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About Exile

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    Concord, NC

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  1. Exile

    The Rumor Mill

    That's been tried (the latter, plus Anderson). To no avail. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB844190793689772000 But times may be a'changin'. Whether competition arises depends on barriers to entry. I suspect they're pretty big.
  2. My last word, and then have at it. 1) To repeat: I'm not commenting on the current Dino's situation, or any other particular instance, for that matter. I've been responding to your "break a few eggs" comment, to which I still take great exception, for the reasons I've noted. 2) Saying that the determination of what is necessary is "subjective" isn't helpful. It's not an argument for (or against) anything, and in fact, in the fairly narrow range of circumstances that I've been talking about, it's mistaken. Whether a taking benefits one person at the expense of another is not a subjective determination. The whole point of ED ... er ... eminent domain ... is to benefit everyone, without particularly benefitting anyone (or a few). Whether property is being transferred into the hands of people who stand to gain financially from the exercise of eminent domain is not a subjective thing, and it's not rare (in the world). I'm talking about intent here. I'm not addressing the likelihood that, e.g., because of proximity, some people might benefit more than others. That's just real estate.
  3. Eminent domain. What else? I'm with the Bill of Rights. That's why I said "absolutely unavoidably necessary." Of course there are cases where there will have to be a taking. But not so that somebody else better connected to the seat of political power can profit from it, even if what results is a really nice or even noteworthy thing. The ends don't justify the means. Power is a test of one's virtue. There are actual people who are hurt by these kinds of things, regularly. I think you'll find the Founders of this country on my side w/r/t how eminent domain is used. Well, maybe not the Hamiltonians. And while the Founders never contemplated this, I think it's very arguable that zoning can be used as a "taking." But I'm really not trying to start or keep an argument going. I just think that, in our zeal to see the city dazzle (which I share), we forget, or at least gloss over, the fact that, sometimes, beautiful things come into being at least partially unjustly.
  4. I know nothing of that particular rezoning. I'm not defending anybody. I'm speaking at the level of principle. A hypothetical scenario: suppose there's an area of town with 100 property owners, and 99 of them agree to do something in common with their properties that's all-or-nothing. I.e., it must include all 100 properties or it's a no-go. What they want to do is highly desirable, but 1) it will limit everyone's use of his own property; and 2) it is not unavoidably necessary for the common good; that is, it's elective. Try as they might, they can't convince the 100th to agree. How do you solve the problem? (Is this actually a "problem" at all?) You offer to buy out the 100th--not via eminent domain, but via a good-faith private negotiation. The result will be the following: 1) Depending on the price the 100th accepts (or not), you'll discover just how important that property is to him. 2) Depending on the maximum price the 99 offer (or not), you'll discover just how important that common-use project is to the 99. If the 100th bids the price up beyond what the 99 are willing to pay, then maybe the project wasn't so important to them after all. Maybe that property's been in his family for 200 years. Maybe there are memories attached to the place that have no price tag. It's not the 99's to judge his reasons. But there's no reason not to try to come to terms on a purchase. If the 100th sells out at some premium, then maybe the property wasn't so important to him after all. But at least, in both cases, everybody's "on board," because they've all freely agreed to a certain state of affairs, and nobody has forced anything on anybody. I realize that this may slow down the wheels of progress a bit, but I don't have a problem with that, because, in our current crony system, when those wheels start moving faster, the steering wheel is often in the hands of a well-connected fat cat, and people often get run over. As for your reply to me on the eggs analogy, you're saying that the ends justify the means. I just reject that. Go Tigers!
  5. I missed this, but late's better than never I suppose.... A couple of observations: 1) These "eggs" you are referring to are actually people, their property, and, at least potentially, their livelihoods. Maybe you didn't mean it this way, and I don't know you, but that statement comes across as pretty cavalier. And anyway, the analogy doesn't work: I don't keep people in my virtual fridge just in case I need to take or alter their property without their consent. Eggs are at my disposal; people should never be treated as if they're at anyone else's disposal, including the "public's". That analogy trivializes what may be deeply serious business for the person affected. 2) "Downtrodden" is a pretty loaded--and debatable--description. But whatever. You assert what you can't possibly know: i.e, what would have happened if these various highly debatable exercises of eminent domain--or, in the Pendleton St. case, rezonings--hadn't occurred. In other words, you haven't made an argument for anything. You've at best expressed your approval of a certain state of affairs. I don't know Dino or anything about his situation, so I can't comment on it. But as a matter of principle, part of living in community is respecting your neighbor's integrity, even if you don't think he has any. Taking or altering a person's property in order to transfer it to another person who will profit from it, or in order to do a public project in a certain preferred--as opposed to absolutely unavoidably necessary--way, is a repudiation of neighborliness and of any just conception of eminent domain. And aren't at least some re-zonings basically a back-door, uncompensated form of eminent domain? To the extent that something is being "taken," I would say so. But I guess the precedent's been set, so, just like Senate Democrats who used the nuclear option in 2013--don't complain if and when they do the same to you and your property.
  6. Exile

