Dorothea Dix Park


That’s actually pathetic to hear.


For those interested, there is a Council Work Session this afternoon from 4-6 at the Raleigh Municipal Building where the consultant team will be discussing the draft master plan.


“We have a lot of unmet needs in this city,” council member Stef Mendell said Monday. “As it is now, it’s a really wonderful space. We need to go really slowly. I am sensitive to gentrification around the park.”

Here we go again! I think everything goes too fast for her. As for the unmet needs in the City, Council sure seems to drag their heels on that, too, including gentrification issues. I really hope they don’t hold Dix Park up, but I’m not optimistic.


It would go slowly if the council decided to go fast. If they decide to take it slowly, it just won’t happen. It’s as simple as that.


Completely agree, I do. I happen to live in her district and I voted for Bonner Gaylord. (Sorry to get political) I knew from her early comments, that she is “extremely” sensitive to most things business. So while I am complaining because I feel she is too extreme, I do understand that she was fairly voted into office. And although I am unable to run for office myself, I will still be offering her my opinion as one of constituents.
Forward we go…


Stef Mendell wants to slow the park because she’s sensitive to gentrification around the park? Seriously? What year is she living in? Every direction on the perimeter of the park has already experienced gentrification, and most of those edges are aren’t even neighborhoods. To the south of the park is centennial campus. To the north is the freaking prison along with Pullen Park and the Gov. Morehead School. To the west is commercial, a giant cathedral and more NC State type development. It can only be to the east that gentrification can occur, and it’s already happening in Caraleigh and Fuller Heights due to the southwestern DT redevelopment energy. Even at a fast rate of park development, the neighborhoods off of Lake Wheeler will be gentrified before the first shovel actually hits the dirt.
Oddly enough, Stef represents a very well to do district both inside and outside the Beltline in NW Raleigh. Though I’m no statitician, it wouldn’t surprise me if hers was Raleigh’s wealthiest.


She’s using gentrification as a shield. It’s a tangential issue related to the park at best. As a person who lives right across the street from the park, she needs to let the residents of our neighborhood and our representatives worry about what is best for us and stop concern trolling as an excuse to drag her feet.


One can imagine a scenario where her constituents don’t want the park because they have higher value properties and don’t want their property taxes to go up. I am not saying that is what’s happening; I’m just saying that it’s not hard to imagine. That said, it seems to me that the issues that she’s personally passionate about, aren’t necessarily related to her district.
FWIW, there’s a 9000 sf lot for sale for $250,000 in Fuller Heights, one block off of Lake Wheeler on Curfman. If she’s worried about gentrification adjacent to the park, it’s way too late.


I get the impression that several City Council members are simply out of their depth.


Also with the S. Saunders project, Caraleigh Commons, South Street Condos, and Baker moving to Garner (assuming they sell off the land below Fuller Heights) the gentrification horse is out of the barn and on it’s way to the beach, or where ever horses go for fun… ( I couldn’t think of a good place for the horse to go)


Speaking as one of her constituents (unfortunately) I am probably one of those very rare people who don’t mind paying higher taxes if I understand why and what they go toward. And I for one, voted for more taxes on transit, schools and parks…you have to pay for what you want and what you believe in…imho



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Luckily/hopeful for all of us, we have the opportunity to change the leadership of Raleigh during the lifetime of this master plan being carried out. If everyone could do the future generations of Raleigh a huge solid and comment on the official “bulletin board” for Dix Park planning your support for the aspects of the master plan you are in favor of, and the aspects you are not, I trust all of your sentiments about it will be more proactive than the proponents of stagnation that are coming out of the woodworks to thwart any sort of redevelopment of the park other than fertilizing the grass.


FWIW, there’s a 9000 sf lot for sale for $250,000 in Fuller Heights, one block off of Lake Wheeler on Curfman. If she’s worried about gentrification adjacent to the park, it’s way too late.

Anyone who thinks they can save Fuller Heights from gentrification definitely missed their opportunity, so this seems like a pretty weak argument for stalling the park. A 720 sq ft house on a .27 ac lot on Fuller St sold in July for $250k and is currently rented for $1350/mo.

City Space Homes (Rosengarten Park, Dorothea Gardens, Caraleigh Commons) owns several adjacent properties along Lake Wheeler under various business names. These properties will likely be redeveloped, it’s just a matter of time.

That said, the rest of the neighborhood is largely rentals owned by a small handful of owners, some of whom seem pretty entrenched in slumlording, so it will be interesting to see how it works out.


There is one slumlord in particular that is a real problem for the City and owns several properties over there. He was almost shut down by the City before the GOP implemented that moronic rule limiting the authority of municipalities over landlords. Maybe if someone would have told them this guy was not white, they would have never implemented it…


I’ve heard a lot of grumbling about the possibility of some park revenue being generated from “private development,” and I believe a vocal group will be speaking at this evening’s City Council meeting on the topic.

I haven’t had a chance to read the entire Draft Master Plan yet, but I would think that the city will need some degree of public/private partnership to generate enough revenue to build and maintain the park in the future.

Just curious what others here would consider reasonable revenue-generating private development related to Dix Park.

On a side note, I noticed this tidbit about parking on page 218:

As a part of the design of phases B through D, parking quantities will be adjusted to reflect the technology of the time and align with actual demand from everyday visitors.


Given that we live in a society that is increasingly tax averse, I think that it’s entirely necessary to be honest and look for revenue streams without it becoming a fee to use the park. Given the scale of the site, the stock of existing buildings, and the views from the top of the hill, I completely approve of having dining, bed&breakfast, rooftop lounges, event functions, etc. in key locations at the site.
Not that I have a clue whether or not these are private ventures, but Central Park in NYC has all sorts of ways that you can spend your money there and customize your experience in accordance with your appetite to spend money. What makes that work, IMO, is that you can also just wander the park for free and throw a Frisbee to your dog.


I could see a limited amount of vendor licenses for food carts or stationary vendors like New York does with Central Park and hot dog carts.

I just hope the city isn’t stupid and just limit it to hot dog carts. Give me diversity of street food.


In NYC, you can actually go to a sit down restaurant in Central Park. That’s what I was referring to as the example. You can also go ice skating, or to a zoo, or on a carousel, etc. Some of these things are privately owned, and some of them are publicly run, but all have a cost associated with them.
Dix has some additional opportunities as laid out in the master plan because it has so many existing structures that can be repurposed. This is where revenue generating opportunities are, and also where experiences that will attract a wide range of patrons can be offered.


If you could make one low cost, immediate, impactful change to Dix what would it be ?

Mine would be to litter the “streets” of the park with speed bumps but that’s just because I’m sensitive to having been almost hit by cars on several occasions. (One time I had to put my hands on the hood of the car as the people screeched to a halt after running a stop sign)