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About Rufus

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  1. Rufus

    SouthPark Mall

    I think each of those stores opened and closed with the rise and fall of their respective "trends." More specifically Hermes, Juicy, BCBG, and even Ralph Lauren. It seems the mall and the company tried to capitalize on trend relevance, and some, like Juicy, just disappeared. Others, like RL, were misinterpreted as a harbinger for more luxury shopping, even though customers go gaga over the polo label, a $500 sweater is not the same. Again, I think SouthPark is best served as a place for accessories and business fashion retail. St. John, Burberry, Louis Vuitton do a great amount of business as places to buy accessories or items for more conservative office attire. I think Ferragamo, Zegna, and Chanel could see some cache here as solely those carry-only stores. But I doubt we will see Gucci or anything currently "trendy."
  2. Rufus

    SouthPark Mall

    Honestly, I just think outside of major population centers, luxury retailers are having a hard time competing with department stores and online shopping. It just seems like not many cities can support the breadth of luxury that others can, and I think I am ok with that for Charlotte. It can't compete with Atlanta, Miami, Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas. I mean, this is just another adaptation on how retail is going to function. Also, I never thought of Charlotte as an Armani city, except for suits. I think something like Ferragamo but just accessories would work well here. I think accessories are where the market is for luxury fashion in smaller markets.
  3. So this puts Charlotte at 7 (potentially 8 -- Brighthouse wasn't on the list last year) F500 HQs. I would say there is also possibility for a 9th with Coca-Cola Bottling hovering close to $4-5 billion in revenue. I'm always fascinated by the number of $1billion revenue public companies are in NC, and that number continues to grow, which is a good sign.
  4. It's less than 400 rooms, so this won't really put a dent in that "need." I see this more like the Ritz -- a luxury hotel for corporate entities to use for their employees or guests. It's close to the CC, but it's small amount of rooms will mean that they will be gobbled up quickly.
  5. Rufus

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    Montreal is a haven for pharmaceutical research and CROs. I could see this sticking around for at least a couple of years.
  6. Any idea why it would take this long for this project? Too many moving pieces -- i.e. working with the hotel, contractor, residential and their contractor? Or could it have been the site?
  7. I think Phase 2 looks like a good chance for vertical (20-story). Phase 3 looks like a great spot for mixed use with an option for a hotel, which would be great here.
  8. Rufus

    First Ward Urban Village / North Tryon Vision Plan

    Honestly, is Levine even making money off of this anymore? Surely he is bleeding money from taxes and fines and unfulfilled contracts. It just boggles my mind that the guy is either inept at good business or is deluded into thinking he can provide something better than what has already been built. Why is the city not hounding this guy?
  9. Rufus

    Triad Business Notes

    I do think the sky isn't necessarily falling in this case. Yes, the loss of a corporate HQ is sad, but it is true that leaving behind such a substantial employment base is a good sign. Also, judging by the revenues of both the denim/non-activewear division, it still looks like a F500 company may still have an HQ in the city. I am always shocked to see how strong the Triad is as a F500 center. With Qorvo, BB&T, LabCorp, and now this new company spinoff, it looks like things are gonna be ok.
  10. Rufus

    Triad Business Notes

    VF Leaving NC This is definitely a blow to the area, but I think it is a smart decision to have the mountainwear apparel in the Denver area. It does look like the company is being split up between Mountainwear and the other entities, so it could be a small consolation for the area. I think if you split it up in two, you still have a F500 company, but we shall see.
  11. I am 100% FOR Greensboro building big towers. But I am also 100% FOR Greensboro to build a big tower that is not going to sit 2/3 empty and devoid of positive interactions with the urban fabric. Look, downtown Greensboro really benefits from a couple of things: 1. A downtown that has not be cris-crossed by interstates. Charlotte, for all it's development boom, is still hampered to an extent by I-277. Atlanta, the "NYC" of the South to some, is still disjointed because of I-75 & I-85. Greensboro should count its blessings that an interstate did not cut through the fabric. 2. Proximity to the all-important college population. This is a massive thing that Greensboro has not jumped on, but should. There are 6 colleges, SIX (!!!), within premium distance to downtown. Think of that disposable income. Think of the recent graduates. Think of the potential for cross-collaborations and private/public partnerships. 3. An amazingly-scaled ballpark. Look at Durham, or Indy, or Charlotte, or Memphis. These ballparks are primo for nightlife, and Greensboro is getting the jump on that. 4. A really great back-bone street for nightlife: Elm Street. This is a gem of a street that really doesn't get talked about here much. Greensboro is more than welcome, in my book, to aim high. I just want them to do it smart. Greensboro to me just doesn't strike me to have a character of a city that wants a 600-foot tower. Hell, Raleigh doesn't even scratch that for me. But, Greensboro is a city with a lot of corporate power, namely because it is a gateway city to a number of manufacturing regions, urban centers, transportation nodes, colleges. Greensboro is a fantastic city. I wouldn't be here posting about it if I didn't think it had major potential. needs some fire under its butt. And then it needs some positive traction.
  12. It's not about thinking small. It's about thinking smart. Towers require a lot of investment for a lot of return. Speculative office buildings are not going to be built above mid-rise in Greensboro, at least for the time being. You don't want to build a big tower only for it to sit there half empty. I think what the city is doing is building a critical mass of development to get people to downtown again. You have the baseball field, train station, performing arts center, university buildings, hotels. These are things that bring people downtown, gain their interest, and drive the future of development in the city. Skyscrapers are great and pretty, but they really are just that. You need vibrancy and activity and vitality to an urban center. I personally think GSO is not capitalizing enough on its "gateway" moniker and character. This is a city that sits at the convergence of three interstates, major shipping routes, and rail lines. It is a massive industrial center for North Carolina. I would love to see city leaders begin to invest in the city as not separate from the infrastructure...if that makes sense. You need to make GSO a place to stop, not drive through. There is real potential in the city to become a great urban crossroads for the state and region, and I don't think leaders recognize that importance.
  13. Why would Greensboro leaders be looking at another convention complex? It doesn't make sense, especially with the coliseum and Koury. Not to mention, Greensboro lacks the major hotel space that would help make convention centers profitable. Also, a convention center just doesn't seem like the smartest use of land. In fact, most convention centers kill street life in cities. That all being said, it does look like Greensboro is having a moment in terms of development. I personally like the scale of most of the projects: mainly mid-rise to smaller hi-rise (15 stores tops). I think that is healthy for Greensboro to achieve. Really, I think Greensboro should continue developing the corridors that reach UNCG and A&T, as well as the coliseum and Koury complexes because I think those offer the best chances at densification and true urban fabric.
  14. Rufus

    Wilmington Port News

    Two things to respond to your post: 1. An area near Southport was originally proposed as the NC International Port, but it was fiercely opposed, and the state has not done anything since. The state does own the land, but I doubt anything will be done for now. The NCIP was supposed to be NC's answer to Charleston, Savannah and Norfolk, especially with a beefed up infrastructure system. But, it was poorly thought out, and poorly planned, and the state just couldn't fight the battle with environmentalists, a large industrial land-owner, and the town of Southport. 2. I believe the Port of Wilmington was built that way because the mainland side was more swamp? I could be entirely wrong. But in some ways, it works out that way because it's more accessible to I-40.
  15. Rufus

    Wilmington Port News

    Honestly, our ports can only do so much with our geography. Both ports have to dredge even deeper to take advantage of bigger ships, and I just don't see that happening any more than it already has. However, it is amazing that Wilmington is finally reaching a level of activity it needs to compete with the rest of the Mid-Atlantic South.