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Blue Devil Partners West Village

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Thought information about this project should be in its own topic, rather than buried in the American Tobacco thread.

Link to Blue Devil Ventures page is here

  • Phase II will include 375 apartments, and 220,000 square feet of office space.
  • There will be boutique retail scattered throughout the project.
  • Approx. 25% of the apartment units will be aimed at low- to moderate-income residents.
  • 18 units will be marketed toartists/musicians as living/studio space

The City approved a major financial incentive package this summer, and Duke University has signed on as a participant as well.

There was an article in this week's Triangle Business Journal about this project, too. Should be available in the online version soon.

It's a cool project, and I think the adaptation of historic buildings, the true mix of uses, and an acknowledgement that not everyone can afford "upscale urban condos" will make this one of the best examples of urban redevelopment in the Southeast.

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Another neat thing about West Village is that the rear 1/3 of the Walker Warehouse building (on Chapel Hill Street, directly across the tracks from the current Amshack) will become Durham's new Amtrak station. I think this will be one of the first parts of Phase II to be completed.

Back in August when I was looking for a new apartment, I looked at West Village - but there were no one-bedrooms or studios available then so I went for a cheap, suburban apartment complex really close to my workplace in Morrisville. Big mistake.

When my current lease is up I might go back to my original plan. There are actually a number of nearby amenities that make it less of a hardship to live without a car: groceries at Fowler's (right next door) or the Co-op (five minutes by bike), the DATA/TTA bus depot right next door, a number of restaurants and bars all within walking distance, the Carolina Theater... wow, that'd be nice.

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Its amazing how close West Village is to Duke's East Campus and Broad/9th St. (Whole Foods, Mad Hatters etc.). It seems like this will be a prime location for younger faculty/researchers/grad students to live. If I stay in the area I wouldn't mind living there.

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downtown durham will have a density and urban feel that raleigh probably never will...I may make the move after (if) the TTA rail ever gets built so I can get to work in DTR

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I agree that Durham will probably have a more dense downtown than Raleigh, but I don't think dt Durham will be more urban in feel than Raleigh. Grittier, more industrial probably. I figure Raleigh will probably be building in more of a modern style. I think both Durham and Raleigh will have vibrant thriving downtown areas, just in different styles. 10 years from now neither of the downtown areas will resemble what they look like today. I am glad to be here now and get to witness all the changes being made.

Edited by Damien

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Durham has the ingredients for an awesome dense downtown with a lot of culture and entertainment options. This is something that Raleigh is going to struggle with for a long time. Raleigh may end up with a more sleek modern type of downtown, but I doubt it will ever be as intimate or "cool" as Durham.

As much as I support the continued development of Raleigh's downtown, I've always thought it felt a bit "stuffy", for lack of a better word. I can't put my finger on what gives me that feeling, but I do not get that kind of feeling in downtown Durham... or really any other major downtowns in NC. I hope that whatever causes this feeling will go away in time.

Durham's downtown is a navigation nitemare, and I believe there have been some efforts underway to improve access by two-way'ing some of the streets and eliminating some of the confusing intersections. Despite this though, Durham has a more connected and accessible feel than Raleigh IMO. Raleigh's downtown feels scattered and is disconnected by voids that cannot easily be bridged... it really bothers me.

In the end, the two major downtowns in the Triangle will continue to have very unique personalities, and I think this is good. I would get tired of the same old thing, even if I liked one more than the other.

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WUNC had a story on housing in downtown Durham this morning. Very interesting report on an even broader variety of projects than I knew about. Exciting stuff.

Link to the audio is here

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Raleigh seems stuffy because it is. Most of the buildings there have government purposes. It comes off as a capital for capital's sake. It's just a matter of time before that changes. As far as cities go, I think the council and Meeker want to emulate a capital like Denver or Seattle. Large and successful, but with a great pedestrian atmosphere.

Durham has a completely different path ahead of it.

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That was a pretty good piece on WUNC. It seemed to focus on the affordability of the units in Durham. Raleigh seems to be going more upscale. I see Durham as more of the creative-class type place to live. I was amazed at how fast everything has been snagged up. The Baldwin Lofts were just completed and are already gone.

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I'm pretty impressed by what BDV is planning to do with the remaining spaces at the old L&M. They're going to gouge a giant hole through the middle of the Chesterfield building, like a huge light tunnel. I've e-mailed back and forth with them about the reality of getting a small grocery store in the complex, but it seems most chains have more conservative business models and would prefer to build stores in the 'burbs with big parking lots. Such is sprawl.

