Parents on Site Policy – Please remember that anyone under 18 must be with a parent or guardian after 8pm
Parking is always interesting for these events. The decks in North Hills and the surface lots usually fill up and spill across Lassiter Mill into the neighborhood and into the Lassiter. Another option is North Hills East, where there is some surface parking, but also hundreds of deck spaces. Please be patient and careful crossing Six Forks Rd. at the Dartmouth signal.
Today city officials and developers joined together to announce the new plan for Charter Square. The 11-story project will contain 225,000 square feet of commercial space in a single glass tower. Currently 35,000 of the space is committed. Some of that space will be another ground floor restaurant by Echelon Hospitality. Construction is set to begin this fall, with a 1-year construction window.
The newest chapter in Charter Square is led by developer Dominion Realty Partners and architect JDavis. The site occupies the east half of the footprint of the former Raleigh Civic Center and was once referred to as “Site One”. The project vision was for a two-tower mixed use development with one tower containing residential and the other commercial. As part of the development of the Convention Center and Marriott hotel, the City of Raleigh moved forward with the underground parking garage construction for the Charter Square plan.
Then 2009 happened, and the economy hit developers in every city hard. The new project will still be built on top of that investment. Thankfully the climate is such that progress on this site can move forward once and for all.
The shot…or was it a pass…that stopped the hearts of millions of Americans on April 4, 1983…needed help. It seemed improbable that Dereck Whittenburg, having almost had the ball stolen, against one of the greatest college basketball teams ever to play the game, on his own, could complete a miracle with a wild desperation shot. He needed help…
The ‘83 season had been a long, complicated one. In the previous year State saw their archrivals win the National Championship, but Jim Valvano’s second squad gained momentum. With a 21-8 regular season mark and a first round NCAA Tournament exit, the Wolfpack felt like they could continue building on solid foundation in ‘83. They had some pretty darned good players returning; one of the nation’s best backcourts (Lowe/Whittenburg/Gannon) and a strong frontcourt trio (Bailey/Charles/McQueen).
The Pack went into that first game in ‘82 against Virginia with a 7-2 record. That was the game in Reynolds where UVA’s Othell Wilson came down on Dereck Whittenburg’s 5th metatarsal, and seemingly doomed the Pack’s hopeful season. While a determined Whittenburg pushed himself through rehab, the Pack needed help, and got it as freshman Ernie Myers rose to the occasion. While the team’s overall results were mediocre in that stretch, they played well enough to keep a glimmer of hope for a successful season alive.
* * *
1983 was the first year that the ACC Tournament was played in Atlanta. Ever fans of visiting Atlanta, my family got tickets for the tournament. We were en route while Lorenzo Charles’ free throws disposed of Wake Forest just a week after blowing out those same Deacs 130-89. It was also the first time that perennial cellar-dwellers Georgia Tech were able to win an ACC Tournament game. Behind a little rookie named Mark Price, seemingly the entire Omni crowd got behind the Jackets and showed the evil Lefthander and Maryland a first-round exit.
We only had two tickets for Saturday’s session, so we hit the plaza with two fingers held high to the scalpers; we had to get two more tickets. The team needed our help! We found a pair and Saturday provided one of the tournament’s great historic games, as NCSU overcame a late 6-point deficit to win in OT over the Tar Heels. Once Jordan fouled out, I knew the Pack had it. My family made sure that on Sunday (assuming we could find two more tickets) with the Pack facing Ralph Sampson and the mighty Virginia Cavaliers, we would sit in the same pairs, with our programs in our laps, eating more Omni nachos, and drinking out of the Omni-labeled Coca-Cola paraffin cups.
When UVA went down and the Pack cut down the nets, we vowed to take our paraffin cups home and keep using them. We also whimsically paraded through the concourse holding 4-digits high pleading,”FOUR FOR ALBUQUERQUE!” (I made darned sure that Matt Doherty and his family standing by the exit doors heard me). We needed those tickets because in the tournament, they needed help!
The Cardiac Pack was born in that tournament. The Pack, seemingly always down by 6, was able to scoot by coaches named Harrick, Tarkanian, and Holland. For each game, we sat in our den holding those Omni programs and Omni cups, and pulled that team through. They needed help, right? The team didn’t even come back to Raleigh after the second game because their West Regional assignment led them from Corvallis, Oregon to Ogden, Utah. No problem for us, though; because as limp as they were getting, we had those cups!
The team won the West Region and returned to Raleigh and staged an open practice. Of course my family attended. The team needed help! It was a great week in Raleigh. While it was the school’s first trip to the Final Four since the Thompson era, everyone just enjoyed the ride. The Cardiac Pack was the favorite against Georgia in the semis, but a vast underdog to the other side of the ticket. To win a championship, they were going to need a LOT of help.
April 4th, Championship Day, rolled around and I was in knots. It was Spring Break, luckily, because there was no way I could have concentrated in my 8th grade classes. We didn’t get tickets to Albuquerque, but we still had our seat assignments, our programs, and our poor Omni cups. The cups were so limp, we put them inside larger stadium cups fearing a blowout (of the cup, that is).
