RALNATIVE

Raleigh Wishlist

35 posts in this topic

After reading numerous comments about things that are desired across the city, I thought that it would be a good idea to start a thread specifically focused on the things that we all want to see happen in Raleigh. This could include certain types of retail, restaurants, attractions, events, etc. 

 

The idea here is to list things so that years from now we can look back and comment on whether any of these came to fruition.

 

For me, the main things that I want to see come to Raleigh are:

 

  1. Downtown Grocery Store
  2. Amusement Park or Water Park
  3. MLB team with stadium near downtown
  4. More lights on the freeways
  5. Dean & Deluca
  6. A greater variety of ethnic restaurants

 

These are just a few of the things that I desire, but there are many more that I could potentially list.

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Greenman also started such a thread i the coffee house http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/116880-idea-thread/

Combine them perhaps Orulz?

 

I'll add my thoughts of American Apparel (in a small historic building like they do in other cities)

Earth Fare (as a health conscious mid sized grocery store)

Ethiopian and Portuguese for ethnic food infill, and good doughnuts (sorry Krispy Kreme)

All this retail stuff needs better configurations of buildings and lots….with so much retail centric historic stock lost, Raleigh lacks the critical mass of small retail storefronts in long accessible strips that these sorts of things need. The modern approach will have to be a retail centric development….a whole block with like a dozen or twenty retails spots around it….not office or residential with a small retail space or two thrown in, though retail or office over all this retail is fine. 

 

Much much better bicycle accommodations downtown. Actually lets make downtown centered around people and bikes and make cars secondary or at least put them in the position of constant yield to the other two. Cars ripping through downtown is outdated and not conducive to it being a 'live-work-play', walkable environment. 

 

Crack open Pigeon House Branch and extend Devereux Meadows [future] park south of Peace along the creek…raise Peace up a few feet to allow the green way to end at West st by passing under Peace first. There's your water feature. 

 

This downtown needs about 100 storm water 'gardens' at intersections. As dirty as Rocky Branch and Pigeon House are, its stupid that we can't find the money to put these everywhere. Besides, they are also an integral part of pedestrian safety when installed at intersections since they 'bulb out' the intersection.

 

Turn the warehouse district into an identifiable historic district with gas lights, cobblestone gutters, brick crosswalks and large industrial art installations. Incentivise the preservation of the important and/or historic warehouse space. 

Edited by Jones_

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-I'd like to see an outdoor spring-fed swimming pool integrated with a city park like Deep Eddy pool in Austin--preferably in Dix park.

-Carrboro recently got a Kava bar. I'd like to see something like this set up shop in Raleigh. It's an interesting, funky alternative to alcohol bars and it offers a different sort of (legal) buzz. By the way, the Ketum Tea at Krave is awesome.

-I'd like to see the Village Subway reopened, with a second main entrance tunnel to the north. Places with character like this should be maintained wherever possible.

-Downtown needs two more 30-floor buildings and a 40-floor building, but what are the chances of that right?

-More of the street grid should be connected across Capital Boulevard, going over or going under.

-The things I posted in the other thread too. More apt buildings like 130 Hunt St in Durham.

-Rebuild the original Municipal Building in a new spot to replace our current one, possibly with more floors to account for the need for increased space. http://goodnightrale...ng-raleigh-n-c/

-Build a central public library downtown.

Edited by Spatula

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-I'd like to see the Village Subway reopened, with a second main entrance tunnel to the north. Places with character like this should be maintained wherever possible.

 

 

I was thinking the same thing. I'm not exactly sure WHY the city prefers to obsolete or simply ignore properties with actual character, such as the Cameron Village Underground and City Market. These places have a lot of potential and urban flair, but the city seems not interested in investing the time nor resources in order to rehab these properties.

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I thought of one other thing: the city needs a new flag. I say we take it upon ourselves to design a new flag and submit it.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/roman_mars_why_city_flags_may_be_the_worst_designed_thing_you_ve_never_noticed?language=en

 

Fun little TED talk about city flags.

 

Charlotte: :thumbsup: 

GkcQffG.gif

Charlotte has two flags technically. The other is a monstrosity much like Raleigh's, with the seal and the name slapped on the state flag. The city government adopted this simplified flag in the 1980s.

