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Our History

Historic Masonic Temple Building Then and Now

Empire Properties began more than 25 years ago with a single restoration project in Downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district. With the success of that project, Empire quickly grew to dozens of restoration projects with a focus on revitalization of downtown Raleigh through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and creative infill.

The goal quickly became to add more life to the downtown and follow its mission to revitalize downtown Raleigh through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

Of course, that was never Greg Hatem’s original intention. Back in 1995 when the first warehouse building was under contract, it was intended to be more of a hobby. Greg was helping his brother, Joe Pat Hatem, and a basketball buddy from the YMCA, Bucky Ransdell, buy a building or two in downtown because it seemed cool. They spent a year renovating the space and soon after, Jillian’s Billiards Club became Empire’s first tenant.

More than 25 years later, Empire has renovated more than 70 buildings in downtown Raleigh and Durham and manages more than one million square feet of office, retail, restaurant, and warehouse space. The growth over the years has been driven by the company’s focus on revitalizing downtown Raleigh by providing active street-level uses and spaces for tenants to grow and thrive.

Over the years, Empire rarely shied away from a tough project, no matter how old the building was or the state of neglect. One of the most challenging was Commerce Place, a 40,000-square-foot, 1950s four-building complex in the Warehouse District, now home to The Pit Authentic Barbecue. Then came the Heilig-Levine project, the transformation of a hotel-turned-furniture store into a restaurant and office complex, now home to Sitti and Gravy, among others, at the corner of Wilmington and Hargett streets. Another challenge: the Carolina Trust Building, now home to North State Bank and The Stockroom at 230 on Fayetteville Street. It was a space that had been mothballed for decades.

For its real estate development efforts, Empire Properties has been recognized by the Raleigh City Council with the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance, by the Triangle Business Journal with the Edge Award for Best General Contractor in an Urban Environment, and by the Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women with the Impact Award for work in restoring downtown Raleigh.

For its historic preservation efforts, Empire Properties has been awarded the L. Vincent Lowe, Jr. Business Award by Preservation North Carolina, the highest honor presented to a business which assists or promotes historic preservation in North Carolina. Empire Properties also has also received a number of Capital Area Preservation Anthemion Awards for its outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.

While its historic preservation, redevelopment, and real estate development efforts have had a strong, positive impact on downtown Raleigh and its buildings, Empire Properties also has been intimately involved with the City of Raleigh’s efforts to revitalize downtown. From actively participating in the Livable Streets Partnership Steering Committee and the Fayetteville Street Visioning Team, to providing in-kind office space to the Raleigh Urban Design Center (a Division of the Department of City Planning), Empire Properties has been deeply committed to brightening the future of downtown Raleigh.

Our Team

Greg Hatem Headshot

Greg

Hatem

Founder & Managing Partner
Empire Properties
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Andrew Stewart Headshot

Andrew

Stewart

President
Empire Properties
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Dave Nicolay Headshot

Dave

Nicolay

Vice President
Empire Properties
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Rod Bullock Headshot

Rod

Bullock

Chief Financial Officer
Empire Properties
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Lacey Dean Headshot

Lacey

Dean

Senior Accountant
Empire Properties
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Luis Delgadillo Headshot

Luis

Delgadillo

Maintenance Technician
Empire Properties
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Frank Floyd Headshot

Frank

Floyd

Maintenance Engineer
Empire Properties
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Emmet Furlong Headshot

Emmet

Furlong

Tenant Liaison
Empire Properties
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Diana Gallucci Headshot

Diana

Gallucci

Property Management Accountant
Empire Properties
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Nadim Gebrael Headshot

Nadim

Gebrael

Real Estate Associate
Empire Properties
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Kassia Gibbs Headshot

Kassia

Gibbs

Real Estate Associate
Empire Properties
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David McDonald Headshot

David

McDonald

Maintenance Technician
Empire Properties
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Frank Medlin Headshot

Frank

Medlin

Carpenter
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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Barry Overcash Headshot

