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2013 Predictions. A Look Back

23 months ago I posted some predictions for the upcoming 2013 year. For fun, let’s look back and see which ones turned out and which ones didn’t:

  • Publix will begin construction on their first Triangle store…in Cary in the Davis/54 area. TRUE (kind of) – The store opened at Davis Drive/High House a couple of weeks ago. Not 2013, but I got the location correct!
  • Publix will pick Creedmoor/Millbrook for their first Raleigh store location. The new owners of Falls Village will make a strong play for Publix, offering to raze half of their center to accommodate a large grocery store. WRONG – Publix is, however eyeing a North Raleigh site near Bedford for their first Raleigh store
  • Raleigh will begin discussions to tear down Memorial Auditorium – with the dominant bookings of the DPAC, Raleigh people are increasingly irked by having to go to Durham for so many good events. Leaders in Raleigh will talk about removing the center section of the performing arts complex and replacing it with a stacked, 3-tier facility to compete with the DPAC. – WRONG – Memorial Auditorium’s HVAC system was renovated this summer, but the house continues to struggle against the nationally-renowned DPAC. Give this one a few more years, though.
  • Violence will be an increasing problem in Glenwood South, and patrons will start seeking another focus for nightlife, most likely in…the Hillsborough Street area, which will be the next wave of downtown revitalization. WRONG – We having seen a big uptick in violence, thankfully. However we are seeing a big movement toward residential space on Hillsborough, and retail will follow.
  • Orvis will close in Triangle Town Center and seek space in a part of the Triangle where their patrons actually live. Perhaps Kidd’s Hill behind Crabtree? WRONG – The store is still a ghost town, though.
  • Development of both Kidd’s Kill properties will finally begin, but the Soleil Center/Westin land will remain an empty lot. CORRECT – A very disappointing apartment development is going in behind Crabtree, and the Soleil property remains a fenced off eyesore.
  • A new mall will be announced for the I-40/42/70/540 area between Clayton and Fuquay. It will focus on serving the Johnston County market. WRONG – Still waiting on this one.
  • Best Buy will close at least one Triangle location. My bet is the newest store, Brier Creek. CORRECT, KINASORTA – Best Buy is hanging in there, but they did close the store across from Triangle Town Center, and opened a small footprint store farther into Raleigh on Capital Blvd.
  • Between Liles, The Varsity, and Nowells, Raleigh will only support two, and one will close. – CORRECT – The Varsity closed
  • As brick & mortar retail continues to struggle, Crabtree will add another restaurant in its mall proper CORRECT – Tomato Pie opened in the mall’s lower level.
  • While Washington policy will grow much more liberal than we’ve seen in the previous 4 years (increasingly hostile fiscal policies toward the wealthy, increased spending on social programs, and a stark increase in liberal social policies and transit expenditures), North Carolina policy will become more conservative, but not by much. In the next four years issues like Gay Marriage, Legalization of Pot, and Gun Control will stay put in this state, unless there is federal mandate… MOSTLY CORRECT. The wealthiest 1% now pay 24% of the Federal Tax burden, and NC’s policy has stayed conservative. (See Gay Marriage in next comment)
  • …The Supreme Court will rule that Gay Marriage must be recognized by all states, and Federal Legislation implementing more stringent gun control will override North Carolina’s stance. WRONG METHOD – NC did, in fact, legalize Gay Marriage without a federal mandate, and the issue continues to be challenged in court by conservatives.
  • North Carolina will get an increased amount of funding for transit (regional “high” speed and local light rail), but the State of North Carolina will decrease expenditures in these areas, and no real progress will occur in the next four years, especially with light rail. WRONG-SORT OF – We didn’t see appreciable funding for transit in 2013, but in early 2014 a light rail project linking UNC and downtown Durham was approved by federal agencies.
  • Raleigh will continue its oppressive assault on drivers in neighborhoods by reducing the speed limit on Glen Eden to 25 mph. They will also erect more of those contrived islands meant to annoy and slow drivers. WRONG/CORRECT – Glen Eden remains untouched, but we have seen the introduction of speed bumps and arbitrary 4-way stops on streets like Northbrook Drive and Lake Boone Trail. Contrived islands, surprise curb extensions, and traffic circles are planned for Currituck Drive.
  • UNC and NCSU will field bubble teams in football, once again, that will get absolutely no national attention. CORRECT/INCORRECT – UNC went to the game in Charlotte and NCSU did not win a conference game in 2013. Neither, however, improved their national stature in football.
  • If the NHL season is cancelled, Backyard Bistro will close. N/A – The NHL season was not cancelled in 2013.
  • T-Mobile will be bought by one of the other carriers, most likely AT&T, reducing the number of carrier networks to three in the Triangle. WRONG – There are still 4 carriers, and T-Mobile has survived by reducing the 2-year lock-in contracts that became the norm.
  • Free Wifi will be everywhere by the end of the year. In the malls, the restaurants, and in grocery stores. Most importantly, I predict that free wifi for every fan in the building will be implemented in the PNC Arena. (yay!) WRONG – Slowly, but surely, we are getting there, though.
  • The number of restaurants with tablet menus will grow quickly. In fact, only cheap or snobby restaurants will be without a tablet presence by the end of 2013 . CORRECT/KINDA – iPad lists have been a big hit for extensive wine lists, and we have seen table-top kiosks appear in Chili’s, however digital menus are still in the minority.
  • Buca di Beppo will announce their first Raleigh/Cary location WRONG (sniff)
  • PDQ will announce two more locations. One in the Southpoint area and one in Cary. WRONG/CORRECT – PDQ did add two more locations, and one is in Cary. The other is in Wake Forest, not Durham.
  • One of downtown Raleigh’s Indian restaurants will close. Will it be Blue Mango or Mantra that survives? WRONG
  • BJ’s Brewhouse will announce their first North Carolina locations – on in Charlotte, one in Cary. WRONG
  • The next big culinary ethnicity, after Mexican starts to fade, will be South American. Restaurants like Machupicchu and Guasaca will have excellent years, but will see more competition, too, especially in the casual dining space. N/A – We really haven’t seen a replacement for Mexican yet. Still waiting on this one.
  • Guacamole variations will be the next trend within the Mexican food space CORRECT – Many Mexican restaurants offer varieties of Guacamole.
  • The IHOP on Hillsborough Street will close, but will be replaced in 2014 by a mixed use apartment building that will have street level retail, including a new IHOP. (This is a planned project. The prediction is that execution will begin this year) WRONG TIMING – Still waiting on this.
  • The Triangle will be selected as the site for filming a nationally prominent movie. WRONG
  • No significant changes to Raleigh’s skyline will be introduced in 2013. WRONG – Skyhouse apartments began construction in 2013, and other projects on that block were proposed.
  • A MakerBot-like 3D printing business will open in Raleigh, allowing people to create functional and artistic plastic items just-in-time. N/A – Maker projects are growing, but we having seen private 3D printing places yet.
  • Here’s the big one: 2013 will be the Year of Durham, and the crowning moment will be an announcement by Google that their second Google Fiber city will be…Durham. KIND OF CORRECT – Google put the entire Triangle on its short list for fiber, and AT&T announced fiber expansion in the Triangle, too.

