The L Building Replaces Kings Barcade

The L Building Replaces Kings Barcade

July, 30, 2007, by Jedidiah

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As I was sitting in Abou Ghanouj (across from the Wachovia tower, above Subway) last week eating lunch and reading a book about the calamity of the World Trade Center’s site development, I overhead a couple of guys talking about the future and past of downtown Raleigh and it’s buildings.  After 15 minutes I discerned that the main one speaking was an architect and he kept referring to a new building in downtown Raleigh that he called The L Building.  Having no information about this building, I was puzzled to where it would exist in the new skyline that is developing in our downtown.

After a bit of research and a walk past the Urban Design Center today, a rendering and location have been established.  Designed by Kling Stubbins Architecture, a national firm with a local office, The L Building will inhabit the lot that used to hold Kings Barcade and a private parking lot at the corner of West Davie and McDowell St (MAP).  From the description and numbers it looks like it will be office space and the upper floors and retail on the ground floor.  To those of us that frequented Kings, this is a sad turn around for this lot.  Somehow I don’t see the retail and office space replacing the downtown vibe/culture that King’s and Vertigo/Poole’s added to this site, but then again, I am only one opinion.

More info HERE

The L Building Website
Property Overview and More Info

bye bye Kings, hello L Building…..


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L Building


  • Barden
    07/30 06:26 PM

    Call me niave but I think the resiliancy (spelling?) of the King’s culture will find a new home.

    Maybe I’m a little too pro-development for my own good. But then I just don’t want to see more tax dollars going to Cary, et al.

    I think this is a Greg Hatem project. I was reading about it last night I think in the Downtowner…

  • Vince
    07/31 04:53 PM

    I would have to agree with Barden.  A building shouldn’t define a culture, unless a culture dies with the building.  I honestly don’t think that’s gonna happen here.  For instance, (and yes, this is just an example) the Cat’s Cradle moved 3 times before it settled on a space. Clubs do that.  It never went on a hiatus, though. An example of how culture dies with a club, well, remember the story of CBGBs.  Some might argue that club died a long time before it closed down.  And after being in New York for so long, a lot of people boo-ed the idea of it moving to Las Vegas.

    As long as Kings finds a new home in downtown Raleigh, I think everything will be just fine.

  • Jedidiah
    07/31 05:10 PM

    The problem exists in my mind that this is what is happening throughout downtown Raleigh at the moment, replacement of culture with money.  It happened in other cities have similar structures to that of Raleigh and it seems to be happening in this case.  A cultural landmark is torn down to make way for another money maker. 

    Aesthetics could be another argument put forward of how Raleigh is slowly erasing buildings from it’s past (see Charlotte) to make way for “new and improved” buildings that will actually have a shorter life span than the original buildings (materiality quality much lower) and not add much quality to the skyline.  I see nothing about the L Building that is pleasing aesthetically and therefore if something doesn’t add aesthetics or culture what is it adding?  Office space?  I pass multiple “for lease” signs between Cameron Village and Martin Street every day and it seems there are more added to the streetscape daily.  We definitely aren’t in need of office space, or space in general in downtown (see all buildings on the downtown side of Hillsborough St. and all the warehouses downtown which could be upfitted for office space)...but we are in need of more cultural spaces when the original ones leave.

  • actionUnit
    08/02 05:57 PM

    part of an old article from the N&O;-

    Kings’ owners seem more philosophical than bitter.

    “The county’s subcontractors went out of their way to keep our building up,” Popson says. “They’d come to some of our events, and they understood what we were about. But as the scope of the parking deck project got bigger, it just made more sense to tear it down. So I guess you can blame our landlord. But it’s a smart business move.”

    so they could’ve kept it, but decided to bail. i’m keeping my fingers crossed for a relocation, as it was one of my favorite bars too. but we can’t act like the owners didn’t have a say in it, because they did.

  • Jedidiah
    08/02 07:30 PM

    from this week’s INDY….

    at the end of a small article about Mike Dillon’s new booking duties at the Downtown Event Center.

    “Meanwhile, the space that was Kings is now an empty lot covered in bright green grass.  Construction on a 989-car parking deck across from the new Raleigh Conv. Center is scheduled to begin in September.  The lot that Kings occupied will be a staging area for the construction.” (this is one of the main reasons the building wasn’t saved from my previous conversations)  “The former owners of Kings continue the search for a new space, though Steve Popson says there’s no news on closing a deal yet.”

    Oh, and Birds of Avalon play tonight at Slim’s.

  • LessOptimistic
    08/02 09:07 PM

    One of the reasons the Cat’s Cradle survived and flourished is that the Town of Carrboro realized the value of the club and actively recruited and assisted the relocation of the from Chapel Hill to Carrboro.  The town of Chapel Hill was discussing the housing of Cat’s Cradle in a parking deck until Carrboro came wp with a better option.  Raleigh City government doesn’t have the same vision; it seems happy with downtown drunkfests featuring horrible washed-up bands that do nothing to promote local culture or commerce (except for the beer distributors).  FYI, the current location of the Cat’s Cradle is slated for a mixed-use project that would relocate the club temporarily, until a new club is built within the larger project.  If only the Raleigh Gov or some Raleigh developers had similar vision for Raleigh.

  • Mark
    08/03 06:16 PM


    From Triangle Business Journal:

    “RALEIGH - Empire Properties’ Greg Hatem intends to bring a taste of his hometown of Roanoke Rapids to downtown Raleigh as he adds to his collection of center city eateries.

    Hatem, who has an ownership stake in four downtown restaurants, plans to open two more in the $60 million L Building he’s developing in partnership with Concord Eastridge of Arlington, Va.”

    Unfortunately, the Triangle Business Journal only allows access to the full article online to print subscribers.

    Highlights from the full article:

    *The L building [groundbreaking slated for April] will “L” around a new $20.7M Wake County Parking Deck [groundbreaking slated for September].

    *Hatem will open another Morning Times in the building.  It will connect to “L’s Kitchen” serving “old-fashioned Southern Style” food.

    *L Building is 7 stories with 12,000 square feet on the ground (retail), and the top six floors will be office space.

    “Original plans for the building called for a parking deck with 832 spaces, 44 residential condominiums and 8,000 square feet of retail space.

    The condos were nixed in favor of offices because city regulations that would have cramped the size of the condos, Hatem says.”

  • Jedidiah
    08/03 06:19 PM

    ahh…L’s Kitchen…which must be the new version of The Kitchen which was going to be beside Riviera.

  • Kee
    06/03 12:27 AM

    This has now been cancelled!

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