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Life on Campus at NC State: January 2022

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North Carolina State Campus Photo by Lance King/Replay Photos via Getty Images

It’s been a while since I last put one of these together and a lot has happened around NC State’s campus - so I’ll go ahead and get to linking all of the development going on around campus below:

Doak Field Renovations:

It’s been decades in the making, but Doak Field renovations have been announced. The full plan at this point will cost $15M, the first phase will begin after the 2022 season, and additional phases will be added to the project should fundraising exceed $15M (hello Trea Turner 2022 extension?). I’m very happy for Elliott Avent, Chris Hart, and the coaches/players/former players/alumni that have been pushing for this to happen for decades. This program deserves it.

My only hope is that should funding exceed the $15M price tag, we see some changes made to Lee Field and the Sullivan Parking Lot areas to incorporate all of that space into the stadium design. Lee Field is largely a waste of space given how large the Miller Fields are and IMO Doak needs to take over a huge chunk of Lee Field to add some outfield seating and concession options (beer garden?).

Mitch’s Tavern Set to Reopen:

Mitch’s is one of the longtime bars on Hillsborough Street next to campus, but has been closed since March 2020. It was recently announced that Mitch Hazouri will remain the principal owner of the bar/restaurant, but the group that owns MoJoe’s Burger Joint on Glenwood will join as those that handle the day-to-day management. Individuals from a local real estate firm - CityPlat - have also joined in an advisory capacity.

Even more interesting, however, is that the article notes that there’s a totally unused bar/restaurant behind the stairs that lead up to Mitch’s Tavern that will also be opening at some point in the future. This space includes a bar, kitchen, and seating for 67. It’s absolutely wild to me that there’s been a full bar/restaurant concept sitting below Mitch’s that has literally never been operational as a full-service bar/restaurant.

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.

The video linked above shows a representative from local real estate firm, CityPlat, walking through the site. It seems as though their plan for the site involves a restaurant(s) on the lower level, as well as an open-air rooftop concept on the top level.

Hillsborough Pointe Apartments:

This apartment project is being developed by CityPlat and will sit on top of the site most recently occupied by J&J Automotive. That entire stretch of Hillsborough is basically all student housing - which (IMO) is great given that if businesses are going to survive on Hillsborough, the street needs all of the student foot traffic that it can get. CityPlat has also announced new student apartment complexes further up Hillsborough across from the Arby’s, so it’ll be interesting to see which retail/dining options move to the street in the next couple of years.

NCSU Launches NC State Branded Wine:

State launched its first branded wine with Shelton Vineyards last year. This is supposed to be an annual “Hallowed Places” wine release, with the 2021 version being named “The Brickyard” and the 2022 version to be named the “Court of Carolinas”.

My only issue with the design is the use of the new “NC State Hallmark”, which has replaced the former Commercial Seal on all NC State-branded merchandise. If anyone else has any strong feelings about how alumni now cannot purchase any merchandise that features the actual seal of the University they graduated from, please let the NCSU Trademarks Department know.

Blue Ridge Corridor Development:

The link above details some of the new development going on around the Blue Ridge Road Corridor near PNC Arena. When the ESA/RBC/PNC first opened back in 1999, its opening was supposed to launch a lot of new investment and development around Blue Ridge. That never really happened. However, in the next couple of years that may finally be changing as various new developments (Department of Health and Human Services Offices, Bandwidth HQ, etc.) are announced to be coming to the area.

Tacos El Patron to Open on Hillsborough:

Tacos El Patron will be opening in the former Peking Duck & Dumplings location in the Hillsborough Street apartments next to NCSU’s Nelson Hall.

Carter-Finley Upgrades:

For the 2021 Football season, NCSU added two new upgrades to Carter-Finley. The first was a Raleighwood food and beverage concession area that featured additional food/beer trucks/stands. The second was a Tuffy’s Terrace premium seating area.

The Raleighwood area was a welcome addition to bring in additional concession trucks/stands and add more space, but it lacked in variety IMO. The offerings weren’t much different than what you could find elsewhere in the stadium (Sidenote - anyone else find it odd that State sold Old Tuffy merchandise all over Carter-Finley, but the only place we actually sold Old Tuffy were the few concession stands at the bottom of the Murphy Center?). The Raleighwood area was recently utilized for a pre-game craft beer festival before the home MBB game against FSU, so I’m hoping that means there are plans to actually bring in some additional food & beer variety in 2022.

With regard to Tuffy’s Terrace, I sat there for the LA Tech game and to be totally honest, would never pay for the standing room area at the top. I’m sure the actual few rows of seats at the front have great views, but from the standing room area, you aren’t able to see the closest half of the field, there are no TV’s to help with the bad views from there, and the speakers within the videoboard overtop of the Terrance make sitting/standing there far too loud.

For next year, I’ve got my fingers crossed for some tweaks to Raleighwood and Tuffy’s Terrace, as well as an upgraded primary videoboard/scoreboard.

Dewayne and Adama Washington Make $1M Donation:

NCSU alumni, Dewayne and Adama Washington, made a $1M donation to NC State during 2021. Dewayne played 12 years in the NFL after leaving NCSU and the donation will be split between funding for scholarships for the football program and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ social work department. Additionally, the home locker room at Carter-Finley within the Murphy Center is now named the Dewayne Washington Football Locker Room.

Campus Renovations:

The link above as well as this link, provide a summary of various campus improvements that were being worked on during 2020 - 2021. Most of the items included at this link are now completed, with the exception of the new Plant Sciences Building on Centennial Campus that is expected to open in spring 2022.

The Poole College of Management’s Nelson Hall also underwent renovations to add new technology, carpeting, and furniture, and there was also upgrades to the front desk and entryway areas.

NCSU Selects Charlotte Firm to Lead Centennial Campus Transformation:

NCSU selected Lincoln Harris to lead the development of the first phase of Centennial Campus development, the Innovation District. This district will cover 32 acres in the northeast area of the property and any buildings that are to be constructed on this site are currently zoned to be up to 28-stories high. The continued development of Centennial through additional phases is expected to span the next 10 years.

Other Assorted Links:

NCSU Belltower Celebrated its 100th Anniversary

WKNC 88.1 Campus Radio Funding Foundation

Hillsborough Street DoubleTree Sold for $42M

Western Blvd. near the Old K-Mart Converted into a Diamond Exchange

National Science Foundation I-Corp program Selects NCSU as Commercialization Hub

Hotel Coming Close to Campus in Village District

STEM Integrated Sciences Building Announced

Bistro 1887 Converted into Study Space

State Budget Allocates $50M to NCSU for Engineering Programs

College Rankings from Various Publications Could be Detrimental (shocker)