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Downtown Raleigh's Future


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So what do think will come first to DT Raleigh?.... Movie theater or a big time retail chain. ie Borders, Barnes and Noble, Target.. something like that.

Good question...

I would have to say something like Target, being it has broad appeal. Target could catch shoppers that are both just passing by on their way home from their DT job and need to run in and get something as well as the people who actually live downtown, giving them a broader market. Most people who would visit a DT movie theatre would be people who live down there and without a large pool of potential movie-goers, it would be tought to make it. Another thing, Target and other like stores sell things that people need on constant business, thus raising the potential for frequent business.

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  • 4 weeks later...

FYI, there is a meeting on an interim downtown plan (register here) for raleigh taking place on Feb 20 from 6-8pm at the Urban Design Center at Hargett/Fayetteville St.

The notice says:

The Department of City Planning will be hosting an open public meeting on February 20th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at the Urban Design Center (133 Fayetteville Street) that will focus on the development of the Interim Downtown Plan. The Interim Downtown Plan is intended to address certain policy gaps not covered in the current comprehensive plan or other council-approved planning documents. This document is part of the approved timeline of events towards the eventual completion of the new Comprehensive Plan for the City of Raleigh.

During the meeting, staff of the City

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  • 1 month later...

Denver has a nice vibrant downtown with lots of commerial, and tons of shopping and residential. It has a real 24/7 type feel. And is really clean also. I think Raleigh should emmulate that city. Especially 16th street.

Denver is a "big city" partly by geographic necessity and partly because of the rapid growth early in its life. I too love Denver in a lot of ways. Transit is great, good mixed use and historic reuse of buildings and the sports venues are close to and compliment downtown.

Edited by Jones133
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if this has already been posted, but I thought it was worth posting.

Council Selects Firm To Install Downtown Wayfinding Signs

The wayfinding system will use signs to help direct visitors to downtown from Raleigh's major entryways and direct them to locations within downtown, such as parking areas and attractions. Signs for both pedestrians and motorists will be used. The wayfinding signs are expected to be installed this summer prior to the fall opening of the new downtown convention center.
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The Department of City Planning will be hosting an open public meeting on February 20th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at the Urban Design Center (133 Fayetteville Street) that will focus on the development of the Interim Downtown Plan. The Interim Downtown Plan is intended to address certain policy gaps not covered in the current comprehensive plan or other council-approved planning documents. This document is part of the approved timeline of events towards the eventual completion of the new Comprehensive Plan for the City of Raleigh.

During the meeting, staff of the City

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The Interim Downtown Framework will be presented to Council today at 6:30 pm. Tonight is the beginning of the public comment process, so if you have any feelings about the policies - now is the time to make them known. The Planning Commission will take up the policies at their next meeting.

A link to the policies is below sorry for the length.

http://www.raleighnc.gov/portal/server.pt/...wn_Framewo.html

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

"The only problem is finishing our stuff fast enough to get it leased," said Greg Hatem, Empire's managing partner.

Certainly good to hear. I guess the L-Bldg will be going up soon (parking deck is well underway). This also bodes well for the other large office projects such as Charter Square (site 1) and Edison's potential office tower. RBC Plaza still has some space, but I don't think it's more than a few floors worth.

I've got to think the long term prospects of $4+ gas, and the greening of the economy will have more and more companies slowly thinking about moving downtown.

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I've got to think the long term prospects of $4+ gas, and the greening of the economy will have more and more companies slowly thinking about moving downtown.

You could be onto something here...

MSNBC is reporting that more and more companies are embracing "green commuting" now, even offering free bikes to employees. That being said, as businesses start thinking this way, it would be much easier to get them on board supporting mass transit and offering incentives to employees to use it. My company does this in major metros, giving employees "commuting cards" that are usable on mass transit lines in their respective metro areas. On a side note, my employer is experimenting now with making all its stores (at least its new ones) LEED certified. I am really hoping this trend continues with all businesses :).

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24203680/

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  • 1 month later...

  • 3 weeks later...

Good article in the N&O this morning basically summarizing the projects that have been stalled. They also go on to say that major retailers have shown interest in DTR, BUT, when they drop anchor will depend on these condo projects and others:

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1136554.html

I get tired of the N&O refusing to understand or address additional reasons for projects stalling, such as poor location (Seaboard), too high price points(Reynolds, Lafayette, 630 North) or architecture that does appeal to local buyers(Boylan Flats, Glen on Peace). Downtown will continue to grow nicely if the apartments planned come online. There is plenty of interest...I get asked to help people find places to live downtown every week....its a matter of providing the right product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I own a condo downtown (Hudson) and rent it out now, we are planning to move into the unit in a couple years, we spend time downtown and really think the area is poised to grow. One issue which has become more than a little annoying is the aggressive panhandlers. I'm no stranger to urban living, but I'm not used to panhandlers that will approach you looking for money (as opposed to sitting and shaking a cup...). Don't get me wrong all through college and grad school I volunteered one evening a week, helping out at a homeless shelter. I am not cold to these guys, but frankly I don't want them approaching my wife, intimidating her while they are looking for a handout (for who knows what....). Any comments on the issue? We recently spent a long weekend downtown and were approached at least once a day/night. How do other cities address the issue, and what can we, as a group of interested/concerned citizens do to discourage these guys?

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^ I can't recall if Raleigh has a specific "aggressive panhandling" ordinance or not, but surely if you or your wife ever feel threatened you shouldn't hesitate to report it to a policeman.

The Downtown Alliance has several of their "roaming downtown ambassadors" around on foot/bike too...they have walkie-talkies that can contact one of the downtown beat cops if necessary as well.

