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RANYC

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Everything posted by RANYC

  1. Who are "they?" NC DOT? Are they in a Charlotte office given they make design decisions for their roads in Charlotte? Are there names and bios on a website? Do they have some discretion in their planning for what these roads should look like and how traffic should flow, or are they carrying out pre-determined and very specific instructions from Raleigh?
  2. Good grief I wish these guys were getting some of the land in Brooklyn. They get things done and have a track record of walkable, finely-grained, activated streetscapes.
  3. At a distance, we do appear off our game but I’ve assumed other variables may be at play. Don’t know enough about how the landscape of effective Econ dev teams are set up. Just feels the pace of announcements has fallen off dramatically, but then again we did have a pandemic. Do these Econ dev teams typically get funded and influenced by comm real estate interests alongside politicians?
  4. It’s not as though private development isn’t adding ground floor retail to the neighborhood. It’s happening in a few locations on both sides of South. It happens to not be happening at this particular site which used to be a car-oriented burger joint, that will now become hundreds of dwelling units for that most essential of human activities, habitation. Dwelling units that will feed emerging retail and other uses elsewhere in LOSO. Guess I’m just not as negative on a density of residential coming to an area that’s only just becoming something other than classic, surface lot, sprawling suburbia.
  5. Curious - where would you Yes, and I believe a high-rise atop a science & tech museum creates a very differentiated, urban-residential experience.
  6. An improvement over a burger joint surrounded by surface parking, at least
  7. Oh wait, in our car-obsessed city, a residential tower likely means much more demand for parking than a hotel with visitors, and so suddenly you're trying to needle in a big garage into a corner lot atop a restored Theater along Tryon. Bummer.
  8. @JasonThomasCLT rebuking the look & lack of ground-floor retail at this site. Wonder what it must be like for Embrey and team. They probably go through months of an institutional and iterative process, devising plans, market study after market study, feasibility analyses, site surveys, broker meetings, drafts and re-drafts, lender pitch-books and financing approvals, and unlike Lincoln Harris, Embrey releases renderings, and then @JasonThomasCLT does a summary rebuke rousing the contempt of the project and its team among his followers. He wants it, so it must've been feasible and Embrey is just being bad or incompetent. Ok, got it. If I were Lincoln Harris, I might just cover the entire site and vertical construction in a giant limited-access tarp and not reveal a thing until tenant move-in.
  9. So, in 2012, the article link below describes a 47-story Planetarium Tower in Austin, housing residences, and a state-of-the-art science & tech museum w/planetarium. Sadly, I don't believe it was ever built, so perhaps it proved to be infeasible. 47-Story “Planetarium” Tower Proposed Near Capital – TOWERS Discovery Place could sell its location, raise cash, and enter into partnership with a developer to anchor a residential tower, perhaps in Uptown's budding Museum District? Separately, Discovery Place could do the tower thing in its current location as well. Could our new library have done something similar? Missed opportunity for more housing in Uptown on city/county-owned property? Not government-owned, but given the compelling amenity that the Carolina Theater will be once it's done in 2050, couldn't the tower atop the theater just as easily be a condo tower as an Intercontinental? I say condo tower because would be nice to see a tower w/embedded cultural amenity as an ownership opportunity versus just rentals. Thoughts?
  10. Yawn Row...for some reason, when I see this photo, I think public high school during summer break
  11. Yes, higher rates should lead to higher bank revenues as they charge more on loans they originate than the interest banks pay on deposits. Charlotte a banking city and so the impact isn't necessarily negative. Fed waging all-out war on inflation. Watch consumer spending and confidence carefully because if there's a big pull-back and we teeter into recession, than obviously loan defaults potentially creep up and banks take hits increasing their reserves for bad debts. Right now though, employment still strong and consumer spending still healthy.
  12. Meh, I'm unclear on whether to take all this to the next level, in-person. I learn a lot reading different viewpoints and hearing insights and differences of opinion (or of assumption) on here, but no offense, some of you are a moody bunch and differences of opinion come with a snipe and a snarl, and i'd rather keep that snipe and snarl at a distance, lol. Less drama in life, not more. Not you though @KJHburg...a very gracious, diplomatic contributor.
  13. I mean, I only respond to latest posts on UP. Your post said "Uptown has lost interest to South End unless you count cultural institutions," and I'm just reinforcing that those institutions (cultural, historical, sports, urban commons) are enormously key and should always put the interest level for a downtown over satellite neighborhoods. Again, satellite neighborhoods are cool and I'm glad we have them, whether South End or NODA or Plaza, but this idea of Uptown's impending demise and capitulation to South End is just over-blown, IMO. Ultimately, I want everything in center city to thrive. And even if Charlotte never becomes a party place, my vision for the city is that we're healthy, that the city's design encourages healthy living, intellectual enrichment, safety, gathering, and that anyone anywhere in the city can safely get about on foot, transit, bicycle or with micro-alternatives with ease and convenience and confidence in their security.
