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JTsaysToYou

Wilmington Street needs Revamp

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I was walking around downtown today after the Autism Ribbon Run, and the two areas I felt a little unsafe, were the bus station, and wilmington street. Now the bus station will always have that personality, nothing you can do, but wilmington street should NOT be as bad as it is. Some of the things I realized.

-As much as I love historical buildings, I realized that all the historical/semi-historical buildings were built to face fayetteville st. and wilmington st. was completely left in decay. ALL of the storefronts/offices/buildings in general on Wilmington St. need to be either torn down and replaced, or completely redone. That is a crummy area and it is the second street away from fayetteville st!

-The "Tallest buildings on Fayetteville st." rule needs to be broken. Fayetteville st. is filled up, but should stay historical. I think Wilmington st. is the perfect street for the glass canyon of skyscrapers everyone wants Raleigh to have. And with RBC and both the progress energy buildings fronting it, it is well on its way. Not to mention, I would really not mind demolishing every building on that street, except for coopers. The only place they would have to change some things, is they would have to make sure that they left a buffer zone around city market. They can be tall, just with a little grass on the person street side.

-This is other-thred related but whatever, it fits into the scheme of things. RBC better not be allowed to build JUST a parking garage on the block east of their HQ. They need to make it a parking garage with LOTS (30+ stories) above, or potential for it. Just a parking deck is unacceptable.

After all the Fayetteville st. stuff is done, I think that the next street to makeover is Wilmington. Do you agree?

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I've discussed this with a couple people and I actually disagree - I think the next revamp should be Salisbury. A friend of mine brought up a good point - Wilmington street will take care of itself - for the most part. Think about it, we've got the Hudson with retail on that side, we've got RBC coming online which will have a side facing Wilmington, and we've got Progress III - which will have retail facing Wilmington as well. I can see maybe a Glenwood South type "Streetscape" improvement plan, but overall, I think Salisbury should be the next "focus" street.

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^I totally agree with how Wilmington could take care of itself. But with Salisbury, there really isn't too much storefront area along the street when I think about it in my head. There is a small amount between Morgan and Hargett and a little more between Hargett and Martin on the left side of the road. But when I think about Salisbury, its mainly dominated with a big parking deck and/o business fronts/rears. Wilmington St. offers the most true potential. It will take some serious work to set up Salisbury from Morgan down to Lenior with storefronts similar to Fayetteville St and Wilmington St.

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How in the heck can you feel unsafe on Wilmington street? Why? You seriously need to man up.

Go to Baltimore-Philly, and you will really know what unsafe is.

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Actually, I think there is a ton of potential to remake the south end of McDowell street. There are lots of parking lots there just waiting to be redeveloped. It could be a convention center area with hotels, etc.

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Folks, I reported this some months ago on the relocation thread in the coffee house, but I was touring the Hudson one sunday before Fayetteville St reopened, and I parked right behind the Hudson on Wilmington. When I left, I went out the front and toured the construction area for a bit, and came around the corner to head back up to my car. A kid with a hooded sweatshirt started following me WITH HIS HAND BEHIND HIS BACK. I hit the doorlock button to my car, which makes a chirp and flashes the lights, and this seemed to dissuade him from whatever mischief may have been on his mind. I got in my car and he crossed the street right behind me, I assume to impress upon me that there had been a threat, and disappeared down an alleyway. I was thinking of the Hudson for a temp place while waiting on Site 1, but I will have to admit the whole thing is off now. If I can't walk to various things downtown without being panhandled or robbed, I have no desire to live there. Maybe in 10 years there will be a vibrant and SAFE community down there, but at the moment its for urban pioneers.

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I mean seriously. If you lived in a Cary like suburban environment, then downtown isn't for you. I would leave immediately if downtown became some whitebread heaven type of place. If you want to feel safe, go live in a closet. Raleigh's DT is probably as safe as it gets. I think alot of people have stereotypes already imprinted in the their heads, when they see someone with a hoody, looks poor, or just plain black, they punk up. Shame.

Raleigh isn't Philly or Detroit people. Seeing people different than those who live in the same tax bracket such as yourselves, does not mean you're in danger.

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Matter of fact i'm going jogging through all of the spookey alleys and streets this afternoon. I hope none of the gang bangers, prositutes, and vandals get me. Paaaaaleeeezz.

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I would leave immediately if downtown became some whitebread heaven type of place.