 

Durham: :shades:

ZZiRHFt.png

Durham's flag is beautiful and the city actually uses it on a fair number things. If you didn't know what this was but you saw it before now, well now you know this is the city flag! Pretty unique since it's also a vertical flag. Durham, as always, appears to be ahead of the curve.

 

Raleigh: :shok:

EAdT9Up.gif

There's a reason nobody ever sees this flag. There are many cities in the country with bad city flags (New York and San Francisco, for instance, which don't seem to mind). Having a good city flag like Chicago or Washington DC can be a huge source of civic pride though, and it can lend distinctiveness to the area in a small but noticeable way.

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I agree especially with the DT grocery, Water Park and DT Library. One of the parking lots just North of the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center would be a great spot for a library in my opinion. Are there currently any plans for those parking lots?

 

 

 

Turn the warehouse district into an identifiable historic district with gas lights, cobblestone gutters, brick crosswalks and large industrial art installations. Incentivise the preservation of the important and/or historic warehouse space. 

 

 

I also like this idea. Something about it makes me envision a Treasure Island-esque colonial seaport. Perhaps the train station plays metaphorically into this idea, like a ship. Maybe I'm just thinking about it too deeply, but thats the impression your idea gives me, I like it. 

Edited by NikOnder

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I agree especially with the DT grocery, Water Park and DT Library. One of the parking lots just North of the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center would be a great spot for a library in my opinion. Are there currently any plans for those parking lots?

 

 
 

 

I also like this idea. Something about it makes me envision a Treasure Island-esque colonial seaport. Perhaps the train station plays metaphorically into this idea, like a ship. Maybe I'm just thinking about it too deeply, but thats the impression your idea gives me, I like it. 

Those parking lots are City owned lots 4 and 5 from an RFP several years ago. No plans for them right now, but I believe the City wants to make money off of them.

 

Re the warehouse district, I very much would love to see it play on the railroad theme of the area....that is why this is a warehouse area after all. The Station is supposed to have a plaza facing the Martin/West intersection with some art installation in it. Also (sshhh this is secret) in my wild dreams I'd open a coffee shop in the area called Steam Punk Espresso. Steam engines...steamed coffee drinks....rough edged industrial everything inside. Perhaps some H.G Wells books for sale inside...

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^^^Brilliant. Disney even merged steampunk and Treasure Island once upon a time in that movie Treasure Planet. I guess it's an obvious lending of one Victorian aesthetic to another. Who knows what will ultimately end up out there, but for what it's worth I think your vision is brilliant. Hopefully some visionaries with deep-pockets lurk around here and agree. 

 

 

Those parking lots are City owned lots 4 and 5 from an RFP several years ago. No plans for them right now, but I believe the City wants to make money off of them.

 

 

Simple, follow the blueprint of the DT library in Nashville. Build the library and put an underground parking garage beneath. Designate a handful of spots to the library during business hours and give discounted rates with a validated parking ticket. Everyone wins. 

Edited by NikOnder

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I thought of one other thing: the city needs a new flag. I say we take it upon ourselves to design a new flag and submit it.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/roman_mars_why_city_flags_may_be_the_worst_designed_thing_you_ve_never_noticed?language=en

 

Fun little TED talk about city flags.

 

Charlotte: :thumbsup:

GkcQffG.gif

Charlotte has two flags technically. The other is a monstrosity much like Raleigh's, with the seal and the name slapped on the state flag. The city government adopted this simplified flag in the 1980s.

 

Durham: :shades:

ZZiRHFt.png

Durham's flag is beautiful and the city actually uses it on a fair number things. If you didn't know what this was but you saw it before now, well now you know this is the city flag! Pretty unique since it's also a vertical flag. Durham, as always, appears to be ahead of the curve.

 

Raleigh: :shok:

EAdT9Up.gif

There's a reason nobody ever sees this flag. There are many cities in the country with bad city flags (New York and San Francisco, for instance, which don't seem to mind). Having a good city flag like Chicago or Washington DC can be a huge source of civic pride though, and it can lend distinctiveness to the area in a small but noticeable way.

 

 

I love the flag commentary.  Durham has a fantastically cool flag.

