Jump to content

Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center


Recommended Posts


  • Replies 149
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Update from the city's civic campus master plan 2/13/18 presentation.  Very general massing but looks like some cool ideas.  Open ground level to act as an extension of Nash Square and then an elevate

The City has slowly been orienting itself for something by moving staff out of non-central, city owned properties to leased space. This is so they can sell these properties. Those properties will gene

The trick is getting a complex that's both useful and eye-catching without incurring so high a price tag that the project becomes a magnet for opposition, as did the Lightner Center. The Wake County C

Posted Images

Honestly after thinking about this carefully, I think Gaylord, Crowder, and Stephenson had the right idea.

Putting a hardened security operations center in the upper floors of a 17 story building is not a good idea. Hardening the entire building for the purposes of three or four floors that really needed it, resulted in hugely inflated costs. That sort of facility would be best in a dedicated, 3-4 story building somewhere else, perhaps on the fringes of downtown. That's what the three above suggested. Like Maybe "Site 6" between Dawson and McDowell south of the railroad tracks

Honestly the backlash that would have occurred had this thing passed is far worse than the prospects of not getting it built. We'd wind up with a mayor who campaigns and wins on a specific platform of "Let's stop spending money downtown and spend it elsewhere."

While, on the surface, having as many city workers in one tall downtown building as possible is a good idea, doing so regardless of the cost (remember, again, the combination of offices and emergency operations into a single building results in what should be simple office space, being built to extreme hardening standards) is unwise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly after thinking about this carefully, I think Gaylord, Crowder, and Stephenson had the right idea.

Honestly, I think that those who are so opposed to this project are using cost as a red herring. Don't get me wrong, cost is and absolutely should be a major consideration. We need to make sure that the costs are justified and then ensure that we can reasonably pay for it without bankrupting the city or citizens. On the other hand, there are those in this city who would be opposed to anything innovative and state of the art, no matter what it is. We've seen this multiple times.

It's sad that a city such as Raleigh has to fall behind its peers in terms of development because of these types of reasons, but hopefully one day things will change.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's sad that a city such as Raleigh has to fall behind its peers in terms of development because of these types of reasons, but hopefully one day things will change.

I'm not sure it's right to use this as a reason to call Raleigh backwards or falling behind. It's necessary to think things through; not holding back because we fear progress/losing old Raleigh character, and not throwing up a project just for the sake of having something new. We have to be a balance of both.

Personally I would LOVE to see Raleigh flourish with new and exciting structures and services, but I think the Lightner building was a bit too expensive and not the best design for its purposes. Still though, let's not start throwing stones about this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that the police dept is still moving out to Six Forks Rd as that was already set in motion, and I must admit I haven't been following this step by step but does that mean that the police dept will now be homebased in the burbs instead of downtown? Will the old building still be demolished until a new plan is approved? Or is the old building going to continue to be used until a replacement building is approved?

Also I wonder what will happen to that nice tall palm tree in front of the entrance of the station....hmmm....

:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure it's right to use this as a reason to call Raleigh backwards or falling behind. It's necessary to think things through; not holding back because we fear progress/losing old Raleigh character, and not throwing up a project just for the sake of having something new. We have to be a balance of both.

That's all well and good. I'm all for building based on merits versus aesthetics, but I hate seeing Raleigh not get the things that it needs simply because some oldtimers don't want to see change in any form.

Remember the old Raleigh Convention Center? They kept renovating that thing until it was about to cave in, and then some continued to insist that the city renovate it, while Raleigh was loosing conference and convention revenue left and right. There comes a time when the cost of not acting becomes greater than the cost of taking action in a timely manner. I do believe that this is one of those instances.