At halftime State was BEATING Houston by 8! EIGHT! That’s four possessions, my friend. This was unbelievable. Little did I know…
Houston came out of the gates on all cylinders and the Pack found itself late in the game down by, you guessed it, SIX. They needed help…big time. However the Pack tied the game and found themselves in a position to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of sports. Whittenberg was a master of the catch-and-shoot, especially from the ACC’s ridiculous 17’9” 3-point line that year. However this desperation heave from 40’ with :04 remaining in the National Championship? He needed help.
* * *
Lorenzo Charles came to Raleigh from Brooklyn as one of Valvano’s first recruits. Valvano, hailing from Queens, always felt like he could give inner city guys a chance, and Lorenzo would be one of his first projects at State. Charles got in trouble his Freshman year, ‘81-‘82, for robbing a Domino’s Pizza man. It was a bad way to start his tenure in Raleigh, taking things from people. That isn’t help. Charles hit the weight room and matured quite a bit in the ensuing 12 months. The Cameron Crazies were still waving pizza boxes at him that Sophomore year, but Lorenzo was past that, and his game was starting to connect. In his Senior season, Charles earned First Team All-ACC honors, and that was against some of the league’s all-time greats like Kenny Smith, Brad Daugherty, Len Bias, Adrian Branch, John Salley, Bruce Dalrymple, Mark Price, and Johnny Dawkins. These are players who went on to have good, solid NBA careers.
The NBA game was probably too fast for Charles, but he had a nice pro basketball career in Europe for several years before returning to the Triangle. For years Charles did what he loved; driving people. He mostly drove limos, but also drove buses, including several jaunts for the Duke basketball team. Everywhere he went he was an instantly recognizable celebrity. However Lorenzo Charles was just doing what he learned under Valvano, helping people.
He only scored 4 points in that championship game, however those final two were timeless. It was a miracle in the making, and Whittenberg’s short shot, that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity, along with that miraculous run could never have become legend without a little help…from Lorenzo.
The ‘83 team’s legacy still lives strong in Raleigh. The lessons learned about perseverance, focus, fundamentals, second-chances, teamwork, and, oh, yeah, help live deep within Raleighites. The 1983 story isn’t one about basketball. It’s one about life; how to live it, how to love it, and how tragically it can suddenly end.
Lorenzo Charles was driving an empty bus on westbound I-40 in moderately heavy traffic on June 27, 2011 when his bus inexplicably ran off the road and into an embankment. Charles’ life ended instantly, adding more complexity to the Cardiac Pack story. I erected a small monument to #43 today at that site (map it). It stands as a symbol that Lorenzo’s legacy survives. He may have completed a miracle in far away Albuquerque, but that spirit we all had in 30 years ago today still survives right here in Raleigh, especially when we need a little help.
…The Cinderella Team has done it…The glass slipper fit…The Wolfpack has won the National Championship!
Today the City of Durham is discussing a proposed 26-story tower that would be the city’s tallest. The project would stand next to the venerable Hill building, inside of downtown’s loop, and would contain 133 apartment units in the buildings upper 21 stories. Half of the street level would be retail while the rest of the building would be parking garage.
There is a very nice pdf of the proposal posted at the Durham website. It includes details of the project, its positive and negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood, and many, many renderings.
I first should say that I love the architectural style of the building. The use of balconies to give the building a softer, rounded look is beautiful. The building would be a great improvement to the stale Durham skyline. I do have many deep concerns about the viability of the building as a business project, and concerns about its affect on future housing in downtown Durham.
In Raleigh we saw the addition of two “highrise” condo buildings with the West at North project and the RBC Tower. Along with other projects such as Bloomsbury Estates, the Hue and the Paramount, Raleigh saw a fast glut of high-rise condo spaces in a very few years. Predictably the market was overbuilt for condos, and some projects either went to apartments or went into foreclosure. At this point does the downtown market of Durham need 133 sky-high apartment units when it really has…none? This is a big financial step for the developers into an untested market.
Does this project improve the quality of life in downtown Durham? For sure, the Durham loop is begging for some residential component. The area has much potential as a walkable, charming 24-hour live/work/play zone. I have serious concerns about any residential project that is more than 6 stories tall. Above 60 feet or so, residents are no longer part of the community, but rather, in their own world. It is more convenient in some cases to just go down to the car in the garage and drive to destinations. Would it be any different for this project? Does the Durham market want all of its apartment demand sucked up into one portion of one block.
In urban areas with an abundance of vacant lots, like Raleigh and Durham, I feel that the best residential plan for a viable long term community is in 3-4 story facilities. Row houses and small projects are far more likely to put pedestrians on the street, pedestrians who care about the neighborhood, than projects that allow residents to escape the very neighborhood being built.
The folks at Pre-Flight Parking near RDU informed me last night that the site is no longer taking new parkers, and will be closing as soon as the last car is claimed. Apparently within the last week the company that owns Fast Park bought out the Pre-Flight location last week. (A couple of employees said that they offered Pre-Flight employees $2 less per hour, too).