 

Also, I don't think Raleigh's is that bad at all.  But I do think a new one wouldn't be a bad idea.  I saw a "simplified' version of the Oak Tree on a t-shirt recently that I really liked.  I think something kinda similar to the SC State flag, but with either an Oak Tree or Oak Nut would be really awesome if done right.  The city has already done a great job branding itself as "the city of oaks".  I think it'd be great to keep that momentum going.

Edited by ah59396

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I propose a flag with the original barrel monster holding the copper acorn in his hand....

Edited by Jones_

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Here's an idea I put together over the years for redevelopment establishing a creative hub between the Warehouse District and Boylan.  https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zX9dZtdIaTTg.kstu6HrqYkv4&usp=sharing

 

Also, I saw that Whole Foods will be rolling out a new brand of smaller, cheaper, compact stores called "365 by Whole Foods Market".  I think it goes without saying here that one downtown would be amazing.

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That area between Boylan and the tracks is an important piece of the downtown puzzle. Did you comment on the draft downtown plan? These are the sorts of things that need to be thought over publicly. I saw in some plan (perhaps a scrapped one now) a similar tech hub proposed for a big chunk of Caraleigh west of Saunders and heading north Up Saunders towards South St. Add that idea to yours and you have a nice big business area with some potential for creative type retail stiff to fill up South St and Some of Saunders too. 

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Probably not a popular or realistic idea, ... but I saw this idea for a two-block park in San Diego and thought of how nice that much open space would be at Moore Square.  The city owns the entire block east of Moore Square so the possibility is there.  But with the money crunch that the current Moore Square redevelopment plan is under... yeaaa, nooo this wouldn't even be considered.

 

Moore Square just feels so small and adding the next block to the east would help to give the feel of east Raleigh being closer to the core.

 

18465328714_6f2f1e8bcb_b.jpg

 

19091125961_cdc8235586_b.jpg

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If the Hobgood Architect design for the narrow 18 story residential tower doesn't work out on E. Martin, the site between Pooles and the L would be my next choice.

Heck, build it both places!  It's not like you would ever be able to see both buildings at the same time!

 

150513_web+images+for+ESK3.jpg?format=75

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Some thoughts....

-Once again, I can't agree enough with the desire for a central DT library. It's kind of shocking that there isn't one already, in my opinion. Cities far smaller than Raleigh have central libraries worth taking pride in, it almost seems like something that should be a given. It should be done right, too. The central library in Nashville is a fine example. I think one of the parking lots just south of Charter Square one would be a prime option, and underground parking could be shared with the performing arts center. Seems like a no brainer. 

-Development of the north and east blocks of Moore's Square. I don't know exactly what could be done with the north side, which is basically half a brick wall from marbles and the other half an old church. The eastern block looks like a wasteland though. In a perfect scenario, any development here would need to blend with the historic architectural style of the south and west blocks. It just feels like a great space that's only being half utilized. The ultimate shame would be for another 6 story wood frame apartment complex to create a giant blank wall facing the square. With the direction of alot of the new development in town, this strikes me as a valid concern, too. I'm happy that redevelopment of this area has recently become an objective of the city, I just hope it's done right. This sort of leads to my next two points...

-Focus on preservation of "historic" facades and architecture. While there are some great "New South" developments existing and/or in the works, Raleigh seems to lack the "bones" of other comparable cities such as Asheville, Richmond, Chattanooga or even Durham. Care should be taken to preserve and develop the historic buildings we have. The warehouse district offers a unique opportunity. While not necessarily traditional in the sense of areas like Wilmington or Fayetteville streets, this area could be turned into something really special and unique if done right. Durham and Winston-Salem are already doing this kind of thing in their old tobacco warehouse districts. Let's hope they get the Dillon development right, and everything else follows suit.   

-Focus on street-level retail/entertainment/etc. There are just too many blocks of blank brick walls from parking garages, apartment complexes with no street level presence and cold concrete corporate and civil buildings of years past. The Edison apartments should help liven up that street, but elsewhere new residential developments are not addressing the street. In my opinion, downtown residential should either have activity at street level or be rowhouses that open to the street. Anything else feels more or less like dropping a suburban apartment complex in the middle of downtown. There should be greater demand for quality, forward thinking developments, otherwise these same discussions will be happening again in 20 to 30 years. 