Edited by RALNATIVE
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am with Orulz on this. If you go to any major city in the US, or the world for that matter; be it NYC, Tokyo, LA, Rome and so forth, NONE of them have all, much less most of their personnel in one building. It might look good on paper and save money, but it is very risky and amounts to putting all your eggs in one basket. All it takes is an act of terrorism or natural disaster to come along and destroy the building and you have a city which can no longer function. It is simply something you can't discount these days. Spreading out workers mitigates those potential losses. Aside from that, it is much easier to secure smaller sites than it is larger ones, in addition to being easier to find a place to construct a new facility.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that the police dept is still moving out to Six Forks Rd as that was already set in motion, and I must admit I haven't been following this step by step but does that mean that the police dept will now be homebased in the burbs instead of downtown? Will the old building still be demolished until a new plan is approved? Or is the old building going to continue to be used until a replacement building is approved?

Also I wonder what will happen to that nice tall palm tree in front of the entrance of the station....hmmm....

:-)

You're right, the temporary "headquarters" will be on Six Forks Rd. while the department will maintain a central command office in a renovated building at the Cabarrus/Dawson st. intersection. The current headquarters will be moved out of and demolished unless the council decides to keep it around till they know what their next move is.

North Hills is quite bland, maybe Bonner would like to dig it up and take it to work...you know, like a trophy.

Here is my little rant on this whole project:

I have been in the current RPD more than 50 times, for both visiting my dad and volunteer work. There is no doubt that every aspect of our public safety and emergency services needs upgrading and the manner in which the council wanted to do it for the last 10 years was the easiest possible way but also the most expensive. Back in the 90's, the RPD was actually in serious talks to relocate next door to the Hillsborough Place building (current Campbell Law School), imagine how cheap that would have been! People have been calling this "Meeker's shiny tower" and calling the height overkill without probably researching the property, it's tiny! The small space, which also has to integrate the entry and exit drives to the underground portion of the parking deck, required the building to be taller. In fact, the property is half the size of the new Judicial Center's site but with almost the same amount of heated square footage all while needing 50 times the technology the Judicial Center needs(comparing apples to oranges and justifying the costs). I agree, the 911 emergency services, traffic control, and IT servers should be located in a hardened structure separate from the proposed project, but only a few blocks away so not to lose the advantage of accessing existing underground utilities which are incredibly expensive to install. With that component out, the city should still pursue an RPD/RFD public safety headquarters on the current site that is not built as a hardened structure but as a safe, architecturally pleasing, publicly involved, and LEED cert. mid-rise structure. Another thing that some people need to understand is we aren't looking to build this because we are seeking immediate crime and safety results from the departments but we are building this because we have a civic duty to provide our public servants with the tools needed to perform their job properly. Better response times and lower crime rates come as a result of these tools with time. Cost estimates for both components could be significantly lower then the current plan but that requires action soon while construction costs are still low along with efficient designs. Get to work people!

Sorry for the long post.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got an idea, why not stick the Police, Fire, and 911 Call Center in the Hue? It's currently vacant and very close to the other municipal bldgs. Most importantly it won't cost taxpayers a thing.

Edited by RALNATIVE
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the argument for opposing the funding of the building on the grounds that it isn't the right building program for the site, or that it isn't the right time for a tax increase. However, what about the sunk costs for pre-construction, that I hear total $22M? In that light, I would like to see a discussion of which city council members voted to fund the design of the building, but now oppose funding the construction. Why that hasn't been discussed in the local media, I have no idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The big misstep was packing all these items together. If you said the Falls of Neuse Bridge out to Wake Field would raise taxes I bet the reaction would be a series of convulsions by the right wing while they tried to process this paradox within their doctrine.

Having said that the $426/sqft price tag did raise my eyebrows. I also happen to think the Wake County courthouse is in more dire need of blastproof structure than an emergency response headquarters, so wonder if the $150/sqft tag on the Wake County building is equally underbuilt. That's in line with stickbuilt construction in nice neighborhoods. The cost of relocation to One Hannover of county services should be included in the Wake County building to get closer to apples to apples as I think Raleigh has all the moving costs and such rolled up into their number.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Raleigh continues to impress. A major player it will never be at this rate. What's next, killing diversity? Oh wait....

