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ericurbanite

Raleigh's Fayetteville Street

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Yeah, it's kind of interesting how the Marriott project turns its back on the convention center and Salisbury St. That was by design with the planning commission, IIRC. Something in my mind is telling me this is the second to last draft of the layout. The F-st facade of the tower is definitely better, but not by much.

They added a very minor Salisbury St. door so that that foot traffic and people in the CC plaza area could get in the hotel that way if they please. Of course, the convention center connects with the basement of the Marriott under Salisbury Street, too.

I think that vehicle access on the north side of the Marriott is still in the plans. The Salisbury access to that service road will have to suffice during parades on F-St.

I still think that Porte Cochere looks like spare pieces of an old car dealership, but that's the topic of another thread entirely. :)

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I hope that is a "work in progress" and not a final design!!!

I don't mind the "north side" Salisbury to F Street vehicle connection, but hope it is a little more pedestrian friendly. Grandma and Grandpa need to watch their step in the last picture! Also in that picture, it is funny that there are trees in place of the convention center for a rendering of the "convention center hotel." The CC should be visible over the non-tower portion of the building from that angle on F Street.

The Porte Cochere does look like it sheltered a "new" Datsun 280ZX in a former life. Maybe it is a tribute to the former Sir Walter Chevrolet dealership that was a couple of blocks to the west?

The ballroom/meeting space should have been moved up a floor to accomodate more hotel-CC interaction. As it is, it will be a "dead block" along Salisbury save for the entrances at the NW and SW corners of the building. Also, why does the ballroom have *no* windows? The hallway takes away any potential Salsibury Street interaction. Do meeting planners *prefer* bland rooms with no natural light?

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Here's a WRAL story on the plans and process for the City Square going forward and another from last night. Dana, ncwebguy, and myself were at this "creative charette" last night and some really exciting concepts came out of it.

The plan is to come up with as many scenarios as we can think of and potentially implement and then design the infrasturture underneath (utilites, etc) in a way that will accomodate all of those plans for public art, water features, etc. Many of these ideas will likely be presented at the Feb 6 city council meeting, but it's important to keep in mind that the public will ultimately have a chance to weigh in on what art is built.

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A lot of good ideas came out of last night... It was good to see the city, the downtown Raleigh Alliance, the arts council, engineers, etc. all in the same room working on this together. I hope the powers that be implement a lot of the elements suggested. Nothing seemed to be too expensive, too difficult to implement, offensive to the Smithfield crowd, or out of place for the heart of a downtown. It will be something to excite all the senses, with the possible exception of smell.

To build a destionation space in the near term, the city could explore taking a page from area's malls playbooks and implementing a walking program. F Street is not climate/traffic controlled, but that gives it the energy you won't find in a mall full of closed stores. There are some public rest rooms in the office buildings if you know where to look, and several cafes would love to offer theirs if it gets them new, loyal customers.

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offensive to the Smithfield crowd

This should be the main objective. Roll the ol 90 year old out again. I bet she does like the Shine Raleigh Shine! ditty.

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Here's an article and video on WRAL of the new city plaza....looks like they have a digital rendering of it.

City has a plaza in mind for Fayetteville Street

I actually like the city plaza conteptually. It does create a central place for gathering and celebrations and provides for future art projects. Obviously, the key to the success will be recruiting the right businesses to surround the plaza and generate crowds of people.

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This is a great canvas for a flexible space for people who are already nearby to enjoy. What it is NOT, however, is a world-class gathering space that will draw people in from more than 3 blocks away (unless there is special programming in the space). It's visitors will NOT return to their far away homes remarking about the special plaza in Raleigh.

Whether or not this plan is good, I guess, rests in the hopes of the people. Were we hoping for something that draws interest from far away or were we seeking a simply nice place that works for us? Some like their most livable spaces in their houses tucked away in a refinished basement or attic while others want it near the front door.

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I kind of question the need for a world-class plaza at this location on Fayetteville Street. I'd say that the potential for a really memorable plaza lies between blocks 2 and 3, in front of Memorial Auditorium, between South and Lenoir. Hopefully the city's RFP for these blocks will make that a stipulation.

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This is a great canvas for a flexible space for people who are already nearby to enjoy. What it is NOT, however, is a world-class gathering space that will draw people in from more than 3 blocks away (unless there is special programming in the space). It's visitors will NOT return to their far away homes remarking about the special plaza in Raleigh.

I definitely agree that this won't be what you described. I liked Plensa's concept, but the interesting thing about his concept that this one WILL have is actual retail activity on the exterior of the plaza intermingled with art. Having street activity after dark is probably the main goal for the Urban Design Center regard the plaza. If there is one thing Fayetteville St lacks, it is activity on the street in the evening. Sure there is Big Easy and Yancy's but there are large sections with ZERO street-level activity. If Plensa's idea were implemented, it would draw people in, but there would be no place in the plaza for them to shop, get a drink, etc. This plan won't be world-class, but it might actually do a better job of accomplishing the city's goals for activity along Fayetteville St.

