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Link apartments finally reopen after Raleigh fire. Quorum Center still a long way off.

The March 7, 2017 fire destroyed the under-construction Metropolitan apartment building in the foreground, and damaged the Link Apartments, on the right, and the Quorum Center, in the rear.
The March 7, 2017 fire destroyed the under-construction Metropolitan apartment building in the foreground, and damaged the Link Apartments, on the right, and the Quorum Center, in the rear. tlong@newsobserver.com

An apartment complex damaged in the five-alarm fire in downtown Raleigh nearly one year ago has reopened all its units.

Tenants at Link Apartments Glenwood South were displaced by the fire that destroyed The Metropolitan residential building that was being built across the street. Most of the damage at Link was from smoke and water, the owner says.

Two weeks after the fire, 145 of the 204 apartments at Link were cleared for tenants to return home. Repairs on the remaining 59 units have now been completed and all of the units are open for leasing, Grubb Properties announced Monday. So far, nine apartments have already been leased to new residents.

Grubb estimates the damage to its building amounted to $6.1 million. Fire safety equipment prevented further damage, the company said.

Link Apartments opened in 2016 as part of an expansion of residential and commercial buildings that continues in downtown Raleigh.

The fire damaged several buildings, including scorching the brick exterior of the 15-story Quorum Center’s offices and 37 condos. The Quorum’s property management firm has said it could be early next year before tenants can move back in. A spokesman could not be reached Tuesday.

When it opened in 2007 at West Jones and North Harrington streets, the Quorum launched a trend in downtown mixed-use development that has continued over the past decade.

Historic fire

The historic blaze destroyed the Metropolitan apartment complex across the street from Link. The five-story building was under construction when the fire broke out late at night. The cause was never determined.

Rebuilding at the Metropolitan is underway. Clancy & Theys Construction Co. had to demolish the burned remnants and a concrete parking deck before it could start. The project is still on track to be completed in early 2019, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Last March, Grubb Properties compensated displaced Links tenants for the days they couldn’t return to their apartments, and offered a rent discount to those who wanted to stay. Those who wanted to terminate their leases were allowed to do so without penalty, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Other tenants were permitted to move from damaged units into undamaged, unoccupied apartments, she said.

The Link offers luxury apartments designed in a contemporary urban style. The building includes a salt water pool, cyber cafe and yoga studio.

Grubb Properties also announced it had donated $5,000 to the Two Hundred Club of Wake County, which helps the families of law enforcement and rescue personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Without the bravery and hard work of the firefighters and first responders, the damage from the fire could have been catastrophic,” Clay Grubb, CEO of Grubb Properties, said in a news release. “We are extremely grateful for all that they did to protect our residents and minimize the fire’s destruction.”

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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