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wfdude

Gentrification in Triangle neighborhoods

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Yuppies buying up houses. Rising costs leave older blacks wary.

So as not to break any article posting rules, I decided not to paste any bits of it, but its a great read.

I've driven through and seen many of the houses that have been renovated in the Downtown East neighborhood and that Martin - Haywood neighborhood and in my opinion they look great, and yet a lot of the properties are relatively less expensive (not too much cheaper) than other residential in and around downtown. What does suck is how many people that live in these neighborhoods now can't afford the newer renovated homes and yet they have a lot of pride and history in their neighborhoods and don't want to see it taken over by mostly white middle class folks.

What does everyone think about this gentrification?

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Bottom line is that without this gentrification these neighborhoods would continue to rot. I hear the word pride thrown around a lot but I don't know if this is the proper word. Lets just leave it at affordability. There is a neighborhood in Chapel Hill called North Hills which they always talk about in the same way but honestly it is nothing but a bunch of crack dens and crash pads for gang bangin thugs.

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lol...pride?

please!

I would rather have middle class people who actually have pride to live in these neighborhoods. Why? Because they will keep there houses and yards looking nice...and they will help keep the crime down in those areas. I wish this would happen to every run down neighborhood in Raleigh!

Why would anyone want crack houses to remain in an area?

lol, unreal someone could actually say those run down neighborhoods have pride. I will tell you what they are.......ugly..eyesores...where gang bangers hangout....where drug lords live...nothing good about that at all. Get rid of all of them!

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I think it would be interesting if the N&O did a story on the opposite side-middle class neighborhoods being run over with lower class elements and driving the properties down-example North Raleigh/Capital Blvd. What kind of reaction would that get?

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I found this story to be another sad chapter in the N&O's recent collection of stories and topics which in sum, form a very significant anti-urban planning, anti-equality, and anti-urban life worldview.

First, the series on TTA.

Then, the Op-Ed/Q "What's So bad About Sprawl?" (implicit in the question is their answer, nothing)

Today's Q section contained "Is diversity worth it?" (suggesting transporting the kids of well-to-do upper class whites around Wake COunty isn't worth keeping poorer minority kids from suffering in schools where poverty is the norm)

And then the gentrification question. The issues here are broader than white people moving into a black neighborhood downtown. THe broader implications are things like a disgraceful national minimum wage which creates the situation where people who work hard 40-60 hours a week live in poverty.

Anybody else feel like the N&O has gone anti-urban recently?

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I think gentrifrication is good for that part of town. It is the only area in town where this sort of thing hasnt taken place on a large scale. With downtown now starting to become a hot spot, its going to be inevitable.

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These kinds of situations are going on across the country as more urban areas are being redeveloped. My heart does go out to the poor and destitute but unfortunately it seems sometimes money rules. Developers and others see potential in areas close to the urban core and want a piece of the action and seems like it can set off a firestorm of redevelopment. Here in my area some cities see it happening and are building new low income housing while the old projects which are blight are being torn down and being rebuilt as something more positive.

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lol...pride?

please!

I would rather have middle class people who actually have pride to live in these neighborhoods. Why? Because they will keep there houses and yards looking nice...and they will help keep the crime down in those areas. I wish this would happen to every run down neighborhood in Raleigh!

Why would anyone want crack houses to remain in an area?

lol, unreal someone could actually say those run down neighborhoods have pride. I will tell you what they are.......ugly..eyesores...where gang bangers hangout....where drug lords live...nothing good about that at all. Get rid of all of them!

I'm not saying that crack houses, drug dealing, and prostitution isn't bad, but thats not all that are in these neighborhoods. If you've ever walked or driven through them, you'll see that there are a great plenty of regular homes where good, decent lower-middle class (mostly people of color) live. And I say that with all seriousness. Yes, intergrated into these neighborhoods are some pretty blighted properties, but that doesn't mean that the whole entire area should be exterminated and rebuilt either. When I say pride (and it should be noted that I'm white and I don't live in this neighborhood), I mean that this area has a historical significance (as noted in the article) where this used to be Raleigh's thriving black community, with successful businesses and such, and many black families have long histories in this area of town. Thats why they have pride. Its the same way that I have pride in being from NC even though we are a conservative state that brought our country the embarassment of Jesse Helms.

