DwnTwnRaleighGuy

Southeast Raleigh

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I definately get your drift on that one. At the same time, however, it would be nice if East Raleigh could keep as many longtime residents as possible. I think that adds to a place's character; you don't want just a bunch of transplants. I'm interested to see what exactly they may be thinking about. I think that we should try to put something over there that would attract alot of people; a "destination." Are there any streets that you guys can think of that may fit that bill? Maybe a street kind of like fayetteville street, which is going to be an attraction in and of itself. Any ideas?

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I can barely afford to live DT, and I am firmly in the middle class. Affordable doesn't automatically mean it's for a person who's on welfare. Affordable housing could mean the city provides low interest loans and a certain percentage of below market-rate options in a condo development. For example, a 5% loan on a 120k condo (that normally goes for say 180k), with certain income restrictions.

This is my main point...developers, city officials, banks, etc. could be a whole lot more creative in redeveloping in an inclusionary manner. For developers, if they don't get money from the city, they build larger, more expensive units. For the city, they generally support projects that are 100% affordable and usually at the lower income ranges exclusively. I have seen many successful mixed-income developments (that are very nice and actually attract market-rate buyers/renters) in many cities throughout the southeast. I have also seen communities give lip service to a workforce housing component by having units set aside at $200K + as the "affordable" units.

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Speaking of devloping the east side, what development is going on at Tryon and 401 near the Wal-mart and behind the ran down shopping center. The ran down shopping center is so bad I don't even know what retail is available there besides a Wendys, a jiffy lube(i think) and a gas station and yes Bojangles is across the street.

But anyhow there is alot of land being cleared there. If anyone knows let me know, maybe Wal-Mart is relocating there or something.

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The larger issue here is do we want to have a mix of residents living DT or not? If there is no effort by the city to nurture not only the historically black neighborhoods of SE Raleigh, but also the so called "creative class," we will all miss out on a great opportunity to make this a special place. I don't know about you guys, but I think Raleigh's greatest potential lies in embracing the full spectrum... from the site 1 $1M+ luxury condos to the types of apartments and condos that artists, musicians, and other DT workers (State Employees!) can afford.

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As a member of the East Vision Task Force, I felt obligated to go to the meeting, bad back and all. There were 60+ people there, but most of the meeting was a recap of issues addressed during the process that started last December. Most of these people were from outside the community.

East Gateway Vision home page

This is all from memory, so may be off/missing some items, but the "findings" so far are roughly:

- the neighborhood wants to protect its historic charcter (to some this means old structures, to others it means majority/only African-American residents).

- housing/land use - there is a desire for economic/racial/social diversity, and to accomplish this there needs to be a variety of housing options -- apartment complexes/buildings, townhouses, single family detached homes, and larger homes.

- safety, and perceived safety, is a major issue in the area. If existing residents don't feel safe, they won't get out of their homes and make a neighborhood a community. If potential residents don't feel safe, they won't move in and contribute.

- the creation of a non-profit community development organization, but few people felt this was a good idea.

The first redevlopment area (Thompson Hunter I) was identified 20 years ago, yet it can hardly be considered redevloped. The neighborhood doesn't trust city government because they feel police presence, road repair, etc. have been neglected there in favor of the rest of the city. They see Fayetville Street being reopened and think the city is "coming to take their houses" through plans like concentrated code enforcement (which was originally proposed by the SouthEast Raleigh Assembly) and police indifference making the area a crime ridden hellhole.

There are two large affordable housing complexes coming soon to the area - Carlton Place southeast of Moore Square Magnet Middle School (with a few thousand square feet of retail space!), and the new Chavis Heights. The neighborhood has had to bear the brunt of former Chavis residents, which has not helped the area either.

Due to these conditions, it has become a concentration camp for the poor. Large houses are rented by the room, the Raleigh Housing Authority is a major land owner, and the small houses inbetween are turned into rentals where keeping it up to code just eats into profits. Gangs, drug dealers, etc. pay cash as long as no questions are asked, and both sides are happy. The majority of homes that are owner occupied are elderly residents who have difficulties with maintenance, fighting crime, etc. Other houses get borded up for years because the owner dies and the heirs fight over who gets what. The boarded up houses get broken into, trashed, etc. bringing down the rest of the neighborhood with it. Historic preservation is a good goal, but if you can't tell the difference five years later, what incentive is there to keeping things up?

