orulz

Stanhope Village / Valentine Commons

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moderator note: since CHGuy has pointed out this project now seems to be moving forward perceptibly, I moved the information out of the Hillsborough Street thread into this one.

The first two roundabouts in the Hillsborough Street plan - at Shepard Dr and Friendly Dr - seem placed to get the Stanhope Village district off the ground.

This is the area between Hillsborough St and the railroad tracks, stretching from Servitex to University Towers, going by such landmarks as the Carolina Equipment Company building (with the big bulldozer on top) and Cup-a-Joe. This also happens to be the narrowest section of Hillsborough St, since both sides are built up. It also happens to be one of the most unsightly, with terrible sidewalks and lots of auto repair shops. Here is the small area plan that the city approved in October, 2002 for the district:

stanhopevillage.gif.

A developer, M.E. Valentine, proposed something with a different massing of buildings from the city's plan, but it got approved unanimously in November 2002. Check this article from The Technician for a bit more info on the development. Valentine is the owner of University Towers, the privately operated, upscale dorm, and the first phase of his project was to involve a large tower similar in scale to U.T., an accompanying parking structure, and a small amount of retail/office space. Future phases would add more apartments/condominiums and up to 35,000 square feet of retail. The city's small-area plan suggested a grocery store; who knows whether Valentine wants to put one there or not.

Valentine's plans have been in limbo for three years, supposedly for two reasons. Firstly, there was a lot prep work that needed to be done on the site (there were supposedly some environmental issues that needed to be resolved.) Secondly, I presume he was waiting for the Hillsborough St improvements to happen, since it will make this into a much more attractive area.

Anyway, let's just wait and see what happens

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The Stanhope area is in real need of redevelopment... I hope this will get it off the ground.

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Here's a PDF with a master plan for Valentine's Stanhope Center development from the 2002 rezoning.

I'm not sure about the status of the Carolina Equipment Co. building, but I do know that it's not one of the parcels in the Stanhope Center redevelopment. As far as I'm concerned, The rear half of the building can go - but the part facing Hillsborough Street is made of nice, clean, weathered, and old brick, with big windows.

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Great to see some actual progress here.

One of the things I notice from the site plan, is that the six small houses along Stanhope were not mentioned at all in the 2002 master plan, but now they are planned to be demolished and turned into a parking deck. That seems a rather insensitive treatment for the neighborhood to the west.

In addition, the Concord-Yarborough connection has been eliminated. Some sort of connectivity NEEDS to be added in the area so hopefully the city can convince them to reinstate that.

I wish they could connect Concord across the tracks to the NCSU parking lots near the baseball stadium. An at-grade crossing could be built there easily with very little digging or filling, but one would certainly not be allowed. A grade separation would be ridiculously expensive and disruptive. So I guess I'll just have to forget that, and hope that the original connection shown on the master plan gets put back in.

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^^This house isn't too small and its going bye bye.

I do not like Valentine at all and think these high end dormitories do little to help anything except his pocket book.

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I agree, Jones. It's sad to see the destruction of those charming, well-built bungalows, and the fine house you have pictured, which would be worth 750K if it were in Cameron Park. The loss of these houses will also threaten the rest of the neighborhood.

I am glad that the lovely Fincastle Apartments are not slated for destruction yet, although I see there is to be a building in its parking lot. I wonder where the residents will park now?

I am also alarmed to see a new building slated for where the Reader's Corner is now. Although their building is of little value, the business is one of Raleigh's treasures. I spoke to the owners of the business and land; they say that nobody has talked to them yet. It would be tragic to lose this wonderful institution.

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It's sad to see the destruction of those charming, well-built bungalows, and the fine house you have pictured, which would be worth 750K if it were in Cameron Park. The loss of these houses will also threaten the rest of the neighborhood.

I disagree on a few points, but let's take a look at these houses though before I continue...

0012437 [land - $32,670 {sodEmoji.|} build - $35,503]:

00309500.JPG

0004388 [land - $32,670 {sodEmoji.|} build - $27,815]:

00112400.JPG

0039944 [land - $30,490 {sodEmoji.|} build - $20,559]:

009C0800.JPG

0041656 [land - $32,670 {sodEmoji.|} build - $20,621]:

00A2B800.JPG

0004804 [land - $32,670 {sodEmoji.|} build - $13,668]:

0012C400.JPG

0041631 [land - $30,490 {sodEmoji.|} build - $29,070]:

00A29F00.JPG

Without looking at the property values and just looking at the houses visually, only the 1st and 6th houses appear to be "decent". Upon comparing those visual observations to the land and building assessments, that is more or less on par with the valued properties. The first house which is quite nice I will admit, does have a slightly higher building value than land value. In all the other cases, the land is worth more than the house itself.