Of course they don't like to see the bad things in their neighborhood, but I think that you have given a perfect example of the vast misperception of Southeast / East Raleigh that most Raleighites have. Yes, the gentrification will be great in many regards --- it will clean things up a bit, beautify the area (because many of the residents just don't have the means to keep their house and yards in perfect condition or up to asthetically pleasing "white" standards), and mostly, add to the urban fabric of our downtown, but its not good when you start systematically pushing out an entire race or class of people merely because you percieve all of them to have ugly yards, ugly houses, be welfare queens, gang bangers, drug addicts and dealers, and etc.

I'd challenge you to take a walk or ride down some of the neighborhood streets in this area to see how everything isn't as awful as its made out to be. At the same time, keep in mind the financial ability of people to keep their property looking sparkling new and realize that just because there are some streets that are worse than others and a good many dilapidated properties sprinkled througout the neighborhood, that doesn't reflect the entire population of the area.

All that being said, I have some friends that bought a house over there and they love being just a few blocks from work and entertainment in downtown yet not paying nearly as much as they would have if they'd moved into Glenwood South or middle of downtown.

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I found this story to be another sad chapter in the N&O's recent collection of stories and topics which in sum, form a very significant anti-urban planning, anti-equality, and anti-urban life worldview.

First, the series on TTA.

Then, the Op-Ed/Q "What's So bad About Sprawl?" (implicit in the question is their answer, nothing)

Today's Q section contained "Is diversity worth it?" (suggesting transporting the kids of well-to-do upper class whites around Wake COunty isn't worth keeping poorer minority kids from suffering in schools where poverty is the norm)

And then the gentrification question. The issues here are broader than white people moving into a black neighborhood downtown. THe broader implications are things like a disgraceful national minimum wage which creates the situation where people who work hard 40-60 hours a week live in poverty.

Anybody else feel like the N&O has gone anti-urban recently?

I completely agree with you on all points. And yes, it does seem that they have gotten a bit more anti-urban. It doesn't help sway all of the white, rich, religious conservatives who live in sprawl land to understand the importance of downtown.

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Yeah, the N&O seems to be on their nasty cycle again. I've witnessed the paper switch back and forth a couple times over the past 10-15 years. It is unfortunate. I guess we still have The Independent, eh? :)

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Old folks not being able to afford to live in their neighborhoods applies to white and black alike. The "new" economy leaves huge gulfs (there is an irony there...ahem...persian gulf perhaps) between the haves and have nots. Tax cuts for the rich, cutting of medicaid for the poor, CIA importation of opium and cocaine into the U.S....these are the problems which must be talked about and addressed...the problems which standard media will not address...the pride in these neighborhoods stems from a time when there was a hugely sucessful african american middle class. Wilmington and Hargett Streets had successful black owned banks, movie theaters, hotels and the like. Durham NC was the center of the Blues world at one time, and Downtown Durham's Parrish Street was regarded as the African Wall Street. Folks are entitled to their pride and the N&O does well to bring up that aspect of gentrified neighborhoods. But take it a step or two further and look at how schools were segregated and then underfunded, how drugs were brought into the black neighborhoods, how certain high profile leaders (and their mistresses!) were assasinated, how certain regimes were propped up by our government, how inner cities were ringed by Beltlines and outter loops and crime allowed to fester inside those loops and maybe just freakin' maybe, a light bulb will go on in some people's heads...

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If:

* A black person owns a run-down house that people don't want to buy, the market is full of racists.

* A black person sells a run-down house to a white person for an insane profit, it's "gentrification".

* A "historically white" neighborhood has new black neighbors, it's "progress in the racist South".

* A "historically black" neighborhood has new white neighbors, it's "gentrification" and a "white takeover".

This has to be the stupidist thing I've heard people whine about in quite a while. There are two rules of thumb here that know no racial boundries:

1) Renters are always at the mercy of others. That's why you own;

2) Everything is for sale. (We bought a house for $120/ft. If someone wants to come offer $200/ft for it, I don't care what they look like, I'll be calling them the "New Owner")

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As the individual referred to in the article as "yuppie" I can say that I was very ticked off at the writer for spinning the article into a black/white issue. Since moving into the neighborhood, we have received nothing but warm welcomes from the other residents who appreciate our willingness to invest in the community and replace crack/whore houses that existed previously. We decided to live downtown for issues of sustainablility - we both work downtown and love being able to walk to work and to many restaurants and attractions. The neighborhood is evolving - but not into the yuppie land characterized by the article. Needless to say, we (and many of our AA neighbors were very unnerved by the article's implications of racial tension - which honestly does not exist.

