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dmccall

Rosengarten Park

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Sorry to dig back so far folks, but the area that really needs to be redeveloped to make the whole downtown vision work, is the area between Dorothea Dix and the Progress Energy Center (Memorial Auditorium). If that area were totally redevloped from the ground up with high and medium density, 3-story row houses, then people could feel safe living on the new Dix property and in Boylan Heights.

Once that piece of the puzzle is changed, then you have a west side of downtown in which people feel safe walking. That means an area from the Farmer's Market all the way to Peace. You get people feeling safe between those two places and downtown will explode. Trust me.

http://tinyurl.com/agbd8

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Sorry to dig back so far folks, but the area that really needs to be redeveloped to make the whole downtown vision work, is the area between Dorothea Dix and the Progress Energy Center (Memorial Auditorium).http://tinyurl.com/agbd8

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Although your map actually doesn't follow the correct road, I know exactly what you're talking about. South Street needs a lot of work. On the SE corner of the South Street/South Saunders Streetintersection, there's an old, vinyl-sided two-story apartment complex that looks ugly and out of place. That thing needs to GO. There are some reasonably nice bungalows on S Saunders to the north of South Street but most of the area is very neglected and needs a lot of work.

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Maybe THIS route is more specific. :)

http://tinyurl.com/7e9sw

Although your map actually doesn't follow the correct road, I know exactly what you're talking about. South Street needs a lot of work. On the SE corner of the South Street/South Saunders Streetintersection, there's an old, vinyl-sided two-story apartment complex that looks ugly and out of place. That thing needs to GO. There are some reasonably nice bungalows on S Saunders to the north of South Street but most of the area is very neglected and needs a lot of work.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Hm. Your map (at least on my machine) goes from Dix, along West Street and Dawson street, to the Halifax Mall state government complex and then on to Peace College. While I agree that West and Dawson could use some work, I still think the map is wrong since it ends nowhere near Memorial Auditorium.

I think this is what you're talking about.

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Sorry to dig back so far folks, but the area that really needs to be redeveloped to make the whole downtown vision work, is the area between Dorothea Dix and the Progress Energy Center (Memorial Auditorium). If that area were totally redevloped from the ground up with high and medium density, 3-story row houses, then people could feel safe living on the new Dix property and in Boylan Heights.

Once that piece of the puzzle is changed, then you have a west side of downtown in which people feel safe walking. That means an area from the Farmer's Market all the way to Peace. You get people feeling safe between those two places and downtown will explode. Trust me.

A thread back from the dead, it looks like someone must have 'trusted' you on this area, which most definitely is an eyesore.

According to New Raleigh, City Space is planning a development in this very area, replacing the bungalows and shotguns with townhomes aimed at "first time house-buyers" in the $225,000-$315,000 price range for the first phase.

The goal of this plan is to "spur the completion of the western gateway greenway and redevelop two blighted areas on the eastern edge of Boylan Heights." Along with building a stretch of townhouses the firm is willing to construct the segment of the greenway that has been part of Raleigh's greenway plans for that area.

Vagrancy and "shift renting" has been cited by many area residents as a problem that leads to undesirables moving through the Boylan Heights neighborhood. Richard Johnson of City Space, the developer of the project, desires to attract first time house-buyers by "creating security through environment design." The stretch of S. Saunders that will be under development can be viewed here.

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A thread back from the dead, it looks like someone must have 'trusted' you on this area, which most definitely is an eyesore.

According to New Raleigh, City Space is planning a development in this very area, replacing the bungalows and shotguns with townhomes aimed at "first time house-buyers" in the $225,000-$315,000 price range for the first phase.

Good grief! Since when is $225,000 to $315,000 be considered the "first time home buyer" range??

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$225,000 is affordable for a young couple who recently graduated from college, is combining their incomes, and has been renting for a year or two to save money for a down payment.

I wonder if they plan on straightening & widening that block of South Saunders. The Glenwood-Saunders connector is still shown as a collector street in the city's central, southwest, and university district plans.

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Good grief! Since when is $225,000 to $315,000 be considered the "first time home buyer" range??

