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danclever

Downtown Durham Wishlist

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What are some developments you'd like to see in Downtown Durham (and vicinity) that haven't already been proposed or discusssed?

If I could wave a wand (or come up with lots of cash) I'd like to see someone rebuild a flatiron-type building at Five Points. There used to be two of them, one about where Jo&Jo's currently is and another at the opposite point where Bull City Business Center now is. The one at Jo&Jo's spot was torn down a long long time ago, but the other one was only torn down in the 60s or 70s, I believe. I have old postcards of it, and it used to have a clock on it. Kind of made Five Points look like a miniature Times Square.

The plaza they are building there now will be nice, but it still won't obscure the loading dock of the busines center that is there now. Yuck!

Any other wishes?

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I wish the Durham Bulls was a major league baseball team. :whistling: Also I wish Durham county had a population of atleast 800,000. Imagine about 200,000 resident living mid-highrise condos.

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I don't have a particular vision but I do wish Durham could shed off its not so good rep and take advantage of the diverse history that it has. I know it was the center of african-american commerce a time ago. I see only good things. It is located in such a great position that it is bound to take off.

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The area on both sides of Durham Freeway represents the biggest potential areas in Durham. I would like to see the Freeway capped with an access rd./park between Fayetteville and Alston. I would like to see the three car dealerships redeveloped as Office and/or Residential space.

I would also like to see Hayti develop into a more viable, denser, diverse mixed-income mixed-use district of downtown. I would like to see it become the capital of the African-American community in the Triangle like a Harlem or Sweet Auburn (ATL) area. The potential is there if all parties commit to it and give and take a little.

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This is slightly off-topic--it really isn't a downtown wish per-se--but I am not thrilled with the selection of houses being built in Durham.

Here in Raleigh where I currently live, there is a good mix of "starter" homes and "upscale" homes. I see a glut of apartments and starter homes being built in Durham--and that concerns me. I wish there was a better mix of housing in Durham.

I also wish they could just tear down Northeast Central Durham and start over.

Bullcity76--that is a really good idea (revitalizing Hayti into a sort of Harlem-like area). The city has all of the ingredients to make that happen. :)

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My list is so long. It would so wrong for me to list it all here.

Let me put it like this: I live downtown, I work downtown, I rarely leave the area because I don't drive many places. I see room for improvement in so many places downtown.

I'm glad to see progress though. Since I moved here last June, there have been many changes (beginning Central Park's farmers market, completion of American Tobacco, major construction in the city center district, etc.)

A few spots I'd love to wave a magic wand at would be the location of the Medical Arts building near Brightleaf Square, the car dealerships (what a waste of space), the block of Foster Street just north of Central Park, the two HUGE Measurement Inc. parking lots on Morris Street, and the "We Want Oprah" building and its hideous parking garage.

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Add to that list the demolition of the SouthBank building. That building depresses me.

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This is slightly off-topic--it really isn't a downtown wish per-se--but I am not thrilled with the selection of houses being built in Durham.

Here in Raleigh where I currently live, there is a good mix of "starter" homes and "upscale" homes. I see a glut of apartments and starter homes being built in Durham--and that concerns me. I wish there was a better mix of housing in Durham.

I also wish they could just tear down Northeast Central Durham and start over.

Bullcity76--that is a really good idea (revitalizing Hayti into a sort of Harlem-like area). The city has all of the ingredients to make that happen. :)

There are actually some beautiful houses in NECD. They need a little TLC and a market that will support the renovation of such large houses. Some individual investors have started work on the smaller ones around the Barnes Ave./Former Few Gardens area. There are plenty of houses being torn down due to being beyond repair and probably more to follow.

I agree completely about the mixture of housing in Durham. Plus there are no cool condos in the $130-200K range. Everything being built is $200K+ due mainly to renovation costs of old buildings on top of acquisition costs. I tend to be believe that Durham has enough "starter" homes right now. We could use some larger lot upscale homes. I am actually looking to purchase now and would rather stay in a condo or older neighborhood fixer-upper than some cookie-cutter, .12 acre, one-car parking pad, narrow street, developer profit-maximized neighborhood with no character.