Seriously I can understand wanting to "save a neighborhood", but these homes really aren't all that architecturally important. They also aren't comparable to Cameron Park and that $750k number I don't buy. Homes in that area that have decent square footage and are maintained are worth around $750k. The average property value in Cameron Park is not that high:

http://www.zillow.com/search/RealEstateSea...&GOButton=#

Most properties appear to be in the $400k - $600k range (there are exceptions). If you were to take those last 4/5 homes and put them in Cameron Park (as is), they'd probably be in the $300k - $400k range.

Yes I am saddened that these homes are going to be torn down and wish that the 1st and 6th house could be saved, but this neighborhood is land locked and it was only a matter of time. You have that giant substation to the west, rail to the south, ncsu to the east, and industrial/commercial to the north. At some point someone was going to advance, the property is just too valuable.

:wacko:

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If you had taken pictures of Oakwood, my neighborhood, in 1972, you would have found most houses to be in the same condition as these. They were not considered "decent" either. They were mostly divided into apartments and rooming houses and run down. Many had cars parked in the yards. Much of the neighborhood was scheduled to be knocked down for the "North-South Expressway." Yes, the land was worth more than the houses.

Oakwood was saved by a few committed residents, but similar neighborhoods across the country were not. The expressways went right through fine old neighborhoods in Durham, Winston-Salem, Seattle, Syracuse, etc.

The houses you picture, with the exception of the cinder block cottage, are fine houses, well built of quality materials. Four of them would not be out of place in Cameron Park. They have been neglected and abused in recent decades, but so had most of the houses in Oakwood in the decades after World War II. They are structurally sound and restorable. They certainly are built for a longer lifespan than what will go in their place, which will probably be built of soft pine, beaverboard, styrofoam, vinyl, etc.

I love progress, but only if it improves the city. Progress is not an altar to be worshipped at, in my opinion.

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Here's a PDF with a master plan for Valentine's Stanhope Center development from the 2002 rezoning.

I'm not sure about the status of the Carolina Equipment Co. building, but I do know that it's not one of the parcels in the Stanhope Center redevelopment. As far as I'm concerned, The rear half of the building can go - but the part facing Hillsborough Street is made of nice, clean, weathered, and old brick, with big windows.

Since you posted that 2+ years ago, Lulu has planned to move into Carolina Equipment, and the Hillsborough street project is moving forward, although first on the eastern portion of the street... both promising developments for the area. (IIRC, the planning director's preference was to only do one additional roundabout at Shepard and Rosemary St--the offset intersection to the NW.)

Looking at the site plan vs the master plan approved for the rezoning in 2002, there have been some major site changes proposed. The bungalows were never a part of the old Valentine master plan. Instead of tearing down the homes (that he likely acquired in later years, post 2002), the parking deck was to be located where the big gravel lot is now and the Concord Ave public street connection with Dan Allen Drive adjacent to the parking deck is blocked.

2890891580098570895S600x600Q85.jpg

So now we have a potential loss of historic homes that was never intended (for a parking deck, no less) and a loss of connectivity on the site, that would likely impede traffic flow and direct all site traffic to Hillsborough St. This is a major veer off-course from an approved rezoning case/plan, in my view, that should raise some serious concerns to the planning commission & council... a bit of a bait and switch? The PC and council should have some serious concerns about this in it's current form.

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I love progress, but only if it improves the city. Progress is not an altar to be worshipped at, in my opinion.

I agree, don't get me wrong. I know what I wrote probably came off as "tear em all down" and "out with the old in with the new", but overall these houses just are one of those cases where new development makes more sense to me. Granted I don't really agree with the Stanhope plans of putting a big parking deck right there next to the rest of the remaining homes, but these homes aren't really that unique. A couple of them could look pretty nice if fixed up; I see the hidden character in there, masked under layers of flaking paint and overgrowth. The deck however will be good for parking and allowing for more people to park and walk up to Hillsborough Street, possibly increasing commercial/retail on Hillsborough. I think LuLu is renovating to the North as well. I just really hate where that deck is going. They revised plan reeks of rotten eggs.

