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About southernnorthcarolina

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  1. R.I.P. Cesar Pelli, dead at 92. The Argentina-born architect designed Bank of America Corporate Center, among many notable buildings worldwide.
  2. I'd really love to find out how much BB&T/SunTrust paid the marketing firm for coming up with the new name. I think ego got in the way. In this "merger of equals," BB&T is driving the bus. And they just couldn't bring themselves to use the strongest brand which was sitting right in front of them. No, not BB&T (not many people even know what the initials stand for), but SunTrust. When NationsBank (NCNB's successor) bought Bank of America, they immediately saw that Bank of America was too strong a brand to discard. They made the logical choice, and applied the name of the acquired bank to the whole organization. It seems to have worked for them. If I were hired to come up with a name and logo for the combined bank, it would take me mere minutes. Use SunTrust's name, and BB&T's typeface and maroon color, plus a sun: SunTrust☀️ Too simple, you say? Sometimes -- in fact, usually -- simple is best.
  3. Best new name ever! Well, the best since New Coke, anyway. Or Mondolez, or Altria. Or even Edsel. Seriously, how much did they pay their consulting firm for this dumpster fire?
  4. An extension of the Blue Line -- across 485 to Pineville, Carolina Place Mall, Ballantyne, and maybe one more stop to the south, at the 521/Ardrey Kell intersection near the SC line -- becomes almost a necessity if the scale of Ballantyne's buildout is anything like the renderings. But it will need to be a Blue Line on steroids, with platforms at all stops lengthened to accommodate 4 to 6 car trains. The little two-car trains currently used are not much more than toys. A spur from the Tyvola Station to SouthPark, the Arboretum, and Waverly should also be considered.
  5. I'm always skeptical about population stats on cities (incorporated areas), because annexation policies and possibilities vary wildly. Until a few years ago, Charlotte could annex territory without the approval of those being annexed, provided certain density standards were met, and provided Charlotte committed to providing the usual city services. But no more -- involuntary annexation is now over for Charlotte, as it has long been for most of the rest of the country. County population trends, and metro area population trends, provide more realistic information.
  6. A couple of factors regarding traffic congestion which may not have been discussed here (although I admit I haven't read the entire thread, which is about as long as War and Peace): gated neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs. Charlotte has taken steps to almost eliminate cul-de-sacs (permitting them when there's no apparent alternative); as far as I know, gated neighborhoods are still being built. I don't know about unincorporated Mecklenburg County, or the towns within it. But the outlying counties in the Charlotte metro area seem to be sprouting cul-de-sacs and gated communities everyehere. My domicile of Union County, especially the Weddington/Marvin/Waxhaw area, may be ground zero for gated neighborhoods. Is the area crime-prone? Not really. The promary motivating factors for gated communities seem to be 1) elimination of cut-through traffic, and 2) the aura of exclusivity. Rather obviously, preventing cut-through traffic either by means of gates or cul-de-sac mazes transfers traffic to other streets. So the questions are: how big a problem is this, and what (if anything) should be done? Bear in mind that with respect to gated neighborhoods, local governments save money -- construction of the streets, sidewalks, and storm drainage inside the gates is done by the developers, and maintenance later is done by the homeowners' associations. The residents, of course, pay their property taxes, generally at the same rate as those who have government-maintained streets. So the town and/or county are incentivized to permit the gating.
  7. Interesting article from American Banker on the difficulty of finding a good name. The guy that said that Ally Bank was a home run (the choice of name, not necessarily the bank itself) is right. It'll be difficult for BB&T/SunTrust to do as well. Let's see... the new name can't be either BB&T or SunTrust; it probably can't have a geographical reference like Southeastern Bank, because I'm sure they have national, if not international asperations; it needs to be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and probably be three syllables or less; and it needs to provide at least a clue what the nature of the business is, so with "Bank" or "Trust" in the name. How about this: there's a small bank which operates in rural southern Illinois and Arizona (an odd combination) under the name of TrustBank. BB&T/SunTrust should buy them, and take their name. "Trust" is good; both banks have it in their name. Neither BB&T nor SunTrust currently have branches in either Illinois or Arizona. Instant footprint expansion. I shall await my 7-figure consulting fee for this idea.