  14. He didn't equate them. I even expressed in my post that I was doubtful his reference was racial, although it may have been. Wasn't explicit. You're making this a "people of color" issue with your response. The post was not a full comparison of those cities. It was showing a common thread among big cities, and Charlotte shares some space on that thread. There's a difference between identifying a common thread, and a full-on comparison or trait-matching or benchmarking of cities. And despite your name-calling, I have all the confidence I need that neither I nor my statements are "obnoxious."
  15. Wouldn't get too upset. Maybe his reference was racial, but I took it more as alluding to the fact that Uptown is truly "urban," with a mix of "situations," which you'll find in absolutely every major city in the world...Paris to London to Berlin to Manhattan to yes, Uptown Charlotte. The occasional homeless guy on the streets or setting up camp at a bus stop. Being approached by aggressive beggars in uptown. South End doesn't have a central bus station, with all the characters you tend to see there. No soup kitchen lines in South End. Hardly any streetscape schizophrenia. But the wandering schizos, the soup kitchen lines, the vagrants and beggars, the bundle of dirty blankets & shopping carts as a make-shift shelter are all common urban features of even the greatest cities in the world, and you brush that off because there's so much else to celebrate in a dense city environment like it's cultural institutions and creativity, and frankly, its authenticity. Of course, we don't just sit back and abide these terrible human conditions, but they've persisted in big cities for thousands of years. Poverty and desperation may always be among us. Fear & Shunning don't have to be our response. South End just a bit more cleaned up, and while it's nice that it's another place in Charlotte for walking around, it doesn't supplant Uptown and while Uptown may always have a greater "mix of situations," I still believe in its positioning as Charlotte evolves its thinking as a truly big & inclusive city.
  16. I know familiarity breeds contempt, and maybe you're over uptown, but ahhh yea, sports & cultural attractions are actually huge amenities, especially for out-of-towners/tourists, and Charlotte is distinct to a degree because its major institutions are all packed into a pretty compact area in the heart of its urban center. There's no sea of surface parking surrounding its football stadium or arena, and I think that's something it should celebrate. New amenities under construction or breaking ground will be additional draws for out-of-towners, like the library and Carolina Theater and this cultural corridor/"woonerf" that Metropolitan will incorporate in 7th and Tryon (breaking ground in under 60 days). Uptown has signature park space, something South End lacks from what I've gathered. There's no Romare Bearden or First Ward Park or 4th Ward Park equivalent in South End, a signature "commons" that, in my opinion, should anchor any compelling urban district. Visitors enjoy the rooftop bar scene in uptown, which SE largely lacks as far as I know although that may change. Will be a nice addition to get the Museum of Illusions in Uptown...a new space of intrigue that's just hard to find in South End. Also fun to walk through 4th ward and end up at Discovery Place's planetarium, which is something quite special if no one on here has seen it since refurbishment. I always include South End in my tours, just as I include Noda and Plaza and Freedom Park, and all together as an integrated presentation of center city Charlotte, they get compelling reactions. But I just am not as glum on Uptown. South End is fine...certainly enjoyable for locals and I enjoy it also, but versus the "stroll districts" of so many other cities in the country, it's still just ok. What it lacks versus the hype: No cluster of dozens & dozens of retail boutiques all lined up one after the other with throngs of shoppers where one might spend the day revamping one's wardrobe No row containing a cluster of differentiated home decor options with an array of craftsmen and artisans No true place-making urban avenues where one might see throngs of people strolling...certainly not South-End or South Tryon race-ways through much of South End No varied live music scene No urban-style gallery district, but I may not be aware of it because I've not done an intensive search for this since livin here Frankly, I've yet to even see a true urban-style gallery district anywhere in Center City, but maybe that was more of an early-2000s phenomenon in cities. Just my opinion. Lots of urban centers are having a tough go of it. But I'm still bullish on Uptown, and like many places in the country, we're discovering that we want growth to skew more residential instead of corporate office over time, and that makes sense. It'll get done. One of my visitors did suggest to me that South End appears a lot less "diverse" than Uptown, a potential reason some in Charlotte may be so positive on its prospects relative to Uptown's. But I told him I really didn't think that to be the case.
  17. Maybe, but I love the scramble at early girl eatery…sweet potato for my breakfast carbs. So thrilled to have that place here in Charlotte. If you want a quick shot of biscuity carbs, isn’t that what bojangles on every corner is for? side note: the biscuit at “not just coffee” only served for breakfast on the weekends is out of this world. I have had it at the one on Jay street on the west side, and assume the same menu is at the other coffee places.
