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raleightransplant

Durham Revitalization Efforts

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Durham is evolving beautifully. Durham has a reputation amongst suburbanites as a dangerous place, and for some reason those people also associate "downtown" anything with crime--so they have this idea that downtown durham is very dangerous.

This of course is not true--downtown is (and has been) one of the safest neighborhoods in Durham. Parts of east Durham seem to have a bit of a violent crime problem, and that is unfortunate. The rest of the city seems alright.

I think that as their multimodal transit station is completed, and these old factories/warehouses are converted into usable space, we'll see Durham as one of the truly genuine urban destinations in the Triangle.

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Notably, the second phase of the American Tobacco historic district project will include the construction of a new Amtrak station in Durham to replace the Amshack temporary station that has been in use since 1990. The new station will be located in the Walker Warehouse building in the Liggett-Myers complex to the north of the tracks and across from the Amshack. The station will also include amenities such as covered platforms and a reasonably sized waiting area.

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Notably, the second phase of the American Tobacco historic district project will include the construction of a new Amtrak station in Durham to replace the Amshack temporary station that has been in use since 1990. The new station will be located in the Walker Warehouse building in the Liggett-Myers complex to the north of the tracks and across from the Amshack. The station will also include amenities such as covered platforms and a reasonably sized waiting area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Quick edit: the Amtrak station will be part of the second phase of the West Village project, on the other side of the tracks from American Tobacco.

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Quick edit: the Amtrak station will be part of the second phase of the West Village project, on the other side of the tracks from American Tobacco.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh yeah, thanks for the correction. It's a bit confusing since the West Village and the American Tobacco projects are fairly similar, fairly close, and both entering their second phases. >_< Maybe I should make an effort to get over to Durham more often...

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Here is a good layout of the current and planned development in downtown Durham.

http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/eed/projects.cfm

I think the new Durham Station transportation center is the most exciting project.

Durham Station link

Durham Station link 2

Durham should have pushed Amtrak a little harder to locate the new train station in Durham Station. Having the city bus, Trailways, train and taxi (with the connecting TTA station) would have made it a true multimodal station. Amtrak and/or the NCDOT seemed dead set on putting the station in the Walker Warehouse. The Walker Warehouse will be an attractive venue for a train station but a person getting off the train will have to walk across the tracks or under Chapel Hill Street to reach Durham Station. Although it

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I had some fun and did a diagram of what I'd like the platforms and tracks at the new Durham station to look like in a full build-out scenario. There seems to be enough space for one side platform and one island platform, along with TTA's island platform. I took advantage of an existing but currently unused structure over Chapel Hill Rd that used to be the access spur to the Liggett Myers warehouse.

Freight trains have two through tracks, which means less interference by stopped passenger trains and (get ready for it) high platforms! No more of that "we only open one door in Durham" crap!

I also dreamed up a concourse that tunnels under the tracks, giving access to TTA from the north side and Amtrak from the south. There are stairs and a ramp to access the island platforms from the concourse; the side platform is accessible directly from the building itself.

Check it out here. (300k PDF) I did it in Adobe Illustrator so it might look kinda sloppy, but at least everything except the background is vector :thumbsup:

I'd be curious to see a diagram of the actual track layout that they're planning for the station to see how close to correct I am.

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durham is a beautiful city im glad it is also growing one day we might be able to start i big city triangle charlotte

durham raleigh

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has decided to move their headquarters from NJ to Durham. Will be interesting to see where it will go but my money is on the American Tobacco District.

TBJ Story

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I saw that, too. 400 workers is awesome news, no matter where they go. Amtobo would be great, but wouldn't it also be cool to see them anchor a new highrise on the Durham skyline?

Of course, they may also be bound for the Park, ya know. Which would be great generally for the region's economic picture, but in a suburban kind of way.

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The Rennaissance at the Durham Center is going to add a twin tower next to it, sharing its parking deck.

I've seen an indy article that talked about another project, but that was in 2002 and if I haven't heard anything since, I take it it's a no-go.

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The Renaissance at Durham Centre is actually going to be residential space. They're calling them "mansions in the sky."

The 2002 project the Indy reported on never materialized. I've heard there wasn't much support from the public. Too bad. It sure would be nice to fill in the (numerous) empty lots in Downtown Durham.

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welcome to the Board, by the way, JDC. Good to have another person (other than DanRNC and myself) keeping an eye on Durham/Chapel Hill.

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I think that downtown Durham and downtown Raleigh will always be different so it's impossible to measure which downtown eclipses the other. Raleigh has museums, state government, lots of big office buildings, and all the makings of an upscale, modern downtown. Durham has the Bulls, lots of refurbished tobacco warehouses, and will always have that gritty blue-collar meets high-tech appeal that Raleigh can never hope to replicate.

RE the downtown loop, the reconfiguration you mention is part of Durham's downtown master plan. The biggest change will be that the northern arc of the loop will be converted into a continuous, two-way, presumably four-lane street from Morgan to Holloway, and signed as US70 Business.

durhamstreets.gif

The city's current streetscape project is sort of "phase one" and deals strictly with the changes inside the loop. I think they're kind of afraid of the traffic impacts from eliminating the loop so they're putting it off for now. This is what's happening now:

downtown_improvements01_large.jpg

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ashame about crime. until they resolve that problem, durham will always be durham.

I was over in Brightleaf Square the other week and thought "this is nice". Durham definitely has potential, especially with the old tobacco warehouses being converted to residential, but until its police force can catch up with all this "nice" development and contain the crime, people will always be hesitant to call downtown Durham home.

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^^ I don't disagree that Durham has a long way to go to be considered a safe place to be, but I know that the police department has made great strides in that direction, including a divide and conquer strategy that divided the inner-city neighborhoods into several districts in which crime-prevention efforts could be more focused and concentrated. I was on the neighborhood association's crime & safety committee when we lived in Trinity Park, and was amazed to learn that the downtown core area is actually one of the least crime-laden sections of town. Once you move out from the very central part those numbers spike, of course, but the addition of residents and businesses downtown can only make that area safer.

That said, I wish I had some seed money to buy a couple of lots over there. The artice is absolutely right-- there's going to be a dramatic return on investment for the lucky folks that get in on it at this point in the game.

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I grew up in Durham a few blocks away from Northgate Mall and am happy to say I am still alive, was never mugged, robbed, or beaten! Crime exists in the city, a person just needs to use common sense to avoid becoming a victim....I would move back to the city, you just have to be smart about the area you chose to live in, aside from the I-40 area which is all RTP type suburbia....

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has decided to move their headquarters from NJ to Durham. Will be interesting to see where it will go but my money is on the American Tobacco District.

TBJ Story

I see in today's N&O that Amtobo and Durham Centre probably don't have enough space.

http://www.newsobserver.com/104/story/384054.html

So they're considering moving out to the Palladian Corporate Center. Too bad West Village II isn't available yet. Darn, that's 400 jobs.

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I guess that means more people moving into Chapel Hill.

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I agree with the comment about the area evolving into something safer. Unfortunately, there are too many people in Durham with nothing better to do than crime. It is just that type of city with its industrial background. A lot of people have lost their jobs and this crime is the result. Pull up Durhams crime mapper on the city police website. I was shocked at all the crime I saw. That alone has deterred me from buying property downtown. I don't want to be in an area where the potential to get shot exists. Thats just me.

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