I’m sure as most of you know, the era of little credit is upon us and recently it has affected the start of construction at Charter Square. The Raleigh City Council has given the developers an extension and ideas are being thrown around for temporary uses for the area on top of the concrete foundation. From the linked article in the N&O, some ideas are for an ice rink or for artificial turf to be laid across the concrete. Temporary use of the area while we wait for the economy to strengthen is a great idea because we have the flexibility to try new things. If they work, it can be moved to something more permanent. If not, it will result in only a small loss and good proof that the idea does not work in downtown. Here are some other inexpensive ideas that could be worth looking into while we have a fluid space before the towers are built.
A public stage could be set up for use by anyone. Think of a common area in a mall, there is always something on display or special event going on, in and around the elevated area. Groups could use it to gather around for outdoor presentations or to entertain Fayetteville Street pedestrians.
2. Art Exhibits
Like the outdoor art that is coming to City Plaza, the space could be used for outdoor art or could be an extension to what is on display nearby.
3. Wifi/power hotspot
Set up some benches, a couple power stations, dedicated wifi, and we’ll have a hive of internet surfers relaxing outside. This is similar to what Toyota recently did as part of their Prius marketing campaign. Solar collectors were installed with benches and wifi to provide you power for your laptop and cell phone as you access the net outside.
4. Sports field
If the artificial turf is laid out, we could go one step further. Paint some lines, set up two goals, and a mini field is born for pickup games of soccer or football.
5. Outdoor convention center space
The space could also be rented to the convention center. The crew running it could manage the land and use it for outdoor setups if clients prefer an outdoor, sidewalk atmosphere to being indoors.
Photo on Flickr (via Toyota USA)