Edited by NikOnder

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i'd like to see street level retail be a requirement for any of these new wrap around mega ugly j davis apartments being constructed. 

and of course raleigh needs to figure out light rail asap.  it should be a top priority to get a rail option between downtown durham and downtown raleigh put in place before we're all dead. these are two of the hottest cities with the brightest futures in the south and it would be phenomenal to get them better connected, both literally and figuratively. 

Edited by BullDurhamer
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The article in the Indy brought up the topic of a downtown stadium again and got me thinking.  One alternative to the downtown stadium could be at the recycling center site on Atlantic Ave. [attached pdf idea]   A lot of underutilized land in that area and has the potential to become a second warehouse district.  The district could stretch all the way to the Beltline and have a minor league baseball stadium as well.  Of course, this would be extremely contingent on light rail happening.  You could even connect to North Hills with either a circulator bus or the PRT transit.  For vehicles, with some street extensions, it could become one of the most accessible areas of Raleigh by car as well:  Wake Forest, Six Forks, Atlantic, Capital, & Raleigh Blvd all sort of converge here.  Plus the greenway cuts through here and could potentially spur off and run along the revamped Capital Blvd to connect to downtown.  I think eventually we'll need a second creative district as the craft and arts industries are priced out of downtown- and this area is already starting to build upon that and could focus on creating groups of lofts, studios, and workshops.

atlantic district.pdf

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That's some good detail. I know the original light rail plan spoke of, sans detail, of this becoming a denser area if they put in a station. The road extensions have been timidly explored by Raleigh planners, and I think the most serious one is taking Six Forks to Capital. I always thought bringing Crabtree over was important too, but the "it'll bring crime" crowd probably makes that a tough sell. I also like killing that cul-de-sac off Hodges and punching it through. You've also, at this moment, got 5 breweries either in this frame(Big Boss, Lynwood and Sub Noir) or very close to it (Neuse River and Nickel Point and also the  Bison, which is an awesome Towny bar), so the pregame crowd is currently got a good setup, new development notwithstanding. 

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Restore streetcar service to Hillsborough Street and Glenwood Avenue

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11 hours ago, Jones_ said:

 I always thought bringing Crabtree over was important too, but the "it'll bring crime" crowd probably makes that a tough sell.

Connecting Crabtree Blvd with Whitaker Mill would be ideal, but it requires a bit more creativity.

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On top of this area, and the other stuff in the North Hills thread, things like bringing Bush or Apache under the beltline to Industrial Drive would provide connections needed to support the densifying that is happening all through this swath. This particular connection would have also helped me get in and out of Trader Joes much easier tonight as well, assuming that shopping center's owner would allow/want a connection to the punch through.... 

Edited by Jones_

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There's a subdivision plan on the city's website for a shopping center at 2912 Wake Forest, extending Wake Towne Dr to Industrial Dr, reconfiguring the entrances to the shopping areas, and a new hotel on the small parcel leftover behind the auto parts store.

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Cargill site (1400 S. Blount St):  It seems the popular opinion long term for this site is to demo this eyesore.  I recently had another idea... Watching HGTV's Fixer Upper, I saw that the couple renovated a city block of industrial buildings and silos in Waco, TX into quite a market, retail, event space, food truck/concert space/open space hub. 

I'd love to see something similar at the Cargill site.  Demo the motel and some of the minor buildings to create more open space among the silos.  Give them a clean look.  Build some retail spaces in the bases of the silos and have some as open event space.  Create 2nd and 3rd floor levels in some of the silos with new windows for office spaces.  I'd even like to see the existing catwalks turned into a high-ropes course.

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IDEA:  Close the Norfolk Southern rail lines from Wake Forest Rd to Jones Street.  Relocate NS to share CSX right of way (adding parallel tracks as necessary).  Relocate NS railyard to public storage and urban ministries buildings area.  Turn existing NS line into separated bike / pedestrian path.  Section between Peace Street & North Street could be redeveloped into a 'High Line' type elevated park/path.

I know the railroad companies are notoriously difficult to deal with and this would require massive amounts of coordination / concessions from them.... but... its a wishlist right?

RaleighBikePathAndHighLine.pdf

bike path.jpg

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