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Chinatown


RALNATIVE

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I read this article in the N&O this morning and was very excited to hear about this new proposal. A new development is being proposed for the old Prime Outlets near RDU and will be dubbed Chinatown, featuring a Chinese cultural center and a five star hotel. The best aspect of this project is that it will be financed 100% by private sources.

This area desperately needs something creative such as this.

http://www.newsobser...-chinatown.html

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Agreed. I think it will make the area unique. I hope it becomes a trigger for additional development. I like the idea of the 5 star hotel, I wonder what it could be. Would also like to see a theater there and a huge Chinese Archway into the facility..

oh, and perhaps on Saturday nights, they can have the outdoor street vendors like you see in Taiwan or other areas where people can walk around and get somewhat authentic food at night..

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I was excited to read about this project as well. We desperately needed something that would add something cultural (aside from the standard American stuff) to the area. This definitely fits the bill and I will definitley be patronizing it. One question also remains for me as well......why not downtown? At any rate, I hope the project really takes off.

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Makes sense to me. For a long time the food court at the outlet mall thrived because there weren't many restaurants in the vicinity and the employees in nearly office parks had to eat lunch somewhere. The food court also provided some shoppers at lunchtime. Over a period of years, however, so many restaurants opened in the area that the food court lost most of its business.

This real estate shouldn't be wasted, and I like the idea of the Chinese rebuild... especially if it's financed in part with PRC RMB.

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Seems smug to me. Turning a mall into a chinese themed (really asian I am suspecting) mall, does not make you "china town". Without roots and residents it is just a china-disney land without rides from what I read. I say smug because the articles makes it sound like there was no asian culture here at all. South Hills? Capital Blvd is loaded is loaded with places scattered from the beltline to Minicity.

To wit...it's better than the property sitting empty....just don't talk yourself up at the expense of those who came before you.

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This concept is a lot like Fanta City in Greensboro which includes a 76,000 sq ft international supermarket. I agree the only way this would be an authentic Chinatown is if were built within the urban grid of downtown and you would have to feel like you are in China. But nevertheless, it will still be a great cultural amenity in Raleigh.

Chinatown in San Francisco

chinatown.JPEG

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This concept is a lot like Fanta City in Greensboro which includes a 76,000 sq ft international supermarket. I agree the only way this would be an authentic Chinatown is if were built within the urban grid of downtown and you would have to feel like you are in China. But nevertheless, it will still be a great cultural amenity in Raleigh. Chinatown in San Francisco chinatown.JPEG

I'm sure that the developers had Greensboro's Fanta City in mind when they first envisioned this project.

Just curious, was Greensboro the first city in the state to have a development that caters to the asian culture?

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Actually the outskirts of Beijing don't look much different from the outskirts of Raleigh... and just as sprawled, too.

Yeah. I was thinking that with China becoming more auto-intensive and sprawley the location for this project is almost fitting.
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Not sure if Fanta City was the first in the state. but Fanta City includes multiple cultures from Asian to Latino. But I agree with the looks of Fanta City. It does look cheap and hopefully Raleigh will do a better job in terms of architecture. But looks aside, these kind of amenities have been great for the many cultures in the area. For example, the international supermarket sells products not found in any other store in the region. So "Chinatown" should be a great addition despite the fact it won't be in downtown Raleigh or in a culturally diverse neighborhood. But the goal is to create a more diverse community. One thing I have noticed is that diverse communities seem to be more progressive and forward thinking.

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I would be more excited if it was an international themed concept....meaning it was going to try and pull in all kinds of cultural influence...Indian, German, South American, African.....now thats diverse. This pocket of land is surrounded by people from all over the world...its all newish neighborhoods...cater to them all and I think you'll stand a better chance of success.

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  • 4 months later...
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I think their initial concept to tear it all down and rebuild something fancy for $120 million  was probably doomed to failure but the current plan to start by renovating the mall for $20 million seems about right. Plus it's nice to see that the building won't be torn down.

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My pause comes from the line at the end of the article "All of us are really outsiders". Siting a mall-like concept, *driving* distance from an airport in an area completely devoid of residential property seems high on the risk scale. It will take a niche concept here..an outlet mall failed because it wasn't unique enough...and a niche concept done well with untapped demand for it. 

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