ncwebguy

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About ncwebguy

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    Downtown Raleigh. NC
  1. Downtown Raleigh retail updates

    Does anyone know the retail configuration of Skyhouse? It could possibly support a two story grocery like in North Hills, but I do not know if the plans would allow for a grocery, or if the plans call for something on the south side of the parking deck. Part of me thinks Glenwood South is "too close" to Cameron Village, though there are a lot of new beds built or under construction near the Clark/Peace corridor from Oberlin to Glenwood. The Urban Outfitters in Savannah, Charleston, and Providence, RI (only drove by) suggest putting a downtown location in Boylan Pearce. The building between Crank Arm and the chocolate factory is being renovated, but there are no 'coming soon' signs yet. Or they could go into the old vacuum shop across Davie. Signs in the Moore Square side of the old Greenshields building suggest an events/pop up space, but there already is a similar venture in Cobblestone Hall in the back half of that building. With Zydeco out of the space, and if the Stand Up Paddling store moved elsewhere, could Urban Outfitters squeeze in there? I do not know if all that can be reconfigured into one continuous space. If they go the Charlotte/South Park or Southpoint new build route, they could go into SkyHouse, Charter Square, or other new construction like The L. With H&M in Crabtree and Triangle Town Center, does a downtown location (rumored years ago) seem more or less likely? The Subway on Salisubry has now moved across the street into the Wells Fargo building. It almost backs up into Café Carolina. A restaurant or bar looks like it is opening in its old space, which has added a roll-up front door. And work continues on the new AC space on the SW West Hargett/Salisbury corner, still a few months away.
  2. Southeast Raleigh

    I met the person behind the project that was going to create "artist lofts" at the Stone Warehouse if he qualified for tax credits. That fell apart, and the city does not seem to be doing anything. There was going to be an RFP for the northeast corner of Martin and Haywood, but I have see no signs of life there, either. The East/Hargett/Bloodworth/Martin lot will be "The Lincoln" - higher end apartments two blocks due east of Moore Square. They took core samples in December but have not done anything there since. The city bought the Salvation Army's land on the east side of Moore Square, and moved food handouts to a building behind the Salvation Army. I have not seen how the new location is being used, since the givers and receivers seem to be fewer during the colder months. There have been a few renovations on the 700 and 800 blocks of Martin, but that area has seemed to quiet down. Yet another meeting for the New Bern corridor produced nothing of value. The refurbished Chavis Park Carousel and its new housing is nice, but nothing else is going on around there. The MLK Kroger has now been closed for over a year and nothing is stepping up to fill the space. There may be unofficial farmer markets in its parking lot, but that is it. A grocer is more likely to want to be in/closer to downtown with Skyhouse under construction. It could easily convert to a Wal-Mart grocery, but they probably would have moved in by now if they had plans on doing so. The Next Big Thing just east of downtown might be the southeast New Bern / Swain block. Vintage Church swapped it for the Longview Center on Moore Square, which makes sense for all parties involved. What happens to that land now that it is in Gordon Smith's hands is anyone's guess, but it will likely not be the homeless shelter proposed years and years ago that Oakwood fought, or a new church, since they will be going into the existing building. Though I am not holding my breath there, either. With everything else going on downtown, the east has not changed much at all.
  3. Downtown Raleigh retail updates