$225,000 is affordable for a young couple who recently graduated from college, is combining their incomes, and has been renting for a year or two to save money for a down payment.

Sorry, going off topic for a minute.

I would have to agree with JeffC here. I have been out of college for six years, working decent paying jobs and currently have a salary that's about the median income for a single person household in this area. I also have very good credit, and while I might get approved for a mortgage to cover $225k, I would by no means be comfortable with it. I've also been saving quite a bit while renting all this time, far more than most people I know. That said, I do not have nearly enough for a 20% down payment on $225k, which is $45k (maybe not a requirement, but definitely a wise decision). And no, I am not tapping my retirement fund for it either.

Ok, so I throw my boyfriend in the mix and add his income and we still would not be able to save any money.

I just did a quick calculation on a realty website and $225k with $45 down, 6% interest rate, assuming $2k taxes and $2k insurance (not really sure what is reasonable for ins. and taxes, I must admit) and the monthly payment is over $1,400 :o . Definitely a situation where renting is better than buying, IMHO.

Not to say that there aren't first-time home buyers that could swing this, but I'd venture to guess there are probably a lot more who cannot.

While I feel like there a more socio-economically diverse development would be better in this neighborhood, this project will definitely improve the area, and that is definitely a good thing.

Edited by miamiblue

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Unless PSNC has cleaned up their act lately, there is a reason why that area is as bad as it is -- no one wants to live across from the natural gas pipes. They have the greenway going right into the gas company's property, so maybe they are planning to move? On Google's satellite view, it looks like they just repaved the parking lot.

The gentrification/renewal sparked by Boylan Heights has had a defined edge at the creek just east of Florence Street for years. I've wakled by several times and Rosengarten Street, the proposed "urban greenway", is more of an unpaved alley in really bad shape than an actual road. Another reason why there has been no interest in developing the area despite its proximity to downtown. Even Google's Street View car didn't go down there.

On Saunders, it would probably be more affordable to fix up the structures that were worth saving vs. tearing the whole street down. Though I could see that being part of an "urban renewal" plan to connect Glenwood to Saunders. Glenwood could get tied to shifted DuPont, with a "new" Saunders connecting from Cabarrus to Lenior and South.

I would like to have seen a rennovating/pioneering/revitalizing spirit similar to the one that preserved Oakwood and Boylan Heights to sweep through the area roughly bordered by Cabarrus, Florence (also unpaved from South to Lenoir), Dorothea, and Saunders/West. But being in the "valley" between Boylan and the train tracks has been too much to overcome. There are/were some art studios nearby -- Rebus, Antfarm at Boylan/Kinsey/Dupont, and Litmus on Cabarrus, but nothing has pushed further in this direction. South and Saunders could still be the center of an arts district someday, but it could wind up being only new construction if this development succeeds.

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Good find, miamiblue. This area has been crying out for some investment for some time, and could become a vital cog in the downtown to Dix (Park?) connection that many of us have envisioned. (As an aside, the city has identified the Cabarrus to S Sanders route as a potential green corridor, possibly to include lighting, biking, and sidewalk improvements, as well as a connection to the greater Raleigh greenway system.

Personally, I think $225-315k for 1,200-1,800 sf townhomes basically in downtown is a very reasonable price. Tell me another place near downtown where you can find a townhome layout at less than $200/sf within walking distance of the warehouse district? Yeah, it's not the best location right now, but it looks like the redevelopment will create a nice vibrant, walkable area between Boylan Heights and Dix. A young (or empty nester) two-income middle or upper-middle class family interested in a townhome layout, near downtown, would certainly be able to afford these units. If one worked downtown and gave up a car (payment, insurance, gas), it becomes all the more affordable.

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I wonder if they plan on straightening & widening that block of South Saunders. The Glenwood-Saunders connector is still shown as a collector street in the city's central, southwest, and university district plans.

Found the answer by reading the article on New Raleigh. The developer hopes to maintain the 1-way street at its current width.

So they will have to convince the city to remove the Glenwood-Saunders connector entirely from the transportation plan in order to move forward.

