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Tayfromcarolina

Lafayette Village

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News and Observer 9/8/06In todays N & O there is a write up in the North Raleigh Section about a new village center about to get under construction at the corner of Falls of Neuse and Honeycutt Roads in North Raleigh. Lafayette Village will have 73,000 sq. ft. of retail and offices. And will be styled after a European Village with stone streets and alleys. Parking will be limited to the periphery of the property and of course the project will be upscale.

I am loving this kind of infill. It keeps sprawl to a minimum and promotes a walkable/bicycle oriented enviornment. That area is heavily residential. In fact new development directly behind this one "Lafayette" has home in in approaching $1,000,000 so this is not your average retail development.

* A similar type development will be built shortly at the intersection of Forestville and Mitchell Mill Rds in Northeast Raleigh. Not quite as upscale but same concept. :lol:

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N&O excerpts:

Most of the buildings will have only one floor of retail, but they'll all appear to be two floors, according to the plans. In some, there will be offices on the second floor. In all, about 15,000 square feet will be in office space, said marketing director Diane Johnston.

Investor Paul Bronson called the design a "French village look."

"We can pick and choose the best of everything," he said, because of the project's theme and location, which he said has a lot to do with its proximity to Interstate 540.

"It'll almost be like going to a cocktail party," he said.

Village Shmillage. This is a small theme park at a suburban intersection. Real villages contain...VILLAGERS! (aka residents)

Any street improvements to enable nearby neighborhoods to walk to the "village?" No, but there will be 282 parking spaces. On a per-square-ft basis, this development has slightly less parking than Southpoint Mall.

Is it better than everything else in the Triangle? Yes, marginally. This project is facadism. Take the same suburban concept that brought us Cary Crossroads and No Hope Commons, and pretend to create an urban concept by giving it many urban trappings internally while maintaining a suburban orientation externally. To the extent that the local office workers can walk to lunch, it's a minor improvement as well.

In a metropolitan region crying out desperately for a sense of place amid miles of faceless development, this place will probably do quite well. But is it really infill as it is just south of the outer loop? Is it contributing to an improvement of urbanism in the Triangle, or is it just another piece of suburbia with better threads? I'm just not that impressed.

It's better than a lot of recent development if you set the bar low enough. But it's not a village. Not even close.

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N&O excerpts:

Village Shmillage. This is a small theme park at a suburban intersection. Real villages contain...VILLAGERS! (aka residents)

Any street improvements to enable nearby neighborhoods to walk to the "village?" No, but there will be 282 parking spaces. On a per-square-ft basis, this development has slightly less parking than Southpoint Mall.

Is it better than everything else in the Triangle? Yes, marginally. This project is facadism. Take the same suburban concept that brought us Cary Crossroads and No Hope Commons, and pretend to create an urban concept by giving it many urban trappings internally while maintaining a suburban orientation externally. To the extent that the local office workers can walk to lunch, it's a minor improvement as well.

In a metropolitan region crying out desperately for a sense of place amid miles of faceless development, this place will probably do quite well. But is it really infill as it is just south of the outer loop? Is it contributing to an improvement of urbanism in the Triangle, or is it just another piece of suburbia with better threads? I'm just not that impressed.

It's better than a lot of recent development if you set the bar low enough. But it's not a village. Not even close.

Well said.

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I agree with Transitman...this thing sounds like Brier Creek...trying to look like a "village" but turns out to just be sprawl with a prettier face.

And infill? I don't think anything this far out can be called infill by a longshot.

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I disagree. That area is already in the city limits. So it dosent make the city extend out any further than it already does. It's not the CBD but still it utilizes space already in the cities bounderies. And it's not completely suburban in nature.

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By definition, it is still considered infill but i still have to agree with transitman, this development does nothing for Raleigh as improving urbanism and smart planning. I'm dissapointed that the streets don't have parking. This just makes the development and outdoor mall. In my humble opinion it could be done better.

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I agree with citiboi. Even though it is infill, the development continues the same development pattern with a pedistrian mall in the middle - all inward focusing.

I did find the planning document if anyone is interested. it is a PDF file.

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"It was more of a rural setting," said former owner Bryan Upchurch, referring to 1978, when he purchased the land. "It was back in the woods. But modern day stuff has moved in around it."

