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Downtown Greensboro Developments


cityboi

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I havent noticed this but it looks like downtown has a new night hot spot. Called "Boston's House of Jazz" its located in the building that use to be Left Field Tavern next to the ballpark. Apparently the lounge has been in business since July.

a sample of an evening at the House of Jazz. Its about time we have a true Jazz night spot in downtown Greensboro. I love Jazz, it really has an urban vibe to it.

That place is kinda isolated and it also looks like a "whole in the wall" joint.

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That place is kinda isolated and it also looks like a "whole in the wall" joint.

Well its some progress because besides this place, there is no other entertainment venue in the immediate vicinity of the ballpark. Hopefully a developer will but the old Chevrolet lots soon and do something intresting.

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last night city council approved the downtown design guideline. While it doesn't enforce how a developer designs his or her projects, it will help guide developers in what is appropriate for downtown. Many out of town developers who have been interested in projects in downtown Greensboro have asked for design guidelines in the past. Now we have them available.

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Many out of town developers who have been interested in projects in downtown Greensboro have asked for design guidelines in the past.

To hear the spin some have put on it, guidelines deter developers- yet here they are asking for them! Unfortunately, without any enforceable regulations, someone can still build freely outside the guidelines so long as they're willing to put up with some additional bureaucracy. Every new downtown project is an opportunity to enhance and redefine our city, and to my understanding the guidelines as passed do little to concretely deter mediocrity. My reaction to the guidelines as written is likely the same as the city's will be towards non-conforming buildings: "It's better than nothing."

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The first full service downtown grocery store is closer to reality. Despite all the the great things that has and will happen downtown. A downtown grocery store seems to be at the top of the list in terms of what people want in downtown Greensboro. The downtown residential population has grown quite a bit over recent years and this store could help bring more residential downtown in the future.

http://triad.bizjournals.com/triad/stories/2010/09/20/story4.html

Also there is going to be a meeting downtown next week on September 28th with downtown development groups and Action Greensboro. They will outline 6 recommended projects for downtown, one of which includes a major performing arts center. When voters turned down a bond to renovate War Memorial Auditorium at the Greensboro Coliseum, the downtown proposal came back on the radar.

"The biggest ticket item on the list is a downtown performing arts center. Ken Mayer, with Moser Mayer Phoenix, said Greensboro voters have now twice voted down a bond issue to renovate War Memorial Auditorium, and “it’s time to call the question on putting it downtown.”

I agree that this needs to be downtown. The Coliseum has more than enough going for it and it would be great to see Greensboro Symphony performances and Broadway shows downtown. The meeting will also focus on offering incentives for downtown development to level the playing field with suburban locations. This should help attract more office projects to the center-city.

http://triad.bizjournals.com/triad/stories/2010/05/24/story9.html

another shot of the jail construction

jailconstruction091210.jpg

Edited by cityboi
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Seasonal outdoor ice skating rink coming to downtown? With the U.S. national figure skating championship around the corner, an idea has been floated around to build an outdoor ice skating rink downtown that would be used every fall and winter. This would be the third in the state, Charlotte and Raleigh already do this. Its a wonderful idea and will great for families, especially around Christmas. This will certainly attract more people downtown. I would rather see it in Center-City Park as oppose to Festival Park across the street. I like the setting of Center-City Park better and thats where the city's official Christmas Tree will be located. The ice skating rink would be part of a new annual winter festival.

"A High Point events producer wants to establish an annual Piedmont Winterfest in Greensboro’s center city that would feature a temporary, 50 -by-100-foot outdoor rink.

The event would run from Nov. 17 to Jan. 21 , the day before the start of the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the Greensboro Coliseum."

http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/09/23/article/a_downtown_ice_skating_rink

Edited by cityboi
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Tonight city leaders have named 6 projects to help boost downtown economic development. Completing the greenway is one. A major streetscaping project (focusing on all of downtown) has been proposed. A mixed-use development which will include residential and business development. Financial incentives for historic buildings, the creation of a signature performing arts center and increase awareness of colleges and universities downtown. We should know more details about these projects shortly and i'm really interested in finding out about the mixed-use development. If its a specific project, I hope it will be a mixed-use high-rise development. But they may be just refering to the South Elm/Lee Street redevelopment. Since voters rejected bonds for upgrading the War Memorial Auditorium at the coliseum, I imagine a proposed downtown perfrming arts center might require mostly private dollars. Maybe the local foundations can build it like they did with the ballpark and center-city park. The performing arts center would host events currently being hosted at the War Memorial Auditorium such as Broadway shows, shows staring famous actors and actresses and the Greensboro Symphony. Since the new performing arts center would be larger, located downtown and more state-of-the-art, it would also attract events currently that are not coming to Greensboro and the center would also be a multi-arts center with space for a major art museum. Hopefully the center will include a IMAX theater as well. The opening of a major downtown performing arts center is likely 5 years away. It really all depends on where the funding comes from. Costs associated wih construction is really what determines the timeline for any major project. It took 4 years (from idea to opening day) to build the ballpark. But a 3,000 seat performing arts center could easily cost $40 million. Nearly twice the cost of Greensboro's downtown ballpark. So they are going to have to think of some creative ways to fund this including sponsorships. Maybe there will be more rounds of American Recovery Investment Act bonds to speed some of these projects up. The bonds could really speed up streetscaping. Since those bonds are being used for the downtown hotel, im sure it has given people some ideas.