In a roughly 1/2 by 1/2 mile area that this meeting covered, there are over 3,000 residents. At task force meetings, we were lucky to get 5-6 people to show up. It is hard to feel like anything has "community support" if the same dozen people (including me) are the only ones who show up to meetings.

Most of the community doesn't want to get involved because they have seen plan after plan after plan that accomplished nothing. Why waste time going to yet another meeting and have nothing change?

The fear is that the same thing will happen with the East Vision process. A lot of paperwork to justify federal Community Development Block Grant funding (to the tune of millions of dollars a year) but no actual change.

I personally think this could be a good "creative class enclave", and there are some signs of this (designbox is just past the east edge, Moore Square, Shaw University, etc. are a few blocks away. But nothing is in place to encourage this. Two live/work townhouses down the street went for $54,000 each at auction a few weeks ago, but I am afraid they may be turned into "lowest common denominator" housing.

This has gone on too long, but if anyone has any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.

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First, thanks for the update/info. i don't live anywhere close to here, so its nice to get some perspective. I can say that living in North Raleigh, my perception is that East Raleigh is a hell hole. When I drive through there, I see lots of opportunity. I guess the problem is that if no one acts on the opportunity, it remains as it is.

In a roughly 1/2 by 1/2 mile area that this meeting covered, there are over 3,000 residents. At task force meetings, we were lucky to get 5-6 people to show up. It is hard to feel like anything has "community support" if the same dozen people (including me) are the only ones who show up to meetings.

This is really sad, it would be interesting to see how other areas compare though.

- safety, and perceived safety, is a major issue in the area. If existing residents don't feel safe, they won't get out of their homes and make a neighborhood a community. If potential residents don't feel safe, they won't move in and contribute.

Where is the nearest Police station? It would seem reasonable to have a substation open in this area if one doesn't exist.

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In a roughly 1/2 by 1/2 mile area that this meeting covered, there are over 3,000 residents. At task force meetings, we were lucky to get 5-6 people to show up. It is hard to feel like anything has "community support" if the same dozen people (including me) are the only ones who show up to meetings.

A lack of turn-out ends up looking like a lack of support for their cause. If anything, low turn-out should make it easier for the city to proceed.

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As i am considering a move to durham in the fall from good old baltimore this topic is of great interest to me. however, the dialogue on revitalization issues---even the word revitalization LOADS the debate---leaves something to be desired. as one who has lived near johns hopkins for 10 years allow me to shed some light on redevelopment. much of what i see on this site weaves drunkenly from social darwinism to somewhat more nuanced grapplings. this is typical. with the rampant abuse of eminent domain(or simply private interest masquerading as public) alot of vital questions must be addressed. although we have entered an era that is characterized by an impatience with procedure---ends justifies the means---(see iraq,domestic spying etc) there remains a matter of fundamental justice with concern to redevelopment. it would serve us all well if we could at least IMAGINE being powerless, poor, black, latino, under-capitalized or what have you. justice is justice--- independent of whether it serves the tax base or leaves the chamber of commerce content.

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The lack of acting on opportunity is exaclty what has plagued all of Southeast Raleigh, not just the neighborhood immediately east of downtown. The problem is that no one sees the opportunity past the dilapidated structures that give the "hellhole" look and feel.

The only police station I know of in District 2-4 is outside of 440 at Crosslink and Rock Quarry road. There was a substation at Chavis Heights, and one where designbox is now, but those closed when the city went to the district system. The central office on Hargett and the station in the grayhound bus terminal are closer to the northwest area of the neighborhood, but district 2-5's boundary goes north/south through the neighborhood. Neither district patrols the edge too well, so it creates a few blocks of "no man's land".

