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ncwebguy, you hit the nail on the head. As a resident in Haywood-Martin, I am so tired of hearing the same-ole', same-ole' from the likes of Octavia Rainey, who seems hellbent on supressing economic growth in the near-east neighborhoods. Does Josh Shaeffer not have anyone else to quote when it comes to the east side of Downtown Raleigh? There are dozens of folks like myself who feel like the neighborhood should include higher-density housing and a healhty mix of affordable / market rate projects. Everything should not be Low / Mod. Is it even possible to build one of her fairy-tale bungalos for 70K?

What kills me is that the neighborhood leaders want projects like Stone's Warehouse to include a fair amount of retail space (but only for neighborhood / BLACK - not minority, mind you- owned businesses) while fighting density at every opportunity. There is an effective residential density of about 5 units per acre in the twelve blocks immediately east of downtown, and they want retail? Who would shop there? IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE BOTH LOW DENSITY AND STREET-LEVEL RETAIL. Look at Carlton Place - they have three retail storefronts and can afford to lease them for about half of the rate charged by downtown building owners. They have sat vacant for eight months.

What I am entirely frustrated about is feeling as though my voice does not count, since I am, according to Octavia, "one of those damned yuppies". Yep, that's okay for her to say about dozens of folks that have invested real equity in the neighborhood and have worked to change perceptions and personal safety. If it weren't for my neighbors, who have shown me the flyers, I wouldn't even know about public meetings concerning the neighborhood. This has got to change, and the neighborhood's "other" half needs to mobilize for change or we will allow Octavia Raney, Danny Coleman, and the rest to be our voice and continue to knowingly / unknowingly suppress economic growth.

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Renderings released for the townhomes along Chavis Road for the Transfer warehouse renovation project.

bet city council will do something stupid like limit development to 2 story suburban style building.

In case anyone is wondering, the Southern Gateway Report is like 100 pages long, and has a complete vision set out for this intersection. It's supposed to be a "town center" supporting Renaissance Par

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I have noticed that changes continue to march forward in a lot of places, even as the quoted voices continue to duke it out. I think the folks on this board that live in SE Raleigh are having more effect via one on one coffe shop talk, posting on this board etc etc than credit is given for. I understand the frustration, but I think the dust is settling about where most folks think it should...safer, slow increase in home ownership, a good supporting neighborhood for downtown, mid-priced.....

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It is hard to see the progress from the perspective of living there vs. outsiders who can see changes over a longer timeline. Sometimes I feel changes can't happen fast enough, though know it would be bad to take the quick/easy way out. And I don't drink coffee, so that cuts off my chance to spread the proverbial gospel.

That being said, there are rumors that the city will hold a meeting to determine what to do going foward with the property it owns on the 700 block of East Martin. The city also owns several properties on the east side of Haywood between Martin and Davie that may be in play.

In this day and age, it is virtually impossible to have street-level retail with

- low surrounding residential density

- lower income neighbors

- low traffic counts on neighboring streets

- and little to no off-street parking.

I hope empty storefronts in Carlton Place don't provide a "this is why we don't do it" example to developers going forward, especially on the east side of downtown. The only retail that survives are bail bonds companies and "convenience stores" that mostly sell alcohol and other items behind/under the counter.

Maybe the retail can be used as office or gallery space for a group like designbox? I think the east side could be a good live/work enviroment for artists, but there has been little traction for that so far.

The South Central CAC's officers are now "yuppie" free, but that will probably result in business as usual.

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The problems with retail in SE go beyond the historic area.....most shopping centers in the whole quadrant struggle, even the new ones. I have never seen the Kroger at MLK and Raleigh Blvd resemble packed....even as the one or two open cashiers have an ever present line of ten people in it. In general I think retail mixed among residential is pipe dreamed too much....even in Raleighs old days retail was concentrated along Fayetteville, Wilmington, Martin and Hargett. Once in a while a well run corner store, well placed will survive, but an entire city fabric of neighborhoods with a store on every corner is difficult in any neighborhood...and tougher still in ones with limited buying power. A good retail cluster, maybe only that being proposed in Blount Street Commons, could be enough and close enough to serve those smallish needs with New Bern Ave picking up the larger retailers.

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The MLK Kroger is a good microcosom of the chicken and egg situation of retail in SE Raleigh, and older urban cores just off the CBD, like East Durham.

