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cityboi last won the day on September 2 2012

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About cityboi

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    Greensboro, NC

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  1. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    My office use to be in that building. I think its going to be a great project and I look forward to seeing them remove the modern glass and stucco to reveal the original 1930s building. Large scale murals popping up all over downtown. Developer Marty Kotis is behind many of them using internationally known artists. Kotis turns RED Cinema wall into another showcase for street art | Local News | Blue and Gold underpass, gateway from downtown to NC A&T.
  2. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    Very nice video and great marketing tool. It really does show how far downtown has come. About 20 years ago the city was called Greensboroing.... No more and I haven't heared anyone call the city that in years. Downtown's renewal began in 1999, around the time of Southside's redevelopment and the opening of the Amtrak station downtown. The N Club jumpstarted the nightclub scene back then as well. In 2000 Action Greensboro had a comprehensive plan which included a downtown ballpark, a center city park, a downtown greenway, a performing arts center, completion of the civil rights museum and other anchor proposals. So far most of that plan has come to fruition with exception to an IMAX theater and the proposed Rail Yard Park. Downtown Greensboro has had about 17 years of strong gradually growth and now the center-city is ready for larger scale and high-rise development with three confirmed tower projects in the works, something that wouldn't have happened 17 years ago. Greensboro is a true urban city now, not just a city of big box sprawl. If I had to compare the path of Greensboro's downtown to another city, Id say Greensboro's downtown is becoming more like Greenville, SC., another city named after General Nathaniel Greene. Greenville is smaller than Greensboro but its downtown redevelopment is still about 15 years ahead of Greensboro's. But that gap may close quite a bit over the next several years as we see more larger scale development and streetscape improvements throughout downtown Greensboro to help the entire central business district have a lush urban environment. Greensboro has done a great job renovating historic buildings downtown for restaurants, bars and cultural attraction. Preserving that past gives our center-city a soul and a unique urban environment. But I really do want to see downtown Greensboro get one of these..... An upscale bowling alley/lounge. Based on what I see downtown and whats coming, I think our downtown is ready for this even if its built by a local developer as oppose to something like a Lucky Strike. Who knows.... Maybe Roy Carroll will include one with his planned mixed-use tower/Aloft hotel across the street from the ballpark. That would be awesome! Aloft is a hotel for millenials and they need a place to play. Roy Carroll may have left some clues that some unexpected amenities may be included in his mixed use tower development when he said he would build above and "around" the parking deck. I love the rustic industrial vibe like in the photo above and I love the black lanes. I see something like that being very successful downtown. There is certainly enough of the right demographic coming downtown to support it much like the barcade and particularly if it were incorporated into a mixed use upscale hotel project. City leaders continue to talk about possible development on the News and Record property, everything from apartments to a skyscraper. The sale of newspaper printing facilities has become a trend including in North Carolina where similar sales have happened in Charlotte and Raleigh. The King Cotton hotel which once stood on the News and Record site was built in 1926 and demolished in the early 70s. The massive two block News and Record property today in which part of it is divided by Hughes St. The site is across the street from the future Westin hotel which will stand strategically midway down that block. Residential, convention center, hotels, retail and office towers are all good ideas and maybe the future development on that site can include a mix of all that but I think there needs to be a much larger anchor for all those ideas. Its rare that this much downtown property goes up for sale and whatever is built there, it needs to have not only a major impact on downtown but on the city as a whole. This needs to be something that well help drive the city's economy into the future and attract several thousand jobs downtown much like what the innovation quarter will do for Winston-Salem. Greensboro doesnt have to copy what Winston-Salem is doing but it can come up with a development that can have the same kind of impact in a more compact high density development. Again there is enough land to include a mix of residential, office, hotel, convention center with a big anchor that would attract thousands of jobs downtown. In addition there is additional property across the street from the News and Record, north of East Market Street (to the right of the photo). Its currently a large parking lot owned by Lincoln Financial. That property could also be incorporated into a much larger downtown development which includes the massive News and Record property. What ever happens here, its at least 5 to 10 years out. Its going to take a little time to come up with ideas for the property and it will likely be a public/private partnership development built in phases. I would like the development to also include retail, restaurants and a small public plaza park space that could host music events and other small events. I could easily see two or three highrises in this development (hotel tower, office tower and residential tower) This development could potentially be "the big one" and everything that has happened downtown over the past 17 years and will happen over the next three years could finally set the stage for something really big for our downtown. Cool aerial video of First National Bank Field with The Carroll at Bellemeade development going up.
  3. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    Friday night in downtown Greensboro
  4. Triad Photo of the Day