This is pure guessing, but I think 80+% of the rest of Raleigh's view of East Raleigh comes from along New Bern Avenue from the federal building to Wake Med and beyond. What is there? A bunch of large houses that haven't been maintaned well and turned into rooming houses. The city has worked on this by rennovating a few houses in the 200 or 300 block and turn them into apartment duplexes, but there's a lot more to cover. Several acres on the south side of new bern (right behind my house) sit empty, but are owned by the raleigh rescue mission who are trying to figure out what to do with it. Then there is the DMV, Bojangles, Cookout, KFC, Chruch's and Pawn Shop area where New Bern and Edenton merge. They are surrounded by a sea of pedestrian-unfriendly parking, but the local population walks anway since they don't have any other option. This is the east edge of the East Vision, but New Bern continues on to the sketch retail in the next couple of blocks, and the Family Dollar that replaced Winn Dixie near Enloe. Further east is the area around Wake Med, which could not be more different than the area around Rex or Raleigh Community. Why is this? A hospital is a hospital, but this is a hospital for *everyone* so few doctors have their practices nearby, other than Charter mental health, etc.

The next closest "major road" is South Saunders and Wilmington going out of downtown, which feels like a ghost town until you get into Garner city limits.

The neighborhood didn't want retail along MLK, etc. so businesses went elsewhere. Now the area is paying the price for this. The neighborhood *loves* to fight the city, and has no interest in working with the city. As soon as the city goes ahead with anything, then everyone comes out council meetings to complain.

A lot of this goes back to when the city bought land at and around the original convention center and aledgedly made a lot of promises it didn't keep.

Emminent Domain has been used only a couple of times in the neighborhood so far, it is far from "rampant". Most of the city owned property came from slumlords who don't want to fix their property up to decent standards. ED was used a lot more for the new Convention Center than it has been in southeast raleigh neighborhoods. The city does whatever it can to help owners of owner-occupied houses including forgivable loans for repair work.

Houses that sit empty for years, fall into decay, and are turned into crack and prostitution dens leave something to be desired. Gangs and drug dealers flaunting their intentions while citizens hide in their homes. Where is their justice? Houses with holes in the floors and ceilings, no fire alarms, bad lighting, etc. leave are a fire waiting to happen. Who is looking to make those residents content? Redevlopement plans have been on the books for 20 years -- how more "patient" should residents be? There was *no* private interest for decades, and there is not that much in the area now. In this neighborhood, procedure has been the biggest road block to progress. Some problems have been exagerated because of race, but most have been because of diminished economic investment on the part of citizens. It may seem the problems in Baltimore are universal, but Raleigh has had its own failures to get it where it is now.

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The larger issue here is do we want to have a mix of residents living DT or not? If there is no effort by the city to nurture not only the historically black neighborhoods of SE Raleigh, but also the so called "creative class," we will all miss out on a great opportunity to make this a special place. I don't know about you guys, but I think Raleigh's greatest potential lies in embracing the full spectrum... from the site 1 $1M+ luxury condos to the types of apartments and condos that artists, musicians, and other DT workers (State Employees!) can afford.

Amen!

For those who have been in or near downtown for 15 years or more, east Raleigh has been changing dramatically since then.....those swaths of empty lots are the results of previous code enforcement sweeps and the "blighted" part of downtown used to stretch clear accross Moore Square to near the Quorum....Oakwood was quite dangerous in the early 90's, Chavis Heights is gone.......I think with the ongoing efforts by the city to mix in subsidized developments, and the efforts of the county schools to get all kids a good public education things will continue to become less black and white...I hope anyway. cheers.

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With all the smart people that the Triangle produces why is there such a lack of forward thinking on urban development matters? I live in Manhattan and my father was transfered to Raleigh a few years back. I've visited, but been shocked by the dilatory pace of development.

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With all the smart people that the Triangle produces why is there such a lack of forward thinking on urban development matters? I live in Manhattan and my father was transfered to Raleigh a few years back. I've visited, but been shocked by the dilatory pace of development.

I guess that's why we have perfect places like NYC...so we all can see how to build a perfect city, free of crime and poverty, free of racism, full of higher-educated people, short commute times, privacy, no homeless, environmental perfection, etc. Thanks for setting us straight. I hope that when you come to visit your father, you bring no more than a suitcase.

