1. Yet-another great photo!!! I like how the buildings are arranged in the background. Let’s hope that the light towers will look really nice in the evening ;)

  2. I saw these light towers form the other end of F Street the other day. What is city council thinking! This sticks out like a sore thumb moreso that the Plensa design. City council wanted clean lines up and down the street, well, they put their foot up their (you-know-what) on this one.

    The artist must have been smoking something when he designed these for F Street (they do not blend what-so-ever)

    Par for the course: HEY, why does Charlotte (and I do not like Charlotte, alot of vacancies downtown, business owners are not happy, talked to a number of them) have three towers going up (one tower will be completed in 13 months, not two years Raleigh)? Downtown Raleigh, tired of the lending excuses, the problem, our local developers are pathetic (example: Davis Group and that awful Charter project).

  3. Henry,

    At the risk of distracting from the topic, I will answer your question about Charlotte. For the rest, please accept my apologies for the rather long reply.

    1) Charlotte is [comfortably] larger than Raleigh, with a large Uptown employment base. Many would like to live and play near their job.

    2) There is a strong public-private cooperation in place, plus a full-time city council that has vision and pride. I am not suggesting we do not have some sort of vision for Raleigh, but we are still taking small steps.

    3) The strong presence of the finance industry has helped build a lot of momentum for Uptown Charlotte during the prosperous years.

    4) Charlotte has the lowest office space vacancy rate in the country. That says something about their growing needs for more space – residential and commercial space, too.

    5) It seems to be a lot easier to develop parking lots than having to coordinate with several land owners and having to demolish older structures. Preservation is good, where it makes sense, but Charlotte doesn’t have to worry about preserving much. They leveled a lot during the 70’s and for many years Uptown looked AWFUL :(

    6) Just because they are getting these towers now – they probably had financing lined up before the crisis – doesn’t mean they will not have to face challenges over the next 5-10 years. The abundance of space will eventually backfire. Even if banks begin to loan money, it will be hard for buyers to get loans if the employment numbers do not improve and stabilize. They already have cancelled many projects, most of them ambitious.

    7) The Triangle is a region that consists of multiple major municipalities, as well as RTP. Uptown Charlotte has little competition, with South Park coming distant second – although it has more office space than DT Raleigh.

    One the other hand, let’s be fair to Raleigh. The revitalization of our downtown started in the early 90’s, when we actually focused on bringing people downtown. The Warehouse District and Glenwood South were major success stories, and if TTA hadn’t screwed up with their regional rail plan (versions 1 and 2) the Warehouse District would have kept several more businesses, which vacated their space in order to make room for TTA’s “plans”.

    DT Raleigh had more and better options than Uptown Charlotte for most of the 90’s, but Charlotte caught up. I saw Uptown back then and I could not believe my eyes. Great skyline, nice infrastructure, but it was a ghost town after business hours, just as much as Fayetteville Str was – not to mention those repulsive surface lots.

    Another area that many Charlotte boosters – I spoke to some in the past – praise about Raleigh is the historic neighborhoods and preservation, as well as the street activity. They were impressed after they took the tour of downtown and saw the latest and greatest – that was 2 years ago.

    In order for us to get a great skyline and for the projects to move on, we need medium and large corporate relocations. Without them our skyline will remain stagnant, short and progress slow. if Deutsche Bank selects Cary for its technology center (325 jobs; $75,000 incentives from the town of Cary) and Fidelity Investments finds comfort in RTP, then we need new leaders, who understand business. When we get the relocations, we’ll get the towers and we’ll get the funds to support other aspects of our downtown’s great fabric, including the arts and public spaces.

    Last, but not least, there are two major projects that will transform our skyline and should add bold architecture to our skyline: The Edison and One Glenwood. These are the two projects we should be looking forward to. If Lafayette and The Hillsborough didn’t make it, other projects will replace them. Better to wait a little longer than having scaled down projects that might eventually fail and hurt everyone involved.

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