    Haywood Rd Redevelopment

    If so, before my time. It could have a history like E. Parkins Mill-Verdae Blvd-Roper Mountain Road. Verdae was the connector that brought the other two other together into one long road with three names. Edit: a history not so much "like," since Lowndes Hill was apparently cut in half by 385. How it came to connect to Century is maybe like E Parkins Mill-Verdae-Roper Mtn. I don't really know that part of town at all.
  7. Exile

    Haywood Rd Redevelopment

    Yes, I remember that, too. It was a really big, ugly, yellow billboard. BIG outcry against it. BTW, the hill has a name--Lowndes Hill, and the Lowndes Hill House is still there after almost 200 years.
  8. Exile

    The West End

    Maybe it's a negotiation tactic. DRB wants short & stubby, so they propose tall & slender, all so they can build something on the scale of Poinsett Plaza. Or shorter. Not holding my breath.
  9. Yeah, that was a mess. Riverplace is great, but they used creative notions of eminent domain to force the last few property owners out, and their (the latter's) argument that it was essentially a forced transfer to well-connected developers had merit. Not enough to stop the "wheels of progress.," but merit nevertheless. Ends-means.
  10. Is there existing empty space that just needs a rent reduction, or is it that developers aren't setting aside enough space for retail/restaurant? In other words, will it take new developments to solve this problem? From a Concord...ite(?)...ian(?) (no idea what to call myself!) who doesn't venture uptown very often.
  11. Exile

    The Bad News Report

    Well, absent moral hazard, eventually even the top guys' bad decisions will catch up with them. But you're right about disgustingly paid leadership. E.g., what did Marissa Mayer get paid to run Yahoo into the ground? And people complain about payouts to failed college football coaches.
  12. Exile

    Haywood Rd Redevelopment

    Almost 1200'. Only a few feet shorter than Roper Mtn. With the exception of the Hilton, I've never been very impressed with the way that area has developed. Across Pelham, facing Haywood, Carolina First (now TD) started in an old SCN branch building, but never kept a bigger presence there once they outgrew it. The two old Henderson Advertising buildings--where the hotel company now is, I believe--are dated. To me, this continues a tradition of underwhelming development at what is literally the most prominent intersection in town. I have a hard time believing this is the highest and best use. I wonder if there's some intractable zoning issue or title restriction. .....And btoy answers the question literally as I'm typing it!
  13. Exile

    Augusta Road

    Well, it didn't prevent them securing a buyer; though I wonder how such a restriction affected the price. Maybe the station still has it's fireman's poles--a gimmick some tenant could make use of...maybe...or maybe not.
  14. Exile

    Pleasantburg Drive Corridor

    Hmmm. Multifamily fronting 291 in an area that's historically office-park-ish. Be interesting to see--I suppose the 4-story building will come down?
  15. Exile

    New downtown federal courthouse

    If only the federal govt would just stick with the federal style, their buildings would be worthy additions, no matter how tall or squat they might be. I'm not looking forward to an 8-story brick with a tiny cupola on it. But judging from the size of the parcel, it can only be so squat. There will have to be some height, one would think. At least taller than most of the stuff going up right now.