Exile

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About Exile

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    Concord, NC

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  1. Judson Mill redevelopment

    Anybody know of a handy inventory of old textile mills in Greenville and their current status? How many are there left that can be redeveloped along the lines of Judson, Mills, Monaghan, and Woodside? Are there others that have already been redeveloped?
  2. Haywood Rd Redevelopment

    Since they built the Dillards wing, I've wondered whether doing something similar at the other end would one day be desirable or feasible--and by doing so create our version of South Park. Now that Sears might go the way of the dodo, probably not any time soon. But I agree: there's a lot of seemingly wasted acreage around that mall.
  3. When Will Greenville Be Ready For Height?

    I agree. Both of those are great views. But as for U. Ridge, when you're there, you're already practically downtown--it's not really from a distance, and you can't really see what's on the other side of the Landmark building. I think the Wade Hampton view may be the best, but you can't tell whether the stuff to the left is the tops of towers or just low- or midrise buildings ("you" meaning a first-time visitor). But I suppose that if you're in those locations, you're probably headed downtown and will discover how great it is, anyway. This is not a complaint, by the way. I love Greenville's topography; wouldn't change a thing. But the flip-side of the topography is a partially obscured skyline. There have been a number of comments over the years in this forum about how a skyline creates positive perceptions about the city, which I don't dispute. If you can't fully see it until you're practically in it, it's not a negative; just no way to capture a potential positive. That is, until Greenville starts building 30-50 story buildings. But I'm not sure it really matters, because it's clear that the news is out about downtown Greenville. And I, for one, don't want Greenville ever to go the way of Charlotte, much less Atlanta. I much prefer the more European approach that seems to be evolving there: a dense collection of midrises with a high rise here and there.
  4. When Will Greenville Be Ready For Height?

    Greenville's skyline is always going to be an issue because of the topography. There are a lot of angles from which you can barely see it, even if you're at a higher elevation. And I don't know of any single panoramic ground-level view-from-a-distance.** This is in contrast to similar-sized cities like Roanoke and Chattanooga, whose downtowns are in wide, flat valleys and can be seen from some distance, even though they're technically in the mountains (Birmingham, too; Knoxville's probably more like Greenville in that sense). Greenville will never have a prominent skyline until there's enough critical mass for a few more Landmark-height buildings. And even then, a lot of the skyline will still be hidden. Even if the office building at Camperdown tops out at 250', it will probably be invisible from a lot of angles because of its location (which, according to Google Earth, is about 63' lower than the base of the Landmark). Until then, Greenville will have to be content to be like, e.g, Memphis, whose skyline looks low and unimpressive from across the river, but once you're in it, you're impressed (or should be, unless , maybe, you're from New York or Chicago) by all the vintage architecture and the density of 10 to 15 story buildings. **The view from Eastlan Baptist Church across from Greenville Tech used to be the closest thing to a panorama that I knew of, until Tech's newer plantings of trees obscured it.
  5. I have to assume that the developer scoped out the cost-benefit of retail on that side and determined that it wasn't worth the investment at this time. Until that post office is replaced with something that will bring people over there (a convention facility, perhaps??), there's no real attraction to that side of the development. In other cities, I've occasionally seen retail built out at street level in existing parking facilities. Maybe when the time comes the same thing can be done on the Falls Street side of Camperdown.
  6. Greenville Annexations

    Thanks for the reply. Just a few observations, and then I'll go back in lurk mode. I will, however, pay close attention to whatever conversation might ensue, because I do want to better understand all perspectives on this. 1) Being in a municipality is no guarantee that the quality of a parcel or of its maintenance will be up to whatever (necessarily arbitrary) standard the municipality sets. I know this by repeated experience with neighbors in several different cities. But more generally, your description indicates that the real issue is differences between city and county. So the property owner (small property owner, in this case) gets caught between city and county and, according to this proposed law, must be absorbed by the city if the city so dictates. He or she is made to pay (perpetually) for the fact that city and county can't get on the same page today, even if later they do (get on the same page). 2) This is of course anecdotal, but I don't know that I've ever heard of such problems along county borders or along state borders (though I'm sure they exist). In any case there don't seem to be analogous attempts to assert jurisdiction along county/state borders. This is most likely a universal problem of borders: why should city borders be any different? And if I live in the county and put my limbs out in front of my house, why should I have to pay if the city mistakenly removes them? They need to be more diligent in identifying proper borders; and recognize the border issue and work with adjacent governmental authorities. Nobody cuts private businesses any breaks for mistakes: they learn from it and improve their service; or they don't and they suffer and/or go out of business. If Joe Schmoe Pizza has a 30-minute delivery guarantee and goes to my neighbor's house first and shows up at my house 5 minutes late, I'm getting a free pizza (or, I suppose, no pizza at all; but what I'm not doing is paying). But the city because of its mistakes just absorbs you and increases your taxes to pay for it, and you have no recourse? Where's the justice in that? 3) Again, why does this have to become my problem? It's a problem of city and county not being on the same page. But the city makes it my problem and makes me pay for their mutual inability or unwillingness to work with, rivalry with, or just plain dislike for the county government? As for my examples of San Marino and Lesotho, they are not apples and oranges. I was only addressing the issue of encirclement as a rationale, which I find unconvincing. Purely on the basis of encirclement, they are differences of degree, not of kind. I understand the complicating governmental issues of an actual absorption. But beyond all this, it's clear that cities primarily annex to increase their tax bases, not primarily for aesthetics. If "no taxation without representation" means anything, unilateral absorption, without recourse, under a taxing authority seems like a repudiation of that principle to me.
  7. Greenville Annexations

