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sonofaque86

The Columbia of the Future

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Here is an interesting article in The State newspaper from today. It has a couple of articles along with it on some ideas to make Downtown better..From adding lazer lights to the buldings to bulk it up from connecting The Vista, Five Points, Devine St. etc..Pretty interesting....Even some ideas we are tired about hearing about which is, "The Heat" (we get tired of people complaining about the heat and humidity - it's not that damn different than the rest of the state), "Main Street Shopping", and other things. Take a look!

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I like the first sentence in the "connect the districts" section of the attached article. I, of course, also like the idea of connecting all of Columbia's varied areas for dining, bar-hopping and shopping. Connecting them will in turn make each of them larger, and before you know it they virtually will have all grown together.

http://www.thestate.com/boc/story/407255.html

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The Farmer's Market was the best, most likely to succeed idea in the entire series of articles (I did cast a vote for it in the poll). According to the article, there seems to be a real 'problem' with the location. Might I make a suggestion:

There isn't anyone on Main Street on Saturday mornings anyway, why not block off the first block or two of Main St. from the capitol northward, and have the vendors set up their wares there. It would still be close to the capitol for the tourists that want to stroll the grounds. It would only be one block from the 'historic' location of Assembly Street. Maybe the otherwise useless plaza at First Citizens could be a stage for live music or just simply more vendors, or a cafe for push-cart/festival type vendors to sell already prepared foods.

Who knows, maybe if this had already been implemented a year ago, the Capitol newstand might have gotten a boost in business, maybe even enough to have kept their doors open. Picking up a mag or book while you with buying some fruits and vegtables.

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Best quote from that series of articles:

"The notion that it is more expensive to design buildings that adhere to sound urban design principals, with respect to pedestrian scale, materials and commercial storefront, is a fallacy ... As Greenville, Charleston, Charlotte and Chattanooga have found, city property becomes increasingly attractive to investors as the overall fabric of the built environment improves.

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It really sounds like they were taking some cues from UP, I swear it does. :) This series of articles pretty much takes a lot of the subjects that we have been discussing here and consolidates them.

I had to vote for overhauling the streets to include room for sidewalk dining, bike lanes, etc. That is simply good urban design, and that's the key to connecting the districts. The downside is that there is so much work to do when it comes to this due to the wideness to just about every key corridor downtown (which I'd say are Elmwood, Gervais, Bull, Huger, and Assembly). The upside is that there's room to include bike lanes, wide sidewalks, etc. I think this is the best quote from the article:

From Fred Delk, executive director of the Downtown Development Corp.: The city has

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The Farmer's Market was the best, most likely to succeed idea in the entire series of articles (I did cast a vote for it in the poll). According to the article, there seems to be a real 'problem' with the location. Might I make a suggestion:

There isn't anyone on Main Street on Saturday mornings anyway, why not block off the first block or two of Main St. from the capitol northward, and have the vendors set up their wares there. It would still be close to the capitol for the tourists that want to stroll the grounds. It would only be one block from the 'historic' location of Assembly Street. Maybe the otherwise useless plaza at First Citizens could be a stage for live music or just simply more vendors, or a cafe for push-cart/festival type vendors to sell already prepared foods.

Who knows, maybe if this had already been implemented a year ago, the Capitol newstand might have gotten a boost in business, maybe even enough to have kept their doors open. Picking up a mag or book while you with buying some fruits and vegtables.

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Aside from what is stated in the article, if there is any venue that Columbia needs it's an outdoor amphitheatre. I think Columbia could pull off an amphitheatre about the size of the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh. The small amphitheatre (if that's what it's supposed to be) in West Columbia at the Riverwalk just isn't enough.

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^There are plans to build one into the new waterfront park:

viewfromamphitheater.jpg

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What about the new baseball stadium? It will hold 8,400. There is also a large amphitheatre at Sesqui and one at Finlay Park, although it is smaller.

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When Finlay Park was created in 1991, it was viewed as the big draw to get people downtown. Now it is just a campground for the homeless. I apologize if it offends anyone, but our homeless population would negatively affect every one of the ideas set forth in the State newspaper article.

post-1947-1211312548_thumb.jpg

post-1947-1211312548_thumb.jpg

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^While the homeless are certainly present at Finlay Park, it doesn't seem to me that they've taken over the park or that it has become a "campground" for the homeless. And I also disagree that the homeless would negatively affect the ideas presented in The State article. How would the homeless negatively affect a Farmer's Market? Shops and restaurants along the Greenway? Jazzing up the skyline? Trolleys? A mid-sized music venue? While I do believe the homeless issue needs to be handled more aggressively, let's not make more of the issue than what it is. We discussed the issue a little more in depth here.

