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krazeeboi

Notable downtown turnarounds

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Which Southern cities have had some of the best turnarounds as far as their downtowns are concerned within the past 10-20 years or so?

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Atlanta, the renaissance is just beginning though

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Charlotte & Asheville

Hmmm, Asheville is interesting; I was under the impression that it has been the way it is for a little while now.

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Hmmm, Asheville is interesting; I was under the impression that it has been the way it is for a little while now.

Yeah, I don't think Asheville was ever really 'down'. It just seems a bit faster than normal lately.

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I would say Chattanooga, especially with all of its riverfront developments. Also, Orlando seems to be making a statement with all of its large scale develpments going downtown.

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Norfolk, Virginia downtown has turnaround considerbaly. with many major developments introduced just since the beginning of the year. :)

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Norfolk and Memphis have had remarkable turnarounds. Baltimore's renaissance began with the Rouse Company back in the 80's, but the city has steadily plowed ahead. The pace of development there is quickening at an almost alarming speed.

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Left for dead in the late 90's ,the Downtown Baton Rouge renaissance began a few years ago.In addition of entertainment scene and alot of residents,and many Governmental Bldgs.,it's also about to have a legit SKYLINE ! 2006 will be a "Break-through" year ! In all ,it's an impressive list of large projects ! Including a revitalized riverfront and 30+story RiverPlace condo's.

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Norfolk, Virginia downtown has turnaround considerbaly. with many major developments introduced just since the beginning of the year. :)

Norfolk's downtown area is beautiful. Some great pics are located here.

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You could almost include every major city in the South on this list, as we're all witnessing a return to downtown becoming the center of our uban lifestyle.

Greenville has been well documented as having one of the best downtown comebacks in the nation. We were given the [url="http://awards.mainstreet.org/content.aspx?page=5140

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Come on, look at Oklahoma City.

We went from having a bomb shatter a large portion of downtown and scare people away and a downtown that was as 9-5 than any terrible downtown in the county to having one with $2.5 billion invested in the last five years. The MAPS program added the Ford Center arena which now hosts the NBA, a state-of-the-art new downtown library, a world-class art museum with the largest collection or Chihuly glass in the world, transformed the dry North Canadian River into a 7 mile venue for races and recreation, and inspired much of the $2.5 billion.

Bricktown was an abandoned warehouse district until MAPS built a AAA Ballpark and a canal that ignited development in the area and transformed it into the center of OKC nightlife, entertainment, and tourism.

There are currently more than 2,000 residential units proposed or under construction in downtown Oklahoma City, while only 800 have ever existed there. A study based on a metro resident survey showed that 13,000 additional units could be supported downtown.

The outdated elevated I-40 through downtown is being moved 5 blocks south to expand downtown for $360 million.

The office vacancy rate is dropping below 30% for the first time since the early 80s oil bust.

Two historic hotels are being restored in the CBD, one under construction on the canal in Lower Bricktown, and another approved in Bricktown.

You might argue that OKC hasn't experienced anything- there aren't any new major towers since the 80s other than a 15 story hotel from 99 or 00. But just look at the improvement in OKC- downtown is now a focal point of the metro that citizens are proud of, the number of residences will triple, we have pro sports, and the renaissance is only speeding up.

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Raleigh is starting to really turn itself around....and Virginia Beach is finally getting a downtown

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Chattanooga, TN

Norfolk, VA

Charlottesville, VA

Richmond, VA

Greenville, SC

Charlotte, NC

Asheville, NC

Little Rock, AR

Athens, GA

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I agree that Chattanooga is in one of the most impressive downtown renaissances of the nation. I have heard several people compare my home city of Greenville to Chattanooga, and I am proud of that comparison. :thumbsup:

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Come on, look at Oklahoma City.

We went from having a bomb shatter a large portion of downtown and scare people away and a downtown that was as 9-5 than any terrible downtown in the county to having one with $2.5 billion invested in the last five years. The MAPS program added the Ford Center arena which now hosts the NBA, a state-of-the-art new downtown library, a world-class art museum with the largest collection or Chihuly glass in the world, transformed the dry North Canadian River into a 7 mile venue for races and recreation, and inspired much of the $2.5 billion.

Bricktown was an abandoned warehouse district until MAPS built a AAA Ballpark and a canal that ignited development in the area and transformed it into the center of OKC nightlife, entertainment, and tourism.

There are currently more than 2,000 residential units proposed or under construction in downtown Oklahoma City, while only 800 have ever existed there. A study based on a metro resident survey showed that 13,000 additional units could be supported downtown.

The outdated elevated I-40 through downtown is being moved 5 blocks south to expand downtown for $360 million.