http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-downtown-100928,0,5302547.story

Here is some interesting info from DGI's website. It includes a 70 page pdf which mentions light rail as a future project. It appears that this is the focus instead of a streetcar system. Light rail is better because its faster and not only would serve as a rail transortation system for downtown but would connect downtown with venues outside of the downtown area like the hospital, the coliseum, the Koury Convention Center and eventually the airport. That helps increase the ridership. But Light Rail is probably a good 10 or 15 years away. It really depends on funding and most importantly leadership to get light rail up and running. With federal dollars going towards rail projects all over the country, it may not be as difficult as people think to get a light rail system in Greensboro. The biggest challenge is getting our city leaders to see it as a priority for our community and really push to implement it. I see revitalizing the Lee Street/High Point Rd corridor as an opportunity to push light rail to the forefront.

http://www.downtowngreensboro.net/Downtown-Investment-Strategy.html

A major perfoming arts center in downtown Greensboro would stregnthen investment in the center-city and would help fill up those hotel rooms in the future downtown Wyndham ;) The more attractions we have downtown, the more disirable downtown is to stay for the night or a week if you are looking for a hotel room in Greensboro.

The new 2,800 seat performing arts center in downtown Durham. I would love to see a modern struture like this. Downtown Greensboro doesn't have enough good examples of sleek modern architecture. Sometimes the historic look can be overkill.

dp.jpg

Edited by cityboi
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After numerous police calls and recent shootings near the N Club after hours, the name of the club and its focus will change. More than likely it will be more upscale and attract an older crowd. The dress code will be enforced along with age restrictions. Also there will be no more hip hop/rap style music played here. Apparently the issue is with the hip hop crowd. All the club shootings in downtown over the past several years were related to hip hop venues or clubs that play more hip hop. The city forced one downtown Hip Hop venue to close down a few years ago because of the number of incents which included a murder. Its not a race issue but hip hop music, loved by people of all colors, breeds a certain culture and violence is often promoted in the music. There have been problems with these kind of venues city-wide and several of them had to be shut down permantly. In some cases, clubs of any kind are no longer able to open up in those spaces any more. But its a good thing this is quikly being addressed because all it takes is a few knuckle heads to change the saftey perception downtown and destroy all the hard work its taken to make downtown Greensboro a regional night life destination. Businesses that have reputations for violent crimes affect other nearby businesses and its a big reason Carolina Circle Mall shut down.

The club will play more pop and rock and will bring in celebrities and music acts from across the country. The N club is closed for now but will reopen around Thanksgiving weekend. The new name will be "Allure Nightlife". After revamping it, it will be an entirely different night club. Scarface says it will be a "Las Vegas style club" which is just starting to make its way into second tier cities like St. Louis, Atlanta and Dallas.

"Scarfone (the owner) also has plans to open a wine and tapas bar called "Social" next door to the N Club next spring, and he is scouting the downtown area for a family-friendly restaurant that he hopes to open next year too."

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=150264&catid=57

http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/11/08/article/n_club_to_change_names_focus

Edited by cityboi
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Racial targeting in an effort to fight downtown crime? More and more people seem to think so. Councilman Zack Matheny held a press conference and presented a plan to curtail the after hours crime. The first suggestion is to charge $5 to park in the parking decks after 9 pm. Currently its free. Apparently there are people parking in the decks, loitering and having their own little private parties. Charging $5 to park in the decks is not the solution. Furthermore it will hurt businesses. One restaurant is reconsidering expanding if the city starts charging to park in the decks at night. If people want to loiter in the decks, all they have to do is make sure they park there before 9 pm to avoid the fees. There are ways around that. It seems to me the solution to that problem is more police so they can break those gatherings up.

The second part of the plan is a downtown curfew for teens under the age of 18. This does not make sense because the vast majority of crimes downtown are committed by people over the age of 18. So why have a curfew for teens under 18? If you walk downtown on a late night week end you will notice that the vast majority of those teens are African-American who btw aren't doing anything illegal. They are just there having a good time like everyone else. It seems to me that this could be a racial targeting scheme because some feel intimidate by seeing groups of young African-Americans walking down the streets. This whole safety plan sounds fishing because it doesn't tackle the real problem. More evidence of racial targeting was when the N Club announced it would no longer play hip hop and rap music.

Edited by cityboi
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This is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated incident. You'd think 50 people got shot to death and this sort of thing has happened every night for the past month! This is a total Mayberry reaction to a nonproblem. Having said the above, I do believe for the number of people downtown late at night, a consideration for more on-duty police is not such a bad idea. However, the proposed curfew and $5 parking fee are NOT the answer! This will do nothing more than drive people away from downtown. We have worked so hard over the past 15 years or so to bring people downtown, now measures may be put in place to drive them away. It is so sad!