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^While the homeless are certainly present at Finlay Park, it doesn't seem to me that they've taken over the park or that it has become a "campground" for the homeless. And I also disagree that the homeless would negatively affect the ideas presented in The State article. How would the homeless negatively affect a Farmer's Market? Shops and restaurants along the Greenway? Jazzing up the skyline? Trolleys? A mid-sized music venue? While I do believe the homeless issue needs to be handled more aggressively, let's not make more of the issue than what it is. We discussed the issue a little more in depth here.

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Worrying about the homeless comes from a small town mindset. Cities have homeless people. That's one reason they're called cities - it takes all kinds, even the homeless. Where would you expect the homeless to live - in the country? I have said it over and over, but it bears repeating: when there are lots of reasons to be on Main Street in Columbia after 5, the homeless will go elsewhere, and those who don't will blend in and become just part of the vibe. Geeeez!

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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I used to stop by the main Post Office relatively early on Sunday mornings to check our PO Box. After several Sundays in a row of stopping with my young son and seeing homeless individuals sleeping in the Post Office and all over the park grounds, I decided to just get Saturday's mail on Mondays.

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Worrying about the homeless comes from a small town mindset. Cities have homeless people. That's one reason they're called cities - it takes all kinds, even the homeless. Where would you expect the homeless to live - in the country? I have said it over and over, but it bears repeating: when there are lots of reasons to be on Main Street in Columbia after 5, the homeless will go elsewhere, and those who don't will blend in and become just part of the vibe. Geeeez!

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Apparently I've hit a nerve, so I'll sit on the sideline for a day or so.

Nevermind that I daily work with concerned CBD tenants and property owners - I'll just tell them that that they have a small town mindset and have no idea what they are talking about............

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^I agree with you that the perception is pretty bad. But I also think that Corgi has a point in saying that when there are more establishments open past business hours and more residents to patronize those businesses, the perception will diminish. The continuing beautification efforts should also help.

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Apparently I've hit a nerve, so I'll sit on the sideline for a day or so.

Nevermind that I daily work with concerned CBD tenants and property owners - I'll just tell them that that they have a small town mindset and have no idea what they are talking about............

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I was raised on a farm, so I won't say I don't have a small town mindset (which isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination). I will say agin, as I have before, that the vast majority of complaints I hear come from people IN Columbia. Whether or not it is justified, it (the percetion) is a HUGE problem that Columbia needs to address.

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I hate to tell you, but this isn't the first time that people will disagree with you on this forum. Corgi and I both voiced our opinions and, if I'm not mistaken, you did the same. I'm not saying that some people don't find the homeless to be a deterrent, but I am saying that I don't agree with their viewpoint.

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I never felt like the homeless were a problem while I was in Columbia. But, the fact that this keeps coming up is a sign that there is an issue with them that has to be tackled. All cities have to deal with this. IMO there are two approaches. One involves relocating the homeless shelters to the edge of downtown somewhere. The other involves turning downtown in to the type of urban place that appeals to the masses, and whos quality creates desirability such that a few homeless people are a non-issue.

I enjoy the debates, but as the newbie, I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to stir things up.

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I enjoy the debates, but as the newbie, I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to stir things up.

People can disagree with the prospective tenants and property purchaser's viewpoint all day long, but that won't get them to lease or buy. The city wants tenants and buyers for Main Street. Those same tenants and buyers want something done about the homeless. The city refuses to acknowledge the problem, so Main Street stays as it is.

I know of a commercial site in Dallas that was wrapped by a homeless shelter, across the street from Parkland Hospital. McDonald

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I don't want to see us take the route that Charlotte did, however, where they bus the homeless out of downtown every morning and bus them back in at night. I find that tactic to be very "un-American".

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Umm, Charlotte doesn't do that. The homeless shelter here is in uptown, and those guys are hanging around during the day. They did put a restraining order on one guy that restricts him from uptown, so he hangs out on East Blvd.

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