Most people know there will only be two registers open with ten people per line, so why bother shopping there? This leads to lower sales volume and therefore less staffing and the vicious cycle continues. The number of potential shoppers is diminished as well a noticable amount of empty and/or boarded up property in the surrounding neighborhoods, fewer people live nearby.

Corridors can not spring up everywhere, but different types of services can fill them. Higher end retail in the CBD, Glenwood south, and maybe North Blount/Person. Something like "Seaboard Station on a street" could work in the area near Shaw University, on New Bern east of DMV, Garner Road, or other areas. But there needs to be density for it to work, with a lot of at least middle class residents for it to work. This is something I hope the new comprehensive plan can address.

Some corridors could have live/work spaces for a law/doctor/dentist/chiropractor office, artist/massage/yoga/personal training studio, child care, ethnic bakery/deli/grocer (Conti's, mexican/asian/india marts), barber/beauty/coffee shop, etc. -- services and goods big box stores do not provide (yet). Maybe a permanent home to something like a "soul food" version of Z Kitchen, an experimental restaurant with a loyal customer base that can meet sanitation codes but different than anything else out there. These designated "corridors" share parking and generate traffic during the day/early evenings while most of the residents are away for work or school.

The area east of downtown has a few scattered small scale strip malls -- on Tarboro north of Edenton near St. Augs, the 700 block of Martin Street, and Tarboro/MLK on both sides of the MLK gardens.

The only drugstores in southeast raleigh are near F Street, Wake Med, or the Poole and Rock Quarry 440 exits. Are there no needs for prescriptions? No, but drug stores want to be on a road with a lot of traffic and have plenty of parking. The ones near Wake Med are not near residents, but the hospital is enough to generate traffic there.

The slice of Northeast Raleigh, from Capitol/401 through New Bern has nothing but residential and the occasional church. That is why the 64 business and Capitol corridors are overwhelmed with traffic. With a somewhat untouched canvas, Southeast Raleigh can alieviate this. Though they have to understand that their corner doesn't get everything, and the corners that do will be on the bus/streetcar routes.

Edited by ncwebguy
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  • 3 weeks later...

There was a fire in a house a few blocks east of downtown on Wednesday, a few blocks from my house. I think it was squatters trying to keep warm, but I am not sure. This illustrates how empty and/or boarded up houses in a neighborhood are a problem in multiple ways. The is the initial bligh of property that is not kept neat is one thing, but they attract the type of people who thrive in an area with few community stakeholders -- drug dealers or homeless folks looking for a place to spend the night.

The city of Raleigh owns several properties on the east side of the 300 block of Haywood, across the street from the fire. Luckily someone called it in or it could have spread to nearby properties.

Another issue, that has drawn a lot of letters to the editor, is prostitution in the Lane/Sewell area. It is sad that it has been a "known area for prostitution" for years. The police have conducted sting operations there for months, but the "supply" and the "demand" continue to operate there without fear. The majority of arrests happen there because the sting operations net several people on both sides.

It seems to have died down since the story, and shifted a couple of blocks to the east. Unfortunatly, the police will leave when they think they've stopped the problem. But "business" will return when the police leave.

The supply and demand both seem to come from out of the area, so the nearby neighbors feel powerless. If the drug trade was shut down, the prostitutes would likely go elsewhere. But the drug dealers seem to be better funded and staffed than the police department, at least in the neighborhoods just east of downtown, so nothing changes.

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A blog post on the recent rally by a reorganized ACORN on Tarboro Road (link goes to Bob Geary's blog at the Independent) highlights a number of issues for the area.

- Why is the Tarboro Road corridor not taking part in the downtown rennisance? Area leaders Octavia Rainey and Danny Coleman (chairs of the North Central and South Central CAC, with a shared border in the New Bern/Edenton corridor) say they want to take part, yet fight all development by "outsiders" in their respective areas. Holding up plans like the East Vision process to "get it right" while yielding little change to the group's initial draft six months earlier scares off just about anyone wanting to work with the community to help it move forward.