    When I walked by the last weekend of the ice skating rink on Saturay, I noticed The Malher (sp?) gallery is gone from City Plaza, but a poster talking about a smoothie/"health food" store inside. Not much work looks like it has happened yet, though. The new coffee shop in the Hue, close to Legends, was pretty busy. They have a neat garage/roll up door that gives the otherwise boring building a nice, open feel. Also in Hue, the mens boutique around the corner seems to have changed hands/owners but is still open somehow. And something looks like it is going in to the former hair salon between the coffee shop and Legends.
  4. RTP wants this to be their version of Reston Town Center, with other towers nearby. That would help redevelop the Nortel and chunks of the IBM/Forest Services land north of that area/north of 40. There are two things the RTP folks are completely ignoring, which will slow the progress of their ambitions. 1. Bad connections to 40 and mass transit. The old Nortel land would have been good -- visibility from 40, and between two exits (Miami and Davis). After Davis, the next exit on 40 to this area is NC 55, miles away. NC 54/ NC 147 is not going to happen due to the proximity of I-40/ NC 147, similar to Alexander/40. Reston Town Center is on a bus corridor into DC and will be close to a stop on the light rail line to Dulles, which will be online in the next year or so. RTP West? Not so much. Triangle Transit used to have their transfer station on that property years ago (damn I've been a way a while!) but that is gone. The rail line parallels Miami a half mile or so east of there. They could have a people mover or something, but walking from west of Davis/54 to Miami/54 twice a day would likely be too much to take. 2. Retail follows rooftops, not cubicles. The area is not well served in the immediate area -- I work in Perimiter Park and can only walk to the occasional food truck rally. But there are few houses here due to RTP, the airport, etc. The nearby housing is well served already by Southpoint to the west, Brier Creek to the north, and Park West/Preston/Southern Davis Drive to the east and south. Reston Town Center is surrounded by miles of wealthy suburban housing and apartments in every direction. A lot of Reston supports DC -- RTP does not have that going for it. Perimeter Park still has some land near 540. And there is a good chunk of land south of NetApp that for another couple of "campuses" if a company wants to go that route. It is doable, but a lot of things need to fall into place. It would have had a better chance at success if they had this vision 10 years ago, but the land owners were stuck in the 50s mindset until recently. I fear this will end up like the old EPA building at 54 and Alexander - an empty lot waiting for "the right" tenant while the world moves on around it.
  5. Crabtree Valley Mall

    The *amount* of space H&M has is close (but not quite) to that of Forever XXI's. Though the different orientations -- Forever XXI is on the main axis and H&M is in half the old Hecht's space -- may make it seem off. Plus H&M seems somewhat clausterphobic in the way they segmented their space. The two stores are not adjacent, which probably works for both of them. Not much else going on last time I was there, other than Martin and Osa is gone, but I think that is due to giving up on the concept, not just that particular store/location. Losing Crate and Barrel is bad, but expected. This area deserves a space like the Charlotte/South Park store, and with the work they're doing near the movie theater at Southpoint, that is what is in store there. There is no space that makes sense for them in downtown Raleigh or Durham. The old Storehouse space in North Hills would be good, but there is limited parking over there already. And North Hills East was not built for a Crate and Barrel either.
  6. Downtown Raleigh retail updates

    My wife and I ate there the first weekend it was open. Nothing fancy, but decent, and a bit overpriced for what you get. The waitress said it was owned by the family that used to own Two Guys on Hillsborough, but it was a bit more upscale than Two Guys was. There are two places in West -- Mirage, a sushi/lounge in a small door on the Harrington hillside, and "Still Life", a bar/lounge/club at the West/North corner. Something is going into the old Dunkin Donuts in 222 Glenwood, but not sure what. Kings should finally be re-opening soonish in/above the former Martin Street Pizza space. I want to walk around more downtown, but it is toooooooo hot, even at night, lately. Ugh.
  7. Soleil Center I & II at Crabtree

    The Columbia mall/whatever (retail/entertainment/residential) concept could easily work on the old Kidd's Hill Plaza (Brendels, Food Lion, Steak and Ale, Pizza Hut) land, south of Crabtree creek/mall. A multi-tower (office/hotel/residential) district (like near South Park in Charlotte) could spring up in the Creedmoor extension/Glenwood "wedge" and on the old Circuit City lot and strip office center behind it. Throw in a "European mountain village" at the old Its Prime Only site on Kidd's Hill *without* scraping the hilltop off. We drove back there last weekend and there is a lot of potential there, but it is quite trashed as it stands now. The 40+ story hotel/condo/zoning-loophole tower was never necessary, and was *not* built despite the low interest, unregulated credit markets that could have financed it. It is better that it never came out of the ground instead of sitting half done, or sold at auction like the Atlantic Avenue condos. I hope something comes of the site, but the proverbial well has been poisoned, leaving the area with a decaying construction site.
  8. Raleigh's Fayetteville Street

