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Hillsborough Street - NCSU Area developments


orulz

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Parking on NC State campus (except for a couple of lots that happen to be right near Hillsborough Street, but including the lot at North Hall) is free after 5 and all weekend. Just because UNC restricts parking on campus does not mean NCSU does as well. Paking is free in the neighborhood north of Hillsborough Street before 11. They even tore down a couple of older houses between i love NY Pizza and Bruggers Bagels to provide *more* parking but no one uses it because it costs to park there. People don't park there because there are too few things to actually do there.

Hillsborough Street never adapted from the legal drinking age change from 18 to 21. When college students could no longer patronize the bars (which were prevalent, especially around Darryl's/Player's Retreat), soldiers from Fayetville drove up to meet women. This led to a lot of fighting which started to give Hillsborough Street its rough image. Later, neighbors caught person, who was not a student, urinating in a bush on videotape. Wild and crazy *students* were never the problem, but were assigned all the blame because they couldn't defend themselves. This lead to revoking alcohol licences to all bars that closed, and no new permits for any other businesses. Two Guys, Brothers, Mitches, and other existing businesses were happy with the elimination of competition. As a high tide rises all boats, a low tide gets them all stuck in the mud. Bars moved downtown to Glenwood South, Moore Square, and the Warehouse district and took their nightlife with them. There is a cycical "with all those students nearby, I can make a fortune" influx of new stores, only to be followed by closures a year or two later.

The surface parking lots mentioned above, the string of parking between the street and shops from Gardner to Dixie, the driveways on both sides of Wachovia, and the parking beneath Western Lanes make the north side of Hillsborough -- the potential heart of the district -- a problem. The high number of driveways makes the area pedestrian unfriendly *and* takes away land that could be used for more shops. Readers Corner, Cup A Joe, Two Guys, and Sadlacks - the area's institutions, are not within (pleasant) walking distance of each other.

Imagine Franklin or Ninth Street with a driveway every second or third store door. Take away one side of the street although the west side of 9th street partially does this. And make sure the nearby neighborhood is almost exclusively single family homes, with a lot of them not needing a text book or cheap slice of pizza.

The panhandlers congregate on Hillsborough Street because a) college students tend to be more sympathetic b) students have cash on them c) you can see a long way in each direction to look out for police officers (which used to patrol on bikes, but only when the weather permits) and d) several live nearby, especially in the rooming houses from Logan/Chamberlain through Maiden Lane.

The city spent a lot of money on the streetscape (sidewalk, trees) when the porn theater (formerly McDonalds, now a bookstore) and bars (replaced by university offices which are dead space after 5) were removed in the mid-late 80s. The Electric Comapny Mall, at Pogue Street, had a food court (later converted into Pack Backers) and shops that couldn't lure students away from the convenience of University Dining's food court/mini-bookstore under the D.H. Hill Library. McDonalds said it couldn't survive because it didn't have a drive through. Having people harass you for money and food *inside the McDonalds* didn't help either. Even Starbucks couldn't make a go of it on the street, though there is plenty of coffee competition nearby.

The alternate routes that should handle a lot of Hillsborough Street's traffic -- Wade Avenue and Western Blvd -- are too far away. Clark/Peace is an ok alternate, but it dead ends at Brooks and goes through a neighborhood.

The city needs to decide if the vehicle or the pedestrian should be more important in that part of Hillsborough Street. Roundabouts are *not* going to be the magic bullet to solve the problem, regardless of what Bill Pagett thinks. He has the benefit of being able to organize neighborhood residents, whereas State students are in and out in four or five years and have no long term interest in the area. NC State should help, but any efforts it makes get shot down by the neighborhood not wanting the "bully across the street" telling them what to do.

Hillsborough Street suffers a death by a thousand cuts, which no one project can bandage over.

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does anyone think the fact that hillsborough is pretty much "one-sided" is what is hurting it? with shops/restaurants on one and state campus on the other, it seems to spread everything out. i feel the liveliest part of the street is where east village, the farmhouse, cantina, and PB's are. even the convenience store at that block gets some good business from the crowds that go out there at night. havnt been there in awhile though. thoughts, ideas?

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does anyone think the fact that hillsborough is pretty much "one-sided" is what is hurting it? with shops/restaurants on one and state campus on the other, it seems to spread everything out. i feel the liveliest part of the street is where east village, the farmhouse, cantina, and PB's are. even the convenience store at that block gets some good business from the crowds that go out there at night. havnt been there in awhile though. thoughts, ideas?

I thought that too, until I saw Durham's Ninth Street. Pretty much 99% of that row is also on one side....and it's not even "adjacent" to a university like Hillsborough and Franklin Streets are.