The office vacancy rate is dropping below 30% for the first time since the early 80s oil bust.

Two historic hotels are being restored in the CBD, one under construction on the canal in Lower Bricktown, and another approved in Bricktown.

You might argue that OKC hasn't experienced anything- there aren't any new major towers since the 80s other than a 15 story hotel from 99 or 00. But just look at the improvement in OKC- downtown is now a focal point of the metro that citizens are proud of, the number of residences will triple, we have pro sports, and the renaissance is only speeding up.

Great post Shane. You beat me to it, but I'll add a few things. In the last ten years, OKC has seen an unprecedented turnaround spurred by the MAPS (Metropolitan Area ProjectS) Program, which was funded by a penny sales tax and consisted of:

The Bricktown Canal, a mile-long waterway winding through the Historic district and connecting to the Oklahoma River. Private development along the canal includes a 16-screen Harkins Theatre, Sonic's Corporate Headquarters, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, and the Chesapeake Boathouse (crew rowing). Also under construction or planned are a hotel and a condo development. In addition, more than 40 restaurants, clubs, and bars now operate in the Bricktown area which is the fastest growing entertainment district in the southwest. Also being built on the canal is the centennial Land Run Monument, which when complete will be the largest bronze sculpture collection in the United States.

BricktownCanal.jpg

bricktown_canal_02.jpg

The Bricktown Ballpark, widely considered the finest in minor league baseball, hosts the AAA Oklahoma Redhawks, who broke attendance records last summer. A 10-story Hampton Inn is under construction just north of the ballpark and will overlook the field. "The Brick" is home to the Big 12 Baseball Championships.

Bricktown%20Ballpark%202%20small.jpg

The Ford Center has been named a top-selling venue in the league of Madison Square Garden by Pollstar, the leading concert industry analyst. It is also home to the NBA Hornets, our minor league hockey team the Blazers, our AFL2 team The YardDawgz, as well as major concerts and sporting events. The arena will host the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championship and the 2007 Big 12 Basketball Championship (with the women playing across the street in the Cox Arena).

l1571247.jpg

The Civic Center Music Hall underwent a massive reconstruction and is now home to Ballet Oklahoma, Lyric Theatre, Black Liberated Arts Center, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Canterbury Choral Society, Oklahoma City Reportory Theatre, and Oklahoma City Theatre Company.

pic1.jpgpic2.jpgpic3.jpg

The Ronald Norick Downtown Library, with four floors, offers state of the art facilities that enhance the quality of life for those living and/or working downtown. The library also is used for the Downtown College Consortium, a union of area universities offering courses in one central location.

086int03.jpg

The Oklahoma River had to be redirected in the thirties for flood control, but has now been reinvigorated with a series of low water dams and locks. The waterway is naviagable by boats and water taxis on a seven-mile distance from downtown to the airport hotel district, and is the centerpiece of new recreational development. The river has hosted parades, drag boat racing, and rowing regattas, and work will begin soon on a kayak course. The river is lined with parks and several developments are ongoing or planned along it, including the new Dell campus, the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park, a redeveloped airpark, and a massive Native American Cultural Center.

gallery_river_2002_4.jpg

The MAPS program has spurred immense private development, including the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, renovation of two historic hotels, and numerous residential projects. The MAPS program was unprecedented and revolutionary, and since OKC led the way, more than 45 cities have passed similar projects.

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Good stuff in OKC! Seems to be somewhat of an underrated city around here.

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In Virginia... Richmond and Norfolk are seeing incredible change. VA Beach is finally starting to begin to look like a city too!

In the past 5 years, the city of Richmond has seen well over $2 billion in investment... with another $2+ billion in development underway (VCU's development projects alone are nearly $1 billion in scope).....Dozens of old buildings are being transformed into thousands of trendy residential units all over the city. I've said it before and I'll say it again... Richmond's in the midst of a Renaissance.

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Atlanta, the renaissance is just beginning though

Ditto for Columbia. The turnaround here is the reason the Washington DC-based International Downtown Association is holding its annual convention here in April. They visited, liked what they saw and voila.

Ditto for Columbia. The turnaround here is the reason the Washington DC-based International Downtown Association is holding its annual convention here in April. They visited, liked what they saw and voila.

Not that Columbia's downtown ever completely bit the dust.

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Roanoke's downtown has made a major turn around since the mid-80's. Back then it was a ghost town after 5pm and taken over by prostitutes and drug dealers. Now of course it's the dining, art, and entertainment center for the valley. I occasionally still talk to older people that won't go downtown at night because of their memories of how it used to be.

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I have to agree that Chatanooga is definitely undergoing massive revitalization with an aquariumexpansion and what not. That's really impressive for quite a small town!

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