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The broader implications are things like a disgraceful national minimum wage which creates the situation where people who work hard 40-60 hours a week live in poverty.

Increasing the min. wage would mean higher unemployment. The unemployment rate is just slightly over the ideal 5%, so we don't want to challenge that number yet. It is a two-edged sword. (I won't even address this notion that people ought to be able to make a good living on <40 hrs a week.)

What I really don't like is the magnet effect that the min wage has. Many of the people would start at, say, $6/hr if the "min wage" weren't out there to suggest a rate. (of course there are other employers who would be offering $4/hr, but the mw ruins the openness of a true labor market in that wage range). You're also forgetting that the vast majority people working at the min. wage are very young, short-term, inexperienced employees.

It is very hard to feel sympathy for the labor market when my profession is having a hard time filling $34/hr jobs. You can go to Wake Tech for two years of Dental Hygiene training (after earning HS diploma), and make this wage easily in Raleigh.

Now why on Earth is Wake Tech out in the boonies where people have to drive cars to get there? If the really poor with no car need training, the campus' location is a huge obstacle for them.

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Now why on Earth is Wake Tech out in the boonies where people have to drive cars to get there? If the really poor with no car need training, the campus' location is a huge obstacle for them.
Well, Wake Tech does have a shuttle that runs hourly from Moore Square Station, but you're right- it's WAY out there, and rather inconvenient for just about everyone regardless of income and transportation. If you work a day job in north Raleigh and take night classes at Wake Tech's main campus, the round-trip commute adds well over an HOUR of wasted time onto an already tight schedule - and that's if you have a car! You can pretty much forget about having a full-time job and taking night classes at Wake Tech if you're carless.

No matter how you slice it, a central location would be better.

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Increasing the min. wage would mean higher unemployment. The unemployment rate is just slightly over the ideal 5%, so we don't want to challenge that number yet. It is a two-edged sword. (I won't even address this notion that people ought to be able to make a good living on <40 hrs a week.)

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Please look up the data at Bureau of Labor Statistics and match it with min wage laws, and you'll see the data for yourself.

I picked six states with min wages above the national min waeg of $5.15.

The states are ME, MA, RI, CT, NY, and VT. Their avg min wage is $6.78. The average unemployment rate in these states is 4.95%.

I picked six states with the $5.15 min wage in our area.

The states are NC, VA, KY, TN, SC, and GA. Their average unemployment rate is 5.28%.

On another topic, my economics prof in college suggested 4% was the "natural" unemployment rate.

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Gentrification is a growing trend nationwide as guynvb said. Nearby me in New Brunswick, many young couples are buying out row homes near Douglass Campus (part of Rutgers University) to start out a new life. The reason is, the total cost of living in New Brunswick is cheaper than the sprawling suburbs outside of the city because of its high crime and deterioration of building structures. While this will bring new life to the city (downtown is also re-developing too), this also pushes out the people of lower incomes who were living in these row homes, decreasing affordable housing which is not a New Brunswick problem, its a state-wide problem! Lets not even discuss property taxes cause i will go off-topic :thumbsup:

As far as Raleigh goes, i would like to know the percentage of all household incomes for Raleigh-Wake County. This way, the city & county in cooperation can start coming up with ideas of providing affordable housing(all types) if they have not already.

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On another topic, my economics prof in college suggested 4% was the "natural" unemployment rate.

If you took one class in Econ, they should have covered this with you. The data over time strongly favors a directly proportional relationship, not to mention the simple concepts of supply and demand which are the foundation for this relationship. The data you are seeing does not properly exclude the many exogenous factors which influence employment.

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If you took one class in Econ, they should have covered this with you. The data over time strongly favors a directly proportional relationship, not to mention the simple concepts of supply and demand which are the foundation for this relationship. The data you are seeing does not properly exclude the many exogenous factors which influence employment.

Sure, there's no controlling for educational attainment in the workforce, etc., by simply looking at unemployment and the minimum wage, but then you can't have it both ways- if there are exogenous variables that make my data-based argument spurious, I don't see how you can defend the other side of the coin and dismiss the influence of exogenous variables the other way.

I went through and excluded HI and AK, covering all the above-minimum wage states. The average unemployment in Sept 2005 was 4.87%. Nationwide, it was 5.1%.