If they were to do something like this to Oakwood I would be really agitated. Oakwood has quite a larger footprint in Raleigh than these homes and a lot more character. I can't speak for these homes in terms of a neighborhood community as I don't live there, so I can't use that argument as a pro/con. From the outsider perspective though, this area is not going to become another Oakwood. Property values here are not going to crazily jump, people don't normally like to live in houses right beside railroad tracks.

In any case, we both have our opinions. This neighborhood just got the unlucky short straw and those six homes (unless the developer plans to move them) are in the way of the developer's vision.

Edited by DPK

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As an aside, half of the Stanhope neighborhood has already been demolished...it used to extend to Dan Allen....Farmhouse Pizza (formerly Cantina), the old yellow guitar shop next to Gumbys, the florist and the old Farmhouse pizza house are all vestiges of the old extent of the neighborhood. What a great mixed use neighborhood it once was with density by way of The Wilmont and Fincastle nearby, commercial spaces along Hillsborough and jobs within walking distance, Servitex, NC Equipment Co. and NCSU.

Edited by Jones133

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It is odd that the six houses in question have worse yards than their neighbors to the west in Google's satellite view. They have been rented by fraternities looking for a way to provide close to campus parking for their members since the early/mid 90s, if not sooner. There used to be some neat warehouse buildings east of Condord as well, but those were torn down a few years ago. They added to the industrial feel to the area, and Valentine made no attempt to do anything with them other than create more parking spaces for State students.

The houses further west were a mix of college students and lower class families willing to put up with being so close to the train tracks for cheap rents. It was a neat pocket neighborhood, but with the trains that rocked the north side of Sullivan Hall across the tracks, nothing was going to save those houses *on that site*. But they could be moved further west by Gorman, or maybe to Oakwood/East Raleigh.

With all the potential for redevelopment, it could be a good train stop, but it is probably too close to NC State's proposed stop near Reynolds.

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Those yards are bad because they were rented parking spaces too based on my last bike ride through there and all the numbered wheel stops I saw still there.

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You're right, Jones. It was a great mixed-use, mixed-density neighborhood. I remember seeing the remnants of the eastern half of it in the late 1980s.

I don't think it's so bad living next to the tracks. You get completely accustomed to the noise. In many small towns across the state, the tracks went through the middle of town and the owner of the mill built his house on the main street along the tracks, to be near the mill.

Here in Raleigh there are lovely old homes close to the tracks in Mordecai, Glenwood, and Boylan Heights. They recently built some fairly expensive townhouses right up against the tracks off of Peace St. And of course the first big condo project in the downtown area was the cotton mill, just a few feet from the tracks.

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It is sad that the six "houses" were primarily parking lots. Ugh. That seems just barely legal, and were not shut down since the lots were gravel. Since Sullivan and the Tri Towers were mostly freshmen, hundreds of new students had to get "used" to the train every fall. I can see why they would want to concentrate parking decks close to the tracks, but why build in line with the existing Dan Allen Deck and make some semblance of connections via Yarborough, Condord, Dixie, and Stanhope?

If these are going to be upscale dorms like University Towers, they will probably be well sound-proofed and/or buffered by parkind decks. 222 and 510 Glenwood also use this approach.

There are *no* at-grade crossings on the tracks that run by the Cotton Mill, Glenwood-Brooklyn, etc. until south of the wye near 42nd Street Oyster Bar, so conductors don't need to blow the horn, etc. which can't be said for the NC State area with people walking too often along those tracks.

In Pilot Mill near Mordecai (and other areas), houses are above the track's grade, so are not as affected. The houses closest to the tracks in Mordecai leave a lot to be desired, though they are building new multi-family buildings at the north end west of Wake Forest Road.

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The N&O has an article on Stanhope Village this morning.

Stanhope Village would hold 291 units with 1,000 beds and fill a gravel parking lot neighbors call unsightly and take down several boarded-up houses along Stanhope Avenue. It would stand near where self-publishing firm Lulu is moving into the "yellow bulldozer" building on Hillsborough Street.

...

A similar project wound its way through Raleigh's planning process in 2002, but this new plan comes with a few tweaks.

Six years ago, Stanhope developers envisioned new retail and office space along Hillsborough Street, along with a parking deck between them and the dormitory.

Now, plans call for putting a 40-foot parking deck along Stanhope Avenue and taking down single-family houses there, many of them boarded-up.

Neighbors nearby object to the deck's new location, fearing cut-through traffic on their small residential street.

Also, "replacing single-family housing with a parking deck is not much of an improvement," said resident Caleb Smith.