Now how is this not the most racist thing ever posted on UP? Could you imagine if someone said the converse?

dwtnc never said anything about anyone's race. You are the one making the assumptions.

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I feel a lot of these buildings along Wilmington Street need to come down. This street has huge potential to become a new entertainment/retail destination for downtown, which would really compliment nearby Fayetteville St. Right now all those buildings are an eyesore and provide little hope for adding interesting restaurant/retail concepts to downtown.

In order to have a vibrant and thriving downtown people need to feel safe. Wilmington street does little at the moment to promote this feeling. Why should we have to 'MAN UP' and not be a little nervous when you walk around this street. This unsafe feeling isn't limited to suburbanites but to well-traveled people who've already lived in an urban setting, and until that comfort level is reached downtown will have hard time reaching its potential. This street is so key to the city's core that it deserves a big makeover.

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I bet none of you are even aware that DT has one of lowest crime rates in the city. It's all in perception. Trying to make DT into Charlotte, North Hills, Brier Creek, or Disney Land would kill the authenticity of the area. I'm not saying making it a dump, but we must find a balance.

What I find interesting is that most people coming DT,are from the burbs, so it's only natural for them to feel uncomfortable outside of their habitat. Stop trying to conform everything to what you find suitable, because some folks will definately disagree.

Conformity leads to blandness that the suburbs have an abundance of. Remember suburbs of yesteryear existed because of folks runnnig from things they found different.

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Conformity leads to blandness that the suburbs have an abundance of. Remember suburbs of yesteryear existed because of folks runnnig from things they found different.

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That's exactly what I meant dmccall. If peoples's perception was based more on reality, and rational, rather than what they've been bred to think, things would be alot different. More crime goes down in the so-called good neighborhoods than DT. Incident such as the ones you mentioned happen few and far between.

I think this analogy applys. People are more affraid to fly in an airplane than ride down Capital boulevard in their car. Even though their chances for death are much higher on Killer Capital. Perception is something, huh.

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I bet none of you are even aware that DT has one of lowest crime rates in the city. It's all in perception. Trying to make DT into Charlotte, North Hills, Brier Creek, or Disney Land would kill the authenticity of the area. I'm not saying making it a dump, but we must find a balance.

What I find interesting is that most people coming DT,are from the burbs, so it's only natural for them to feel uncomfortable outside of their habitat. Stop trying to conform everything to what you find suitable, because some folks will definately disagree.

Conformity leads to blandness that the suburbs have an abundance of. Remember suburbs of yesteryear existed because of folks runnnig from things they found different.

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The only thing Wilmington St like any street DT needs is people, and lots of them. You don't have to tear down lots of buildings to generate people on the street--you need bars, restaurants, streetlights, homes, art galleries, music venues, etc. Give people a reason to go there and they will come. For example, look at Raleigh Times Bar and Riveria. That little section at Hargett and Wilmington probably has 100% more street activity than it did 18 months ago, largely because of those businesses and Fayetteville St opening, and they didn't have to tear down any buildings to do it.

I've said it before and I'll say it thousands more times before people understand this. You will never totally remove vagrants, homeless, and others like them from an urban area. Some might even say it's part of what it means to be a real city. What makes cities prosper and makes people feel safer is lots of pedestrians who are out enjoying themselves. The sheer numbers of people walking the street give a sense of security that isn't there when the street is practically empty.

Yes, there is crime DT, but as serapis said, its statistically lower than most other distrcits in the city of Raleigh.

Last year, 31 of the 751 robberies recorded in Raleigh occurred in the downtown area, according to the Raleigh Police Department. The zone includes Fayetteville Street, Glenwood South, Moore Square and the westside Warehouse District that includes several restaurants.

The city had 20 murders last year, but none in the downtown core. And of the 998 motor vehicles reported stolen last year, only 27 were downtown.

Police District 25, which includes downtown, has fewer serious crimes like rape and aggravated assault than any other police district in the city.

20060727_raleigh_downtown.jpg

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If by "whitebread" you meant "blandness", I agree and take back what I said. That is a term, though, that has strong racial connotations, and probably doesn't best describe what you were saying. Downtown does need to have character for sure and needs to be different than suburbia and its faux urban centers.

The perception of danger downtown still is out there, though. Cases like the lady who was recently abducted from the Progress deck and murdered and the NH store owner who in the Spring was kidnapped, beat up, and almost raped (until a homeless guy saved her) behind SouthEnd don't help people's idea of downtown.