Barry

Overcash

Facilities and Maintenance Manager
Empire Properties
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Savannah Sowers headshot

Savannah

Sowers

Social Media and Marketing Coordinator
Empire Properties
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Ben Steel Headshot

Ben

Steel

Real Estate Consultant
Empire Properties
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Tim Bartlebaugh Headshot

Tim

Bartlebaugh

Assistant Director of Construction
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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David Biddy Headshot

David

Biddy

Site Supervisor
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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Lenny Freeman Headshot

Lenny

Freeman

Supervising Carpenter
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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Kevin Hourihan Headshot

Kevin

Hourihan

Chief Craftsman and Restoration Expert
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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Alfredo Munzo Headshot

Alfredo

Munzo

Construction/Materials Assistant
Empire Hard Hat Construction
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Amy Amerson Headshot

Amy

Amerson

Director of Private Dining and Events
Empire Eats
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Natalie Clark Headshot

Natalie

Clark

Senior Accountant
Empire Eats
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Melanie Dunia Headshot

Melanie

Dunia

Executive Chef
Empire Eats
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Emily Fausch Headshot

Emily

Fausch

Director of Marketing
Empire Eats
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Ashley Grimes Headshot

Ashley

Grimes

Social Media Manager
Empire Eats
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Samantha Hatem headshot

Samantha

Hatem

Media Manager
Empire Eats
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Amy Lyons Headshot

Amy

Lyons

Graphic Designer
Empire Eats
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Jacob Paramo Headshot

Jacob

Paramo

Director of Training
Empire Eats
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Amanda Ziminski Headshot

Amanda

Ziminski

Director of Hospitality
Empire Eats
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Our Companies

Empire Properties logo

Empire Properties

Empire Properties owns more than 70 buildings in downtown Raleigh and Durham and manages more than one million square feet of office, retail, restaurant and warehouse space. Having completed more than 15 historic tax credit rehabilitation projects, Empire possesses significant expertise in historic rehabilitation. Our rehab projects take care to preserve character defining features, while simultaneously installing modern, efficient building systems to ensure that our buildings are prepared for decades to come. In our view, preservation does not come at the expense of growth. Indeed, Empire is an active participant in making sure that our cities continue to evolve into complete and vibrant urban environments.
Empire Brokerage Services Logo

Empire Brokerage Services

Operating the most active brokerage service in downtown Raleigh, Empire Properties has been meeting the commercial real estate needs of area businesses and individuals for more than 20 years. Empire Brokerage Services manages more than one million square feet of office, retail and restaurant space in downtown Raleigh and offers a full range of brokerage services, including tenant and owner leasing representation, as well as seller and buyer representation for commercial properties.
Empire Hard Hat Construction Logo

Empire Hard Hat Construction

Empire Hard Hat Construction (EHC) is an award-winning construction company that has completed numerous impactful projects in downtown Raleigh and Durham over the past 20 years. EHC was born out of Empire’s desire for a General Contractor that understood how to effectively rehabilitate historic structures. Indeed, EHC has completed more than 15 historic tax credit rehabilitations and expertly highlights historic character and navigates the challenges of working with old buildings. EHC has also gained expertise in leading architectural and design processes, and in coordinating and executing core/shell and tenant improvement scopes of all sizes.

Empire Eats

Our passion for great food and excellent hospitality are woven through the unique dining experiences at each of our restaurants, all with their own distinct flavor and personality. Our celebration of food and the desire to serve you well, unite these uncommon dining experiences offered in our locally-owned and managed eateries. The atmosphere in our downtown Raleigh restaurants is also as unique as the culinary selections, each set perfectly in preserved historic buildings.

Empire Events

Our venues in downtown Raleigh are the perfect setting for events of all kinds. We can host anything from an intimate bridal shower to your dream wedding, your next corporate function, or nonprofit fundraiser. With a variety of options steeped in history dating as far back as 1875, each venue has its own unique character. From The Glass Box's floor-to-ceiling windows with gorgeous views of downtown Raleigh, to The Stockroom's exposed brick walls and ambient market lighting, to All Saints Chapel's original wood floors and carpenter-gothic style woodwork, you are sure to find something to suit your vision for your next special event.

