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orulz

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orulz last won the day on June 9 2013

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About orulz

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    Raleigh, NC
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    transit, biking, running, outdoors, urban development, local politics

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  1. Look up "gas insulated switchgear". The next time Duke has to overhaul that substation, they should rebuild it using GIS. It allows for a drastically reduced footprint, and for most of the equipment to be placed in an inconspicuous building rather than ominously buzzing behind a barbed wire fence in an open field of gravel. The benefit for them? They get to sell off the surplus land. Duke is planning to install its first new-build GIS substation in Asheville. (They did inherit several, including 3 in Chapel Hill.) I can think of no better place for a second one than practically in the shadow of their corporate HQ.
  2. This one has been in the works for a decade now. This is the project discussed at the very beginning of this thread back in 2010. The developer has gone through several rounds of value engineering, adjustments to the affordable housing commitments, supposedly had financing lines up, and been "on the verge of groundbreaking" numerous times before over the past 10 years. So, I would take it with a grain of salt if Mr. Pilos says that Coronavirus will not affect things. He probably had an agreement with the construction lender that if the rezoning was approved, the loan would go through- but no doubt Coronavirus will impact things from the lender's perspective and they may try to move the goalposts again.
  3. It is indeed a flood plain and that does put some constraints on what can be done- but others have dealt with it more tastefully, like the building with Williams-Sonoma and such, or even downright expertly - like the Grand Bohemian. That building pulls it off like sorcery. In contrast, the Home2 Suites is technically not in Biltmore Village proper, so it tries to get away with a flood-tolerant design done on the cheap.
  4. Beyond the original Durham-Garner plan, extensions were studied. What's at issue is whether these extensions would drag down the overall cost effectiveness of the whole corridor. Adding in Clayton would not harm the overall cost effectiveness. Johnston County would have to identify funding for that extension, though, as they are not paying into the transit sales tax. But if they can find the money to pay their share, they can be a part of phase 1. Even if they don't find it by the time the grant application goes in, then it would still be theoretically possible to apply for federal funding for an extension. Service further east into Johnston (like Selma) or further west to Hillsborough or Mebane were all forecast to negatively impact the cost effectiveness of the whole line, so they're basically out of the question for phase I. That does not mean they can't happen in the future. as extensions of the Phase 1 line, though; it's just unlikely that there will be any federal contribution: it will have to rely on local and state funding.
  5. IIRC the 2005 era plan that resulted in Charter Square, The Mariott, and rebuilding Fayetteville Street, called for smaller mid-riseish buildings on these blocks. Which was always a mistake. But perhaps this developer was going based on this. I think Kessler would be a great operator for a hotel at Dix, but I know the idea of a hotel at dix hasn't exactly gone over like gangbusters during the master planning process.
  6. Ah, there it is. This rendering shows it staying right where it is, only at the bottom of a multi-story building. I guess that means it would be closed for a year or two during construction?
  7. I recall seeing a Ruth's Chris in the bottom floor of one of the buildings in one of the renderings, although I don't happen to see it in any of those..
  8. They missed the boat on the location by about 3/4 mile. Put this 3/4 mile further east, and it would have access to the commuter rail line. Offices within a short walk of commuter rail stations can often command a premium. But as proposed, it's frustratingly *almost* close enough, but not quite. A 15 minute walk at the destination end of a transit commute is not going to appeal to very many people, so few will do it.
  9. A Charlotte-based developer, Jim Zanoni / FMW Real Estate - the company behind LiveOnHillsborough (1301, 2604, 2811 Hillsborough; 103, 109 Park, 104 Ashe), as well as 927 West Morgan, owns those lots. When they bought these properties, they picked it up from another developer who tried (and failed) to rezone it for five stories. At the time they stated that they planned to tear the houses down, and develop the properties with three separate apartment buildings, within the existing (3-story) zoning. One building on each lot. The addresses are 3402, 3410, and 3412 Hillsborough. This was around 2016. Their plans may have changed since then. At any rate, they have filed for neither rezoning, site plan, nor construction permits of any kind, so I'm not really sure what's going on now.
  10. There was a plan by FMW (who is the developer of several of the apartment complexes along Hillsborough) that was approved in 2016 if I recall correctly.
  11. This is, IMO, a place where a DDI is entirely appropriate. 440/Western and 440/Wake Forest? No way.
  12. There are these things called gas insulated substations that are like 1/6 the size and are contained in a building. One of Duke's predecessors installed several of them in Chapel Hill with extra funding from the university, but they are preparing to build their first such substation entirely on their own dime near the corner of Clingman & Patton in downtown Asheville. https://ashvegas.com/duke-energy-unveils-plans-for-first-gas-insulated-electrical-substation-asheville Part of the reason they agreed to this is community opposition. While they actually have the authority to condemn property and build this sort of thing over objections (after an environmental impact study, I believe) they do not generally like to do this. But the other part of this is that it frees up a big portion of the lot for them to sell off and develop. They bought a property on a prominent corner that was about the right size for a conventional substation, but property values around there are high enough that they can recover a significant chunk of the extra construction cost by selling off the land. The reason I bring this up is that, while Duke will be in no hurry to replace a substation before its equipment reaches end of life, once the equipment does come up for replacement, I'd bet that this approach could be on the table for a location like this. That is, if the Asheville project goes well for them. If Asheville is any indication, community involvement will be key.
  13. I don't like how it has a driveway in front of the buildings. In other cities, I see plenty of developments that are in even more suburban locations than this that are built facing the street. Why can't they pull the building forward and put all the parking and car circulation to the side and behind the building?
  14. I don't think it's going to be effective at reducing traffic on I-40. Uncongested trip times for through drivers will be significantly shorter on I-40, so given that it is a toll road that will cost money to use, through traffic will only use it as a bypass when I-40 is significantly congested - meaning no relief of congestion on I-40. It *will* provide an effective cutoff route for drivers coming from Pittsboro on US64 or Sanford on US1, heading to Wilmington on I-40 or Goldsboro on I-42 (and vice versa) but I don't think that will be enough to move the needle on I-40 congestion. Make no mistake. The main purpose of this road is to enable sprawl in southern Wake County.
  15. I don't agree that it's only infill if it tears nothing down. To me, infill is: (1) substantially surrounded by existing development, for basically miles in every direction. How to quantify this? Maybe "closer to the center of the region than to the edge of the suburban frontier" and (2) Denser than what was there before. If it has to be quantified, 2x? Infill often "upcycles" land - takes something that was suburban at the time of its initial development (like most of Hillsborough Street), and making it more distinctly urban. So, Whitaker Park - not infill, if the unit count went down. This? Definitely infill. Now, there *is* a distinction between infill development and infill redevelopment. The latter is a subset of the former. This is infill redevelopment, for sure. So was North Hills. So is Cary Towne Center. Infill development would also include things like Fenton. Or, in a smaller context, Infill taking a double lot, leaving the original house, and building a second house. Or taking a vacant lot in town and putting up a duplex.
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