By Ariella Monti, The Raleigh Public Record, Reprinted With Permission By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH – Clyde Cooper’s BBQ isn’t going away, but its historic location is. Developer Gregg Sandreuter confirmed Tuesday the restaurant will move to another location once construction begins on a six-story mixed-used retail and residential building.
Cooper’s has been at the 109 East Davie St. location since 1938. Sandreuter said the new restaurant will remain in that neighborhood.
“We hate it,” said Debbie Holt, who owns the eatery with her husband Randy. “We fought it. We wish we didn’t have to move.”
But Holt said that during the course of their discussions with Sandreuter, they built a rapport and she is grateful for his cooperation and all the work that he did to save the historic restaurant.
She said Sandreuter proposed some plans that would include the building in the development, but it would have required the restaurant to close for at least 15 months.
The alternative is to move to another location and bring as much of the original Cooper’s as they could.
“It’s not at all what we want,” said Holt, who worked alongside Clyde Cooper . “But in order for us to move forward and for us not to go away, we have to do this.”
Holt said she is unsure when Cooper’s will begin making the move to the new location.
The Planning Commission approved the site plan for Sandreuter’s 290,000-square-foot building, which will include 239 residential units and 18,683 square feet of retail space.
The mid-rise building is a far cry from the original development that featured four towers reaching heights of 38 stories. The $400 million project was scrapped when the economy tanked.
All the required parking for the building will be provided by the Blount Street parking deck just to the north of the building. Sandreuter and his development company, Edison Land, LLC, signed a lease-to-own agreement with the city in October to purchase 300 spaces within the deck for $8.2 million.
Last month, Edison Land signed a similar agreement with the city for the remaining 396 spaces for a total $10.9 million. The remaining spaces will be allocated for 22-story retail and residential highrise for the northeast corner of Martin and Blount Streets.
Sandreuter said that he expects construction to begin at the end of the summer. City councilors will make the final decision next week.
Article Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2012