Edited by dmccall

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I guess that's why we have perfect places like NYC...so we all can see how to build a perfect city, free of crime and poverty, free of racism, full of higher-educated people, short commute times, privacy, no homeless, environmental perfection, etc. Thanks for setting us straight. I hope that when you come to visit your father, you bring no more than a suitcase.

Well said. :rofl:

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With all the smart people that the Triangle produces why is there such a lack of forward thinking on urban development matters?

My view is that we have a lot classically-trained planners (no imagination), fiscally-conservative developers (stick to what they know), risk-averse retailers (prefer huge lots with visibility from every angle), and NIMBY residents who don't understand development and markets. This mix produces what you see in Triangle as far as development is concerned. [Note: This is a broad generalization there are a few parties that actually get it but they are the minority and have to fight the system. They usually end up beotchazing there project to point where it looks like a different version of what we already have (big, flat parking lots; multiple...not mixed-uses; cul-de-sacs that lead to nowhere; etc.)]

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Speaking of devloping the east side, what development is going on at Tryon and 401 near the Wal-mart and behind the ran down shopping center. The ran down shopping center is so bad I don't even know what retail is available there besides a Wendys, a jiffy lube(i think) and a gas station and yes Bojangles is across the street.

But anyhow there is alot of land being cleared there. If anyone knows let me know, maybe Wal-Mart is relocating there or something.

I think there is a massive housing development being built here -- check it out renaissance park

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The St. Augs Community Development Corportation *finally* has a "contact" sign in front of the hosues on the 600 block of East Hargett Street.

I think they want somewhere around $156k for them, which is a *lot* less than condos are going for. I have no relation to them other than living across the street from these houses. Their phone number is 829-7147. They will probably want to sell to firstime home buyers who make about 50 percent of median income, which I think is a $35-45k -ish annual salary range.

If this violates the "no real estate posts" rule, feel free to delete this. It is a transitional neighborhood, but if you want to be within walking distance of downtown, this is a good opportunity.

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The city bought, deconstructed and "rehabbed" four houses in the Martin-Haywood area -- two on Hargett and two on Haywood. Other houses were rehabbed on Martin but are currently rental units.

The city buys houses from people who want to sell and/or are problem houses with federal Community Development Block Grant money and money from the affordable housing bond passed a few years ago. They have been done for months, but the city had to sell them to a non-profit who would then sell them to first time homebuyers, preferrably someone with neighborhood ties, but that has proven difficult in the past.

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^ Ohhhhhhhh. Well I guess it stands to reason that someone with neighborhood ties can't afford it even at that reasonable price.

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I was wondering if anyone has seen all of the proposals for the neighborhoods just east of DT. The Martin-Haywood nh is located around the corners of Martin and Haywood St. (obviously) and has been designated an historic district. The city has purchased most of the lots between Haywood and Camden and has plans to put in mixed use development in that area as well as the Raleigh Rescue Mission site.

At this time the NH has a rather poor reputation due to the loiterers, drug activity and street level prostitutes. However, in a few years this area may be just the place for those DT workers who want to walk to work. The East side seems to be evolving quickly!

My 2cents.

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I was wondering if anyone has seen all of the proposals for the neighborhoods just east of DT. The Martin-Haywood nh is located around the corners of Martin and Haywood St. (obviously) and has been designated an historic district. The city has purchased most of the lots between Haywood and Camden and has plans to put in mixed use development in that area as well as the Raleigh Rescue Mission site.

At this time the NH has a rather poor reputation due to the loiterers, drug activity and street level prostitutes. However, in a few years this area may be just the place for those DT workers who want to walk to work. The East side seems to be evolving quickly!

My 2cents.

Now my statement here is not about the neighborhood or taking over the neighborhood or anything like that. This is from a POV for future development of the city purposes so.........What I like about the east side is the flow of grid streets. On the west side, you don't see this due to NCSU and what was then the break fo the grid with Glenwood, Hillsbourgh, the rail tracks and NCSU. Also with the way Capital and Mordicai streets flow and how Capital breaks the city in half like a Great Wall.