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Durham needs a nice 30 floor right next to Sun Trust (CCB to Me) to get the ball rolling. Then they need something similar to the Plenza Art. Durham has the same problem as Raleigh as far as most corporations going to RTP

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I agree completely about the mixture of housing in Durham. Plus there are no cool condos in the $130-200K range. Everything being built is $200K+ due mainly to renovation costs of old buildings on top of acquisition costs.

I'm under contract on a downtown condo that I got for $138,000. So there you go.

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Durham needs a nice 30 floor right next to Sun Trust (CCB to Me) to get the ball rolling. Then they need something similar to the Plenza Art. Durham has the same problem as Raleigh as far as most corporations going to RTP

I hope Suntrust would move into the proposed development next door and it would definitely be over 15 stories.

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A few spots I'd love to wave a magic wand at would be the location of the Medical Arts building near Brightleaf Square, ...

Yeah, that building has gotta go. Then there's that defunct motel along Vickers (the one that's fenced off).

I'd like to see that space cleared (as well as SouthBank) for some multi-story buildings to attact larger businesses to downtown. There's lots of potential there for small and medium sized business, but the big spaces are already snapped up.

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Yeah, that building has gotta go. Then there's that defunct motel along Vickers (the one that's fenced off).

I'd like to see that space cleared (as well as SouthBank) for some multi-story buildings to attact larger businesses to downtown. There's lots of potential there for small and medium sized business, but the big spaces are already snapped up.

The medical arts building as well as the "We want Oprah" building could improved dramatically with some TLC. They will eventually be redeveloped but the market is not ready for that yet. The "Oprah" building is diagonal from the Civic Center and supposedly has a outdoor pool on the 3rd/4th floor. With a little creativity, it could become a funky boutique. I'm thinking contemporary (IKEA-like) furniture with a flat screen in each room.

Medical Arts and the next-door apartments could be rehabbed as office and residential space, respectively. The fenced hotel would probably need to be redeveloped along with the rest of the block. In reality, Durham has a ton of redevelopment potential downtown without touching the storefronts that are part of the historic district. From the car lots south of downtown to the eastern industrial area to the old ballpark area and finally the Medical Arts/defunct hotel area.

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All of the above.

I'm glad other people see the potential for some really cool re-development in the area. I'm very impressed with many of the rehabbed areas so far, and I'm optimistic about the future of the Bull City.

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Since this is a wish list:

New Convention Center and complementary hotel smaller than Raleigh's new one that will allow the Triangle to still compete with small/medium markets still. It should be built over the train tracks serving as a bridge between ATHD and the CBD. The bridge is in the Downtown Master Plan but there was only a brief mention of other cities that have used development bridges over rail to connect two areas.

It would be nice to keep the current Civic Center for local events. Maybe even sell it to the Marriott. I think the city is currently looking at expanding the Civic Center.

I would also like to see a club district develop (never mind been there done that). :) Durhamites can talk about theirselves...

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The bridge is in the Downtown Master Plan but there was only a brief mention of other cities that have used development bridges over rail to connect two areas.

Yeah, it was definitely in the 99 Plan, but I've not heard any mention lately of a development bridge over the RR tracks.

http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/departments/eed/pdf/ch_07.pdf

The latest plans for the area I saw didn't include it- just some buildings along the RR tracks where that old depot is now (and next to the future Performing Arts Center). Perhaps ATHD and Durham couldn't stomach another big private-public initiative.

But it would be really cool, and there needs to be a good way to connect ATHD to downtown. It would provide lots of space, and would be far better than the tunnel under the tracks that Norfolk Southern was once promoting.

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I'd love to see that "gap" between ATHD and the CBD visually closed up (or filled, I should say). I don't like walking down Corcoran/Blackwell over 30 yards of train tracks where there's no sidewalks. Once Phase II is done and the theatre is in place, I think developers and the city will take a serious look at doing something there.

A lot of what was mentioned in that plan seems to have fizzled out.

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A lot of what was mentioned in that plan seems to have fizzled out.

It's a 20 year plan so its only been in effect for 5/6-years. Years 5-10 should be very interesting especially once Lemanski (Greenfire) completes acquiring properties and starts renovating agressively. There are a ton of CBD buildings slated for renovation. The completion of the Main/Chapel Hill Streetscape next spring will help tremendously along with Struever Bros. work on Phase III of the ATHD complex.

I also see more people than expected making the trek across the dreaded rail tracks. I pray for an intelligible solution.

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