  18. SE has a vibe, not denying that, but it would be interesting to get actual foot traffic data on SE versus Uptown. It tends to be event-specific, but I'd guess that actual foot traffic data in Uptown should show it still has more total pedestrian activity than in any other district in the city. Sure, the foot traffic may not happen when you want or when you idealize it happening, like many want to ignore boring corporates grabbing lunch or very predictable upticks because of major pro sports games, but when Uptown shines, it can really shine and between 4th ward or families checking out Shrek at the Children's Theater or 7th Street Market or dinner and an evening performance at the Belk or rooftop drinks at the Bohemian or a Knights' Game or Charlotte FC, Uptown is likely more dominant based on actual data without biases. We'll see on SE residential high-rises...sure plenty are proposed, we'll see what comes out of the ground. The Radius is a high-rise and is in Dilworth. With the exception of the Greystar project along South, we might be surprised to see high-rise residential in Midtown or at Metropolitan before the next one breaks ground in SE. I happen to be skeptical of Riverside and think we'll get a very pared down project when ground is actually broken, but that's just me (I hope my premonitions are off on that because I actually like the Riverside project).
  19. CBD's are often pretty sterile and notwithstanding gloom and doom in some corners about workplace office space, I do believe office-heavy CBDs will survive and persist. I live abutting Uptown's 3rd ward, and between 3rd and 4th wards, I think uptown has stunning and under-rated, dense, mixed-use and quite livable urban villages as good as any in the Southeast. During my first visit to Montreal, I stayed in the CBD. It was lame. Much more fun in the Old City and the residential districts. If Charlotte wants the growth of a "Streetscape living room" feel in more of its neighborhoods, it would be well-served eliminating all the setback requirements in the UDO, reducing parking requirements, and allowing more small business uses in N-1 zoning. A quick glance at the UDO and associated place-type map seems to scream: "Small Businesses and their Small Business Owners are bad for Communities." Baffling to me. Allow locational flexibility to these businesses, and some aesthetic standards that don't offend the character of the neighborhood. Hell, tell the businesses in N-1 they all have to have front porches and crepe myrtles and hire daily litter pick-up and weekly lawn & garden care, but at least you're giving them the option of more footprint within which to operate and serve community needs.
  20. Personally, I don't get SE's hype and it's definitely a tough sell to discriminating travelers/tourists, but that's neither here nor there. I think Uptown is pretty well-positioned because if you like frequenting NODA or Plaza, along with SE, you can be in the walkable center of it all in Uptown. Excited for the Duke land sales and eager to get more details on the German developer's mixed-use project by the convention center. Could be quite catalytic. I'm a bit skeptical, but should Tepper's entertainment district concepts materialize and actually get funded and break ground, that could drive some new and significant vertical apartment development along Graham in Uptown as well as in whatever is designated to be the "entertainment district." Ultimately, I don't think Tepper has much interest in an entertainment district. I think the city is trying to position its contribution of taxpayer dollars to a project that's as inclusive as possible. Like you can't just say, "giving public money to a stadium." Instead, you've got to say the city is contributing funds to a new urban neighborhood with tons of affordable housing and service jobs to benefit lower-income families, and it happens to include a stadium that will benefit from the public infusion.
  21. I enjoyed this article and all the contributing factors to success or failure of restaurants. Big Ben Pub I used to love Big Ben's Pub at Atherton when I first arrived in Charlotte. The smallness and somewhat dark ambience made it authentically a pub, in my opinion. I detest the new spot in Elizabeth - just way too big and too bright. Feels like the neighborhood TGIFridays or Village Inn now, than the neighborhood pub I had come to enjoy. Doesn't have that daily haunt feel any longer. So I stopped going. Foodie Ambition and the Waistline These days, since the middle of COVID, I've been on an intense health kick, and have just stopped hitting up a lot of the restaurants in Charlotte unless they have tons of PALEO-oriented food options with nothing too creamy and with high-quality oils used instead of butter. Plus, they need to be willing to walk me through all ingredients used. Also cut way back on beer. Not interested in being some urban foodie that's left to waddle around town and is always bloated. Was interesting to hear the article's perspective on the biscuit place in South End that didn't make it. I wanted to patronize that Biscuit place on Tremont, but ultimately it was the wrong food for me. Looking forward to Charlotte's evolution in offering lighter, healthier, smaller-portioned fare on the go. We're getting there. Micro-Transit to Dining Heartening to hear the article mention a redefining of restaurant accessibility and visibility. No longer are big pole signs needed; rather, patrons are increasingly led by social media - I know a pole sign does nothing for me, but an experiential account on instagram will definitely do it. Also happy to hear that accessibility isn't just about parking cars and surface lots. Receiving people off greenways matters...rideshare is increasingly important, and micro-transit through e-bikes and scooters and hoverboards are key. I met people for lunch at Early Girl Eatery the other day, and several arrived via scooter. Scooters were owned & folded up and kept at the table, but perhaps a closet for storage would have been nice.
  22. Just ran by Hall House this morning. Are we absolutely, positively sure the final plan is to actually demolish the 10/12-story brick structure that's there? I know it was talked about a while ago, but seems there have been no recent, detailed announcements from Inlivian about the plans for the site. Would be such a travesty to see that majestic bldg reduced to rubble.
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