DigitalSky

North Hills / Midtown area developments

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DigitalSky    5

JC Penney was the only store that remained in its original location -- It is the #1 JC Penney store in the state I believe.

 

The mall opened in 1965 as one of the first indoor malls in the Southeast. Eventually the mall was demolished in 2003 with the exception of JC Penney to turn it into an outdoor village concept like Charlotte's Phillips Place... but with a new Target store under a new movie theater.

 

northhillsold4iz.jpg

 

nhillsmall1hv.jpg

 

Here are some pictures of what the old mall looked like

(From the Wake County tax website)

 

northhillsmall0pu.jpg

 

jcpenneynh4ov.jpg

 

dillardsnh0xg.jpg

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JunktionFET    0

North Hills is actually pretty nice, I like it. In addition to the retail and office space, there is a 5 story condo component, soon to be accompanied by another 7 or 8 story condo and a 9 story hotel. All three of those structures feature ground level retail, as far as I know. The whole place is pretty nifty I think.

This development will not be served by the TTA Regional Rail or any commuter rail line. This is a shame since such a development would fit nicely around a transit stop.

Speaking of retail and transit, I just thought of something. The gigantic gridded retail/office/housing development in northwest Raleigh called Brier Creek will also not be served by any rail based transit, unless of course TTA were to seriously tweak their airport line--which is uncertain anyway. Holy crap that place is HUGE, and the way things are looking it is 100% auto-centric too!

I wish they'd stop wasting these developments like this! Use them in places along transit corridors dammit, not off of a major loop freeway exit!

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StevenRocks    0

I loved going to that place in its old mall configuration. It was a little cheesy and small, but it was preferable to the utter bulk of Crabtree Valley down the road. Dillard's was small but really cool. Target's a good replacement, though. I love that basement location!

JCPenney is the only store left in its original location. That location dates back to 1967 with the old funky Penney's logo with the turquoise and black 'P.' They did a decent job remodeling the interior of that store, but the exterior got a slapdash renovation. It blends in reasonably well with the rest of the new buildings, but it could have been better. BTW, either that store or Cross Creek in Fayetteville is Penney's top NC location.

The new buildings and underground parking at North Hills give it a much more urban and distinctive feel than it used to have. And the stores and restaurants are differentiated enough that it's a unique expreience. The condos and hotel will give it a more '24-hour crowd' than the old mall ever had.

I think the whole Brier Creek area is a little excessive. Everything's so spread out and disconnected. I'll go there for BJ's and Wal-Mart if I'm down that way, but that's about it.

I didn't know the rail line was coming anywhere near there, but if it's going to the airport, extending it another couple of miles would have been ideal.

BTW, North Hills has a new website.

Edited by StevenRocks

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DigitalSky    5

here are a few pics i took recently when I was there

zp10101813kn.jpg

JC Penney's newer looking exterior.

zp10101823gu.jpg

A rendering of the aerial view, posted on the wall outside one of the stores.

zp10101862em.jpg

Looking down Lassiter at North Hills Street (the lassiter is on the opposite side though)

zp10101916si.jpg

looking down the other main street (you can see the underground parking entrance on the left)

zp10101924vd.jpg

Looking down one of the main streets towards the theater

zp10102044rd.jpg

Target! from the ground level

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orulz    106

I don't have a car so I take the bus or my bicycle just about everywhere I go. When I heard the new North Hills was supposed to be pedestrian friendly, I stopped by to check it out. This was some time back in October, and it was still under heavy construction, but the Target and a few other stores were already open. I was quite disappointed to find that there were absolutely no provisions for bicyclists at all - not even a single bike rack! I was also disappointed with how the complex fits within the network of neighborhood streets. The pedestrian connections were lackluster and there was no way to get from the neighborhood to the shopping center without walking through the parking deck- dangerous! Even people walking down Six Forks have to "cross the moat," so to speak.

While it does beat the crap out of Southpoint, Crabtree, Cary Towne Center, Triangle Town Center and so on, I am still reluctant to call it a pedestrian friendly development. These problems may have been addressed already, or may be dealt with before the project is complete, but until I see it I won't be holding my breath. I'd think that plenty of people from the North Hills neighborhood would consider going there by foot or bike. There are restaurants, a discount store, and a grocery store, all within walking distance - so why force them to drive? Come on, developers, throw us a bone here!

Edited by orulz

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DigitalSky    5

Yeah Orulz, Clearly it was designed with Cars in mind and not bikes, unfortunately. And StevenRocks, I find it odd that you get hassled. I've taken pics of tons of developments and never get hassled.

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monsoon    0

I have not been to that part of Raleigh in a few years but I used to spend a good deal of time off the beltline near the N. Raleigh Hilton (don't remember the name of that exit). If this is that 70's looking mall near there, then I think this is quite an improvement.

Great Photos, BTW

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JunktionFET    0

I have not been to that part of Raleigh in a few years but I used to spend a good deal of time off the beltline near the N. Raleigh Hilton (don't remember the name of that exit).  If this is that 70's looking mall near there, then I think this is quite an improvement. 

Great Photos, BTW

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wake Forest Rd. And yep, that 70s looking mall was North Hills.

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StevenRocks    0

Cantnot, I've had rent-a-cops after me several times, at malls especially:

SouthPark mall, Charlotte, 2002. I had taken pictures there before in 2000, inside and out, and nothing bad had happened, but when I started taking pictures outside in 2002, they threatened to kick me off the property. I'd like to blame it on the mall mangement changing to Simon from Faison, but I'm not sure what else was different.