  • Raleigh Hall of Fame
    Greg Hatem
    2019
    The Raleigh Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and non-profit organizations, past and present, who have made significant and lasting contributions to the City of Raleigh.
  • Anthemion Award
    Electric Motor & Repair Company Warehouse
    2018
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for Commercial Rehabilitation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Busy Broker Award
    Ben Steel
    2018
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to honor the broker with the most sales and lease transactions in the Triangle.
  • 40 Under 40 Leadership Award
    Ben Steel
    2016
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to honor the brightest, most promising young business people under the age of 40 in the Triangle.
  • Imprint Award
    Dr. Pepper Warehouse
    2016
    Presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for rehabilitation projects that significantly contributed to the identity of downtown Raleigh.
  • Anthemion Award
    Dr. Pepper Warehouse
    2016
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for Commercial Rehabilitation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Busy Broker Award
    Ben Steel
    2016
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to honor the broker with the most sales and lease transactions in the Triangle.
  • SPACE Award
    The L
    2015
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal for top commercial real estate projects of the year.
  • Imprint Award
    The L
    2015
    Presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for new construction projects that significantly contributed to the identity of downtown Raleigh.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    The L
    2015
    Presented by the Raleigh City Council to recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment, and appearance of the City of Raleigh.
  • Busy Broker Award
    Ben Steel
    2015
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to honor the broker with the most sales and lease transactions in the Triangle.
  • Anthemion Award
    G&S Department Store
    2014
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for Commercial Rehabilitation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Busy Broker Award
    Ben Steel
    2014
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to honor the broker with the most sales and lease transactions in the Triangle.
  • Triangle Business Journal Pillar
    Greg Hatem
    2013
    Lifetime achievement award presented by the Triangle Business Journal for an individual's community service and real estate industry service and leadership.
  • Pyne Preservation Award
    7-UP Bottling Plant
    2013
    Presented by Preservation Durham for outstanding historic preservation projects.
  • Imprint Award
    G&S Department Store
    2013
    Presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for rehabilitation projects that significantly contributed to the identity of downtown Raleigh.
  • Imprint Award
    Carolina Trust Building
    2011
    Presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for rehabilitation projects that significantly contributed to the identity of downtown Raleigh.
  • Resilience Award
    Empire Properties
    2010
    Presented by Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW) for continuing to grow and thrive despite economic recession.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    Raleigh Furniture Building
    2010
    Presented by the Raleigh City Council to recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment, and appearance of the City of Raleigh.
  • Preservation NC Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit
    All Saints Chapel
    2009
    Presented by Preservation North Carolina to recognize projects demonstrate a genuine commitment to historic preservation through extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/or significant participation in preservation.
  • Anthemion Awards
    All Saints Chapel
    2008
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Anthemion Awards
    2008
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    All Saints Chapel
    2008
    Presented by the Raleigh City Council to recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment, and appearance of the City of Raleigh.
  • Movers & Shakers
    Greg Hatem
    2008
    Awarded by Business Leader magazine for leaders making an impact in their profession.
  • 40 Under 40 Leadership Award
    Andrew Stewart
    2008
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal to President Andrew Stewart to honor the brightest, most promising young business people under the age of 40 in the Triangle.
  • Most Innovative Financing Program Champion Award
    Heilig-Levine Building
    2008
    Presented by Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW) for identifying and executing financing to complete a real estate project.
  • Imprint Award
    2008
    Presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for rehabilitation projects that significantly contributed to the identity of downtown Raleigh
  • SPACE Award
    Heilig-Levine Building
    2008
    Presented by the Triangle Business Journal for the top commercial real estate projects of the year.
  • J. Timothy Anderson Award
    Heilig-Levine Building
    2007
    Presented by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association for Best Sustainable/Green Historic Rehabilitation project.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    Heilig-Levine Building
    2007
    Presented by the Raleigh City Council to recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment, and appearance of the City of Raleigh.
  • Anthemion Awards
    Heilig-Levine Building
    2007
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    The Raleigh Times Building
    2006
    Community Appearance awarded by the City of Raleigh for The Raleigh Times Building for Historic Preservation/Rehabilitation
  • L. Vincent Lowe, Jr. Business Award
    Empire Properties
    2006
    Awarded by Preservation North Carolina to Empire Properties for showing vision and creativity in promoting the protection of the state's architectural resources
  • Anthemion Awards
    The Raleigh Times Building
    2006
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Champion Award
    Empire Properties
    2006
    Awarded by the Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW) to Empire Properties for work in restoring downtown Raleigh.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    328 W Davie
    2005
    Presented by the Raleigh City Council to recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment, and appearance of the City of Raleigh.
  • Anthemion Awards
    328 W Davie St, Raleigh
    2005
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • Anthemion Awards
    222 S Blount St, Raleigh
    2005
    Presented by Capital Area Preservation for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation.
  • EDGE Award
    328 W Davie St, Raleigh
    2005
    Awarded by the Triangle Business Journal for best project in an urban environment.
  • Tarheel of the Week
    Greg Hatem
    2004
    Greg Hatem named “Tarheel of the Week” by The News & Observer (Developer’s Work Nurtures His Passion)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award
    Greg Hatem
    2003
    Community Appearance awarded by the City of Raleigh to Greg Hatem for Individual Achievement in consistently and over an extended period exhibiting concern, leadership, and vision in preserving and improving the appearance and environment of the city.