    Is it a good thing to pass a law that would remove any recourse small, individual property owners and small businesses have against annexation, while exempting large property owners (i.e., larger businesses and wealthier people) from the same? Is annexation so important that we're willing to run roughshod over private property owners' wishes? I admit that I'm not up on the technicalities of this issue: I imagine that, at least in some circumstances, unincorporated land could be getting a sweetheart deal at the expense of the municipality. If that's the case, then the issue is not encirclement, but financial fairness. Encirclement to me seems like an incredibly poor reason for such a move. What about San Marino? Should Italy absorb it because it encircles it? Should Lesotho go out of existence as a separate state because South Africa encircles it? And if a tract of land is desirable enough, expect municipalities to embark on encirclement (or better, entrapment) strategies, if they're not already doing that. If there's financial inequity, then right the financial wrong and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe the property owner will then petition for annexation. Maybe he won't. But to authorize unilateral at-will annexation seems to me to be a serious invasion of property rights. I've known too many people who've been severely adversely affected financially by annexation. I'd enjoy reading a comprehensive explanation of why liberal annexation laws are a good thing.
  8. New downtown federal courthouse

    If the vertical dimensions of that rendering are an accurate indication of the dimensions of the real thing, then it'll seem like 12 or 13 stories. I like the idea of some sort of cupola. The colonnade (or whatever you call it) on the CNL Tower in Orlando looks great all lit up at night. Hopefully if a cupola is included in the final product, it will be an improvement on the one in that rendering.
  9. Another Grocery Store. Really?

    Deleted. Misread original post.
  10. BB&T building/lot redevelopment

    Yeah--very ugly. First Federal built their branches with the same basic building-block concept (I have no idea what to call it). For example, the BBT branch next to BN on Haywood has been enlarged and given a more regular shape, but it originally was built for First Federal to resemble the building that's the subject of this thread.
  11. BB&T building/lot redevelopment

    Not American Federal. It was First Federal. American Federal, which was Fidelity Federal up till ca 1980 or so, was the original tenant (or owner?) of the current Suntrust/Greenville HealthSystem building at at McBee and Spring. But I do remember the black sheep commercial. Incidentally, American Federal sponsored a pro tennis tourney at Greenville Country Club for a few years in the late 70's and early 80's. It was mostly up-and-comers and stars past their primes, but I did get to see Stan Smith play there when he was still pretty good. He had a really beautiful serve. Maybe he still does.
  12. Greater Greenville Economic Developments

    A few observations: 1) I may be wrong, but it seems to me that you're saying that the oil companies are out to screw us. There are, of course, always bad apples, but the vast majority of people who work in the oil industry are just like you--people with a strong moral sense. 2) Granting what you say for the sake of argument, why focus your ire on the oil companies? How do you know it's not the retailers--QT, Sheetz, etc--who are the real culprits? 3) There are a lot of variables that you don't seem to be taking into account. For example, costs. I'll defer to people more knowledgeable than me on this specific kind of situation, but it seems to me that at least some of the oil companies have themselves suffered losses from the hurricane, since there's so much of their capital in that part of Texas. But even if the oil companies hadn't suffered any catastrophic losses, the costs of getting oil and gas into a heavily flooded area are likely very great, and so whatever "windfall profits" they may be experiencing are likely much less than you're implying. They could well be in a situation where they're making less money at $9.00/gallon. Whatever the case, it is clearly not as simple as you seem to be saying, and its a dead certainty that their profits aren't nearly as large as you think. 4) I doubt that prices will settle at $3.00/gallon, but if they do, it will not be because of the reasons you imply. There's only one entity able to set and enforce prices: government. Everybody else, including oil companies, are subject to consumer preference (to the extent they aren't protected by government). If prices get high enough, people will stop buying gas in such large quantities, either by forgoing it altogether, by buying a more fuel efficient vehicle (which I did recently), or some other way. 5) Oil company management are beholden to their investors, many if not most of whom are ordinary people. By your argument, you are effectively asking potentially millions of ordinary people to sacrifice their own capital invested in oil company stocks, because if prices were artificially held at $2.10 per gallon or whatever it was before the hurricane (or $3.10, or $4.10, etc.), they'd likely be losing money, potentially by the barrel-full.
  13. Greater Greenville Economic Developments

    Agreed. I just saw the price at a station here in Concord as $2.35, up about a quarter over just a few days ago. That would indicate that gasoline inventories are now flowing to Texas (driving prices up incrementally everywhere else), which means that the $9.00/gallon price there will be relatively short-lived. Eventually prices will return to normal everywhere--as long as no price controls are instituted.
  14. Odd that it's treated as a new "announcement," when really the only new thing is the journalism angle. Though I would assume, given the context, that a different design is forthcoming. Got space to fill up, I guess.
  15. The West End

    To say nothing of "unprecedently."