This happened in less than 30 years. The fact that Wakefiled is even further out and built a few years ago t does not make this "infill". The same can be said of Beaver Creek in Apex. Dining optoins along Falls of the Neuse fizzle out north of 540, but there wouldn't be a need for upscale restaurants and botiques so far from the city's center if subdivision nightmares did not pop up at the city limits. Roads, schools, sewer, water, police, fire, sanitation, and other services are all extended with little to no impact fee attached. And now the whole city has to pay for this "growth" so two families can make $3 million for their land.

The sea of parking will act as a "moat" to keep any unwanted pedestrians from accidently walking into any of these places.

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I did find the planning document if anyone is interested. it is a PDF file.

Nice find! After seeing this plan, I take back my comments about it being an improvement on business as usual. What a crappy site plan. None of the buildings face the street, everything is surrounded by parking. The "French Village" core is surrounded by the suburban auto slum America pattern- the amount of suspension of disbelief you'll need to think you're someplace special will be pretty powerful here. You could have put the parking all to one side so that at least somewhere, you could look out between the buildings and not see suburban-style parking.

I'd also like to heap some scorn on the development code in Raleigh before signing off. Check this out:

BLOCK LAYOUT: The proposed street layout conforms to City Code, providing for efficient

circulation of traffic within the entire neighborhood area. The maximum block length in this development meets the 1500-foot standard as noted in the Streets, Sidewalks and Driveway Access Handbook. No dead end street in this development exceeds 800 feet in length.

Unbelievable! First of all, this isn't a "block," and there isn't a block pattern in this area of the city. Second, if the guiding documents of the city of Raleigh declare that surrounding office and retail uses with a ring of parking promotes efficient circulation of traffic in the entire neighborhood area, the UDO for Raleigh ought to be called "auto dependency by design."

A 1500-foot standard for a maximum block is also staggering. Portland, OR has mostly 200-ft blocks. Okay, I'll get off the soapbox now.

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there wouldn't be a need for upscale restaurants and botiques so far from the city's center if subdivision nightmares did not pop up at the city limits. Roads, schools, sewer, water, police, fire, sanitation, and other services are all extended with little to no impact fee attached. And now the whole city has to pay for this "growth" so two families can make $3 million for their land.

Totally agree.

The sea of parking will act as a "moat" to keep any unwanted pedestrians from accidently walking into any of these places.

LOL!

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Question: Who should one complain to about the decisions to create developments like this? On one hand, the developer came up with the idea, but on the other, the city continues to approve 'bad' development.

When it comes to the city council and approving development, there's a double standard: Let's redevelop downtown, let's allow the city to grow un-hemmed.

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Nice find! After seeing this plan, I take back my comments about it being an improvement on business as usual. What a crappy site plan. None of the buildings face the street, everything is surrounded by parking. The "French Village" core is surrounded by the suburban auto slum America pattern- the amount of suspension of disbelief you'll need to think you're someplace special will be pretty powerful here. You could have put the parking all to one side so that at least somewhere, you could look out between the buildings and not see suburban-style parking.

I'd also like to heap some scorn on the development code in Raleigh before signing off. Check this out:

Unbelievable! First of all, this isn't a "block," and there isn't a block pattern in this area of the city. Second, if the guiding documents of the city of Raleigh declare that surrounding office and retail uses with a ring of parking promotes efficient circulation of traffic in the entire neighborhood area, the UDO for Raleigh ought to be called "auto dependency by design."

A 1500-foot standard for a maximum block is also staggering. Portland, OR has mostly 200-ft blocks. Okay, I'll get off the soapbox now.

In reading that section - seems like they are talking about the existing lot which is surrounded by roads to begin with - so that is an already defined block that meets the "standard" which shouldn't be evaluated to begin with.

Ah...I did find information on the small area plan for that area of the city. Kind of a shock to read....especially considering how important Falls of Neuse Road is as a major thorough fare - contradition of what the comprehensive plan dictates - low density with a high density road and highway! I hope the Planning Director will turn these issues around.

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The huge underlying dilemma is that this city's traffic 'circulation' is dependant on a couple of dozen major roads, one of which is Falls of the Neuse. Instead of 10 or more boulevards dropping south from 540 with gridded neighborhoods between them, we have our 4 or 5 major thoroughfares that no sidewalk cafe could ever exist beside. I dislike this development, but I dislike the underlying conditions that make a development want to turn away from the roads, even more.....of course facing the buildings towards the smaller streets and putting an office component up againt Falls would be better, but the point is that roads like Falls make everything more difficult....

