

Former Two Guys Pizza Site Development:

I’ve written about this within this Life on Campus series for a few years now, but the site that formerly housed Two Guys / Brothers Pizza has been a literal hole in the middle of the street for the better part of seven years due to long running construction disputes. Hillsborough Lofts was an apartment concept that was supposed to be constructed here that was also to feature ground level retail, but that project never came to fruition for a variety of reasons.

However, a new bar/restaurant development looks to be coming to this location that could also breathe some new life into the street. CityPlat recently purchased this site and is in the process of turning this site into a concept that will feature restaurants on the lower level, as well as an open-air rooftop concept.

I am very much in favor of rooftop bar seating areas, so I really hope this site finally moves forward with some kind of development. At this point, the addition of pretty much any structure to this site would be an improvement over the massive eyesore that’s been sitting directly in the middle of Hillsborough for the better part of a decade.

The “For Lease” flier for this site with some additional details can be found here.

CityPlat Hillsborough Development #2:

CityPlat also recently purchased a 3-story building found at 1213-1217 Hillsborough St. This building currently houses some older apartments, a bakery, tattoo shop, and a bar. CityPlat plans to renovate the building to add modern amenities throughout as the building was originally constructed in 1935.

Soul Taco Coming to West Morgan Street:

Around the corner from the soon to be renovated building at 1213-1217 Hillsborough St, a new taco concept is coming to the ground floor of the 927 West Morgan Apartment Complex situated between State’s campus and Downtown Raleigh.

New Seating in Carter-Finley:

NCSU previously announced some other, more substantial upgrades to Carter-Finley, but these cosmetic upgrades are still a welcome sight. The merlot-colored seats in the SEZ were always an odd look and its good to see that they’ve finally moved to replace these with seats that feature the University’s actual shade of red.

If we wanted to replace the merlot-colored seats, but still didn’t want them to match any of the other colors in Carter-Finley for whatever reason, I would have also accepted Old Tuffy colored seats.

Raleigh - Durham Commuter Rail Project:

Commuter rail has been something discussed by those in the area for a long while now. Back in 2019, the “Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project” fell apart and was cancelled after Duke refused to donate the requisite land for the project.

However, there is now a new project being proposed by GoTriangle. This new proposal would total 43 miles and include stops in downtown Raleigh, NC State, Cary, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park and downtown Durham. The project is still in the pre-development study stage so an exact timeline for when this may or may not move forward likely won’t be known for a long while.

New Apartment Plans for Blue Ridge Road:

The old discount movie theater on Blue Ridge was bulldozed earlier this year and it was recently announced that this site is going to be developed into a 264-unit apartment complex. With the redevelopment of this site, as well as the closure of the K-Mart on Western, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more in the way of development come to this area off Blue Ridge between Hillsborough and Western.

Gorman Street Connector Project:

The City of Raleigh will soon begin work on a street connector project with the goal of improving the bicycle and pedestrian traffic on Gorman Street between the Rocky Branch Trail at Ligon Street/Sullivan Drive and the Reedy Creek Trail at Hillsborough Street/Clark Avenue.

This project will create a bike path down Gorman Street and also make a variety of other improvements to the stretch of road that connects between Hillsborough Street, Gorman Street, Faircloth Street, and Clark Avenue.

Centennial Authority Approves New Hurricanes Lease:

In June of 2020, a term sheet was agreed to in principle to keep the Hurricanes in PNC Arena through 2029. The details can be found in the link I provided from June 2020, but the terms found within that sheet have now been officially agreed to in a legal sense.

This also likely means that NC State can expect for its MBB to continue playing the vast majority of its home games in PNC through at least 2029 as well.

In a perfect world, I would love to see the Canes play in a new downtown arena, PNC Arena site be converted into additional football tailgating space (RIP TX Lot), and for State MBB to play in a new arena on Centennial Campus that seats 15k-16k. However, in my opinion, that’s never going to happen as Downtown Raleigh doesn’t have the space or infrastructure needed to support an arena (and the same can likely be said for Centennial Campus for a smaller basketball-only arena).

The Downtown South project may change that to a degree for a new Canes arena sometime in the future, but if you’re going to put an arena somewhere with the goal of building up the area around it to essentially connect it with Downtown Raleigh like with the Downtown South project - then that’s essentially the exact same scenario that was supposed to theoretically occur with the area around PNC throughout the 2000’s. The problem with that was the development there just never materialized. Realistically, I think the Canes and State MBB will be calling PNC Arena home indefinitely.

NCSU Dining Expands Campus Options:

NCSU Dining announced the following additions to the dining options found around campus:

  • Union ‘51 Burgers will be added to the Atrium food court next to DH Hill.
  • Makus Empanadas (a Durham based restaurant that also has a space not far from campus in Morgan Street Food Hall) will also be added to the Atrium food court.
  • Elements Cafe is a new coffee house that will open in Jordan Hall in September.

Starbucks on Hillsborough:

RalToday recently posted on their social media that a new Starbucks will be opening across from campus at the corner of Hillsborough and Pogue. I’m all in favor of something new moving into the area of that building that seems to feature a rotating door of restaurants and print shops, I just wish it was something more exciting than a Starbucks.

Belltower History:

NC State published the article linked above that details some of the stories behind the families that helped make the “Finish the Belltower” project possible.

Hillsborough Street Mural:

The “Live It Up! Hillsborough Street” organization is seeking an individual to complete a mural in the 2300 block of Hillsborough Street that will welcome “visitors to Raleigh and Hillsborough Street while featuring Hillsborough Street as the home to NC State.” I believe this 2300 block is the area down around the Bruegger’s Bagels across the street from Caldwell Hall and Tompkins Hall.

I’m a big supporter of more NCSU-centric art being added to the area around campus. For instance, I’ve always felt that the side of the train bridge that runs over top of Dan Allen would be a perfect spot for some kind of NCSU related art project.

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That’s all I’ve got for July. Here’s to hoping we will all be back in Carter-Finley in a little less than month. Go Pack.