- The recent shooting was allegedly one of the victims of Samuel James Cooper, Jr. Mr. Cooper also confessed to committing the Circus Burger homicide and killings at two Southeast Raleigh/Garner convience stores. For whatever reasons, the southeast Raleigh area seems to attract the "harder" felons, possibly due to abusive living conditions and a familiarity of the area. From the story, (somewhat edited):

Cooper said his oldest son usually slept most of the day before getting up about 3 p.m. to hang out with his friends at a strip of stores on Martin Street. Then he would come back home. But while the rest of the family was preparing for bed, Cooper said, his son would go to The Foxy Lady, a strip club on Capital Boulevard.

- The issue of speeding on Tarboro Road north of New Bern could be softened by adding four way stop signs to the narrow corridor where high speed is not safe. A corner with a stop sign will designate a safe place to cross for kids instead of crossing mid block between parked cars. This is an issue the CAC has failed to address.

- The number of boarded up houses in the area make drivers want to get through as quickly as possible. Empty houses also contribute less "pulling out" traffic, which would naturally slow traffic through the corridor. Rainey has fought to allow boarded up houses to remain boarded up indefinatly. It is noble to allow deceased homeowners' families time to sort out their economic affairs, boarded up houses are a blight on the community and fosters an environment for criminal activities -- drug dealing, prostitution, and murder.

- The police officers of district 24 are already stretched thin due to the high volume of calls and large amount of land they have to cover. Police are also "dammed if they do, dammed if they don't" since elevated patrolling levels have led to complaints of a "police state" in the past.

- the area has more than enough places the community could meet, host after school programs, etc. Within that area are:

- the Tarboro Road center

- St. Augustine's College

- the Rainey Library

- the Boys and Girls club on Raleigh Blvd.

- the Roberts Park community center on East Martin

In the area just east of downtown, there are three schools (Moore Square, Hunter, Ligon), Lions Park (between Capitol and near Raleigh Blvds), the East Hargett YWCA, Chavis Heights Community Center, and Top Green Community Center, several churches.

ACORN should concentrate on services offered by the existing facilities before demanding more. A few years ago, Councilman James West said there would be an inventory of services provided in Southeast Raleigh, but I don't know if that ever happened.

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For whatever reasons, the southeast Raleigh area seems to attract the "harder" felons, possibly due to abusive living conditions and a familiarity of the area. From the story, (somewhat edited):

Do you think that a revisit of the PROP ordinance by the new council could help the absentee slumlord conditions in much of the area? I must say, I'm not familiar with the law, but from what I've read on BTB in the past, any attempts to strengthen it were always blocked by the Taliaferro's of the world because it might adversely impact the bottom line of large property owners such as Preiss ("big real estate").

I don't know if PROP is the answer, but unquestionably, the areas in SE that are doing better have significantly higher levels of home ownership. One would think that has to be a major component of any solution. Someone also needs to get the message across the Rainey and Coleman that they need to be partnering with the city to attract new development, not deter it. IIRC Rainey was quoted in Geary's Comp Plan article saying 'we need some $70 or $80k bungalows'... not that we shouldn't be trying to achieve affordable housing, but we also have to be realistic about what can be achieved.

I think in the transition areas, such as the Woodpile block and others in that area, the leadership of SE Raleigh needs to embrace density and maybe transit down the line (streetcars?) as part of the community vision. With some incentives in target areas on the fringe of downtown in the near term, I could easily see developers being attracted by the lower land cost and ability to acheive density bonuses in exchange for a nice % of below-market rate and low income affordable housing. I'm not too familiar with the East Vision Plan, but I hope this is addressed to some degree, and if not, then by the 2030 comp plan.

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PROP has no teeth. No one has lost any rental property to the ordianance yet. Every time a change is made to it, all offenders get a clean slate to start over again.

There has been a movement to add a criminal behavior provision to the existing things that count as "strikes" -- loud noise, cars parked in the yard, etc. Cit council sent it to the Southeast Raleigh Assembly, which in turn has debated it for close to a year now. Some people want to crack down on landlords with properties that attract criminal behavior, like the properties on Jones Street formerly owned by a police officer. But others, including Coleman, are against it because they want to protect landlords. I understand they are often misled by references who lie to get a drug or liquor house set up, don't want to ask questions about a tenant willing to live in less than ideal structures and neighborhoods, pay above market rates in cash, and/or want to give former felons a chance to start over, only to find them fall back in their old ways. Or they rent a place to someone with a clean background and then a cousin/friend/co-worker/whatever "stops by" on a near-daily basis. I would like a happy medium to remove problem dwellings that have devistating effects for blocks in every direction. But "community leaders" appear to favor the status quo because it has been very successful in keeping gentrification out of the area.