The east side smooth flow of grid reminds me of what you see in western cities like San Jose and some of the other California/western larger mid size cities. By this I mean a smooth flow from city to housing and usually flat so the city just opens up when you get out of the neighborhood. You drive in the city and the seam of city/neighborhood is smooth.

It is a great DT neighborhood as I am sure the residents feel it is today. And with the opening of Chavis park and Ligion School, it has a great grid all the way down to DMV and even Wake Memorial. In the future, I would like to see New Bern Ave open up as the 2nd entryway into the city/DT. Capital has a long way to go.

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I agree. I love the way New Bern just flows into downtown. I hate how it doesn't lead right up to the capitol, but I understand why it's split to one way and routed as such.

New Bern Ave. has a great potential to retain to historic character of the residents and area while becoming a major gateway from the eastern part of the state. I would love to see streetscape improvements as well as a general upgrade of the road corridor from WakeMed past DMV to Person Street. I don't think we need a whole lot of "development" in this area, just some improvement to the neighborhood that is already there.

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Now my statement here is not about the neighborhood or taking over the neighborhood or anything like that. This is from a POV for future development of the city purposes so.........What I like about the east side is the flow of grid streets.

I agree. The South East side has fantastic access to DT by Harget, Martin, Davie, Lenior. These roads flow past the residential streets and form neat city blocks, (with the notable exception of some 1970-80's urban experiments gone bad, a few cul-de-sacs etc.) This "east gateway" as the City calls it should be cleaned up and will be a major asset to the city. Particularly if some new commercial and retail businesses can grow there along Martin etc. The City plan calls for Davie to be a pedestrian friendly entrance to DT east of where it crosses the Chavis Greenway. Again, this could be the place where DT workers can find affordable housing within walking distance of work.

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Martin-Haywood itself is not a "histroic district" -- it part of an existing historic district that runs roughly from the corner of Swain and New Bern to the south and east. The Raleigh Rescue Mission owns the empty field on New Bern east of Swain. As far as I know, it has no property in the Martin Haywood area bounded by Swain, Hargett, Camden/Alston, and Lenior. I was on that task force too, but it was rolled into the East Gateway project. There is some retail on Martin Stret, but that is also a focal point for drugs and other illicit vices, scaring away potential customers.

There is some cleaning up to do, but I hope the proverbial baby is not thrown out with the bathwater. Depsite its problems, there is a sense of pride in the neighborhood that just needs a coat of paint, etc. A house at the corner of Martin and Haywood is symbolic of the problems in the neighborhood. Someone had a fight on Easter Sunday, through a lit cigarette on a pile of clothes, and started a fire engulfing the house. The remnants still stand today, virtually untouched. I belive in the rights of property owners, but they have had six months to do something. Letting it stand says "we give up" and attracts the criminal element. Every night there are at least 5 or 6 people loitering on that corner.

The East Gateway vision/whatever has a meeting *tonight* (October 24th) at 7 (registration starts at 6:30) at Top Green Center (at MLK and East Street, just east of Shaw University). It will be the final public meeting to establish a land use plan for the area roughly bounded by New Bern, Tarboro/Rock Quarry, MLK and East streets. I have been on the task force, which was unceremoniusly disbanded. I would go tonight, but I have a class on urban redevlopment to attend in Chapel Hill.

Here is a a collection of redevelopment plans east and south of downtown. The area has been under "redevloplemnt" for 20+ years, but was little to show for the investment until the last few years.

This map shows why New Bern Ave no longer goes directly to the Capitol Building.

It is the "diagonal" through the block just to the east of Fayetville Strett. It is not a pure grid in other areas, but is the closest to a grid pattern in a neighborhood in the city.

I have lived in the neighborhood for five years, and am close to starting a fix-up project a few blocks from me -- putting my money where my mouth is. There will be a previously boarded up house that will soon be on the rental (evenutally sale) market if everything goes according to plan. This is not a real estate offer/question/whatever!!! I am trying to demonstrate there are individuals that are trying to improve the area.

I'll make the same offer I've been making -- if anyone wants a walking tour, I would be happy to organize soemthing if there is enough interest. Feel free to message me.

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