Developer Hatem buys another downtown Raleigh building

dbracken@newsobserver.comDecember 31, 2013 

— Developer Greg Hatem has acquired another downtown Raleigh building on Fayetteville Street.

Hatem’s company, Empire Properties, paid $3.09 million for the 36,400-square-foot office building at the corner Fayetteville and Martin streets. The seller was Frank Daniels Jr., the former owner and publisher of The News & Observer, who acquired the building for $750,000 in 1998, according to property records.

The acquisition is a change of pace for Empire, which has made its name buying and renovating vacant buildings around downtown. Hatem said the building, from which the first telephone call in Raleigh was made, is today completely leased to a range of office tenants and a Subway franchise, which occupies the ground floor.

“It’s kind of our first go at buying a stabilized building,” Hatem said. “It’s not the typical buy it, completely renovate it, and try and fill it back up.”

Hatem lives in the adjacent building on Fayetteville Street, which Empire also owns. Empire now owns more than 40 buildings in downtown Raleigh with more than 500,000 square feet of space.

In December, Empire broke ground on the L Building at the corner of West Davie and McDowell streets. The $16 million project is to include 83 apartments and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The building, which will wrap around a Wake County parking deck, is the first that Hatem and Empire have constructed from the ground up.

Bracken: 919-829-4548; Twitter: @brackendavid

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