And I think they're using that as a model (somewhat) for the new Hillsborough Street....two lane road with parking on either side.

That, and, only a fraction of the businesses on Ninth Street are actually targeted towards college kids...the rest are fine establishments that try to get locals and students, alike.

Which, as we've noted here, would work on Hillsborough Street, as proven by Fraziers and Porters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if any of you have noticed lately that quite a bit of new stuff has opened up on Hillsborough. There is a new rest. where Q Shack used to be called Raleigh Joes or something like that. Where Kinkos used to be is split into two spaces and one is Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts and the other is Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. It also looks like something is going in beside Fraziers not sure what though. The building with Sir Speedy now has a lighted red sign that says The Electric Co. and there is a new bar called Pi Lounge on the third floor, which has been through several name changes. First it was Cloud 9, then changed to Maanjri Lounge. Maybe Pi lounge is the final name. There is also a new tattoo parlor in the second floor of that building. There is a new cereal shop opening beside two guys called The Bowl if i remember correctly. Looks like Hillsborough St. is getting quite a few new tenants without the street makeover. I hope the construction, whenever it begins, doesn't hurt these places. It was nice to see so many new places open.

Edited by Damien
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Yeah, the only problem is that very few of them have been able to maintain a business for more than a year or two. Look at the businesses you mentioned that were replaced. Many of those spaces have been occupied four or five times over the past 8-10 years. Brothers Pizza was there for what, 30 years and they went out of business recently. I hope that some of this is changing though, especially with the success of Porters, etc.

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Not sure if any of you have noticed lately that quite a bit of new stuff has opened up on Hillsborough. There is a new rest. where Q Shack used to be called Raleigh Joes or something like that. Where Kinkos used to be is split into two spaces and one is Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts and the other is Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. It also looks like something is going in beside Fraziers not sure what though. The building with Sir Speedy now has a lighted red sign that says The Electric Co. and there is a new bar called Pi Lounge on the third floor, which has been through several name changes. First it was Cloud 9, then changed to Maanjri Lounge. Maybe Pi lounge is the final name. There is also a new tattoo parlor in the second floor of that building. There is a new cereal shop opening beside two guys called The Bowl if i remember correctly. Looks like Hillsborough St. is getting quite a few new tenants without the street makeover. I hope the construction, whenever it begins, doesn't hurt these places. It was nice to see so many new places open.

1. Raleigh Joes was open for a few weeks, then went out of business. It's been sitting empty longer than it has had anything.

2. The thing going on beside Frazier's is that Porter's is expanding and opening a "party room" for larger tables.

3. The Electric Company mall was the name of that bldg in the 80s-early 90s. I guess they put the sign up for nostalgia purposes or something.

4. The Bowl, I think is a cereal restaurant. (Yes, you heard me.) :blink: It's simply a side business of Melvin's, I think, taking up the other half of the old Brother's spot.

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One of the problems with Hillsborough Street is not that it is "one sided", but that it is one *dimensional*.

There are only a few places -- the post office, and Foundation's Edge/tattoo parolor/That's Amore in the former Electirc Company Mall -- that are not right on Hillsborough Street. The houses behind the businesses keep any chance of the retail district from expanding. To say nothing of the neighborhood assocation to the north, which works hard to keep on-street parking at a minimum.

9th Street doesn't have much on the "other side" but what is there is fairly big -- Vin Rouge, Kerr Drug, George's Garage, the athletic store, and Wachovia. Also, the "9th Street area" jumps over to Broad Street via Markham, Perry, and Main streets. And there is the shops and restaurants in the base of the Wachovia Tower and high density residences there as well. If Cameron Village was as close as the shopping center with the Whole Foods market, Ben and Jerry, etc. on Broad, it would be more active.

Franklin Street is only partially "one sided", but is longer, all the way to Carrboro. The perpendicular Rosemary Street adds to the corridor.

"Growth" (like the recent additions mentioned earlier) come from cannibalization. Several stores open every fall at the beginning of a new school year, but how many survive? It is nice to see a long dead space like the Lookout/Big Bad Wolf "bubble window" next to Sir Speedy get something. The wave of sandwich shops feels similar to the wave of pizza places about 5-7 years ago.

The only businesses still there from when I started at State in 1991 are Sadlacks, Bruggers, Mitch's, Western Lanes, the flower shop, the salon, Sir Speedy, Foundation's edge, Wachovia, Subway, Cantina, Curious Goods, Pantana Bobs, Reader's Corner and Sub Concious, with Schookids and Kinkos moving.