So, overall, not too bad. There were some correct predictions, and for the most part, the incorrect ones were not way far off. Some just need more time as the sluggish economy still has lending markets feeling jittery.

In one month I will present predictions for 2015.


Make A Comment
  • DougInNC Said:

    For the Raleigh movie prediction, there were scenes from Iron Man 3 that were filmed in Raleigh. I’ll give you partial credit on that one.

  • madisonj Said:

    LOVE that they are finally developing kidds hill. HATE that they are putting in apartments. How many freaking apartments does that area need? And the Soliel corner, c’mon already, put something something there, it really bring that area down.

  • Timothy Naomi Said:

    I’ll be interested to see if Raleigh ever gets an MLS soccer team. It seems like a no-brainer to me. You have a huge soccer knowledgeable community here with plenty of tradition, you already have a soccer specific stadium in Cary that seats 10000, and could easily be expanded to the 18-20000 range that you would need for MLS, and there are plenty of potential owners here with the required net worth by the league. Not to mention we already have a successful NASL franchise that could easily make the jump to the highest tier. I’m baffled with MLS’s fascination with expanding into markets like Atlanta and Miami, which have always been dicey cities for supporting a professional sports franchise.

  • Ted Said:

    PDQ opened in Durham, at Patterson Place. They have a total of 4 in the Triangle currently.

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