The same applies to increased density. While it is the easiest way to provide ownership opportunities for less than $100k, "community leaders" are convinced that more density will lead to more crime. Even though most of the existing crime is "imported" -- conducted by outsiders in areas with no neighborhood watch groups and few (if any) owner-occupide homes and their respecitve stakeholders.

"Community leaders" felt the 40 percent of market rate units in Carlton Place was "too much" and the city should have made them all affordable. To them, any market-rate takes the place of an affordable unit. In their minds, made up a long time ago, market rate outsiders will kick out people with ties to the area. This is why some people wanted single family, detached, below market rate houses on the Carlton Place land, two blocks east of Moore Square, even though it would have been cost prohibitve and resulted in fewer afforable housing units.

There are now rumbles of pushing for only working with Habitat for Humanity to build detached houses on all city-owned land in the area. Home ownership leads to better neighborhoods, but having a mix of incomes among residents is more effective at stability than a neighborhood solely made of low-income families. One or two bad houses quickly makes those areas unlivable and anyone with the means pick up and move elsewhere.

The decreased density, lost opportunity for doing something better, and concentration of low income families that could come as a result of nothing but Habitat houses will only repeat the vicious cycle already entrenched in the area.

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I hope that our community leaders want healthy neighborhoods for all of our citizens, regardless of race or income level. By healthy neighborhoods I mean, at a minimum: 1) reasonably low crime, 2) reasonably good schools, 3) reasonably well-maintained housing, 4) job opportunities, 5) safe places for children to play, and 6) retail establishments nearby that sell the necessities of respectable living.

To achieve healthy neighborhoods, it is absolutely essential to get rid of the slumlords who are renting to drug dealers and prostitutes. When these are present, the respectable people will not move into the neighborhood or remain in the neighborhood. Also essential is a mix of incomes in the neighborhood. Sad as it may seem, research and experience are conclusive there is no such thing in modern America as a healthy urban neighborhood of all lower-income folks. That is why these big housing projects are being torn down in cities across America. They were all breeding grounds for crime, drug addiction, gangs, poverty, and long-term welfare dependency. A child growing up in a neighborhood without seeing people making successes of themselves working honest jobs, is very unlikely to do so himself or herself.

We are fortunate that the old neighborhoods in Southeast Raleigh are only mildly unhealthy; they are not terrible ghettos such as those in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Richmond, and even small parts of Durham. But what has saved these neighborhoods, for the most part, is the older folks who are still there, most of them respectable people. Some are poor and some are not, but they have decent jobs, or did before their retirements. They will not be there forever. Who will live in their houses when they are gone? The answer to that question will determine whether these neighborhoods become more healthy, or less healthy. The problem is that when the old folks die, their children, if they are successful people, don

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I totally agree with the post above. :)

The problem is community leaders seem to have convinced themselves and the people they represent that the healthy neighborhood Mr. Brown describes is not possible east of downtown due to the current state of the area. So they now fight for providing ownership opportunities to low income families that at best have a 50/50 chance of success.

Due to a mix of 1) the aged population of the neighborhood, 2) the lack of "stakeholders" due to an abundance of renters and absentee landlords, and 3) a fear of retribution from gangs and slumlords and/or "stop snitching" philosophy, criminals and slumlords continue to have free reign over large parts of the area. Most of the people still around just pack it in and hope they don't get shot. The gangs can recruit kids or members to put someone on every street as a lookout -- the police don't have that luxury. The police needs the community's help, but only gets questions like "why aren't you on my street more often?"

At every CAC meeting I go to, I see the foundation of the community that has kept it from teetering over from an "unhealthy" neighborhood to an off-limits ghetto, and some have unfortuately already passed away. I would hate to see their decades of hard work be undone over the course of the next few years due to no one else picking up the torch. With every house that gets boarded up, I see one less fighter, replaced by one more reminder of a worse future. The city has done a lot, but it can only do so much. It *should* only due so much, so as to let the community set its own path.

Unfortunatly, leaders are adopting policies that discourage law-abiding outsiders to move into the neighborhood. Their demands for "home ownership for the existing population" is noble, but not practical. These demands also place a cap on the incomes of potential residents. This has led to the current situation where parts of the neighborhood is only lower class citizens, and other areas are upper-middle/upper class only. Which is exactly what he "community leaders" want to protect their better neighborhoods at the expense of everything else.