  8. As a follow-on to the massive amount of development on Providence at and south of the 485 interchange (and don't get me wrong; I am pro-development, despite the traffic challenges posed), it is striking what happens at the county line. Literally a few hundred feet south of the leading edge of development roaring down Providence, you cross Six Mile Creek, and enter Union County and the town of Weddington (my domicile, as it happens). Weddington, along with nearby Marvin, is a "paper town," incorporated for the sole purpose of preventing annexation of the area by Charlotte (now a moot point, as involuntary annexation is no longer legal). Weddington collects only token property taxes, provides no services, depending on the Union County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement; volunteer fire departments for fire protection; and some Union County water and sewer (but most residents are on well and septic); County and State for road maintenance; and residents pay their own trash haulers. The only thing the Town of Weddington does (Town Hall open MWF, 9-1, the way government ought to be) is collect taxes, enforce such regulations as signage, and codify and enforce zoning regulations. And the last of these is key. Weddington is essentially all large-lot (one acre and more) residential, with only one small retail center which pre-existed the incorporation of the town. So almost no retail, and zero small-lot residential, multi-family, office, hotel, or manufacturing. And that's not likely to change any time soon, if town forums and polls are any indication. So, development comes to a screeching halt at the county line. I wonder how long the situation will last, given the boom just north across the county line, and development-friendly Waxhaw to the south.
  9. For those worried about traffic jams along Providence in the vicinity of I-485, consider the following: • Most of the single-family, multi-family, and hotel space in Rea Farms is not yet complete, or occupied. A majority of the retail is up and running, but my impression is that most of the office space is yet to be occupied. The "old" shopping center fronting Providence will be torn down and redeveloped, adding to the traffic count. • At Waverly, a second office tower has been topped out. Is the first office tower fully occupied? What's the occupancy percentage of the condos, apartments, townhouses and single-family houses? More traffic to come. • At Providence Farm, adjoining Waverly's north side, the apartments are nearing completion, but are not yet occupied. Retail to come. • There's a substantial amount of developable land remaining in the vicinity. There's a very nice site between Providence Farm and 485, plus vacant land wrapping around behind Providence Farm and Waverly. Does anyone know the status of the Ardrey Kell Road extention to Tilly Morris Road? • There's a smaller, but very developable piece of land is at the SW corner of the Providence/485 interchange, at Allison Woods Drive. Providence Road needs to be 6-laned out to Weddington, at least. By yesterday!
  10. Oh, my God. Designed by a committee whose members hated each other, I have to assume. "A physician can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only plant ivy." -- Frank Lloyd Wright This monstrosity is going to need a lot of ivy.
  11. If memory serves, AutoPark was built by the developers of NCNB Plaza (the all-glass '70s building, tallest in Charlotte at the time) to meet the demands of tenants. The on-grade/below-grade garage on the back half of NCNB Plaza's lot wasn't sufficient; it was intended for the building's "executive parking," plus parking for the Radisson (later Omni) Hotel. More parking had to be available for the building's tenants. In fact, I believe AutoPark was a zoning requirement, to meet the regulation that x number of parking spaces had to be provided for every thousand square feet of office space. Could AutoPark be expendible now? Perhaps, given the massive amounts of parking spaces which have been added, and are in the process of being added. It's no longer the highest and best use for the land it occupies.
  12. I'd like to see the Rea Road/Colony Road mess straightend out. When roads get extended, as both of these have been, you often get confusion. Rea Road now intersects Providence Road twice (north of NC 51, and again in Weddington, well south of I-485), which I'm sure causes confusion. If it were up to me, I'd continue the Colony Road name all the way from Myers Park, through Piper Glen, across I-485, through Blakeney, to Weddington, where it ends (for now; it will soon be extended across Providence to NC 84). Rea Road would be much shorter, extending from Providence to Colony.
  13. Can't be torn down? I'm not buying it. It wouldn't be easy, but money talks (and I mean the certainty of exponentially greater property tax revenue for the city and county), and combined with the promise to incorporate some of the historical architectural materials into a new arcade, and they're on the way. Status as a historical landmark or whatever the proper designation is can cause delays and red tape, not to mention pearl-clutching from the Hysterical Society, but at the end of the day, it's private property.
  14. Not sure how this subject got into the photo of the day thread, but I'll play along. The building in question was originally the Mutual Savings & Loan Building, with Mutual occupying the ground floor. Later, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce took the first floor. For many years earlier, the Charlotte City Club was on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Word was it was chosen as "neutral teritory," with many influential members being associated with the two big Charlotte banks of that time, NCNB and First Union. Fast-forward to the present. It's an obvious tear-down. Nobody's going to shell out 30 large for a building of that size in order to renovate it. I suspect they're thinking bigger, as in buying the Latta Arcade and Brevard Court, and tearing them down, too. This would be met with a great deal of caterwauling from the preservationists, but the Latta Arcade is in pretty rough shape, and is sitting on too valuable a site for such a small structure. They could win a lot of public relations points by then building a larger two- or three-story retail arcade running the length of the block from Tryon to Church, with an office tower on top of it, and two or three levels of underground parking below it. South Tryon is a coveted address. Make no small plans for this site.
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