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Dorothea Dix Property


ericurbanite

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ULI's plan:

20061028_dixplan.jpg

* Swap a large grassy field on the western side for the northern part of Centennial Campus.

* Move the wholesale section of the state Farmers Market across town so that N.C. State could build a model sustainable neighborhood around the market.

* Turn the historic hospital buildings into residential housing with some stores.

* Create a 200-acre park from the ridge of the hill to Western Boulevard with a man-made pond on the eastern side.

* Build a glass atrium connecting the wings of the original 1856 hospital building with a restaurant and a memorial to hospital founder Dorothea Dix.

I like it and it's the first one with an implementation plan--how to actually finance the project. Jones133 and others who appreciate historic preservation musty like the proposed reuse of the historic hospital bldgs.

Also this nugget...

Murphy argued that the legislature would probably approve such a plan since it would save the estimated $60 million it would cost to renovate the Health and Human Services buildings while bringing an additional $40 million.

is crucial as it gives the state the money it wants, preserves the office space it needs and gives the public the park it wants.

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Good plan. I think it would work. Where do they want to move the farmers market? Anyone have more details on that?

I read that they would relocate the wholesale dealers at the farmer's market across town. I beleive those are the larger warehouse structures behind the 2 open-air public vendor strips. I'm guessing they will redevelop right up to this point.

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This is closeish to what I've been hoping for -- 200+ acres for a park, retention of office space and the histroic buildings, and a memorial for the mental hospital all wrapped in one package.

There could easily be a Pullen Park tie-in at the Ashe Ave. "point" to the north, and possible Bilyeu/Ashe/Western realignment to improve access from Hillsborough Street, Centennial Campus, and downtown. The Circle K betwen Pullen and Dix land has been closed for a while and doesn't look like it will

open any time soon.

The park would be more than just the grove, some hills, and some soccer fields.

I don't think NC State had any plans for the land east of Centennial Parkway other than selling it off/land swap with Smedes York to create Mission Valley 2 -- Electric Boogaloo, now with better I-40 access! The historic Dix buildings could set the style for the farmers' market "village" and everything in between. This could spur better development on the other side of Lake Wheeler as well, at least from Maywood to I-40.

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There could easily be a Pullen Park tie-in at the Ashe Ave. "point" to the north, and possible Bilyeu/Ashe/Western realignment to improve access from Hillsborough Street, Centennial Campus, and downtown. The Circle K betwen Pullen and Dix land has been closed for a while and doesn't look like it will

open any time soon.

I've looked at this intersection before and thought that the topology and existing public rights-of-way scream for a grade separation and an interchange, though no doubt the traffic on Ashe and Bilyeu don't warrant the expense.

here's a quick diagram done in MS Paint:

ashebilyeuwestern.jpg

Red is the new bridge, blue is the greenway, purple is the greenway bridge over Western,

solid cyan is a new ramp from EB Western to Bilyeu/Ashe, and outlined cyan are existing roads to be re-used as ramps.

We don't have the money to do this. No way, no how. More likely, we'll see a stoplight with a pushbutton crossing for greenway users.

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I don't think NC State had any plans for the land east of Centennial Parkway other than selling it off/land swap with Smedes York to create Mission Valley 2 -- Electric Boogaloo, now with better I-40 access! The historic Dix buildings could set the style for the farmers' market "village" and everything in between. This could spur better development on the other side of Lake Wheeler as well, at least from Maywood to I-40.
In 2002, NC State came up with a master plan for this area, which they call the Spring Hill Precinct. I don't like the plan very much.
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The "Catholic Diocese" land used to be Cardinal Gibbons High School, which has since moved to land west of the RBC Center. Bilyeu does not see much traffic *now*, but if it was extended to Centennial Parkway, it would handle a lot more vehicles.

Bilyeu's topography forces the road's "right turn" as it approaches Western. If a light was installed where Bilyeu currently meets Western, Ashe could be "straightened" a little by using land from behind the Circle K and the School of the Deaf, taking the purple line a little to the east.

I know the "stream" from Pullen Park Pond goes underground, under Western, and daylights south of Western Blvd's greenway, but improvements could be made, and they could daylight the stream to Western. Pullen Park could be "extended" through the Circle K land and the portion of Ashe Street in front of it. This would provide a better Pullen-Dix pedestrian connection without having to use bridges.

Park improvement and greenway money could be used to pay for some of the costs.

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The "Catholic Diocese" land used to be Cardinal Gibbons High School, which has since moved to land west of the RBC Center. Bilyeu does not see much traffic *now*, but if it was extended to Centennial Parkway, it would handle a lot more vehicles.

Bilyeu's topography forces the road's "right turn" as it approaches Western. If a light was installed where Bilyeu currently meets Western, Ashe could be "straightened" a little by using land from behind the Circle K and the School of the Deaf, taking the purple line a little to the east.

I know the "stream" from Pullen Park Pond goes underground, under Western, and daylights south of Western Blvd's greenway, but improvements could be made, and they could daylight the stream to Western. Pullen Park could be "extended" through the Circle K land and the portion of Ashe Street in front of it. This would provide a better Pullen-Dix pedestrian connection without having to use bridges.

Park improvement and greenway money could be used to pay for some of the costs.