I also want to know: When did Zack Matheny become the mighty spokesperson for downtown security? All he's trying to do is gain a little media face time! I'd really like to hear from our new police chief on downtown security issues. Is it possible that he really thinks that this is being blow our of proportion and he's keeping our of the rage? From what I've seen so far, he seem to be one of the few in our local goverment with his head screwed on straight!

Edited by luvdowntowngso
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This is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated incident. You'd think 50 people got shot to death and this sort of thing has happened every night for the past month! This is a total Mayberry reaction to a nonproblem. Having said the above, I do believe for the number of people downtown late at night, a consideration for more on-duty police is not such a bad idea. However, the proposed curfew and $5 parking fee are NOT the answer! This will do nothing more than drive people away from downtown. We have worked so hard over the past 15 years or so to bring people downtown, now measures may be put in place to drive them away. It is so sad!

I also want to know: When did Zack Matheny become the mighty spokesperson for downtown security? All he's trying to do is gain a little media face time! I'd really like to hear from our new police chief on downtown security issues. Is it possible that he really thinks that this is being blow our of proportion and he's keeping our of the rage? From what I've seen so far, he seem to be one of the few in our local goverment with his head screwed on straight!

Clearly this is a case of political posturing when it comes to councilman Zack Matheny. Do you really think there was a need for a press conference with him as the star? Its like Councilman Danny Thompson with the porn filters in the libraries. its all political. Danny wants to get re-elected next year and there are rumors going around that Zach Matheny has high ambitions to become mayor one day. The measures Zack proposes is overkill and will do nothing to solve the problem. Instead of forcing a plan down people's throats the community should have gotten involved to come up with ideas, not just one city councilman. The people who live, work and own businesses downtown knows best how to solve these problems, not a politician who seems to be trying to be the center of attention.

Edited by cityboi
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photo update of the new Guilford County Jail tower. The old 8-story jail tower is being remodeled as well.

11-21-10

This is the tallest New building (not counting Center Pointe) built in the central business district since 1990.

5195223721_e31498b14e_z.jpg

In the next photo below, the red brick building to the left is the Federal Building that was built back in 1996. Currently there is a new and much larger federal building being proposed but all federal courthouse projects have been put on hold for the last several years. The proposed federal building in Greensboro is suppose to be between 15 and 20 stories tall and the perfect location would be right behind the existing federal building. That would certainly created some density here with the two 8-story jail towers. The proposed federal building would be at least twice the height of the new jail tower. We need more density in other parts of downtown besides Elm Street

5195215889_ff93a143e1_z.jpg

5195220947_330a26c7e3_z.jpg

The existing jail tower located behind the new jail tower

GCout11.jpg

Edited by cityboi
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Allure Nightlife (formerly known as the N Club) has opened. Its very impressive inside as you will see in the video link below. The club should attract more upscale patrons and the owner plans to open a wine bar next door called "Social" and a second nightclub above Allure Nightlife. The second nightclub will be for patrons 25 and older.

Allure has the upscale appeal that "Much" and "Club Heaven" a few doors down have.

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=151105&catid=57&GID=8Ou8boBPBBqa6tdDFp9Ld+JVFRdRxm1+Jb1AwxMIgLo%3D

http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-allure-101127,0,2793734.story

Edited by cityboi
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The new jail is coming along nicely and its actually 9 stories because of a smaller level added above the 8th floor. (one story short from being a high-rise. I consider 10-stories and up a high-rise) The height of the jail is actually about equal in height of a 11-story residential building because the floors in office buildings are higher than floors in residential buildings and most hotels. The jail sits in a low ditch so it appears shorter than it really is when you are looking at it from other areas of downtown. They started taking one of the big cranes down so the exterior is close to being finished. Even though its not a 15 or 20-story structure, its certainly an improvement to Greensboro's skyline coming towards downtown on Freeman Mill Rd over the bridge crossing Spring Garden St. It adds density and expands Greensboro's skyline away from Elm Street. I know people typically dont get excited about jails but its a welcome addition to the skyline.

Edited by cityboi
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I'm pretty sure it adds little to nothing in the way of aesthetics.

Its actually a nice looking jail in terms of architecture. It certainly looks much better than the old jail and is the most attractive government building in the center-city. I know its adds nothing to downtown in terms of activity but it certainly adds urban density to downtown. The jail actually has 10 floors if you count the underground level.

Edited by cityboi
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Here is a rendering of the 10,500 square foot Deep Roots downtown grocery store. This is the right size for downtown. We don't need a generic 50,000 square foot super market. I'm just glad we are finally getting a grocery store downtown. Its long overdue.

Artist%20Rendering%20of%20proposed%20downtown%20Deep%20Roots%20Market%20111911.jpg

Also in todays downtown news, Elon University School of Law plans to expand its downtown campus.

http://www.news-record.com/content/2011/01/20/article/elon_expands_greensboro_campus

Edited by cityboi
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