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miamiblue, every first-time homebuyer feels the way you do. It seems steep now, but the savings of ownership over time are unquestionably worth it. I will say, though, that the home mortgage is the first major step toward kicking your hinie into fuddyduddyism. "Fun" things just aren't as much fun when you stress about making that payment.

Just as a reference, these prices are very much in line with the going rate for houses in the needing-to-be-spruced-up North Hills neighborhood. You'll have a hard time finding a free standing house, with a yard, for less than $200K in a safe area that is close to a lot of stuff.

Edited by dmccall

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The N&O has a story on this today. Apparently City View is also working on the Hinsdale Row project, although that one has a MUCH higher pricetag. I thought this was a funny quote:

"When you're done trolling for girls at the bars but don't want to move to the suburbs, this is the place," said Richard Johnson, a City Space partner. :lol:

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Depending on your definition of "walking distance", the areas just east of Person are in walking distance of the warehouse district, as walking through the F Street core is becoming more of a joy than a chore every month. And the neighborhood is as "safe" as this area is. It is a good "close but not to close" for our significant other-trolling lives. And free standing houses, with yards, are at/less than $200/sq foot even after restoration.

I think the "North" Saunders area is less gang-infested since it is a lot more difficult to get out of vs. SE Raleigh. If they purchase all the houses, they could shift Saunders slightly and put a second alley paralell to the east. Or just townhouses on the east of Saunders shallow and above alley-fed garages, with townhouses on the west taller (the ground slopes down a lot away from downtown) with the rooftop terraces.

It is funny that the Metropolitan was mentioned. Why those plans, which would have great views of downtown and close to the CC, warehouse district, multimodal center, etc. haven't been dusted off I have no idea. Maybe they're thinking bigger? I could see 3-4 story infill project on the SW Cabarrus/West corner.

I hope it does well and gets developers thinking about other previously "off limits" areas. I don't know where the current residents will move to (is Gateway Park fully occupied yet?), but I doubt if more than a handful of those properties are owner-occupied. Boylan Heights residents are kidding themselves if they think this project in itself will make crime go away entirely. I know someone who used to work at Transporterwerks (VW repair shop on West between Cabarrus and Lenior) and there used to be a brothel in one of the houses across West. The houses on Lenior had backyards full of 40 bottles. I hope some of the buildings are saved, like the old grocery store in Boylan Heights and the salon near Central Prison.

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I looked over the slide show and saw some encouraging signs.....the two cool brick buildings on S Saunders will be left it appears as will the big yellow triple A that clearly someone has lovenly lived in for many years with plants all over the front porch. There is also a sort of low-mid-rise building drawn in near the railroad tracks at Lenoir I think...wonder if that is pure artists concept of nothing or some real project in the talking phase. City View has several tracts in their plan beyond Saunders too such as two blocks of land off Dorthea Dr and numerous smaller tracts nearby highlighted so that I assumes it means upfitting them at some point. There word seems to be good as they built and sold all of the condos off Cabarrus and rehabbed a nice single family house off Florence next to those, so they will rehab as well if they think its a good idea.

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The CitySpace project, called "Rosengarten Terrace,' is now under review by the city. There are 41 units on 1.34 acres in total. As orulz said, the developer is not proposing any street work on S. Saunders, which is very narrow thru there, and only allows one way operation. I'd like to see the street widened a bit to allow for two-way traffic, bike lanes and sidewalks, especially given the terrible connectivity that currently exists between Dix and downtown. S. Saunders is basically the only street that is even the slightest pedestrian-friendly (if not entirely safe) east of Boylan Ave and capable of making that connection under Western Blvd, which slices through the area.

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I find it very interesting that the city is letting new development go up in this area without securing land for a future expansion of s. saunders street. Even without new construction, and more traffic in the area, the one way portion of s. saunders is awkward. The logical plans would be to eventually connect glenwood to s. saunders passing through or by the future intermodal center.

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^fwiw Glenwood used to be called Saunders Street. Also Martin Street used to connect to Boylan Heights at Blam Gallery with a viaduct, so that precedent is their already. An older version of the comprehensive plan (current one?) has the Glenwood/Saunders connection dotted in.