In closing, I'm not trying to prove that a higher min wage lowers unemployment, only trying to prove a negative- that a higher min wage does not NECESSARILY lead to higher unemployment.

The data seems to be on my side, from a mere correlation basis. If you've got other data to explain it away, please bring it forward.

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My wife and I were the first to purchase a lot/house on East Martin St, in the section of the neighborhood described in this article. We did not know who would end up buying the remaining lots on the street... whether they would be "yuppies," lower income families, etc. We had been renting a place downtown for years and knew that this was where we wanted to live. There was sporadic crime/vandalism in the beginning, but I felt very welcomed by all of the families who lived around us. They went out of their way to tell us how nice it was to have homeowners as neighbors again, instead of boarded up abandoned properties and run down rentals.

The builder himself admitted that we (white, early thirties) were not exactly the buyers the city had in mind when the neighborhood was envisioned. However, the mix of existing homes, Habitat for Humanity projects, and new houses made for a very diverse and vibrant neighborhood.

We've since moved into a condo downtown, in search of an even more urban setting, but I look back fondly on our time in the neighborhood.

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We need more developers that are interested in building affordable non-rental housing for lower-middle class workers that is not in Clayton, but in Raleigh. I know the economics are difficult, but I imagine there are spots inside the city limits that could be redeveloped into higher density affordable housing.

That combined with the inevitable redevelopment of neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown would make a great and just city.

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Does anyone know why Wake Tech's main campus is so far away from everything, I mean God it's south of Garner. Why on earth wouldn't the campus have been built more centrally within the county, like in Raleigh within the beltline somewhere. I'm planning on attending school there in the spring semester and I hate the fact that I'm going to have to drive all the way out there. I mean I live and work in Cary, it would be so much easier to drive somewhere within the beltline, or right at it, instead of south of Garner ( I know it's technically in Raleigh but barely).

They should open a branch of the school somewhere close to the depressed areas to maybe help out the people who live in these areas who have the desire to go to school but maybe not the means to go to southern Wake County every day....

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By the way in MA the statewide minimum wage was $6.75 when I moved there in April of 2002. It had just been raised to that shortly before I moved there, but some people were upset because new people were starting off making as much as they were because the company only adjusted the starting pay, raised those workers making below that wage to the new minimum, but failed to adjust everyone's pay upward. Unfortunately I wonder if the minimum wage is raised if the cost of living would automatically go up too. Like would greedy landlords raise their rents because they know the lower class is making more money. I can't judge on my MA experience, rent in New England is really expensive anyway, and always going up, but I think that's more of a supply and demand thing, because it seemed to be a landlord's market as opposed to a renters market like it is down here (I'm referring to the overbuilding of apartments down here that causes landlords to offer incentives to lure potential tenants)...

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If anyone wants to walk through the neighborhoods mentioned (Downtown East, Martin-Haywood, Cooke Street, etc.) I'll be more than happy to organize a walking tour.

I'll be at the YWCA at the corner of East Hargett and Swain Streets this Saturday at 11 am. It should be a nice day -- warm and sunny. If there is interest, we can eat lunch downtown somewhere afterwards.

Contact me via email at this user name at yahoo.com if interested. I'll wait till 11:15 or so. I don't know if the Y will have anything going on then, so park on the streets nearby.

I am not "native" to the neighborhood, but few people that live there under the age of 55 or so are. Younger generations move out as soon as they can afford to, leaving the elderly who can't physically and/or financially take care of their property. Middle class African-Americans have had every opportunity to buy into the neighborhood, but for some reason or other have chosen not to. Whose "fault" is that?

For those unable to afford home ownership, there are two large low income housing projects coming on line in the next few years. Chavis Heights was torn down and something similar to Capital Park (the former Halifax Court) will be built in its place, with a senior citizens center and townhouses. Carlton Place will be built on now empty land southeast of the museum magnet middle school and will have units earmarked for a variety of income ranges.

I've lived in my house 4 1/2 years now, and I really don't think there is any other place I'd rather live. I (try to) organize the neighborhood watch and am active in the South Central CAC.

A lot of the "racial tension" comes from "community activists" who don't even live in the community. They come in and tell the community what it wants, without asking how things actually are. The other source is drug dealers, prostitutes, etc. that fear young homeowners of any race because it will become a lot more difficult for them to do business. They too don't live in the neighborhood, but come in from other areas to do their "work" since they have been able to make themselves the status quo.

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