“As a tenant in downtown Raleigh for more than 25 years, I have leased office space in many buildings from various landlords, all quite different. Greg Hatem and Empire Properties, however, are truly exceptional. With respect and care, they restore and preserve many older buildings, always doing it the right way. They treat tenants as family, and I feel very fortunate to be one. Not only do my colleagues and I enjoy a glorious old building (with windows that open!), but we also get to work with an incredibly wonderful landlord and receive prompt help from friendly, professional staff. Who could want more?”

Sally Scherer, Esq.
The Child’s Advocate

“The first time I met with Empire Properties’ representatives to look at office spaces in downtown Raleigh, they talked of building relationships with their tenants. Those words stayed in my mind, and I can say that they have done that and much more. Response to requests, questions, concerns and other tenant needs is quick and thorough, and I feel that there is a real sense of community between the tenants (in all of their buildings) and Empire employees. I look forward to many years as an Empire tenant.”

Allison Beale Preston
President
George Public Relations

“Foundry Zero's initial encounter with Greg Hatem and Empire Properties yielded an engaged relationship, which provided us with a number of valuable options to maximize our decision-making process. Finally settling on an office space that was in restoration, Empire kept us in the loop weekly of its progress. In fact, by being informed of various development details, we became so interested that were invited to be involved closely with some of the final decision-making, which went beyond the typical business up-fit. And, of course, all decisions were made in the context of the building’s historic preservation.

The resulting feelings were that Empire was investing in more than just finishing a space for leasing to a tenant, but in a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. No more a statement could be true for us than when our business went into transition. Empire Properties worked with us to resettle into another office space and approached compensation in a fair and balanced manner. Since then, we have enjoyed observing the day-to-day activities of care and maintenance Empire has provided and the overall friendliness and accommodation of the staff. When growth again becomes an issue, we will come to Empire first for our needs.”

Daniel Gallant
Owner
FoundryZero, LLC

“When we were looking to for a larger office, the staff at Empire Properties bent over backwards to find the right space at an affordable price. Being a small non-profit organization, I really felt that Empire took a personal interest in helping us find the best rental situation. It's also nice to have a landlord that has a genuine interest in our office and its success rather than just the business relationship.”

Bob Phillips
Education Fund Director
Common Cause North Carolina
Empire BrokerageEmpire Hard Hat ConstructionThe L BuildingAll Saints ChapelThe Stockrooom at 230The Glass BoxEmpire EatsEmpire Eats Catering