Hanes Mall, Winston-Salem, 1993. I got busted as soon as I came in the door near Dillard's with a camera. Did get some decent shots of JCPenney and the old stone veneer (before CBL screwed it up with all the fake stucco).

Friendly Center, Greensboro. I was trying to take exterior pictures of their retro-funky Hecht's store with the big arches, and a security guard told me to cease and desist.

I am African-American, and I'm hoping that that had nothing to do with it, but it does seem like a little more than bad luck.

__________

Concerning integrating the streets of North Hills into the surrounding neighborhood grid: it certainly was possible to do it, but the program requirements (I'm an architect, so excuse me for the jargon) of the various buildings probably precluded a better integration. That and the fact the developer was going for the look of downtown and not the relation to nearby buildings and developments.

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monsoon    0

That and the fact the developer was going for the look of downtown and not the relation to nearby buildings and developments.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That seems to be a big problem with these "new-urbanist" developments. Their complete disregard for the neighborhoods around them.

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DigitalSky    5

Cantnot, I've had rent-a-cops after me several times, at malls especially:

SouthPark mall, Charlotte, 2002.  I had taken pictures there before in 2000, inside and out, and nothing bad had happened, but when I started taking pictures outside in 2002, they threatened to kick me off the property.  I'd like to blame it on the mall mangement changing to Simon from Faison, but I'm not sure what else was different.

Hanes Mall, Winston-Salem, 1993. I got busted as soon as I came in the door near Dillard's with a camera.  Did get some decent shots of JCPenney and the old stone veneer (before CBL screwed it up with all the fake stucco).

Friendly Center, Greensboro.  I was trying to take exterior pictures of their retro-funky Hecht's store with the big arches, and a security guard told me to cease and desist.

I am African-American, and I'm hoping that that had nothing to do with it, but it does seem like a little more than bad luck.

__________

Concerning integrating the streets of North Hills into the surrounding neighborhood grid:  it certainly was possible to do it, but the program requirements (I'm an architect, so excuse me for the jargon) of the various buildings probably precluded a better integration.  That and the fact the developer was going for the look of downtown and not the relation to nearby buildings and developments.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd like to see your old pictures of SouthPark ... 2000 is before all the renovations right?

Anyway, I've taken pictures inside and outside SouthPark Mall and Eastland Mall last year... no hassles at all. Taken pictures outside a variety of other malls too... and Friendly Center too with a rent-a-cop in view (being a UNCG student) but never have gotten hassled. I'm sorry that you've had problems w/ the security guards and I certainly hope it's not because of your race either.

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StevenRocks    0

Glad your experiences taking pictures of malls went better than mine, cantnot.

And also, thanks for finding the old North Hills pics, especially Dillard's. It's escpecially rare to find a good pic of that old store.

Yep, 2000 was a bit before they did the Belk renovation, though they were doing the site work for it. I have a weblog dedicated to old malls and department stores, LiveMalls, that I could post some of the older pics to. Let me work on it.

Edited by StevenRocks

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StevenRocks    0

Some factoids I found on the internet about the new North Hills:

-- 45 acre site

-- 730,000 square feet of retail space

-- 100,000 square feet of offices

-- The entire project is to be complete by early 2007

Developer John Kane also bought 4.6 acres across Six Forks Road from North Hills. No word yet on what's coming there

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Rufus    44

Question, plans for a renaissance hotel were given at the same time as they named the stores that were going in north hills, what has happened to it?

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StevenRocks    0

Question, plans for a renaissance hotel were given at the same time as they named the stores that were going in north hills, what has happened to it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As far as I know, the hotel is still on. It'll be at the rear of the property near the Beltline, but it probably won't be done until 2006 or '07

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Raleighmark    0

Man, what memories. I grew up in Eastgate subdivision and rode my bike to the mall many times through the '70 s. I'm glad to see the site active again.

About the proposed motel I think they lopped off one story (from 8 to 7 I think) and said they would break ground this summer!

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StevenRocks    0

Man, what memories. I grew up in Eastgate subdivision and rode my bike to the mall many times through the '70 s. I'm glad to see the site active again.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm sure I went before this at some point, but the first time I remember going to North Hills was 1990. They still had a K&W Cafeteria, Dillard's was still Ivey's, and Woolworth hadn't gone under yet. I think I ate at Scotty's; not real sure though, but it was in the 'food court' area downstairs.

I was facinated by the place as a teenager because it was so '60s, even with the '80s updates. At the time, every other mall I knew had covered itself in neon and pastels, so North Hlls' more somber appearance was different and somewhat intriguing.

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Gard    1

Thanks For Posting that! The mall was long gone when I moved here and North Hills as it is was under construction, so I hadn't seen it until now.

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Jones_    112

What a cute simple mall. Easy to get in and out of every time. Let us not forget that before it was a mall, it was just a strip shopping center, and that is why the layout was so funky inside (not discernible in the pics). It was later enclosed (like Northgate was too I think). I might have my dates wrong but think the strip center was 1963 with it being enclosed in 1967....anyone know for sure? I have also heard that the original strip center was served by a *dirt* six forks road. I think the beltline came through in 1967 so it seems like the enclosing of the mall and paving of Six Forks would both have been prompted by the beltline......I could be off on some of this....

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