Today I opened my car door in the church parking lot (across from the Capitol) and within 5 seconds was approached for money. The guy wasn't violent but this is the kind of thing for which most people have little patience, and will opt for the comfort of the burbs if it keeps happening when they go downtown.

While you are right that we need not be afraid of everyone in a different tax bracket (regardless of the fact that less than 50% of all wage earners actually pay federal income taxes), people with much to lose have never been and will never be totally comfortable around people with little to lose. That's a sensitive fact and probably the biggest obstacle to restoring a sleepy urban area.

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Hey 'dmccall" you're my main man, and all but ,I have to point out something you said,and it's not an attack on you, are anything like that, but you stated a store owner was SAVED by a HOMELESS GUY, just though, I would point that out, and your right about those incidents that happened recently they don't help the cause, but people have to understand that these types of things happen more in the BURBS than downtown Raleigh, 'Hell", I get panhandled more in NORTH RALEIGH, at the gas stations than anywere else in the city of Raleigh, and am downtown pretty often. PERCEPTION SUCKS SOMETIMES.

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I feel a lot of these buildings along Wilmington Street need to come down. This street has huge potential to become a new entertainment/retail destination for downtown, which would really compliment nearby Fayetteville St. Right now all those buildings are an eyesore and provide little hope for adding interesting restaurant/retail concepts to downtown.

In order to have a vibrant and thriving downtown people need to feel safe. Wilmington street does little at the moment to promote this feeling. Why should we have to 'MAN UP' and not be a little nervous when you walk around this street. This unsafe feeling isn't limited to suburbanites but to well-traveled people who've already lived in an urban setting, and until that comfort level is reached downtown will have hard time reaching its potential. This street is so key to the city's core that it deserves a big makeover.

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Well if I had to choose between cookie cutter architecture and renovating these old buildings, i would choose the latter.

I know some restaurateurs who have a lot of interest in downtown (Wilmington St. in particular) but are hesitant at the amount of work a lot of these buildings need.

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Well if I had to choose between cookie cutter architecture and renovating these old buildings, i would choose the latter.

I know some restaurateurs who have a lot of interest in downtown (Wilmington St. in particular) but are hesitant at the amount of work a lot of these buildings need.

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Well that mentality would be greatly appreciated in West Raleigh on Edwards Mill rd. There is plenty of room for upscale suburban--urban restaurants there. Keep it in mind.

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I think Justin said that we need to focus on Salisbury. After all, there seems to be no momentum over there. A couple more blocks, here and there, y'all, and we'll have some consistent livable areas from the Warehouse area all the way to City Market!

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I know they will keep it in mind especially when their livelihood and $$$ are at stake.

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The interfaith network of churches downtown provide food, clothing, housing and other assistance for many people in need. They can do more with my money and that of other contributors than any one person could do individually, which is why I give to them instead of the person asking for spare change.

There are several "homeless" people that are nothing more than con men who prey on people coming out of church services downtown in the hopes that the service "inspires" people to be more generous. I'm not a religion expert, but is there any faith that *encourages* its members to run away to the suburbs to avoid a person in need?

That being said, I do think it is sad that prime real estate on Wilmington street near Capitol Square is now a "family life center", open only to members of the church on the same block. It is better than the burned out former New York Deli, but it is underutilized and does nothing to bring life to that part of the city.

Preserving the buildings on the PE III block will help Wilmington. The former Jimmy's City Market, now a church/banquet hall, would be better off as the corner of the "mystery tower" in the air rights above the Moore Square Station entrance ramp. Wilmington Street has street level retail spaces in several buildings already, it is just a matter of getting the critical mass in place. It is not a "back alley" to Fayetville Street.

Salisbury does not have that luxury. It will be getting the Marriott and Convention Center in 2008, but north of there, it is plagued by several block-wide parking decks on its west side. The Wake County jail and siren blaring paramedics on Davie only attracts bail bonds businesses. I don't know if the county offices and/or decks could be retrofitted to create a walkable streetscape. The best chance of that is the parking lot south of the Wake County jail and paramedics, but who/what wants to be there? The N&O block could be something, but they are now in a holding pattern.

There are places like Sam and Wally's, the State Soda Shop and China Market, but those are few and far between among the deck entrances, back side of Century Post Office, and various Wake County offices with their empty fronts on Salisbury.

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