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I'd like to see the developers of this project try and pitch this idea to a group of Europeans. They'd get laughed out of the room!

Last I checked, Raleigh already has a "village" with stone streets and alleys: It's called City Market.

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This thing reminds me so much of Peachtree Market and Waverly Place; two failing shopping centers located directly across the street from thriving junk. I can just see someone throwing up some sea of asphault piece of junk across the street and thriving.

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I'd like to see the developers of this project try and pitch this idea to a group of Europeans. They'd get laughed out of the room!

Last I checked, Raleigh already has a "village" with stone streets and alleys: It's called City Market.

AMEN! Heck, even Cameron Village comes much closer to being a "village" than this does. At least its businesses actually face the street! :P

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AMEN! Heck, even Cameron Village comes much closer to being a "village" than this does. At least its businesses actually face the street! :P

That's true, but Cameron Village still has a perimeter of surface parking. Then again, when you consider location, Cameron Village is a hands-down favorite to this ridiculous project out in the sticks.

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Off topic a bit, but Cameron Village was actually the first "major" suburban development in Raleigh, if I'm not mistaken. I know York Properties developed it back in the 1950s. The fact that the stores are set back behind the parking lots is as auto-centric as it gets. The only thing that helps it for pedestrians is the scale of the place, which is much more manageable on foot than most of todays monsterous heaps of sprawling garbage (cough--Briar Creek :sick: ). Still, I rarely see people walking too much around there.

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Off topic a bit, but Cameron Village was actually the first "major" suburban development in Raleigh, if I'm not mistaken. I know York Properties developed it back in the 1950s. The fact that the stores are set back behind the parking lots is as auto-centric as it gets. The only thing that helps it for pedestrians is the scale of the place, which is much more manageable on foot than most of todays monsterous heaps of sprawling garbage (cough--Briar Creek :sick: ). Still, I rarely see people walking too much around there.

Oh totally agreed. I only brought up Cameron Village as what I'd consider a bare minimum of what could constitute a "village" development. I definitely agree with JDC that City Market is a way better example. Yet for all its "suburban faults", when you compare Cameron Village with today's typical suburban shopping megaplex, it certainly is a better alternative. (Stores facing the streets, tons of bus stops, somewhat pedestrian-friendly, fits well within the surrounding city streets, etc.)

Today's "village" developments like the one in this thread, Brier Creek, and a few others: YIKES! :wacko:

No thanks! :rolleyes:

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Cameron Village's best aspect is its integration with the surrounding neighborhoods and street grids-- just to reemphasize!

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Cameron Village is *walkable* but rarely *walked*. It was the first shopping center in the southeast, and cars have always dominated. Cars do not respect pedestrians in the HT parking lot, let alone in crosswalks. I walked in the snow to the laundrymat, and everyone in there looked at me like i was insane... It has two grocery stores, yet people would rather go once a week and drive 1/2 mile instead of going twice a week and carry groceries home. North Hills is kinda guilty of this too -- Lassiter Mill cuts The Lassiter off from the rest of NH. The pedestrian crossing forces you into the L with Vivace and then over to the Harris Teeter, etc.

There could be a lot of parallels between Waverly Place and the New European Village -- they both target higher incomes yet don't really offer anything to make it a destination for enough people to remain viable. And have no medium to high density residential nearby.

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Ran across this article this morning in the N&O and thought it was pretty cool. At the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Honeycutt, a developer secured 20 million for the construction of a shopping center that is rather different. I hope it is successful.

Stores in the 73,000-square-foot center will face inward, separated by narrow roads. No cars will be able to drive through the center. Rather, shoppers will park on the perimeter and walk in, or they park in an underground deck and take the elevator.

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1256835.html

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Shorter Jack Hagel: "I am easily duped by promotional materials and cannot tell the difference between a village and an upmarket strip mall."

Check out the updated website for Lafayette Village. It definitely appears that they are trying to replicate the feel of a true European Village. I'm excited to see something like this coming to raleigh, but i only wish that it were closeer to downtown.

Lafayette Village

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^ Sure those pictures look great. Very Euro-trendy, I agree. But then one look at the site plan of what will ACTUALLY be built (note the vast moat of surface parking), and we find there's nothing remotely European about it.

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