    Best aerial shot I've seen of Greensboro.
  5. North Carolina Photo of the Day

  6. Triad Photo of the Day

  7. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    Main lobby in the Carolina Theatre. Amazing theater. It opened on Halloween night in 1927 and it almost got demolished in the late 1970s. Today the theater host performing arts events and classic movies. Opening night in 1927. It originally had 2, 200 seats. That number has been reduced to 1, 075. There were a number of Carolina Theatres that opened across the state. Charlotte, Durham, Winston-Salem and much smaller ones in places like Chapel Hill. They are rebuilding the one in Charlotte. Durham still has its Carolina Theatre and the one in Winston-Salem was turned into the Stevens Center which serves as its primary performing arts venue in its downtown. The one in Greensboro was the grandest of all and one of the first public buildings built with air condition. It still has its original organ. When it opened it was billed as "The Showplace of the Carolinas". And with the new performing arts center it will give downtown a bigger city feel being able to host traveling Broadway shows downtown along with other traveling national acts. Greensboro citizens will no longer have to watch and listen to the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra at the Coliseum. It's great that Greensboro will have a very large modern venue in addition to the historic Carolina Theatre. I think its the best historical theater in the state with its ornate interior. The Carolina Theatre was designed by architect James M. Workman in a Greek Revival style for the exterior, and inside an Italian Renaissance style. The facade resembles an ancient Greek temple, complete with Ionic columns supporting a pediment. The ceiling in the auditorium is a large oval dome. With a Roman and Greek style interior. In addition there are three other smaller performing arts venues downtown. One of them is Triad Stage which is called The Pyrle Gibson Theater and it seats 300 people. Greensboro has really stepped up its performing arts scene. Triad Stage. Triad stage has an event space upstairs called Upstage Caberet Community Theatre of Greensboro on South Elm Street. The new Van Dyke Perfoming Arts venue at the Greensboro Cultural Center next to LeBauer Park. The $80 million Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts will have 3,000 seats and one of the best sound systems in the nation. While the exterior design is not as stellar as I wanted it to be, its a good design with the glass and the limestone entrance. Its obvious that with an expensive price tag like that (twice the cost of DPAC in Durham), much of that money is going inside of the center making it a state-of-the-art performing arts venue. There will also be a large video screen outside of the venue with a plaza and possible water feature. The facilty will have a large third floor patio area overlooking LeBauer Park across the street. Because of the nature of my profession I was able to access the blue prints of this venue. Im not thrilled about the back side based on what I saw. Not a lot of thought went into the design on the back side facing Lindsay Street. My hope is that one day a mixed use highrise office project will be built behind the venue. They are currently doing a lot of ground work (phase 1). Phase 2, which is actually construction will begin soon and will be completed in 2019. (2018-2019) will be big construction years for downtown Greensboro. While the performing arts center is under construction, construction on the 9 story ballpark office tower project and the 14 to 17 story Westin hotel and deck will be well underway along with the 8-story deck across the street from the ballpark which will include street level retail and a mixed use skyscraper on top of the deck with an Aloft Hotel. There are going to be quite a few big cranes downtown over the next one to three years. Construction on Carroll at Bellemeade/Hyatt Place hotel across from the ballpark should be wrapping up around the time the other projects start kicking into high gear. The Steven Tanger Center will be the crown jewel of the city's downtown performing arts scene. In addition to local orchestra, traveling shows and Broadway, the center will host concerts with some of the country's biggest music stars and traveling comedy shows with well known comedians. It will take downtown Greensboro to a new level in regards to performing arts and entertainment. This center is a big reason why we are seeing a spike in hotel construction downtown, particularly high end brand hotels. Hotel developers like to build hotels within walking distance to attractions such as this. Travelers coming to Greensboro on business or for other reasons wont have to walk far to visit cultural attractions, entertainment venues, musuems, urban parks and restaurants. Having chains downtown like Fat Tuesday and a House of Blues affiliated venue (Cone Denim Entertainment Center) along with regular downtown festivals makes downtown even more attractive for hotel development. The upscale and cultural attractions are attracting hotel flags like Westin and Aloft. The suburban model in Greensboro has always been to build hotels near shopping centers, highways and suburban restaurants. But to some degree hotel guests still would have to get in their cars or take a taxi. Thats not the case downtown. So for those who question why and how Greensboro can have so many planned downtown hotels, thats the answer and there is clearly a market. Downtown Greensboro is not the little sleepy downtown it once was 20 years ago.