And if you see dark areas due to poor lighting, you'd want to avoid them obviously...but also report them to the city so they can fix that. (I myself have had more than a few calls made to both the city and Progress Energy about their pathetic ability to leave streetlights burned out for months at a time.)

Edited by RaleighRob
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This issue both is and isn't a problem. I get asked almost every time I go out and some do curse at you etc. Our geographically small downtown has alot of services nearby, Church of the Good Shepard soup kitchen, Salvation Army, Raleigh Rescue Mission and its Open Door Chapel(these three are all next to Moore Square), The women's centers, the CAT station, Wake County Courthouse and Jail, and the many bail bonds all contribute to the presence of people that want a handout. I alternate between conversational and polite to threatening them in return depending on their attitude and approach. I gave a guy 10 bucks once who never asked me for a dime, he just sat and talked about his ex-girlfriend. I also ran after a guy who used some foul language towards me and told him to leave the area right away or i'd call the police. The presence of downtown patrons around the area helps me feel comfortable no matter who wanders up. The "is and isn't" part of it all depends on you as a person. I don't have small children or family to worry about so its not a problem for me. For others and downtowns overall health I definitely see where it could be a problem. In the end I think the police and ambassadors as front line folks needs orders from the City to aggressively step in every time someone asks for anything, like was done with sleeping in Moore and Nash Squares about 10 years ago.

Edited by Jones133
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The F Street side of the Hudson is a bit of a panhandler magnet, since they can watch TV and get weather info courtesy of WTVD 11. For the future of downtown, I hope pedestrian traffic continues to increase to the point that there are enough eyes on the street to make people not feel threatened.

I don't know the official definition of "aggressive", but I think it is something along the lines of continuing to ask after someone says no, since "no" seems to be effective. Lately there has been a rise in passive-agressive, where a "no" gets a mumbled curse word in reply. And they have to have a begging permit due to legistlation from the Fezter/Coble era. I've never seen a begging permit, but I've never asked for one either. Door to door panhandling still exists east of downtown, but it has dropped off significantly in the last few years.

Personally, I would like the city to revise the definition of "aggressive panhandling" to include panhandlers who walk with/following someone. I don't know why my freedom of minding my own business is less than the freedom of someone else to stop me to "ax me a question". I have no problem with people sitting with a cup and maybe a sign, even though that "looks bad" from a tourism perspective.

I point out several resources available downtown and that I often give them money for that very purpose. If they knew of those and still ask me for money, I have no sympathy for them. Unless I'm going to eat or drink, I rarely carry more than $1 and change to get a drink at Taz's, Seven Even, etc.

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I am a single female and after having experienced "professional" panhandlers, I have developed the following tack to deal with them. I donate to organizations, not individuals (unless I know exactly where the money is going). I do not want to be responsible for enabling someone's problems.

If someone approaches me, follows me, and asks for spare change, I tell them I don't have any cash, and they usually move on. My boyfriend will usually hold up one hand and just say no before they get the chance to ask, and that usually is enough. We are usually courteous and respectful, yet firm and authoritative. I haven't been cursed at yet in Raleigh.

If someone approaches me asking for money for something specific, such as a bus ticket or food, I reiterate the "no cash" stance and offer to buy it for them. "Hey, I'll be glad to take you over to the bus terminal and buy you a ticket." "I'd be happy to buy you a sandwich from McD's." I would be willing to purchase a ticket for someone who really needs it, and I have given leftover food to people who were claiming to be hungry, but this is a good way to find out what their real intentions are. This approach is most often met with a "No thanks" so they are caught in a lie and usually don't pursue it any further.

I think if the majority of people took similar approaches instead of giving in to just anyone who approaches people to ask for money, there would be less incentive to approach or be aggressive in the first place. If they are truly in need, there are resources available for them other than being enabled by a naive public.

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^ What you described is about how I tend to handle it. It can get very annoying at times, especially when it's the same people over and over. I try to stay civil with people, but sometimes it's a major struggle to stay calm.

From what I've heard and experienced, Raleigh is not that bad compared to other cities. My theory is it just seems that way since many times the streets are fairly empty... so it feels like more of an issue than it would elsewhere. If you're walking down the street with 100 other people, one bum is going to blend in and chances are you won't even interact. If it's just you and your wife, then there's a strong chance he'll approach you. There's strength in numbers.

As far as enforcement, I'm not sure what can be done. Even if there's a panhandling ordinance, with some of the gang and other more pressing issues going on, it would be hard to dedicate police officers to the 'downtown bum beat.' Maybe they could do a 'bum sweep' once a month and try to move these guys out, but I'm not sure where they'd go and for how long. I know the DRA will escort people at night if they feel nervous but I doubt the DRA Ambassadors have authority to do anything with panhandlers.

The degree to which you see panhandling as a problem is completely personal preference, and to me, I don't see it as a huge problem... more of a minor inconvenience.

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I always tell panhandlers I donate money only to charities and my special-interest groups and leave it at that. If they get aggressive and to the point of being harrassing, I just call the police right there on my cell phone. I don't fool with them. On a side note, I saw my first ever panhandler on Capital (around New Hope Church/Capital intersection) and she was obviously professional. Wherever traffic would be stopped around the intersection, she would walk among the cars banging on people's winows to get them to roll them down and show them her sign that read something about having 3 kids and being homeless (there were no kids around). While she was doing it, she made the mistake of banging on the window of an undercover Raleigh police car :rofl: . Needless to say the cops didn't leave her to panhandling and she left in the back of the car.

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I have seen whole families begging at the entrance to TTC before. The beggers have been following the new development outward. The decaying areas don't make 'em much cash but the new areas can sometimes. They are not here quite as much as say the Hillsborough St/440 ramp or Lake Boone 440 ramp, but I have always considered it not an uncommon sight.

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