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About asthasr

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  1. God, I am going to get a reputation as the resident naysayer, but what the heck is that?
  2. The Good News Report
  3. Cotswold Area Projects

    I have no data, but my suspicion is that Publix is not doing as well in the market as they expected. I am in their target demographic, and I usually don't shop there; I go to Costco, Super G, or Food Lion instead, usually. The prices are just ridiculous, and the quality is no better than any other chain. Furthermore, due to their long-standing presence in the market, Harris-Teeter and Food Lion have the best locations locked down.
  4. Good New Restaurants

    Not exactly fancy, but there's a place called "China Go Go" in Pineville that I will recommend. Taiwanese-style food and bubble tea; it's really good.
  5. I actually like the tower! Simple and nice-looking. Hopefully the glass is dark.
  6. Crescent Stonewall Station

    It's simply too big. It's massive. It's 15 balconies (units?) wide on the 277 side. There's no vertical breaks: no changes in material, no different colors, just that beige institutional brick. It gives the feeling of a hospital. I'm not one for overly complex roof designs or anything like that, but coherent vertical elements (besides the hideous gutters!), darker colors, casement rather than sash windows (to eliminate some of the busy-ness) would have helped. Being a floor shorter (if it had to be this wide) would've helped. Being narrower and a couple of floors taller would have helped. Having balconies set "into" the structure instead of protruding would've helped.
  7. Learning from Other Places

    I guess this is my point. Is there something specific about America--I don't think it's Charlotte in particular--that makes these types of buildings a no-go? I agree that you'd never see them built here outside of NYC/SF/Chicago. But why? Singapore and Berlin I can understand, they're a city-state and the capital of Germany; but Nantes and Hangzhou? I actually think even the small, everyday apartment buildings that you see elsewhere are preferable to what we're getting, because even when they're ugly, they're still urban and not superblocks. The "stick-built, hulking skin around a parking garage" look is horrible. Maybe this all stems from parking minimums?
  8. Learning from Other Places

    I thought I'd write a post about what I like in residential architecture. Of course, this is an area of debate, but let's have that discussion! The Interlace, Singapore DUO Singapore Living Levels, Berlin New'R, Nantes The One, Hangzhou Now, there are a lot of things that you can say about these buildings. Some (all?) you might find ugly; but one thing they're not is boring. Right now, Charlotte is getting nothing but stick-built suburban-looking apartments wrapped around massive parking decks, and it's a disservice to our city. We're constantly rated as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and have thousands of units being built at any given moment: why, then, can't we get a single building as interesting as any of these? Even if half the people who see it hate it, it's born out of a dislike for the style rather than a dislike for an out-of-scale mess like Stonewall Station. Yes, I appreciate that we're densifying and getting these mixed use developments at all; but wouldn't it be great to see a square flanked by three buildings like The One there, or New'R rising in South End? Edit: As a note, you'll find that most of these buildings have uninteresting bases. This is a weakness in contemporary architecture, to my mind, but in most of these places it works better than you might expect. Fundamentally, the places that build these types of building have functional mass transit, so you can walk out of your building and hop on a bus (or go downstairs and get on a train, in some cases) and expect to get where you need to go within a few minutes. That's why there's less focus on mixed use in these buildings than you might expect.
  9. Crescent Stonewall Station

    Well, Singapore has its own style. I'm not saying those buildings exactly would work here... but buildings with visual interest on par with them would. (Singapore does not really build street-level interest into its residential buildings. The transit--subway and bus--is so ubiquitous and cheap that it's easy to go to one of the central areas or malls if you want to, and that's what most people seem to do. Charlotte does not have that luxury.)
  10. Crescent Stonewall Station

    The irritating thing is (and maybe this belongs in "Learning from Other Places" rather than here) is that other cities in other countries get projects of this size that still manage to be less monolithic and boring. I mean, I'm not asking for "The Interlace" in Singapore. Just things that don't look like a Hilton Garden Inn where the plans accidentally got copy and pasted four times on top of each other. I mean, are these fantastic? No. But they're functional and good looking. Don't even bother looking at the new Duo Residences...
  11. Learning from Other Places

    Downtown Winston-Salem is pretty good as well, although their lagging metro development means that I expect Greensboro to surpass them.
  12. The River District

    It's impossible to know exactly what restrictions would be in place for this site in particular. However, in downtown San Jose the height limit is around 87m.
  13. The River District

    I'm really not disputing these ideas. It's dense in itself; the site selected limits height; and CATS has expressed interest in running transit there. However, it represents a huge greenfield development when our city already sprawls over a vast area and there are previously-developed areas that could be easily densified. We have the entire BLE which is already built with extremely mediocre development along the northern segment; I'd much rather see this investment go into that, since it's already paid for and exists.
  14. The River District

    This is a based on a small misconception. Basically, if any green area within city limits is developed, it will "densify" the city; even if only one house is put on a thousand acres of greenery, that's still making the city "denser," by the numbers. Taken to a pathological level, this can lead to places like Gwinnett County, Georgia, which has no notable towns but manages to be only slightly less dense than Mecklenburg county. The thing that makes this "sprawl" is the fact that it's consuming a large piece of previously-vacant land, is served only by automobile infrastructure (with no credible plan I've heard to do otherwise), and will continue to be developed at a suburban scale. In essence, we're not building a city, we're building a constellation of strip malls that happen to have apartments in them.
  15. The River District

    Man, I detest this proposal. It's probably the worst development currently "on the books," in my opinion.