Local News

Developer on mission to restore old Raleigh buildings

Posted May 26, 2014

— 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.


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  • Grand Union May 27, 2014

    Good Job Mr Goodnight.

  • Forthe Newssite May 27, 2014
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    AWESOME to hear! Restoration is so much better for so many reasons! Historical preservation, quality of construction in older buildings often much better, and on and on......

    Thank you Mr. Goodnight.

  • Brenda Lawrence May 27, 2014
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    Good news!

  • nativeNCgrl May 27, 2014

    I love to hear when folks decide to restore. So much better than demolishing old buildings and the history that goes with them to build new.

  • Andrew Sugg May 27, 2014
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    Way to go Mr. Goodnight! Keep up the good work.