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I've e-mailed back and forth with them about the reality of getting a small grocery store in the complex, but it seems most chains have more conservative business models and would prefer to build stores in the 'burbs with big parking lots. Such is sprawl.
Wait, isn't there already a small grocery store (Fowler's) pretty much inside west village?

I walked through there once and while small, it seemed to have most things that one would need on a daily basis. When the chains demand strip malls and 2,000 parking spaces, just say "screw you" and shop at a local store instead.

Edited by orulz

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Wait, isn't there already a small grocery store (Fowler's) pretty much inside west village?

I walked through there once and while small, it seemed to have most things that one would need on a daily basis. When the chains demand strip malls and 2,000 parking spaces, just say "screw you" and shop at a local store instead.

Orulz, you're right and I do agree with you about supporting local stores...but it's just like Whole Paycheck...er Whole Foods. Great items, but not great for everyday living in my opinion. You may be able to get some gourmet items there that you couldn't find at a normal grocer, but overall the place will burn a whole in your wallet if you're shopping there regularly. If we can get a small grocery in there it would compliment Fowler's beautifully.

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I've never shopped there, but what about the Durham Co-op Grocery? It's about a half-mile down Chapel Hill Street. If it's anything like the Weaver Street Market Co-op in Carrboro or the French Broad Food Co-op in Asheville, the prices shouldn't be too ridiculous. As in, with Fowler's and the Co-op combined, you could get by with going to a "conventional" grocery store only once or twice a month, without breaking the bank.

That may not be "perfect," but remember, it still beats the crap out of Raleigh. This is one of the biggest shortcomings of downtown Raleigh for residents - no nearby options for groceries. There's City Market Produce, but that's only open three days a week, closes at 6:00pm, and... only sells produce. Next to that, there's only the Harris Teeter at Cameron Village, 2 miles away.

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You mean downtown Durham?

According to Downtown Durham, Inc:

700 + residents

470 Units

Actually I did mean Raleigh. Orulz was speaking of the lack of options dt Raleigh and I was curious how many people lived there.

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It was just announced that the Liggett Myers development is starting to take place in downtown Durham. This is the critical link between the active Brightleaf area and a dead CBD back to an active ATHD. The plans sound pretty impressive. Honestly, I am starting to think that Durham may have the most impressive (or at least interesting downtown in NC). Call me crazy.

Story

Edited by DanRNC

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Article in today's Herald-Sun about Blue Devil Venture's purchase of the rest of the Liggett-Myers tobacco complex.

Here are some facts about the project:

  • When complete, Phase II alone will be nearly 1 million square feet.
  • Both phases together will combine for 1.3 million SF.

    • This is significantly larger than the American Tobacco project, which will be 915,000 square feet at completion (although I'm not sure if that includes the performance venue and new office buildings currently in the works)

    [*]Phase 2 will add 375 apartments to the 241 from Phase I

    [*]Phase 2 includes a developer-funded, 7-level parking deck

    [*]Two bridges over Morgan Street and one over Main Street will remain.

    [*]The Walker building

    • Built in 1897
    • Will begin renovation in February 2006
    • Will house the new Durham Amtrak station
    • 10,500 SF of boutique retail space
    • 10,500 SF space for one large retail tenant

    [*]The Main Street Office building

    • Was moved to its current location in the 1940s prior to the construction of the Chesterfield building
    • Will begin renovation in February 2006
    • Will have both retal and office space

    [*]The Chesterfield building

    • Is six stories tall
    • Was built in 1948
    • Will begin renovations in Summer 2006
    • Is currently 360,000 SF
    • Will be modified with a 82x82 foot light well in the center of the building, reducing it to 336,000 SF
    • Will be "the definition of mixed use" with retail, office, and residential spaces.

    [*]O'Brien Warehouse and Cobb Warehouse

    • Will have 34 upscale office lofts on the first floor
    • Will be joined by a courtyard with a water feature and an amphitheater

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This development will also include about 140,000 sq. feet of laboratory space. I believe Duke may consolidate some labs spread out through Durham in this space and use it as an spin-off business incubator facility. With this ATHD, and the NC Biotech Center at Venable, downtown Durham will start become a biotech/tech hub of its own.

Edited by DanRNC

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As far as cities go, I think the council and Meeker want to emulate a capital like Denver or Seattle. Large and successful, but with a great pedestrian atmosphere.

I see your point, but Seattle isn't the capital of Washington; Olympia is. :thumbsup:

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I think Durham is doing a great job. But been the best in NC there is no way. You may have not experience the big cities in NC to say this. But like I say they are not staying behind Durham is on the race.

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I see your point, but Seattle isn't the capital of Washington; Olympia is.

That is very true. I think my mind has collapsed because I actually can't think of a capital other than Denver at the moment. Maybe Austin.

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