A Harris Teeter store is coming to Seaboard Station, marking the first grocery store chain to publicly commit to downtown Raleigh.
Construction is set to begin at the end of 2017 or early 2018 on the project, said Billie Redmond, founder of TradeMark properties, which manages Seaboard Station off of Peace Street. The 55,000-square-foot store will have a pharmacy and prepared foods.
The project also will include a new three-level parking deck, Redmond said.
Redmond declined to say where in the retail center the store will be located, citing the need to contact tenants. But no stores or restaurants will be forced to leave Seaboard Station, she said.
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“One of the things we’re most excited about is we intend to keep every tenant we have,” Redmond said.
Seaboard Station, which is owned by William Peace University, includes 18 Seaboard restaurant, O2 Fitness and several shops and eateries in 92,000 square feet of space.
The center, which was developed in the 1940s as a train depot and warehouse, is 100 percent leased, according to TradeMark.
Redmond said TradeMark began working two years ago to lure more businesses, including a grocery store. Now it hopes other businesses will want to come to Seaboard, especially local artisans.
“It’s the only real shopping center in downtown, and it has the potential to be expanded,” she said.
TradeMark also is considering the possibility of adding multifamily housing in the area.
Seaboard Station is about 1.5 miles from Cameron Village, which has a 70,000-square-foot Harris Teeter.
Regency Centers, which owns Cameron Village through a joint venture, has renewed its lease with Harris Teeter, which this year will begin an $8 million internal and external renovation of its store.
The Matthews-based grocer, which is owned by Kroger of Ohio, has about 24 stores in the Triangle.
A spokeswoman for Harris Teeter declined to comment, saying a lease at Seaboard had not been signed.
David Diaz, president and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, said the arrival of Harris Teeter at Seaboard Station is “a game-changer for us in downtown.”
The store could help attract more businesses as people start to see downtown Raleigh as a shopping destination.
“What excites us is that anchor effect,” Diaz said. “It will make it easier for us to recruit other retailers.”
The northern end of downtown, including the Peace Street corridor, is poised for development.
The state Department of Transportation plans to replace the Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street, which will transform traffic flow in the area when the three-year project is complete.
In May, Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building Co. announced plans to build an $85 million to $100 million project near the corner of Peace and West streets, now home to ThemeWorks and the Southland Ballroom music venue.
Publix, a Florida-based grocery chain, has been linked to the site. John Kane, Kane Realty’s CEO, said in May his group had reached no agreements with anchor tenants.
Meanwhile, Raleigh plans to build Devereaux Meadows, a new park, at the corner of Peace Street and Capital Boulevard.
Diaz said he thinks downtown, which has seen plenty of residential growth, is ready to accommodate “one or two grocery stores.”
Downtown advocates have long sought to bring a grocery store to the downtown area.
Some smaller grocery companies are considering coming to downtown, Diaz said. Local leaders are “keeping our fingers crossed” that another downtown grocery store will be announced this year, he added.
“We are seeing interest from smaller, more boutique grocery stores in other parts of downtown,” he said.
Sarah Nagem: 919-829-4635, @sarah_nagem