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durham_rtp

Soleil Center I & II at Crabtree

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I think the ads should read more like:

Do you love the mall. I mean really LOVE the mall? Do you love high-rise living but hate walkability? Convenient to the strip malls of Glenwood North and miles from downtown: The Soleil Center!

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If Transitman's #1 option was the case, I would think they would have opened the "state of the art, $500k+ sales/marketing/design center" by now. The one that we were told would open in early February. I think that would convert "maybe"s into "yes"s and the Soleil Group could start collecting deposits, not letters of intent.

The ad push, which seems to be targeted at the *local* market, as opposed to the national/world condo market, sounds like the "extensive waiting list" is tired of waiting for bulldozers and cranes. Or it is the Cartmanland (or Nintendo Wii) method of marketing -- "na-na-na, you can't buy this."

The Westin/Soleil relationship seems to be firm, since they are using the Westin name for the residences. I wonder if Westin has an out clause if construction does not start by a certain date.

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One of the funniest things about this is how (until recently) they are pitching the ad campaign towards people who aren't local (either out of town investors, or people about to move here with absolutely no local connections or knowledge). Anyone who has lived in Raleigh long enough to realize (1) Crabtree valley is still one of the worst traffic clusterfudges in town and (2) the entire area periodically floods; won't go near this thing with a 10 foot pole, even if they do have $500,000 lying around. I honestly can't imagine anyone with that kind of money with any level of familiarity with this area who WOULDN'T prefer (a) something in the Paramount or other upscale condo tower in a better location or (b) a nice house with a yard in one of the cheaper ITB neighborhoods (Drewry Hills, North Hills, etc.).

Edited by JeffC

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One of the funniest things about this is how (until recently) they are pitching the ad campaign towards people who aren't local (either out of town investors, or people about to move here with absolutely no local connections or knowledge). Anyone who has lived in Raleigh long enough to realize (1) Crabtree valley is still one of the worst traffic clusterfudges in town and (2) the entire area periodically floods; won't go near this thing with a 10 foot pole, even if they do have $500,000 lying around. I honestly can't imagine anyone with that kind of money with any level of familiarity with this area who WOULDN'T prefer (a) something in the Paramount or other upscale condo tower in a better location or (b) a nice house with a yard in one of the cheaper ITB neighborhoods (Drewry Hills, North Hills, etc.).

Well said, and this has ultimately been my point all along. This may be a luxury property with lots of services for residents because it has a boutique, 4-star hotel attached, but the location is still in a suburban wasteland. There's no amount of posh that will make the Crabtree Valley Mall cool and hip. It's just not doable. The sizzle to substance ratio on Soleil is just way too high. Assuming it gets built, I'm sure it will be an attention-getting modernist building, but it just won't be hip or Raleigh's "premier address."

Putting this building in this location is like putting training wheels on one of those incredible custom motorcycles on American Chopper. It just doesn't make sense.

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Well said, and this has ultimately been my point all along. This may be a luxury property with lots of services for residents because it has a boutique, 4-star hotel attached, but the location is still in a suburban wasteland. There's no amount of posh that will make the Crabtree Valley Mall cool and hip. It's just not doable. The sizzle to substance ratio on Soleil is just way too high. Assuming it gets built, I'm sure it will be an attention-getting modernist building, but it just won't be hip or Raleigh's "premier address."

Putting this building in this location is like putting training wheels on one of those incredible custom motorcycles on American Chopper. It just doesn't make sense.

I would not be so quick to discount this project, and hold off until other plans for developments in that area materialize. For all we know, there could be other plans in the works that will transform this area into a more upscale destination. I'm certain that the developers are aware of the "location" issues, and seriously doubt that they would be moving forward with this project and promoting it so agressively on a national level if there were not plans to provide the local amenities that go along with upscale high-rise living at some point in the future.

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I would not be so quick to discount this project, and hold off until other plans for developments in that area materialize.

All the plans in the world won't change the fact that this location is across the street from a Circuit City, across the creek from a fairly middle of the road 1960s/70s subdivision, two blocks down from a couple of gas stations, and just down the hill from some pretty basic apartments housing recent college graduates and the like. The sole after 11pm dining option within walking distance is that hideously out of place McDonalds on the feeder road behind the mall... :rofl: Hardlya "premier address"...