  8. Believe it ot not Action Greensboro thought about connectivity between UNCG, NC A&T and downtown. Part of the downtown comprehensive plan in 1999 included a streetcar/trolley route along Market St and Friendly Ave connecting the universities to downtown in regards to transportation. The downtown greenway helps accomplish that because students from both schools can use the greenway to get to the joint Union Square university campus in the emerging university district at the south end of downtown. More bike lanes have also been added downtown. I think streetscaping should be a priority and some one way streets need to be turned to two way streets to help slow traffic down to make certain parts of downtown more pedestrian friendly. The streetscaping on the west side of downtown is pretty bad and there were some architectural mistakes in recent develelopment on that side of downtown. The YMCA is a good example of that. In addition to a poorly designed YMCA, its parking lot takes up a block. They should have built a deck so that land could be set aside for other development. There is a suburban style Hardee's on the west side of downtown as well. The west side needs work with the exception to the ballpark area which is going to see major change over the next several years. They have started putting in place decorative mast traffic lights near the ballpark. P. A. R. T. Which is a regional transportation group that runs a regional bus system in the Triad did toss around the idea of a monorail connecting downtown with the airport in the median along Bryan Blvd. Thats a cool idea but it was one of their pie in the sky ideas. I would prefer ground level light rail and it needs to go to Winston-Salem. Winston-Salem is cut off from the rest of the Piedmont's big cities and they need passenger rail service. Its unbelievable that its not been a priority. There is no train station or passenger rail of any kind in Winston-Salem. The city is far outside of the rail arc between Raleigh and Charlotte and that could be a reason.
  9. Brutalist Architecture was very popular in urban downtowns and school campuses during the 1960s. At the time Greensboro was North Carolina's second largest city. While some may loath the style, Its part of our architectural history and should be preserved. Here are some examples of the architecture style in Greensboro The Guilford County Courthouse is part of the Governmental Plaza which includes the old courthouse and the Melvin Municipal Building which is the center of city operations. City Council meetings are also held in the Melvin Building. The new county courthouse and Melvin Municipal building was designed by Eduardo Catalano and the complex was completed in 1973. It is noted that the Governmental Plaza Complex is among the top best examples of the style in the southeast. The new county courthouse (1973) The Melvin Municipal Building (1973) [ The old Guilford County Jail tower across the street from the courthouse The new jail tower to the left of the old jail tower is a more modern interpretation of the brutalist style The Greene Street Parking Deck is located across the street from the governmental plaza. The city has added art to the building and it is lit with multiple colors at night. Federal Home Loan Bank on North Elm Street in downtown Greensboro. Self Help Building (The old First Union Bank Building) Gateway Plaza Tower in downtown Greensboro. I don't really have a problem with the design. but I do have a problem with the horrible paint job. Walter Clinton Jackson Library UNCG campus The Hampshire condos (originally apartments when it opened in the 1960s) Its located less than a mile north of downtown near Moses Cone Hospital. The tower originally had balconies. Today it looks similar to the old Caprini Green housing development in Chicago. If you have seen the opening credits on the 1970s sitcom "Good Times", you'll know what I'm talking about. My personal favorites are the Governmental Plaza and the Jackson Library.
  10. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    Yes very exciting indeed. Mr Carroll said he instructed his architects to give it a wow factor. So im expecting something a little sleek and contemporary. Looks like the Carolina Theatre is undergoing a little renovation. I've always been impressed with the ornate interior. It was built in 1926 with about 2,000 seat. The Carolina Theatre will compliment the future 3, 000 seat Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts which will host Broadway shows and many other community and traveling events. Downtown Greensboro will have two large performing arts venues and about three smaller performing arts venues. Carolina Theatre Event Space in the Carolina Theatre
  11. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    I also love the downtown Greenway, the only one that loops around a downtown and then connects with the city greenway system. The Greenway loop still has a few more legs to complete with the west leg having a water stream. The greenway even has pocket parks such as Woven Works Park and Morehead Park. Another great addition to the downtown park system. All those great photos below and the greenway isnt even 50% done! In addition the greenway is attracting development. There are apartments, a grocery store, bars, restaurants and even a speakeasy along the greenway so its very in its concept having art, being a loop around downtown and what borders the greenway. In other cities they are pretty much just linear green biking paths with little attractions bordering them. Future phases will have a water stream, bridges and much more. And last but not least there is Center-City Park. Downtown Greensboro still has a little ways to go but its beginning to look as lush as Greenville, SC. I think the next step which is underway is improving the streetscape throughout downtown and Id love to see even more water features. There are more park opportunities along the railroad where there is brown space and an abandoned rail yard. Action Greensboro had proposed a park at the old railyard across from the depot complete with a chain of ponds resembling a little river. It would be a great place for an outside concert venue which could serve as a permanent stage for several thousand people and many events including the North Carolina Folk Festival. There is a road block though. The railroad company is not selling the railyard at this moment. But further down the railroad in the southwest portion of downtown developer Marty Kotis owns property that could be converted to park space adjoining his planned entertainment venues. That part of the railroad area also connects with the greenway. But I would love to see a concert/amphitheater venue at the old rail yard. It think permanent venues such as that are a much better alternative than temporary tents in parking lots. The LeBauer Park stage was used as a stage for the National Folk Festival but the rest of the stages were set up tents. In addition to parks id like to see downtown have one or two urban public plazas which have more brick and concrete than grass. One such plaza could replace the parking lot on South Elm Street just north of McGee Street. It could have a large cafe seating area for people who want to get take out from the nearby restaurants and sit in a plaza environment and eat. There could also be a street zone on the Greene Street side of the lot/plaza for food trucks. Another urban public plaza could be built near the ballpark around Roy Carroll's future mixed use tower.
  12. New High Point Stadium

    Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is supporting High Point's ballpark project. Cool looking hotel in rendering if built as designed. High Point's ballpark will rival Greensboro's and Winston-Salem's
  13. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    some more photos of downtown Greensboro I just love LeBauer Park. I stopped by and played a little golf on the putting green while taking photos. People were out there playing ping pong. Very cool and unique park and the way it transitions into Center-City Park. LeBauer Park is truly an activity park and it will feed right into the performing arts center. Its the heart of the cultural district with the Greensboro Cultural Center, Greensboro Central Library, Greensboro Historical Museum and Greensboro Children's Museum all bordering the park. Watch a movie on movie night on the great lawn or sign up for yoga classes in the park. There is even a dog park and an urban childrens playground. There are ornamental gardens and an outdoor reading room next to the library. You can grab a bite to eat at the park's two restaurants and just sit down and relax admiring the lighted air sculpture, one of only a handful in the country designed by Janet Echelman. Downtown Greensboro is becoming more and more lush and beautiful. LeBauer Park and Charlotte's Romare Bearden Park are the two most beautiful urban parks in the state and they are shining examples of what urban parks should look like and what activities can take place in them. Other LeBauer Park photos. Greensboro Children's Museum near LeBauer Park
  14. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    I found out based on city documents pertaining to the parking deck agreement with Roy Carroll and the developers of the 9 story building, the mix uses in Roy Carroll's tower above the deck. In reference to that tower it says: "Future retail, office, hotel, and residential building located above and below the new city parking deck" We know the Aloft hotel will be in the tower, but just as I expected there will be residential and it mentions office space. The retail will be on the street level of the deck. The city council just voted 9-0 in favor of entering into an agreement with Roy Carroll and the ballpark tower developers to build the deck. So Carroll's tower is a go. After more than 25 years, Greensboro will finally see some new additions to its skyline, 3 exactly when you include the Westin hotel/deck. Three tower cranes will be a fixture in Greensboro's skyline over the next few years
  15. Downtown Greensboro Developments

    Some downtown photos including updated construction photos of Carroll at Bellemeade. Carroll at Bellemeade / Hyatt Place The foreground plaza is where the 9 story office building is going. To the right of the plaza across the street is where the 20 story tower on top of the 8 story deck is going. 911 Memorial on South Elm Street. The sculpture was made from the actual steel from the World Trade Center twin towers. Southside