Part of the reason is that the landlords want high rents due to having close to 30,000 people right across the street nine months out of the year. They will leave a storefront empty until someone takes a chance there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wonder if anybody has ever thought about buying the ugly buildings and tear them down since half go vacant and build a five story building with student housing on 4 floors and retail on the street level floor. And not be ridiculous on the rent either since they are college students. The convienence to be across the street and need no car but still be off campus would be a huge plus. University towers(?) is getting old?

Edited by Cary NC
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^ You know I seem to remember, from several years ago, a developer was going to buy about a block's worth of property on the southside of Hillsborough near the Dixie Trail intersection, and put in such a thing.

I'm guessing by now those plans were dropped because it doesn't look like anything's been done there after almost half a decade. Plus that empty construction equipment dealership is still sitting for sale. :(

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The guy who owns University Towers also owns most of the other land west of Dan Allen between Hillsborough and the railroad tracks, and he has such a plan. He operates most of the land as valparknow, though he is the landlord for several retail buildings in the area such as the Cantina.

I'm sure the parking operation is quite profitable so he's not in a hurry to do this until he's certain he can turn a handsome profit with the development. This probably won't happen until Hillsborough is beautified and no longer looks like this:

stanhope12.jpgstanhope15.jpg

stanhope16.jpgstanhope17.jpg

The project is called Stanhope Village, and there's some discussion about it in this thread from July 2005.

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^ Ah yes. I remember now...Stanhope. Yeah, that block, especially as you've shown in the first pic, is by far the saddest-looking block of the strip. (It makes the part across the street from the NCSU library look classy in comparison!)

The big exception of course, being those cute bungalows way back behind all that.

I did notice someone tore down that nasty old laundromat next to Subconscious. Anyone clued in on what will go in its place? (Please don't say a parking lot!)

Edited by RaleighRob
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I noticed the laundromat went poof too. I don't think anyone will miss it. I did laundry there exactly one time, and I think my clothes came out worse than when they went in! Well not really, but only half the machines worked.

Is there any reason that uniform cleaning building west of the old laundrymat is still there? It could extend Stanhope Village further, though there may be a problem living near the Progress Energy transformers between it and the Arbys?

Stanhope Village's small area plan lead consultant was one Russ Stephenson (scroll down to his profile), so the project has at least one fan on the city council. If Valentine is using this project as ransom to get the city to pony up for traffic circles, I have no sympathy for him. There used to be buildings (warehouses?) behind the stretch from Gumbys to Capital Comics that were uncermoniously torn down to create more parking spaces. They used to be notorius for towing people out of the lot right behind the Brewery, but I think that has calmed down somewhat.

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I noticed the laundromat went poof too. I don't think anyone will miss it. I did laundry there exactly one time, and I think my clothes came out worse than when they went in! Well not really, but only half the machines worked.

Is there any reason that uniform cleaning building west of the old laundrymat is still there? It could extend Stanhope Village further, though there may be a problem living near the Progress Energy transformers between it and the Arbys?

Stanhope Village's small area plan lead consultant was one Russ Stephenson (scroll down to his profile), so the project has at least one fan on the city council. If Valentine is using this project as ransom to get the city to pony up for traffic circles, I have no sympathy for him. There used to be buildings (warehouses?) behind the stretch from Gumbys to Capital Comics that were uncermoniously torn down to create more parking spaces. They used to be notorius for towing people out of the lot right behind the Brewery, but I think that has calmed down somewhat.

I have seen pictures where the neighborhood of bungalows behind Readers Corner used to extend all the way to Dan Allen. The flower shop, Cantina, Farmhouse Pizza, and the yellow house accrossfrom cup o joe are vestiges of it.

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The last couple bungalows in that row heading east towards NC State are seedy looking concrete block houses on a nearly treeless tundrascape. Generally, as you move further west, the houses get nicer, and once you get to the bend in Stanhope Avenue it looks like a really nice little neighborhood.

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I don't know how it is now, but when I went to state in the early-mid 90s, some of the larger fraternities used to rent the houses on the east end and used the yards as a parking lot for their members. When someone was there, they were drinking most of the time.

It is weird that the redevlopment brought on by University Tower and the Dan Allen Parking deck was designed to go further west, but never did in the 15+ years since. The yellow house across from Cup A Joe had the occasional shop, but has been empty for years. The Gumbys and Pantan Bobs/Captial Comics buildings on the south side of Hillsborough seem to be cinderblock buildings, different than the red brick of the A.E. Finlely building.

The different "districts" along the street should be an argument *against* a "one Hillsborough Street fits all" master plan from Gorman Street to Oberlin. Traffic circles, medians, etc. may be appropriate in some sections of the street, but not the whole length.

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I don't know how it is now, but when I went to state in the early-mid 90s, some of the larger fraternities used to rent the houses on the east end and used the yards as a parking lot for their members. When someone was there, they were drinking most of the time.

