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Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street

A pop-up retail space in Downtown Raleigh

For minority-and-women-owned businesses, this effort by Downtown Raleigh Alliance, StartUp at Wake Tech, and LM Restaurants will increase the presence, inclusion, and equity of business ownership in Downtown Raleigh.

For more information, questions or to express interest in applying for this program, please contact:

Will Gaskins
Director of Economic Development & Planning
Downtown Raleigh Alliance
(919) 821-6988

(Above) Exterior facade of Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street - 17 E Martin Street

Program overview:

Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street is a pop-up retail store program in Downtown Raleigh at 17 E Martin Street. This storefront location will be available for pop-up retail tenants looking to share an affordable retail space with other up-and-coming retailers, participate in business counseling, and experience the Downtown Raleigh market.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide affordable retail space in a desirable location within Downtown Raleigh to minority-and-women-owned businesses
  • Provide counseling opportunities for tenants to grow their business through StartUp at Wake Tech
  • Give tenants the opportunity for retail success in a storefront location, further boosting their confidence to sign a long-term lease within Downtown Raleigh

This is an ideal business opportunity if:

  • You have a retail business that you want to expand to a storefront location in Downtown Raleigh
  • You only need a small area to operate
  • You do not currently have a physical storefront location in Raleigh but have been considering opening one
  • You are welcoming, customer-service oriented, and willing to share space with other businesses
  • You are motivated and driven to grow your business through the counseling opportunities provided by StartUp at Wake Tech
  • You are motivated and driven to market and advertise your pop-up to generate sales and foot traffic
  • You are prepared to submit a business plan (including marketing plan and financial plan)


17 E Martin Street is positioned on a high foot traffic street within the center of Downtown Raleigh. The retail space is 1,230 square feet and boasts floor to ceiling windows for high visibility. It is surrounded by many popular restaurants, residential units, offices, and other nearby retailers.

Pop-Up Shops Interior Images

(Above) Interior images of Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street

    Division of space:

    The 1,230 square feet of retail space will be subdivided to accommodate two - four retail tenants at one time. Tenant floorplans will range from 300 to 600 square feet. Each tenant will sign a lease committing to a specific floor plan and square footage within the space.

    Eligible businesses:

    • Minority-and-women-owned, retail businesses

    Ineligible businesses:

    • Food or beverage businesses
    • Franchises
    • Businesses that already have a storefront location in Raleigh

    Hours of operation:

    Program tenants are required to staff the shop and be open during set regular hours of operation:

    • Wed - Sat (11am - 7pm)
    • Sun (11am - 5pm)

    *Special, one-off circumstances, emergencies, and certain holidays not withstanding. It may also be permissable, if mutually acceptable, for co-tenants to make joint coverage arrangements for increased flexibility. However, DRA and program partners reserve the right to terminate the lease and program agreements in the event of repeated violation of this hours-of-operation requirement.

    Lease term:

    The standard, minimum lease is a six-month lease term. There may be the option to extend the initial lease for an additional 6-months, by invitation. We are unable to offer lease terms of less than six months. Note: the one exception to the six-month minimum lease term is the initial five-month lease term from November 2021 of March 2022 after which all leases will be for six months in duration. The lease calendar is as follows:

    • November 2021 - March 2022 (*initial 5-month lease)
    • April 2022 - September 2022
    • October 2022 - March 2023
    • April 2023 - September 2023


    Tenant floor plans will range from 300 to 600 square feet with tenant rent set at $10 per square foot per year (paid monthly) with an additional monthly CAM (common area maintenance) fee to cover common utilities. Rent and CAM fee combined will be approximately $400 - $800 per month, depending on the tenant’s square footage within the space. Rent and CAM fee include:

    • Basic utilities (water, sewer, electricity, trash pick-up)
    • Internet & Wifi
    • Monitored security system and always-on, remote-access camera
    • Weekly cleaning service

    Security deposit:

    A two (2) month security deposit will be required at the time the lease is signed.


    For the program launch, tenants must be prepared to sign a lease agreement in late October and be open for business in the space by November 15th with a grand opening event in late November.

    • Applications and supporting documents are due on Tuesday, October 19th at 5:00pm.
    • Applications will be reviewed as received with selected applications advancing to a round of short interviews planned for the week of October 18th.
    • All applicants and will be notified of acceptance or rejection by Friday, October 22nd.
    • If accepted, lease and other required agreements will be issued with the notification of acceptance and signed versions will be due back by Friday, October 29th.
    • Accepted tenants will be given access to the space on or before Monday, November 1st with onboarding documents and keys to the retail space provided upon return of all required agreements and documentation.

    Deadline to apply:

    The application and supporting documents are due on Tuesday, October 19th at 5:00pm.

    Criteria to apply:

    • A business tax ID
    • The business use must be retail
    • Applicants must complete the application and submit a business plan (including marketing plan and financial plan) by the application deadline

    If accepted, tenants are required to do the following:

    • Commit to a 6-month lease term
    • Work full-time in their business
    • Staff the shop and be open during the hours of operation: Wed - Sat (11am - 7pm); Sun (11am - 5pm)
    • Provide a POS system and be able to process transactions (can be as simple as a mobile-device Square Reader)
    • Provide retail display infrastructure
    • Obtain basic business liability and property insurance for the use of the pop-up space
    • Share a pop-up location with other retail tenants and adhere to the tenant code of conduct agreement
    • Attend an orientation with Downtown Raleigh Alliance and StartUp at Wake Tech
    • Schedule and attend one (1) business counseling session per month through StartUp at Wake Tech for the duration of the lease term. Counseling is free and confidential.
    • Report monthly transaction numbers and sales numbers to Downtown Raleigh Alliance. This information will remain confidential.

    Application submission:

    Download the application below as a Word document. Complete and return the application with supporting document(s) attached via email to by Tuesday, October 19th at 5:00pm.

    Download Application

    Program partners:

    Contact information:

    Will Gaskins
    Director of Economic Development & Planning
    Downtown Raleigh Alliance
    (919) 821-6988


    While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate, Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), StartUp at Wake Tech and LM Restaurants are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information provided herein is provided with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We strongly recommend you and/or your advisory team perform a thorough review of the included property to determine its compatibility with your real estate goals and specifications. In no event will Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), StartUp at Wake Tech or LM Restaurants, their partners, agents, or employees be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information herein.