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All the plans in the world won't change the fact that this location is across the street from a Circuit City, across the creek from a fairly middle of the road 1960s/70s subdivision, two blocks down from a couple of gas stations, and just down the hill from some pretty basic apartments housing recent college graduates and the like. The sole after 11pm dining option within walking distance is that hideously out of place McDonalds on the feeder road behind the mall... :rofl: Hardlya "premier address"...

The development mistakes of the past in that area are a result of no comprehensive and long-term plan and can not be undone, but i'm very interested in seeing where the current developers want to take their projects and am willing to give these projects a chance. Would I sell this as a premier address...NO, but do I think that they have a chance to turn this area into a desireable location...YES. Look what happened at North Hills. The reengineering of the former North Hills has spawned much new and better development which will in turn increase that area's status significantly.

The bashers are always out in full force at the beginning of a project like this, but eventually come around after they see a finished product. It's called having a lack of vision.

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All the plans in the world won't change the fact that this location is across the street from a Circuit City, across the creek from a fairly middle of the road 1960s/70s subdivision, two blocks down from a couple of gas stations, and just down the hill from some pretty basic apartments housing recent college graduates and the like. The sole after 11pm dining option within walking distance is that hideously out of place McDonalds on the feeder road behind the mall... :rofl: Hardlya "premier address"...

Nearly the same thing could have been said about Glenwood South area 10 years ago.

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I have to agree with you on this one Transplant. I think everyone on here realizes that this project, if and when it is built, is on a flood plain. It appears that the developers have addressed this issue and have shared this the prospective tenants, including Westin Hotels.

I do not understand the negativity encompassing this project. The Crabtree area is what it is and we can poo-poo any new development around here and chalk this area up as a lost cause or we can embrace it and any changes for the better that come down the pipeline. Do we want the Crabtree Valley area to be the next Capital Blvd?

I think many of you forget what North Hills was around 5 years ago. It was a dilapidated mall surrounded by chain restaurants, a strip mall, a hotel and some office buildings along a traffic congested area. Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn't it?

It appears to me that the management of Crabtree Mall are trying to be as proactive as possible to adapt to the changing market. There is a new development proposed for Kidd Hill. It all has to start someplace and if the Soleil group is willing to invest money here, then I say more power to them. It may not be to the macro-scale of North Hills, but it is rare for a single developer to come in and take on the task of redeveloping an entire area. There is no reason that our city leaders can not adopt an area plan that evokes similarities to North Hills for any future development.

At least the Crabtree area is still thriving where as the North Hills of 5 years ago was not.

Edited by avery

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One of the funniest things about this is how (until recently) they are pitching the ad campaign towards people who aren't local (either out of town investors, or people about to move here with absolutely no local connections or knowledge).

How are they pitching the AD campaign to non-locals ? Where do you see that ?

The ads in Newsweek and others are "local buys" where they buy out zip codes in a local area. Those are not national buys? So they buy and put that ad in all subscriptions in Zip codes from 27601--27615 or so.

Maybe you saw an ad somewhere else ?

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You cannot compare Glenwood South or North Hills to this area. Glenwood South exists in a neighborhoodish area with street grids and no major giant auto sewers (thanks transitman) adjacent such as 440 or Six Forks Road. North Hills Scale is much much smaller than the Crabtree Area. You can't undo, reengineer or otherwise disperse the massive level of activity already focused here. And people have hope for the new development?? Splitting Glenwood on either side of the mall at some future point is a high volume transportion project and does nothing to make Crabtree more desireable to amble around near on foot in the evenings. The leveling of Kidds Hill will wipe out the only decent greenspace in the area....so much for anywhere at all with a spot to let your mind unfrazel after a day at the office. I would not say I or the others are being very negative.....we(or just me) are just laughing at the notion that there is so much rediculously positive about it....

Edited by Jones133

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Like I have said before, this project is going the way of the dinosaurs. The only bad part is that it most likely kills any chance of Raleigh getting a Westin any time soon. I predict that something will rise from the ashes there but will be along the lines of low to mid-level hotel/motel or strip center.

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Like I have said before, this project is going the way of the dinosaurs. The only bad part is that it most likely kills any chance of Raleigh getting a Westin any time soon. I predict that something will rise from the ashes there but will be along the lines of low to mid-level hotel/motel or strip center.

even if it craters, at least we got rid of that decrepit eyesore of a Sheraton at Crabtree Valley...I think floodplain/Neuse river buffer rules might severely constrict any big box that might want to go in on that site...

