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Everything posted by Spartan

  1. Build all car related entrances to structures with gates like that one, and I'll never complain again.
  2. Agreed. Plus the new public space on trade street and the tribute to the old Mint site are going to be awesome for that part of Trade Street.
  3. There is a lot of negative press on cities and urban living (particularly from right leaning media outlets) and a certain subtext of smugness about suburbia that comes with it. It's hard to say that the pandemic hasn't affected cities more, but that's inevitable. I think it is very shortsighted to assume that what you see now is the way things will stay. It's tough for all of us to see the big picture as it unfolds, particularly when times are as unprecedented as these. If space opens up in uptown buildings, South Park, etc. I think it will get filled eventually because we're still growing, still having people move here. This is real. People CAN work from home, and are probably willing to do it for a while. I think in the long run we'll all be back in the office, but with more flexibility if we need to work from home from time to time.
  4. I'm a bit late on this discussion, but I enjoyed the debate about architecture. I tend to roll my eyes at most contemporary buildings because the ground floor design tends to be an afterthought. There aren't many examples of truly great public spaces in Charlotte, and our street level experience in Uptown (and everywhere else for that matter) reflects that. I think part of this debate gets into the purpose of architecture in an age where structural engineers and "value engineering" tends to relegate "aesthetics" as an "extra." I think this building is above average for Charlotte. Is it world class? No - but objectively neither is Charlotte so maybe it doesn't need to be? The ground floor/street level experience is pretty good on Trade Street. I think the sidewalk experience on Trade Street is remarkably better than it used to be, there is sufficient glazing and apparent activity on the ground floor. The pocket park on the side is actually pretty cool and will have a unique view of 3rd Ward until that parking lot gets developed. The corner column is a common feature in more pedestrian friendly cities, so I don't take much issue with it. I don't care for the materials (EFIS) along the ground floor. I think it looks cheap in a building that is otherwise reasonably attractive. My biggest issue is the giant car entrance on Church St. It's better than the Marriott around the corner, to be sure, but it's so auto dominant that it really detracts from the building frontage on that side. IMO, you can't combine "world class" and "has a porte-cocheres for cars" in a description of a building. In a world class city, you stop your taxi/uber on the side of the street and unload on the sidewalk. You don't have a dedicated space to park your Range Rover when there are 2 streetcar stops with 2 blocks of the front door. There are also more architectural critiques that really don't amount to much in the big picture. I like the idea of the bell tower feature, but it feels diminutive in the scale of that building for some reason. I love a good corner feature like that, so I want to like it. Feels like more of a ball than a strike. I could go on - but I think it's a net positive and solid infill building for uptown.
  5. Yeah this new development process means we're going to need the Agenda and RDF to step up their game to satiate Urban Planet's desire for information lol
  6. Not sure if this has been posted, but Charlotte is looking to add a new historic overlay district in Oaklawn Park. This initiative is currently in the rezoning process: https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2020Petitions/Pages/2020-037.aspx
  7. The Rail Trail extension inches forward. The ROW acquisition process is always painfully slow and it feels like nothing is happening.... but it looks like there is one parcel left and funding for construction is approved, which means a 2021 completion is realistic. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2020/09/18/rail-trail-extension-could-begin-soon/5818776002/
  8. The Cottonwood Trail renovations are complete! For some reason I thought the tornado was last year, but apparently that was this year (I say this today, on what I assume is March 193rd). https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2020/09/17/spartanburg-cottonwood-trail-boardwalk-renovations-complete-sc/5817106002/
  9. One of the universal constants is change is always bad when you aren't the one causing it to happen. This is a right of passage for new infrastructure. Go back to the 50s when street lamps were first introduced and people ranted about how ugly they were and how the light would ruin neighborhoods, and how could anyone ever sleep with so much light, etc.
  10. If they don't try to restore it, I hope they take advantage of that site and build something that will look cool as the terminal vista for Elmwood.
  11. An interesting nugget in the HJ this weekend. The deal with the AC Marriott Hotel prohibited the City from offering economic development incentives to other hotels for 3 years, and that period ends in 4 months. Although Cambria is still dead, it doesn't seem impossible that the City could get involved if they were to restart it. The problem then becomes whether or not the city will have money during and after the pandemic. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2020/09/14/spartanburg-development-update-new-restaurants-philanthropy-center/5659564002/
  12. I was worried about NIMBYism too, but I thought the crowd was really positive/supportive. Typically the naysayers come out towards the end of the process so we'll see what happens I guess.
  13. Did anyone else attend the online meeting this week? One of the good things about this pandemic forcing everything online is that I can participate from out of town. I thought that the consultant and city team did a great job. It sounds like they are working to implement some state-of-the-practice concepts into the plan, and create a plan that is actually useful (if you've ever looked at the current master plan (fromthe 1990s) it's just terrible. It's going to be fun to watch this process evolve and participate when I can. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/local/2020/09/11/city-leaders-impressed-turnout-first-long-term-planning-meeting-sc/3458748001/
  14. I hope this momentum continues. Columbia has a lot of potential and a lot of room to grow internally.
  15. The N Tryon / Spirit Square redevelopment is being discussed here:
  16. I'm surprised RDF hasn't commented on this yet haha Who is the architect/design firm on this one? Despite the critiques I'm about to make, I am looking forward to this one. All of the energy seems to be in 3rd Ward, but with this and the tower by 9th St station, and the Carolina theater project it should help bring some energy to this area of uptown. I agree with dub. I'm not overly excited about another glass box (in terms of architecture / urban design). I agree that using the Hearst/Truist tower as context makes a lot of sense. I personally would love to see more of the art deco/neo gothic influences show up in this area. I'm also interested in looking in more detail at the plaza behind the library. That has potential to be a cool space - but I'm concerned that the tower could overwhelm the space and end up making it an unpleasant one, and if the ground floors are all glass on all sides, I think it would detract from the space. That said, the trend for ground floor spaces seems to be brick facades, so I'm cautiously optimistic about this one, given the importance places on the library and intentionality of preserving some of the historic components of this site.
  17. The existing deck is 100 ft wide. Should be able to get at least one retail space in there - whether or not they do it is the question. If they can find a way to use the ramp going down under the independence building for access then they could theoretically get 2 spaces in there (since they wouldn't need their existing entrance).
  18. Council adopted a new sign ordinance, so it's an SPA for a conditional plan to do something that would otherwise be allowed by right in a conventional district. I wouldn't blame the process though... since council opened the floodgates for signage a few years ago (by approving other signs), we're going to continue be inundated with it. All new buildings are going to have it from the start, and most old ones will be retrofitted in some way over time. One of the best things about Charlotte's skyline used to be the lack of signage clutter. A few other thoughts: I doubt the brightness was a part of the rezoning, so depending on where it falls in the permitting/ordinance it may or may not be something that the City can regulate. It's also possible that these are demonstration tests and not the final product. BofA looked terrible when they were switching to LED lights but the end result was pretty good. I'm choosing to remain optimistic about this until I know for sure it's worth of my ire.
  19. Its subliminal marketing to buy a Purple (TM) Mattress.
  20. This is why I think the predictions about everyone working remotely forever are overblown.
  21. I haven't heard anything to the contrary.
  22. As an uptown resident who has to look at these lights up close, I find the new lights to be garish and unpleasant to look at. I'm sure it looks nice driving past it on the interstate though.
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