Raleigh didn't kill diversity....I sorry excuse of a school board for Wake County did. On that topic, I think it's only the beginning, as the NAACP is stepping in and vows to fight the school board all the way to the US Supreme Court. On top of that, the school board has repeatedly ignored the transparency rules that regulate it, so it's only a matter of time before someone complains to the state and they end up involved too for the violation of transparency laws. Let the games begin!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

The Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center may have one more breath left. The News and Observer is reporting that Raleigh City Manager, Russell Allen, has made a proposal to the City Council to build the new tower without raising taxes. This may be enough to get John Odom to vote for the project, which could break the 4-4 deadlock from previous votes. The proposal has the city using short term variable rate loans to pay for the project. Stay tuned next week.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

An article in today's N&O says that Odom is still not on board. Apparently the Russell Allen plan relies on short-term financing, for which rates are currently rock-bottom. Eventually the debt would have to be refinanced as long-term... and rates could be higher.

At least, that's what Odom says. My guess is that they're all assessing the implications of this month's election on the municipal election 12 months out.

Edited by ctl
Link to post
Share on other sites

An article in today's N&O says that Odom is still not on board. Apparently the Russell Allen plan relies on short-term financing, for which rates are currently rock-bottom. Eventually the debt would have to be refinanced as long-term... and rates could be higher.

At least, that's what Odom says. My guess is that they're all assessing the implications of this month's election on the municipal election 12 months out.

It's funny how some people latch on to any excuse possible when they aren't in favor of something, for whatever reason. If it weren't short-term vs. long-term rates, it would be some other lame excuse.

Link to post
Share on other sites

More insights at http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/gop-using-lightner-center-to-push-spending-referendum/Content?oid=1804055

Interestingly, the Mayor now indicates he's flexible on the whole Lightner concept.

If anybody pushes hard for Lightner now in the highly anti-spending political climate of today they will probably get waxed in the 2011 election. But then again they might get waxed anyway.

IMO, this was a pretty building, but stacking these functions just doesn't make sense here in Raleigh. It might make sense in Manhattan, but not here.

As for locations for a shorter, hardened emergency services building, how about one of the more unusual Cultural/Convention redevelopment sites: Site 5, between the Dawson/McDowell split? It has some frontage on South Street, but the whole rest of the block is a pedestrian no-mans-land. Put some sort of facility accessible to the public directly facing South Street, and the emergency services department on the back of the lot wedged between South and McDowell. Sounds like one of very few reasonable places for a hardened facility that is still downtown, plus it's already city-owned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As for locations for a shorter, hardened emergency services building, how about one of the more unusual Cultural/Convention redevelopment sites: Site 5, between the Dawson/McDowell split? It has some frontage on South Street, but the whole rest of the block is a pedestrian no-mans-land. Put some sort of facility accessible to the public directly facing South Street, and the emergency services department on the back of the lot wedged between South and McDowell. Sounds like one of very few reasonable places for a hardened facility that is still downtown, plus it's already city-owned.

I don't think there has been much discussion of alternate sites for the Lightner Center. Although I agree with the suggestion of the wedge coming into downtown because of the reasons specified, I've always imagined that area with a larger more iconic building considering it is on an edge. I think that someone along the tracks in some some section of downtown could also be considered. The rails will create a natural barrier. Blocks that come to mind are the one across from the wedge (corner of McDowell and South) and the block bounded by Dawson, Cabbarus, Harrington, and Lenoir (that block will be critical for connection for the Intermodal station to Faytettville Street and the Convention Center).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was tearing down the parking deck part of the plan originally? If not then wax that thing and split the project into two buildings with a parking deck in the middle. I think the safety needs of emergency operations at the city level is a bit over stated. We are not coordinating armed forces here. You could easily wedge the hardware into the lower floor/basement of either building with sufficient blast protection. If they are planning for something on the level of war in Wake County then its still easy enough cut communications at other places such as the adjacent AT&T building no matter what you do with the point of coordination.

Edited by Jones133
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

The land behind it. All the surrounding land was bought by the City with plans to garbage truck lot out there to part of it. The Westinghouse building itself is still owned by whoever bought it from Parker Lincoln (I just moved out of it actually).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.