So, it appear that there are now only three alternatives for parking at RDU:
RDU: $12/day – Park across the street from either terminal
FastPark Parking: $5.45/day – No walking, covered parking, complimentary car wash, bus delivery from your parking spot to terminal front door.
District Drive Park & Ride: Free – Ride TTA’s bus ($2 each way, exact change) Route 100 (.pdf). Note that this option is only convenient for late morning/early afternoon arrivals and departures. Lot is not under surveillance, but there is security-by-obscurity in a safe area.
Ben Fold Five announced today that they will tour this summer with Barenaked Ladies and Guster. The “Last Summer On Earth Tour 2013”. The 29 date tour’s apocalypse comes in Brooklyn, but not before the tour’s penultimate show at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater on Sunday, July 28.
BNL Fanclub presale tickets will be available tomorrow (Tue, 3/19) at 10am. Citi Cardmember presale is Wed at 10. LiveNation’s presale is Thu at 10.
A new bar and restaurant is finally coming to the vacant restaurant space in the Oberlin Court project. The OC Bar & Grill will open within a month, and its menu (pdf) shows a wide selection of burgers, sandwiches, grill items, and pastas all generally in the $8-$15 range. If the food is good…this will be a huge hit in a part of Raleigh craving more family-friendly menus.
On Monday, June 10, The National comes to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. The band announced today that they will be supporting their first CD in three years, to be released on May 4. The Dirty Projectors will open the show, a full 15 months after the release of their brilliant Swing Lo Magellan CD.
For tickets, the presale begins Wednesday (2/27) morning at 10am (pw: dazzle), while the General Public sale comes Friday morning at 10.
Today TBJ posted a slideshow of upcoming North Hills projects that is worth a look. The photos show renderings for a 19-story building that will go between Sparians and Six Forks Road, the 6-story Midtown Green apartments, an amphitheater, a free-standing Chuey’s, and details of the upcoming Allister apartment complex on Ramblewood Drive.
Tucked away, however, in the slide show are images of some other unannounced projects, too:
The high-rise condos planned for the space next to the Brothers Cleaners drive-thru are still present.
The two high-rise buildings that were once denied by the Raleigh City Council still appear in the plan. The buildings would sit in the vast surface parking lot between Six Forks Road and Coquette, and Lassiter Mill. The plan shows the removal of the Exxon station at the corner.
First Citizens’ low-rise crescent shaped office building adjacent to their odd circular building at Lassiter Mill and Six Forks is also present.
At North Hills East, a low-rise building is present between Sparians and the Camelot/Dartmouth intersection.
A very tall cluster of buildings is depicted between Piola and I-440, where Aldert Root School temporarily sat a few years ago. Originally this area was to hold a retirement development, but with an amphitheater going in at that end of the development, I certainly hope the plans have changed.
Most interesting, though, is the pair of high-rises, taller than the Renaissance Hotel, that would replace the JCPenney parking deck. The current deck has seen better days, for sure. Currituck Road is not depicted in the view, however this pair would best logically fit between the Currituck extension and the existing JCP.
The Ramblewood developments appear, as backward as they are, to be in place as being constructed now. (Why in the world are the single-family homes up at Ramblewood at the main traffic outlet while the high-density condo buildings are stuck in the back adjacent to Drewry Hills houses? )
The (recently razed) BB&T and former Bank of America buildings across Six Forks from the fire station are still present, indicating some error in this master plan.
The plan looks good from the birds eye view, though the complex is going to have to have a lot more parking than it currently has. When that parking is built, hopefully it will make more sense than the CapTrust tower’s parking; the creepiest parking garage in Raleigh.
As predicted, the sloppy, Casual Friday trend continues to take its toll on nice menswear stores. The Varsity, a fixture in the Hillsborough Street, Crabtree, and (most recently) North Hills menswear scenes is “retiring”. The store joins the likes of the Stagg Shop, Wrenn-Pharr (& the Club Shop), Chokey’s, and much of the Nowell’s group as Old Raleigh memories. There is a sale going on until inventory is cleared.
The nation’s next Sur La Table store may land at Streets at Southpoint Mall tomorrow morning. The store, which carries a full line of cooking equipment, is aiming for “go” when the mall opens.
I visited the Sur La Table store in SoHo a couple of weeks ago and while the store is similar to Williams Sonoma, the inventory is a bit more of a full complement cooking supply store and not quite as high-end than Williams Sonoma. It’s a store this market badly needs, especially the Raleigh market.
A few things to note in the store: the selection of thermometers, knives, and the demo of the induction cooking surface. Also of note is the store’s Grand Opening Sale which gives customers a $10 gift certificate for each $50 spent thru the store’s closing on Sunday evening. The store also runs cooking classes, such as Sunday’s $47 Essential Knife Skills class, which has gotten rave reviews online. (ask them if they demo the CIA method of peeling a pepper!)
The store is located in The Streets at Southpoint’s outdoor section.