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orulz last won the day on June 9 2013

orulz had the most liked content!

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About orulz

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  • Location
    Raleigh, NC
  • Interests
    transit, biking, running, outdoors, urban development, local politics

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  1. orulz

    North Hills / Midtown area developments

    I doubt it, it wouldn't really make sense for them to lease space when they own almost all of two blocks, totaling more than 10 acres, immediately north of NHE. They could possibly redevelop around their 9 story building at 4300 Six Forks and perhaps raze the round branch and start from scratch there.
  2. orulz

    North Hills / Midtown area developments

    It is a sewer project. The Crabtree Branch Interceptor or somesuch.
  3. orulz

    North Hills / Midtown area developments

    Somebody over on DTRaleigh was talking about rumors of a First Citizens tower and mixed use district over by North Hills. No specifics though. Given that they own quite a bit of land and have some pretty big offices up there it would make sense but it was the first I've heard of such. Anybody heard of this before?
  4. orulz

    Triangle Economic News

    Even as a Triangle resident I would love to see this go to Kannapolis.
  5. orulz

    North Hills / Midtown area developments

    I am neither a real estate nor financial analyst, but from my completely naive, highly speculative point of view... if his business practices are what I suspect, the risk to him is practically zero. Even if the economy turns down for a few years, this is still a high growth area. So, as long as you have enough reserves to weather a downturn, zero risk. And I think that his performance through the Great Recession shows that he likes to keep enough reserves. His reputation of being able to execute does mean something, for sure, but there's probably more to it than that. Recall if you will that he (and basically nobody else in town) kept building right on through the Great Recession. You can't do that on reputation alone - you need cash on hand. So to me, that says that he favors an approach that keeps more (relatively) liquid capital in reserve. He has also been selling off some components of NHE (especially residential) to varios REITs as he completes them, re-captializing and realizing some profit from each transaction, which plenty of developers do, but nonetheless it contributes to his reserves. Again, I don't really know what I'm talking about so I could be completely wrong here.
  6. orulz

    Western Boulevard Kmart

    This morning's bankruptcy announcement by Sears Corp has the Kmart on Western Boulevard on the list for closing by the end of the year. I think this will be a great site for a large-scale mixed use development given its proximity to the Beltline, NCSU, and BRT. 12 stories would even be contextual here given Westgrove Tower next door.
  7. orulz

    SouthEnd Midrise Projects

    That is obscene. Why so much?? It's not even a freight RR with absurd costs for flaggers and engineering support. This should come in for less than a million. They should almost be able to build a pedestrian tunnel under the tracks for the high end of the range you mention. If it costs that much for an at grade crossing they should just forget it.
  8. orulz

    Kidd's Hill/Crabtree area development

    My unscientific calculation has about 100 square miles of watershed draining through Crabtree Valley Mall, 85 of which are upstream of the quarry and 15 downstream. Highest modern day observed flow rate (from the 2006 flood) is 12,000 cfs whereas the flow rate at 18' is 5,000 cfs. That would be an excess flow rate of 7,000 cfs. If up to 85% of the flow (from upstream of the quarry) could potentially be diverted, that is more than enough to absorb 7,000 cfs. This would fill a 2 billion gallon quarry (my estimate of its capacity) in about 11 hours. I'm not sure how long the flood lasted in 2006 but the watershed is small enough that I imagine excess runoff from the very outer most reaches of the headwaters will make it down to Crabtree Mall in a matter of hours, if not minutes. This means that a flood would clear away relatively quickly - much less than 11 hours- once the worst of the deluge clears. There are scores of people and lots of tools to do these calculations the right way, but my back of the envelope math indicates that it would probably work... once the city buys the quarry in 2054 anyway. [emoji14] As an interesting aside: the bottom of that quarry is over 100 feet below sea level!
  9. orulz

    Kidd's Hill/Crabtree area development

    The quarry is huge, right? Like, more than a billion gallons? And not far upstream from the mall either. My understanding of how flooding works is that a given stream has a certain capacity, and to a certain degree minor flooding helps to increase that capacity - but once the flow rate goes over a certain point, where further flooding doesn't increase the outflow by very much, it basically hits a tipping point and flooding gets bad quite quickly from there. If you could use the quarry to capture just enough to keep the creek under that tipping point, and its entire capacity was dedicated towards flood control, and then pumped out after each flooding event, it probably would make a pretty big difference. This does nothing about flood waters coming from Hare Snipe Creek (Which has Lake Lynn) and drains roughly the wedge between Creedmoor and Leesville, House Creek, which is not impounded anywhere, and drains the relatively small area between Ridge and Blue Ridge, or the area between Glenwood, Duraleigh, and Blue RIdge which drains directly into Crabtree downstream of the quarry.
  10. This is good news in so many ways. We've talked on Urban Planet about the potential that this area has for years, and to see Kane finally stepping up and taking it on is basically a huge relief. He is the best developer we have here in town to take on a project like this. With his tremendous success at North Hills, the track record of good execution (by Raleigh standards anyway) at The Dillon, and his overall ability to just make projects actually happen (Rather than sit around in limbo forever) and the inclusion of a major grocery store in phase one, I have high hopes. Now I'm waiting to see whether Kane's project will extend Tucker Street. In addition, given that West at North is zoned DX-20, they have a strong argument for upzoning to 20 stories here too in terms of compatibility. Let's hope! It's too bad Kane didn't get involved a little earlier in this area. While Quorum and West are solid, "Link" and "Metropolitan" are rather disappointing.
  11. Site plans are available for review. 5 stories facing Hillsborough with one level of parking below. It's actually condos instead of apartments. The unit mix at 93 units: 59 1br, 28 2br, 6 3br suggests that it's not heavily targeted at students. No retail but that doesn't really bother me. There's plenty of room for that as the lots closer to Gorman get redeveloped. All in all not a terrible project, but the design is predictably blah. My main complaint is that the windows seem too few/too small. The back 1/3 of the property will be a parking lot but that's fine because it's under some high voltage power lines and there's not much else you can do with that.
  12. I think this is pretty much an unambiguous improvement. Keep it coming. Between smaller-scale stuff like 2811 and 2604, and larger stuff like this, the transformation on this corridor is really remarkable. Notably this developer decided to forgo rezoning and build as-of-right which means three stories max and no council review. Parking will be underground. Personally I think that this would be fine as five or seven stories but skipping the rezoning makes the process easier so I can understand why.
  13. Maybe it's intentional, to avoid raucous student crowds?
  14. With transit, the service is the product, not the technology. And the difference between Light Rail and Commuter Rail is mostly academic, at least from a service perspective. IMO the choice should mostly be driven by the routes (Norfolk Southern vs. US 21) and their characteristics, rather than a discussion of the technology. Which route does the best job serving destinations along the corridor? Which one gives the best trip times? Which one has the highest predicted ridership? Which one costs less? It is perfectly possible to build a "commuter rail" line with the service characteristics identical to light rail. You could add *two* new tracks to the Norfolk Southern corridor so freight and passenger trains never have to cross paths, then hang electric wires, build stations close together, buy EMU trains, and on that physical plant you could certainly run trains every 10 minutes, or less. Recently, Denver did something like this. With commuter rail, you're mostly (though not *entirely*) stuck to existing railroad rights-of-way, but if those rights-of-way are already in the right place, then that isn't a bad thing at all.
  15. The obvious answer would be to develop it since they do have a real estate arm (their most famous project is American Tobacco in Durham) but I have no inside information to that effect. It is my opinion that this area and mission valley would probably be approved for an upzoning if the owners were to petition the city for it.