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The development mistakes of the past in that area are a result of no comprehensive and long-term plan and can not be undone, but i'm very interested in seeing where the current developers want to take their projects and am willing to give these projects a chance. Would I sell this as a premier address...NO, but do I think that they have a chance to turn this area into a desireable location...YES. Look what happened at North Hills. The reengineering of the former North Hills has spawned much new and better development which will in turn increase that area's status significantly.

The bashers are always out in full force at the beginning of a project like this, but eventually come around after they see a finished product. It's called having a lack of vision.

The reason why this project is even being built at this location is the same complete lack of vision of growth for the city that you speak of. The developers can't fix the suburban street network. It's set.

I'm not a basher, and nor are many others pointing out the obvious urban planning mistakes being made with this property. There's nothing to come around to.

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except for rich folks with a slight British accent), but little else. If pointing out facts...

These are not facts; strictly opinion. I don't agree or disagree. I just don't want anyone calling any use of the word "rich" as a "fact". Surely someone out in the world would give everything they have for the chance to live at South and Saunders St.

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The valley itself is an attractive landscape of hills and trees that you don't see everyday in most cities.

Crabtree Valley Mall (windowless and all) is classic. A real mall-circa the 80's- like the ones we all grew up in. Think "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

As ugly as most thoroughfares are in most American cities, I don't agree with you guys bashing that area. Many important streets converge on an important component for every city (the mall), and there are trees everywhere and billboards don't litter every corner like say in Atlanta.

People in Long Island would think Crabtree looked like a resort.

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The valley itself is an attractive landscape of hills and trees that you don't see everyday in most cities. Crabtree Valley Mall (windowless and all) is classic. A real mall-circa the 80's- like the ones we all grew up in. Think "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

Yes it was a great landscape. Now it's a mall. And they've consistently added to it since it was built. You can't see the original mall's charm now, as it's blocked by parking decks on all sides. It's an ugly elephant of a mall, and it has no theater, arcade, ice rink, local shops, or anything else that would be a draw.

As ugly as most thoroughfares are in most American cities, I don't agree with you guys bashing that area. Many important streets converge on an important component for every city (the mall), and there are trees everywhere and billboards don't litter every corner like say in Atlanta.

People in Long Island would think Crabtree looked like a resort.

I think we could shoot a little higher than 'moderately better looking than parts of Long Island'.

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I am only familiar with the parts of long island that are depicted on "Lifestyles of teh Rich and Famous....big sprawling multi-million dollar estates....

Transplant...you mentioned being ok with leveling Kidds Hill in almost the same breath as building a highrise (Soleil)....just want to make sure you know Kidds Hill and the Soleil site are on opposite sides of the mall...?

As far as developing Kidds Hill...if it in fact must be developed, the frontages along Crabtree Valley ave and what was once Edwards Mill Road (Homewood Banks or something?) both have areas where buildings would fit without massive grading. The area where House Creek was relocated (probably illegally) has enough space for a very large building. Based on some experience with sites like this, and guessing that no borings have in fact been done, Kidds Hill is probably a large buldge of rock beneath the topsoil, which blows away contingency budgets very quickly. Why not another steak restaurant where Blue Ridge and Homewood Banks split, its a nice pleasant spot beneath the mature pine trees. It would compliment Tavola Rossa nicely. Slap a nice office building on the House Creek corner. Make it tallish with ground floor retail to compliment McDonalds. Stick a skinny retail builing along Crabtree Valley for things like a blockbuster, coin dealers, insurance storefronts...whatever. Then scatter big brownstones accross the top of the hill and thin the woods a little if needed to get a nice view for everyone...a million dollar view...sounds better than ripping out the whole thing to me....

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I am only familiar with the parts of long island that are depicted on "Lifestyles of teh Rich and Famous....big sprawling multi-million dollar estates....

Transplant...you mentioned being ok with leveling Kidds Hill in almost the same breath as building a highrise (Soleil)....just want to make sure you know Kidds Hill and the Soleil site are on opposite sides of the mall...?

Yes, I'm aware. In my opinion, I like the idea of developing both Kidds Hill and Soleil. And for that matter, a redevelopment of Circuit City, and the rest of the area.

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It looks like this project is moving forward.

I'll believe it when I see the first steel beam erected into place.

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