Bilyeu is part of the old "Avent Ford" Road that split off of Hilsborough St and went southwest through Holly Springs and eventually crossed the Cape Fear at a spot called Avent. I have a map of Wake County from 1871 that shows this old road. The 1951 topo I posted in a separate thread clearly shows the road still in use as a dirt road and you can pick off where its pieces are today....most of Ashe, the east leg of Ashe is probably the lay of the old road as it lines up with Bilyeu...since the road is pre automobile, the sharp turn is likely a switchback, horses and wagons could not climb steep grades and needed switchbacks..several trails in Umstead also have horse and wagon switchbacks. Anyway Bilyeu continued along parts of what is now centennial pkwy and reconnected with our modern Avent Ferry Road just past Burger King at mission valley.

Edited by Jones133
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N&O: City Council looks for plan to purchase Dix Property from State (for $40M).

Raleigh would pay the state $40 million under the ULI plan, raising $30 million of the money through tax-increment financing and $10 million through private donations. Tax-increment financing could allow the city to pay off a $30 million bond through a lease agreement from the state for part of the land and other money that would come from the project.

Now this is a good use of TIF financing IMO. :thumbsup:

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I agree. The city has a more vested interest in this land than the state does. I don't feel too comfortable having the state decide on the appropriate use of the land.

I'm excited to see this area revitalized. It will spark development in this corner of town which really needs it. I love the Boylan Heights area, but there is a notable difference between the northern and southern end of the neighborhood.

The area in and around the farmer's market has always looked shoddy to me. I'm excited to see what will happen here. It is so convenient to the beltline and downtown which is why it surprises me it has taken so long to rejuvenate. Why is it that North Raleigh has grown so much as compared to South Raleigh? The area around Lake Wheeler and Gorman is so prime for development???

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I'm not understanding the big deal between a 200 acre park vs. 170 acre park. Whatever the final number...it should be deeded as parkland for eternity and let the rest of the land be developed. That would provide more actual users for the Urban Park. 170 acres is a lot of land and if you link it to Pullen, you provide a broader expanse of open space.

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I thought it would be informative for folks to see the ULI Dix presentation on RTN--much more so than reading the article about it. I actually watched some of it (yes I admit to watchin RTN on occasion :blush: ) and it was very well thoughtout from my perspective and it really has been the only concept that offers a realistic implentation plan to pull it off with viable funding sources, financing scenarios, comprehensive land uses, and it all fits together to achieve nearly all the stakeholder's goals for Dix. I know many people wanted the whole 300+ acres of the Dix property to become a park, but I don't know how realistic that is given there is no money to fund the city's purchase of the land outright. This seemed like a well thoughout compromise that actually gives a set of incremental steps to follow to achieve the ultimate vision--something no other plan can offer.

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^^^ I have to agree.

What's wrong with setting aside a portion of the site for open space and recreation, and a portion aside for other uses? It seems to me that if supporting downtown Raleigh is a goal, having additional neighborhoods and commercial development close to the urban core is a good thing, especially if it's done in such a way that it provides links from downtown to other existing neighborhoods.

And what's wrong with selling some of it off to help defray the cost of creating a truly urban park-- something beautiful and useful and accessible, and something of which we can all be proud?

Sounds ilke a win-win to me.

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I am not really being a devils advocate but reiterating the anti development argument....Dix has been whittled away from a piece of land that was once so large that it could have been something more like a nature preserve or park on the scale of Umstead, a couple of thousand acres or so I think. They envision(ed) trails many miles in length, like Umstead, and a sufficient habitat to support large ecosystems of flora and fauna, essentially nothing about it being man made. So whats the difference bewteen 300 and 170 acres? Its the fundementals.....there has always been an argument for chipping off another piece of Dix and the versatility of what is left over keeps being reduced. I agree that 170 acres is great, having soccer fields (I play alot myself), greenways etc, but our status quo glasses on UP of 'better urban form' simply is different than other peoples status quo 'leave it as is'. I would guess 'they' would support a straight up bond sale to purchase the campus. My girlfriend had an idea I am starting to think on (in a parallel universe anyway)....Let Dix be a college campus, sell it to Shaw say, and then Shaw could sell off their very valuable downtown core land to pay for the increased space at Dix...they would have a real campus like Meredith for instance.....not realistic I know but creative nonetheless....

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I am not really being a devils advocate but reiterating the anti development argument....Dix has been whittled away from a piece of land that was once so large that it could have been something more like a nature preserve or park on the scale of Umstead, a couple of thousand acres or so I think. They envision(ed) trails many miles in length, like Umstead, and a sufficient habitat to support large ecosystems of flora and fauna, essentially nothing about it being man made. So whats the difference bewteen 300 and 170 acres? Its the fundementals.....there has always been an argument for chipping off another piece of Dix and the versatility of what is left over keeps being reduced. I agree that 170 acres is great, having soccer fields (I play alot myself), greenways etc, but our status quo glasses on UP of 'better urban form' simply is different than other peoples status quo 'leave it as is'. I would guess 'they' would support a straight up bond sale to purchase the campus. My girlfriend had an idea I am starting to think on (in a parallel universe anyway)....Let Dix be a college campus, sell it to Shaw say, and then Shaw could sell off their very valuable downtown core land to pay for the increased space at Dix...they would have a real campus like Meredith for instance.....not realistic I know but creative nonetheless....

I dunno-- to me there's a really big difference between habitat/ecosystem planning and parks & rec uses of land. Since it's tough to play soccer in the woods, the two are usually incompatible. I think it's inappropriate to have a vast unused area so close to downtown and expect to see anything other than sprawl in the rest of the community.

I like the campus/land swap idea, though. Very creative; very outside the box.

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