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^fwiw Glenwood used to be called Saunders Street. Also Martin Street used to connect to Boylan Heights at Blam Gallery with a viaduct, so that precedent is their already. An older version of the comprehensive plan (current one?) has the Glenwood/Saunders connection dotted in.

Is there anything that remains of the Martin Street viaduct? Any idea where it exactly teed into Boylan or is it where the various rails intersect, ergo lost forever?

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Is there anything that remains of the Martin Street viaduct? Any idea where it exactly teed into Boylan or is it where the various rails intersect, ergo lost forever?

On the west end the pavement in front of PH 7 and Blam is old street and the east end after Martin crosses West Street it narrows and begins to rise supported by a dirt foundation (maybe 5 feet above the surrounding grade)...supporting piers probably started right after this ramp-up. I have never looked for remains of the piers that supported the actual viaduct but you might find something...it was a virtual straight shot from the two points I mentioned.

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I know a couple of points of discussion on this project has been whether S. Saunders will be widened to 2 lanes and whether the greenway will be built as part of the project. I can at least answer the greenway question.

This is the presentation that CitySpace did for the Boylan Heights neighborhood prior to site plan submission, and this is a summary of what was discussed.

The developer said he plans to build the greenway as a part of their project, back behind the townhomes (west) where Rosengarten Alley is now. I noted this comment from the meeting minutes:

We brought up the possibility that we will be required to widen Saunders Street and asked how the neighborhood felt about this. There seemed to be a unanimous agreement that Saunders should stay its current size and remain one way if possible.

I don't know what the neighborhood is thinking (keep traffic out?), but I certainly hope the city requires a widening to two lanes perhaps with some room for on-street parking on one side. S. saunders is incredibly narrow through there, and just isn't adequate for the connectivity needed here. It looks like City Space owns the parcels on the west side and most of the east side, so the city could make them widen a few feet to the west to accomodate half a lane in front of their property. I've got to stress that this is the only really viable connection from downtown to the Dix property, so it's vital that it be preserved for connectivity. Rosengarten will be a good one to follow to make sure they are widening the road.

The other good news is that City Space (in slides 1 & 3 of their presenation) revealed they have plans for a "Dorothea" project in the area between Western Blvd, South St, and S. Saunders St. This would continue the greenway down to the Western Blvd overpass, where it could easliy be tied in with the Rocky Branch greenway and Dix. Good news!

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Near Rosengarten Terrace things are starting to change rather rapidly. A new house three stories tall with steep pitched roof is going on a vacant lot between West and Saunders St on Lenoir. Also on Lenoir at the West intersection Allen Tate has a commercial real estate sign up. They market expensive stuff so I think its telling they are the agent. Also at Lenoir/Harrington a long boarded up house that wasn't in real bad shape, just small, was demolished this week. Last, the old convenience store at Saunders and South looks to be a video store now, though I do not know what the video selection is like.

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I found the new website for the neighborhood redevelopment. I haven't followed this closely, but it appears the developer is now going to save a number of the old homes and renovate them instead of a demo and rebuild of the entire street.

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Interesting.

As far as I know, this block is unique in Raleigh: unique for how narrow the street is. I could be forgetting somewhere, but I can't think of anywhere else like it. The 400 block of Haywood Street comes close, but not quite. The modest houses are right next to each other and right next to the sidewalk, lining both sides of the street, with front yards maybe 4 feet wide. It feels like something out of New Orleans.

With a little TLC the neighborhood really could be something special.

It's unfortunate that it had to be where it is; this pretty much kills the S Saunders Street extension but that was pretty much dead already anyway. That plan was pretty important for getting buses quickly and efficiently into and out of the multimodal station.

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I hate to sound cynical but Cityspace Management have been pretty much slum lords. The houses they allegedly renovated were not renovated at all. They were simply subdivided into apartments with as little thought put into the spaces as possible. I would like to see this area renovated. I just have some serious doubts that Cityspace will be the people to pull it off.

Edited by Euphorius

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