Show Off Things From Other Cities

I’ve always liked driving north into Richmond. I’ve never taken the bypass because I’ve liked it so much. I can’t help but wonder what Richmonders think of 95 slicing through their center.

6 Likes

Right over (nearly) the old train station no less. As a kid, I wanted to reach out and tough it’s clock tower.

4 Likes

The state government is debating tearing down the Monroe building on the far right of that picture. I follow the Richmond Forum on urban planet as I used to live in Prince George VA until college in NC.

1 Like

There was supposed to be a “twin” to the Monroe building, but the second was never built. The parking deck is RIGHT BESIDE SB I-95 as you come around the curve to the bridge. It will be interesting to see if they have to close any lanes and the ramp to Main Street when they take it down. If they implode it, I will 100% be there. We drove up to watch the old Dominion Power building come down. I thought it was awesome, but my kids were less impressed.

3 Likes

Was down in Rock Hill, SC last week picking up some motorcycle parts, and wandered around downtown for a bit afterwards. It’s one of the larger “ring” cities outside of Charlotte but I am rarely down that way, so I haven’t explored it much.

It’s definitely trending in the right direction, but currently feels a little disjointed overall. There are a decent number of nicely restored/renovated buildings on Main St, several really cool alleys, and an impressive amount of new residential development (much more than I pictured).




Winthrop University is about a mile north of downtown, and there’s some nice infill along White St between both areas. I was surprised to see a really nice sidewalk - arguably an urban greenway - along White St.




I think the biggest drawbacks are a lack of trees for shade along the sidewalks (although there seems to be an effort to change this in some spots as evidenced by freshly-planted trees) as well as a bewildering number of empty lots kind of scattered all over the place. The White St parking lot is a huge gash, and I did not see any bicycle infrastructure whatsoever. But I’m sure the empty lots will gradually continue to be redeveloped, and hopefully as the Red Line up to the lake towns gains renewed traction there will be an effort to extend rail connectivity to other parts of the region as well.

Overall, a cool city that seems to be making good progress of establishing a healthy residential base throughout downtown, and I think it will only get better as that cycle continues.

7 Likes

To this day I still believe that they should have went ahead with the Raleigh to Chapel Hill connection and just left Durham out. I have no doubt that eventually they would have come around after seeing the economic impact around those stations.

6 Likes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh5gY_4SXUw wasnt sure if this had been posted here yet…carmel Indiana on bicycledutch.com looks nice.

1 Like

this skyline single-handedly got me into skyscrapers and skylines as a child. there are few approaches more impressive than this. not tall but incredible balance. then, riding over the James, by the train station, good stuff.

3 Likes

A very interesting article on what Calgary is doing to their downtown in the face of high vacancy rates in office towers. Not sure how much could be done here but the article is a great case study and also inspiring. The article also discusses how they are addressing their street layouts (making them more flexible), rethinking parking lots, amongst other things. Currently, they have 13 active projects which will result in the conversion 2.3 million square feet of office space.

Source: Thousands will soon be moving into Calgary’s converted office towers. What are they going to do there? | CBC News

5 Likes

That something turned out to be the city’s Downtown Office Conversion Program, which set a goal of removing six million square feet of vacant office space by 2031 and increasing the downtown population by 20 per cent in the process.

With a start-up fund of $200 million — and a goal of investing $1 billion over the duration of the program — the city offered developers a sped-up approval process and, more importantly, $75 per square foot in incentives to convert empty office towers into residential apartment buildings.

To date, there are 17 conversion projects in the pipeline. These projects will result in the conversion of 2.3 million square feet of office space. Uptake of the program by developers has been so strong that the city announced a pause in October to secure additional funding to meet demand.

6 Likes

I hear Raleigh needs one of these.

12 Likes

I would be very happy for a building of that quality and height in DTR

5 Likes

CAO Bakery in Miami Beach. You can get pastries for under 2 bucks.

8 Likes

The secured funding is for the three shorter high-rises. The supertall is a future phase, though the developer has deliberately obfuscated the phases.

The average house in OKC sells for $150 PSF. Building a normal-tall building is $500+ PSF, a supertall considerably more. To break even on this tower requires finding hundreds of people willing to pay several times the local going rate for houses. (159 million-dollar houses sold last year in OKC. Very few of those buyers would choose a 1200 sq. ft. condo on the 60th floor, when they could easily have a 5,000 sq ft mansion. And why would an out-of-town buyer, almost none of whom are obsessed with being in the tallest building, choose OKC over larger cities with better amenities and better travel?) If that wasn’t the case in downtown Brooklyn, it definitely will never happen in OKC.

6 Likes

Wilmington, NC seemed to have had a pretty decent Union Station before it was demolished. At least more grand than anything in Raleigh:

4 Likes

Raleigh’s was about the same size, minus the office block on top, plus a tower.

10 Likes

I think the corporate relocation out of Wilmington by the ACL Railroad in the 1950s was one of the more underrated losses in NC history. I wonder how many of these buildings would have survived. From what I can piece together, the Coastline Center Building seems to be one of the only major structures still standing from this picture.

8 Likes

I know I’ve posted numerous times about Kannapolis in this thread, but seriously. I’m struggling to think of another town in NC that has improved anywhere close to this level, much less in such a short amount of time. I’m sitting here in a local coffee shop facing the de facto main street (West Ave) and there is an extremely respectable amount of foot traffic for a random Thursday at 2pm. If you haven’t been here yet (or at least haven’t been since the revitalization of downtown), ride the train down from RUS, grab a beer at Old Armor, catch a Cannon Ballers game, enjoy a steak at Chophouse 101, and catch the train back up to Raleigh.

12 Likes