Developer on mission to restore old Raleigh buildings
Posted May 26, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Sixty years ago, the Nehi bottling plant was a landmark along Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.
Developer James Goodnight hopes it will be again.
The son of SAS Institute founder Jim Goodnight, James Goodnight is restoring the old plant as closely as he can to its original 1937 design.
“We’re speccing it out as office space right now, but it’s very flexible,” he said.
Goodnight has been restoring historic Raleigh properties for the past few years. One of the most spectacular transformations is at the corner of Hargett and Salisbury streets.
“It did not age well,” he said of the building with the blocky façade. But behind it was a beautiful turn-of-the-century structure begging to be renewed. Goodnight bought it two years ago.
The renovated space is going to be home to Death and Taxes, the newest restaurant from Poole’s Diner owner and recent James Beard award winner Ashley Christensen.
“It'll be a bar and restaurant in the basement and first floor, and two floors of event space for it above that,” Goodnight said. “I think there's big demand for it downtown.”
Goodnight plans to finish work on the old Nehi plant in the next few months. He said he hopes breathing new life into old buildings keeps Raleigh in touch with its past.