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There is room for some Millenium Park elements in the plaza. Few people are going to go to Chicago to go specifically to MP, but most out of town visitors will go there while they are there. The plaza could be a "central square" tying in F Street/the Capitol from the north, the City Market area from the east, the performing arts complex and sites 1, 2, and 3 to the south, and the CC area to the west.

The city would be crazy to let sites 2 and 3 cut the arts complex off from the rest of the F Street corridor in any way.

The Bank of America/One Hannover building is already upgrading their F Street side lobby to accomodate a restaurant space. Site 1 and the Marriott will likely have a street activity south of the plaza. The old Dollar Zone/McCroy's space is being rennovated into a restaurant or retail space. The Capitol Room is the only thing open late on the 100 block of F Street, but hopefully that will change soon. Crema and Port City Java stay open late on Fridays and Saturdays, which is an improvement over the nothing open late when the pedestrian mall was in place.

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I definitely agree that this won't be what you described. I liked Plensa's concept, but the interesting thing about his concept that this one WILL have is actual retail activity on the exterior of the plaza intermingled with art. Having street activity after dark is probably the main goal for the Urban Design Center regard the plaza. If there is one thing Fayetteville St lacks, it is activity on the street in the evening. Sure there is Big Easy and Yancy's but there are large sections with ZERO street-level activity. If Plensa's idea were implemented, it would draw people in, but there would be no place in the plaza for them to shop, get a drink, etc. This plan won't be world-class, but it might actually do a better job of accomplishing the city's goals for activity along Fayetteville St.

Right, Jojo and orulz. This space reeks of PPS up and down, which is fine by me. (They really are official consultants on the project) Their objective is to create places where people feel comfortable just hanging out. There needs to be coffee, games, flexible seating, etc. That's really all this space needs. I'd love to see my traffic circle in front of Memorial Auditorium come to fruition. This plaza will be fine for downtown. Right now we kind of have two squares for people to do things, however Nash is kind of off putting like the Capitol grounds. If we get several little squares all over downtown we'll have something that has tons of character. It will be a great group of foundational building blocks for someone's world class idea later. That's fine by me. This design doesn't shoot ourselves in the foot, either. Like I sarcastically said in another post, we're down to only 128 empty lots in downtown. (ie it ain't like there isn't more canvas for bigger and better things).

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An updated WRAL article on the plaza. Dan Douglas will present a new design to City Council today. I think what he'll present will be simply a plan for infrastructure to support various types of public art that could be placed in the plaza. In other words, not a specific art plan, but a blank canvas with the paint and supplies ready to go.

I believe you can watch the council meeting live on WRAL's on-demand video section.

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I would put money on it that one was Tommy Craven. He's as anti-downtown as you are going to get. The other was probably Isley or Taliaferro.

I was shocked to see Craven's quote that he was "tickled to death" with the Reynolds design. Never thought I'd live to see a positive comment like that. I had guessed that Isley was one. I would love to know the rationale why though.

Edited by bikwillie

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I hope the $21 million price tag is incorrect. It just seems to be a bit steep. Less than $10 million (with some covered by Goodmon) was "too much" for the Plensa design. In the video, Mrs. T. is already pushing for corporate funding. It is not bad in and of itself, but at the same time, the city shouldn't be so quick to sell the rough equivalent of ad space.

For F Street and downtown as a whole, what is the total for redevlopment dollars after Reyonlds? PE III add more as well.. how much more depends on what goes there.

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I was shocked to see Craven's quote that he was "tickled to death" with the Reynolds design. Never thought I'd live to see a positive comment like that. I had guessed that Isley was one. I would love to know the rationale why though.
Craven is of the [former Raleigh maor] Paul Coble anti-tax crowd. He has consistently voted against the Convention Center, Fayetteville St, etc because they are all public investments. Reynolds is 100% private investment, so no problem there. The problem with the Coble/Craven/John Locke crowd is they ignore (1) the cost/benefit to the long term health of the city by our investment in downtown (which prior to 2003-04, had been ignored for ~30 years), (2) the incalculable benefits of simply having a nice DT as a gathering place for the city, (3) the benefits to traffic and growth issues (citywide) by encouraging compact growth in the center city, which already has the most of necessary infrustructure present.

DT is the postcard for Raleigh or a reflection of it's values, and in a few years, I think most residents (even the current anti-DTers) we'll be proud of what's been accomplished.

I hope the $21 million price tag is incorrect. It just seems to be a bit steep. Less than $10 million (with some covered by Goodmon) was "too much" for the Plensa design.

I think the $10M was the cost of extending the street to South St, maybe minus the plaza. I think the $21M is the plaza and the street extension... maybe it was updated? Oh, I remember that the cost was high due to having to build over the underground parking deck--it's like a big plaza/bridge.

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The economic conservative crowd has been interesting here. It's not like this is the federal government, or income taxes, or a welfare system. This is mostly small-scale microeconomic utilities. There really aren't comparable private services to replace these projects, so what is the complaint?

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