A higher density could be acheived by populating the existing structures and building on vacant parcels. Building higher density, multi-family buildings gives the opportunity to provide more options for a wide spectrum of incomes on the same parcel of land. And the increased density supports office, retail, etc. in and near the neighborhood vs. lower density which has to leave the neighborhood to meet basic needs.

The balance of worth saving vs. junk does need to be taken into consideration. I think in some places, too much money has been spent to turn junk into something worth saving. I've been part of restoring a house that was boarded up for close to a decade into a house with residents. It wasn't cheap or easy, but has been rewarding. And I hope places that are worth saving are not torn down just to make room for something bigger, a la the teardowns between Glenwood and North Hills.

Pushing for a nothing-but-Habitat for humanity agenda guarantees only lower income residents in new construction, and limits new construction to only smaller dwellings. These two reasons are why Habitat can be involved to promote affordablility, but should not be the only player in the redevlopment game.

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  • 1 month later...

Wal-Mart probably won't do anything with the land until the city sells the Walnut Creek land to a developer.

Also, a google map of the area shows it has no access to 40 or 440 and there aren't many nearby customers right now. If Sunnybrook had a 40 interchange halfway between the 440 split and Jones Sausage, the area would be a sprawling exit city. Jones Sausage, even with its 40 access, only has a Smithfield's BBQ, a Bojangles, and some gas stations, even with the nearby Pepsi plant and other area industrial sites.

While the Garner and Knigtdale Wal-Marts get supercenter replacements less than a mile from existing locations, WM (same initials as waste management) refuses to build on land it owns in an area that is desperate for anything. Maybe the city didn't offer to improve all the roads free of charge. If that is the case, good for them.

The folks from Arkansas knew the demographics in the area and wanted to look like a good corporate citizen by opening up in a place devoid of retail options. I'm sure some people in the community started shopping at the existing wal-marts to show support while they waited for the new one. Now they get the cold shoulder, with WM keeping a steady employee count by replacing stores instead of bringing new jobs via a new location. There is a large, unserved market for a store between the US 70 and old US 64 corridors.

It would be nice if there was an equivalent of Capital City Grocery somewhere in the SE neighborhoods closest to downtown, but I know that won't happen. The MLK Kroger and Raleigh Blvd, Rock Quarry, and Poole Road Food Lion's are "enough" for a large chunk of the city.

EDIT -- added paragraph with the google map.

Edited by ncwebguy
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At the mention of Larry's, I had to chime in and add my vote for it. A traditional, independent supermarket within walking distance of my house. For a single guy, some of the serving sizes are a bit large since it is primarily for family sizes. I usually go in with neighbors for the meat. The butcher department is what it is really known for. Racks of ribs, steaks and chops and ready to cook chitterlings -- though Southern, I won't try them. It must have been around for a while, since Larry bought it as an already going concern. They also allow people to set up group cookouts on their land between Milburnie and Raleigh and the smell of that when you pass by is quite a draw.

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If Meeker gave them $1 million instead of a white-tablecloth restaurant in downtown, would they reconsider?

Now, which project is in the best interests of Raleigh?

I imagine proper impact fees for a super walmart would be much more than 1M dollars. Impact of the Mint on infrastructure is virtually zero. A comparision of taxable property values would likely also favor the combined Fayetteville St investment versus sprawl value investing. A new mall would be one thing but super walmart is a different entity entirely. Walmart, as opposed to needing incentives to come somewhere, is usually quite happy to make concessions to go where they want to go...see Wake Forest NC's Wal-Mart. The price of upfitting the Mint has already been made back with tax revenue from increased value of the buildings....not to mention new buildings like RBC, that provide tax revenue well beyond that 1M upfit cost.

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Looks like Walmart pulled the plug on their plans to build in Southeast Raleigh:

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2308872/

Let me say: Good. There already is a Wal Mart on 64 only a few miles away from that location. We do not need a Wal Mart every five miles. That is a very nice piece of land and I wish WM would sell it to someone with plans for something different.

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I've been by Larry's but never in.