It is weird that the redevlopment brought on by University Tower and the Dan Allen Parking deck was designed to go further west, but never did in the 15+ years since. The yellow house across from Cup A Joe had the occasional shop, but has been empty for years. The Gumbys and Pantan Bobs/Captial Comics buildings on the south side of Hillsborough seem to be cinderblock buildings, different than the red brick of the A.E. Finlely building.

The different "districts" along the street should be an argument *against* a "one Hillsborough Street fits all" master plan from Gorman Street to Oberlin. Traffic circles, medians, etc. may be appropriate in some sections of the street, but not the whole length.

Hey man, I love the gritty 'district' from Wolf Mart to Subconscious, which include the grit stores of Curious Goods, Cup a Joe, Cantina, Farmhouse Pizza, East Village (not so gritty), that thrift store upsairs with the manaquin, college beverage, blue flame tatoo, pantanas (both of them) gumbys, Wilmont apartments, the other apartments accross the street, readers corner, the other used bookstore, the latin grocery and other stores I am forgetting....I personally don't want that strip revamped or even the power lines buried, it is busy and active, just not clean....I don't think someones dislike of grit qualifies this strip as needing torn up at all...it would be a shame if this area became like F-Street is now, clean but lifeless.

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^ You have a point. I doubt most of us would want to get rid of an area's character. I guess there's just differing views of "character". Me? Personally I'm cool with it as long as:

1-the empty buildings are filled,

2- the falling down ones fixed or replaced,

3- Litter and garbage are picked up,

4- Crime and vagrants don't become an issue...

then I'm cool with some "grit". :D

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For the Subconcious to Wolf Mart stretch, the only thing I would change is replacing one of the repair shops on the west end with somethign else and replacing either the used import car place by Cup A Joe or repair shop next to PizzAmerica. I liked the little parts of cement that made the south side of Hillsborough "bikeable" with the steep curbs, though they should get curb cuts to be more handicap accessible. The utility poles give plenty of real estate to advertise upcoming concerts, etc. I don't think it would be the same with roundabouts. I miss the Blue Basoon, a retro arcade for a year or so where Blue Flame is now. I did what I could to support it, but it wasn't enough.

The (new) Schoolkids to Bruggers stretch needs to try to keep the storefronts as full as they are now. The mix of high end (Fraziers, Porters) and low end (sandwich shops, bowl) hopefully will work, but there is little retail (compared to Franklin or 9th Street, or even west of Dixie) and mostly food. As busy as the Brickyard gets during lunch, it is odd that little of that trickles over to this part of the street.

The Sadlacks to Oberlin stretch has been in decline with the twin Cream and Bean/Darryl's closings, but the new owners of Players Retreat seem to be doing well. I don't know when Sadlacks or Raisin' Ale (Darryl's replacement by the Est Est Est/Cuba owner) will be open, but they both don't cater specifically to college students.

With engineering's move to Centennial, Misson Valley may start to get some of Hillsborough Street's business. The on campus apartment complex near the McKimmon center could push those students to the Western Blvd fast food valley.

I would like to see Hillsborough Street thrive, but it isn't going to be easy. Raleigh is sprawl, corporate, and chain everything, so of course this is all imaginary.

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The (new) Schoolkids to Bruggers stretch needs to try to keep the storefronts as full as they are now. The mix of high end (Fraziers, Porters) and low end (sandwich shops, bowl) hopefully will work, but there is little retail (compared to Franklin or 9th Street, or even west of Dixie) and mostly food. As busy as the Brickyard gets during lunch, it is odd that little of that trickles over to this part of the street.

With Cameron Village so close by, I doubt Hillsborough Street will ever have as much retail as Franklin or Ninth. It'll keep some of the obvious: convenience stores, textbook/book/comic stores, banks, copy shops, etc. And it's now gone from 2 music stores to only one now, with the closing of Record Exchange. Any other type of retail I just can't see doing well there. (It's a miracle that Jewelry shop is still there.)

Food & Drink are definitely the best chance Hillsborough Street has to succeed. Besides, they're the only things that are open nights and weekends anyways.

Edited by RaleighRob
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I just drove by the old Darryl's building and instead of seeing the sign for the Raising Ale place, I saw a new For Lease sign. I called the number but haven't gotten a response. Anyone know what's going on? I never really saw much construction/remodeling going on by the Raising Ale people, but I'm guessing that building needs a lot of work.

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^ Aw man, I was afraid of that!

Totally sucks. If someone really was willing to do the necessary upgrades to put a good restaurant in there, they could do pretty well, if the food's good! That's like the only restaurant space on the ncsu stretch of Hillsborough that's got good parking access and is within a walking distance of a big hotel. You'd think it's a prime spot!

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