This is the point I was trying to make... that the 2002 rezoning plan was somewhat different, and I don't support the idea that we should tear down some potentially viable semi-historic homes for a large parking deck. Why don't they just proceed with the old plan? Valentine get even greedier?

In concept, this is a fine project, and much needed as the article points out, but ideally, I'd like to see the planning dept try to persuade Valentine to go back to the old plan, but if that doesn't work, hopefully the council would swiftly reject this plan and tell him to resubmit with a revised parking scheme.

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In concept, this is a fine project, and much needed as the article points out, but ideally, I'd like to see the planning dept try to persuade Valentine to go back to the old plan, but if that doesn't work, hopefully the council would swiftly reject this plan and tell him to resubmit with a revised parking scheme.

I agree with you. I really don't like where this project is going any more after reading this article. This quote also bothers me:

The deck on Stanhope will likely just be for storage and not create much traffic as students walk to campus, he said.

So that makes it ok? It's still a massive concrete structure next to homes! Also the developer is just plain out of touch with college life if he thinks students are just going to let their cars sit all the time. Kids like to venture off campus all the time. You definitely will have increased traffic volumes. It's just plain ignorant to assume other wise and pass it off as just "storage".

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The neighbors have united against the parking deck that is a part of this project. Before you cry NIMBY, I think folks should realize that the development plan has changed from the original rezoning that took place several years ago, that had the parking deck on a parcel between the Hillsborough St frontage and the site of the student housing near the tracks (see my post above for the original master plan).

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Stanhope Village was the subject of Planning Commission deliberation today, and much of it was negative. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that the PC had it in them. Like I said before, they need to either find a strong compromise or deny this site plan and have Valentine resubmit and move the deck back to it's original location and away from those old bungalows.

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I listened to Tuesday's public hearing today.

Along with the rezoning petition by Capstone for the parking deck, the residents of the Stanhope neighborhood have filed a parallel petition to downzone all the lots in the neighborhood that have single-family homes on them from I-2 to R-10, including the 6 lots the Stanhope Village developers are proposing for a parking deck. This would prohibit the parking deck altogether.

At the same time, the developers changed their petition from I-2 conditional (which would prohibit residential) to O&I-2 conditional (which would allow residential) and are evidently proposing to wrap the parking deck with residential structures.

Somebody brought up a point that in the small area plan, the 4 westernmost lots proposed for the parking deck were envisioned as a location for 2ish story residential structures, while the 2 easternmost (the concrete block houses) are envisioned as 4-5 story residential. The developers have evidently also proposed a change to the neigborhood of the way the deck (and its residential wrapping) is laid out, so that it complies with the small area plan, with 4-5 stories closer to campus, stepping down to 2 or 3 stories closer to the neighborhood.

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I attended a good portion of the City Council meeting yesterday, and the Capstone rezoning was on the agenda for approval. The Planning Commission voted that the rezoning was consistent with the small area plan that was done back in 02/03 I believe (by Russ Stephenson's firm, no less). Crowder and Stephenson felt that the rezoning was not consistent with the allowable uses and setbacks and height on the contested site of the row of SF homes along the tracks, whereas the Planning Director said that it was ruled to be consistent. Complicating matters is that the neighborhood has a parallel petition that would downzone the homes where the parking deck would be sited (rendering the deck non-conforming), plus the actual site plan approval for the project that has yet to occur.

It was a confusing mess, especially the extent of the overlap of the 6 parcels included or excluded in each petition. Either way, the rezoning was approved, and it was clear that Stephenson, and especially Crowder was visibly annoyed with the proceedings. What I don't know is whether the neighborhood's rezoning package will be approved, given the conflict with this one and the site plan from the developer.

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This project comes up for a vote today at city council. I can barely follow all the rezonings, and such, but the developers rezoning passed 2 weeks ago, where the PC and planning dept ruled it was consistent with the comp plan. There is a competing rezoning case that has not come up yet, but would effectively downzone the area where the parking deck would stand (the row of old bungalows), disallowing that use and scale. Today is the vote on the site plan, and apparently the developer made some last minute changes from the intial PC denial of the case, to make it compliant with the small area plan and code. I find it very hard to believe this is the case, with a large parking deck that is being added off to the side in place of the homes, while the small area plan had the deck internal to the site wrapped in residential and retail. This is not any thing that resemble the SAP, and IMO is not an improvement.

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I am pretty sure at last glance, the homes had all been demolished. Next to go would have to be the old Blue Flame space, the little yellow house on Hillsborough and everything else between Pantanas and Katmandu.

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