    I made my first pass the Sunday after RWO and the Krispy Kreme was open even then (around 6 pm) and there were a few people wandering as well. The lack of "hot donuts now" will reduce business from the locals, but donut and coffee runs for meetings in the Fayetville Street corridor are now a lot easier. It is late in the year to be offering ice cream and shakes, but that will be a good option next spring. The blue tile in the middle of the "wall" threw me off, but it should be a good compliment to Starbucks, etc.. With more covered, outside seating, it could be an NC version of Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans (half joking, half not). The gallery is neat and offers something different from Father and Sons, Stitch, the City Market stores, the Wilmington Street clothing stores, etc. I don't blame them for not being open during RWO since the high level of foot traffic could have led to several items breaking. Jimmy Johns is far enough away from the two Subways, and (hopefully) serves a different market than Shish-kabob (does anyone know if it is affiliated with any existing restaurants?) and Sam and Wally's. The soon to be ice skating rink is small, but bigger than North Hill's "rink" and they made a go of it. The color-changing LEDs that hide the utilitiy areas make art out of otherwise wasted space. It would have been interesting to see what Plensa would have done with this "canvas" -- an open (and occasionaly closable) F Street "open vista" down the middle, the "borrowed" art spaces in the planters, and the rest of the plaza.
  9. Crabtree Valley Mall

    We went to Crabtree last weekend, and the work is well underway for H&M. They have all the space from Harrods (sp?) in center court to Try Sports. If/when Try Sports moves across the hall, H&M's space will be close to that of Forever XXI, which may be where Sue Stock is getting confused.... Didn't noitice much else going on, though we only walked from center court to Crate & Barrel on the first floor.
  10. Raleigh's Fayetteville Street

    While walking by yesterday, I noticed the fence around the plaza has been reduced to the "street" itself on the west/BB&T side, though the BoA to Marriot connection has yet to be restored. The upfit of the two pavilions on the west side have started. They both look to have kitchen/backroom space, so they will probably be the Krispy Kreme and Jimmy Johns. The one closest to the Sheraton has faux wood paneling like other Krispy Kreme stores, but the one closest to the Marriott had dark blue tile, which is different than the usual red/white/black of Jimmy John's and the green and white of KK. Was the fourth pavilion spoken for yet? I would like Snoopy's to be there, but am not sure The other two pavilions did not seem to be too far along, but I didn't get as close. It wouldn't be much to set up the art gallery or other retail. It sounded like the "gallery" will be closer to a gift shop (like the corner store in Marbles) than a traditional gallery with paintings, sculptures, etc. The Mahler Gallery a few blocks north on Fayetville Street will showcase larger items. I hope these kiosks do better than the old Kinko's in front of the county courthouse, though they are bigger and better oriented to their surroundings. The one year "art" piecs look to be more geared to fun than capital A Art, though one piece seems too high to be played with. Artificial turf has been installed on top of the Wilmington street entrance of the parking deck. There is a deli/cafe in the Fayetville St. side of Progress Energy One, and Ship on Site has moved into the Sheraton's lobby. The Sheraton's restaurant now has its lunch buffet (Monday - Friday) posted on the F Street side -- Italian, Mexican, Seafood, and two other days I forget.
  11. Downtown Raleigh retail updates

    Rapid Fitness is going into the old Capitol Fitness/Peak space on West Street. Not sure when they are opening, but there was a sign at the Pit a week or so ago. I was a member at Capitol Fitness from day one, and ChiefJoJo's post perfectly surmised the gym's ups and downs under various ownership/management. I don't know if it is a big enough space to attract a well run chain that could bring good managment with the economies of scale, and don't know enough about Rapid Fitness to give them a try yet or not. The Golds at North Hills is nice (from what I can tell from outside), but too far to be practical for me personally. There is a DD/Baskin-Robbins near Jimmy Johns. I could see them moving to Avent Ferry Shopping Center, or maybe the closed Dairy Queen on Western, but I don't know of any other "NC State" area they would fit in. I hope this doesn't sour them on downtown. I could see them doing well in City Plaza, and there are announcements for two more tenants there sometime this week.
  12. Raleigh's Fayetteville Street