As people have pointed out on here, it is more of a meat counter than grocery story, and it is dwarfed by the Raleigh Blvd. Food Lion -- Larry's is the on the NE corner of Milbrunie and Raleigh Blvd, Food Lion is the biggest box in the complex on the NE corner of Raleigh Blvd and Glascock. There are other mini-marts scattered around SE Raleigh, some attached to gas stations on the main thoroughfares, and some stand alone before retail was zoned out of neighborhoods, like on Martin Street and East Lane/Linden.

It is weird that the area east of Oakwood Cemetary identifies itself as Southeast Raleigh even though it is more "east" than "southeast". Also, nothing has filled the old Winn Dixie space, even though it has been empty for years. It backs up to the Raleigh Country Club, though the prosperity of the members on the golf course has no connection to the surrounding neighborhoods.

The pockets of economic segregation is the main reason why SE Raleigh feels like its own place compared to the rest of the city. I think even if the wal-mart was built, it would be its own island, since its sheer size makes it (like the teardowns ITB) not fit in with the scale of its surroundings.

I think $1 million was better spent on city owned property (One Exchange) than private develpopments tax payers would receive no benefit from -- road widening that only benefits the walmart or parking deck for North Hills East.

Having wal-marts a few miles away didn't stop new ones from being built behind TTC, Garner, and Knightdale. The rich get richer and the poor get to drive five miles.

I wish there could be another Larry's on the Sunnybrook/Rock Quarry intersection, but land acquisition costs have made it so that only multinational corporations get the prime (and in this case, subprime) locations.

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I imagine proper impact fees for a super walmart would be much more than 1M dollars. Impact of the Mint on infrastructure is virtually zero. A comparision of taxable property values would likely also favor the combined Fayetteville St investment versus sprawl value investing. A new mall would be one thing but super walmart is a different entity entirely. Walmart, as opposed to needing incentives to come somewhere, is usually quite happy to make concessions to go where they want to go...see Wake Forest NC's Wal-Mart. The price of upfitting the Mint has already been made back with tax revenue from increased value of the buildings....not to mention new buildings like RBC, that provide tax revenue well beyond that 1M upfit cost.

First, we don't receive tax revenue from the building The Mint is located in since the City of Raleigh owns it. Opportunity cost #1.

Second, the 26.65 acres that Wal-Mart owns on Sunnybrook Drive where they would have built has a tax value of $5.2 million. By comparison, the Wal-Mart in Wake Forest has an assessed tax value of $15.5 million, generating $175,000 in property taxes per year.

Opportunity cost #2.

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First, we don't receive tax revenue from the building The Mint is located in since the City of Raleigh owns it. Opportunity cost #1.

The rent that The Mint pays makes up for the property taxes. If the building were to be sold tomorrow, the city would get even more for the building because it comes with instant income for the new owner (tenant). Remodeling the interior also brings up the property value generally.

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First, we don't receive tax revenue from the building The Mint is located in since the City of Raleigh owns it. Opportunity cost #1.

Second, the 26.65 acres that Wal-Mart owns on Sunnybrook Drive where they would have built has a tax value of $5.2 million. By comparison, the Wal-Mart in Wake Forest has an assessed tax value of $15.5 million, generating $175,000 in property taxes per year.

Opportunity cost #2.

ok, I'll expand and clarify. I am viewing the Fayetteville St renovation and The Mint as a single investment made by the City. The investment is the reason why several projects happened at all (not counting One Exchange or its tenants)....the value of The Hudson, RBC Plaza and the little Atrium building greatly trump the value of the Wake Forest Wal-Mart. A million dollars spent on Walmart in the form of tax exempt real estate such as roads works the same as the argument you tried to use above....and sure, you get a Wal-Mart though I doubt not as nice as the Wake Forest one where Wal-Mart ponied up a brick facade and street conections at their expense. I would think that an employee of the Civitas Institute could understand that the huge increase in property values downtown is offsetting the tax burden on the far flung portions of the City. I believe Fayetteville St cost about 10 million. Since its inception this project would then need to generate an increase in value equal to 10 times the annual oppurtunity costs you stated above. WIth about 30 taxable properties on 10 acres without cranking out the calculation, just a glance at rising resale land costs tell me it probably happened easily. Not to mention spill over in positive land value all over downtown. Sure Wal-Marts sell goods people may or may not need, but they tend to depress or at least hamper from increasing, localized property values.

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