    Yesterday, I saw/passed a truck on I-40 that was moving pieces of the light towers. I tried to get a picture, but it was hard to drive and get my phone out at the same time. They had a lot of metal oak leaves on them, like the bollards in front of the Marriott. The BB&T building/Two Hannover has an entrance near Pavillion #2, but that is the "atrium" connecting that building to the Sheraton so the entrance could have been moved. Or maybe not due to fire codes and the conference rooms near there. There is (was) steps/ramp from the main plaza to the raised entrance to the building, though it could have been shifted like near #3. From the article posted earlier: So at least three will be spoken for and (hopefully) open for business in October. Any guesses for the new tenants and/or potential for the last pavillion? Would Starbucks leave their space in the Marriott? I would like to see an ice cream shop, and Goodberries is opening in Cameron Village, so why not F Street? Their locations have only have outside seating, which would be hard to squeeze into 1,000 square feet. I could see Ben & Jerry's or Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts going in to the "ice cream location". Kilwins would be nice, but I don't know if they could squeeze one into that small of a space. As for the other one, the NC Symphony store is no longer in North Hills, but I don't know if that is due to them not wanting a store any more, or not able to afford the rent there. The Hurricanes could open one of their "Eye" stores there, but I think they are happy with keeping their merchandise store at the RBC. I don't think Raleigh is ready for a souvenir store, but the pavilions would be a good place for one. An art gallery could fit into that space, but it might be too small and not easy to display much. A bank could put in an ATM and mini-branch, though I don't know how secure the pavillions will be and/or how BoA and BB&T would feel about that.
  13. Charter Square (Site One)

    The completed north half of the deck below Site One looks to be open for the last couple of weeks. I haven't gone in but there is signs/lighting indicating it is open. I don't know if it connects with the other half under the hotel, but I would think that it does. The left/west lane of Wilmington goes "into" the deck and then is "out" traffic only, which should help with congetion. But getting over quickly enough to go Davie to Blount might be tricky, though those parkers should probably use the Lenoir exit and take that to Salisbury or Blount.
  14. Downtown Raleigh retail updates

    This could be extended even further... Spaces like the Chick-Fil-A in the Sir Walter, Mecca, and the downtown soda shop have done quite well, while retail spaces in relatively newer buildings -- Wachovia (the space west of Cafe Carolina), BoA's Wilmington Street frontage, Sam and Wally's/Global Toast in BB&T/Two Hannover, etc. -- have struggled. It is easier to make retail space office till the downtown market matures (Downtown Raleigh Alliance in the parking deck near Sitti, the architects on Martin near City Market) vs. having an unfriendly blank wall (Progress Energy I, Capital Bank on Wilmington). And the Busy Bee is a good addition to downtown -- a "wider" Raleigh/Morning times with medium sized group meetup space above the kitchen, a late night breakfast food menu in addition to the usual fare, and a few beers that even the Flying Saucer doesn't keep on tap.
  15. Triangle road & traffic thread

    When it rains or when it is warm out, a bike is not practical for going to work. These vehicles will have to be road worthy, though belong in bike lanes. If they can encourage more bike lanes, I'm all for them. Also, you can't take a bicycle on a train, but with bike lanes or a corridor built to handle these, rail cars and their conductors, etc. would no longer be be needed. If they ever see the light of day, they would probably be only on larger, semi-closed areas like retirement communities, golf resorts, Centennial Campus-ish college sites, or IBM's RTP campus. Maybe a "pedicab meets zip car" operation in downtowns, but probably not if public accepatance of Segways is any indication.