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Old 01-21-2018, 07:19 PM
 
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In the Raleigh forum, I see people frequently mention the Raleigh Warehouse District. The description of that area sounds a lot like South End in Charlotte, and perhaps NoDa. I have some familiarity with South End and NoDa, but I haven't been in Raleigh in about 25 years, so I am not familiar with their Warehouse District at all. Can someone who is familiar with Raleigh's Warehouse District and Charlotte's South End and NoDa compare and contrast?

My thoughts about the Charlotte districts are this: South End has a lot going on, and it's a fairly large area, but there is no core to it. It's missing a plaza or other unifying focal point that tells you that you are in the middle of it. It seems people come to the area with a specific destination in mind, and they go directly to their intended destination but nowhere else, so you don't see people out and about on the street. I was there on a recent Saturday afternoon, and there was not much of a vibe from what I could see. NoDa, in contrast, does have that focal point and so there is an energy there and people are out and about. But it's a really small district of only a few blocks. Does the Raleigh Warehouse District resemble either South End or NoDa in any of these respects? Is it vibrant like NoDa or quiet on the outside like South End. Is it small like NoDa or large like South End?

I'm posting this both here and in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Cary forum. I'm interested in all perspectives from anyone who knows these districts in both cities.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:02 PM
 
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Downtown Raleigh (DTR) is fairly compact and very walkable, the Warehouse District is one of the rapidly transforming areas of DTR. The brand new Union Station and the new Dillon tower will be focal point of the district once they both open Spring. Unlike NODA and Uptown Charlotte there's no separation between the districts, from the Warehouse District you can walk to: Fayetteville Street District, Moore Square District, Capital District, Glenwood South District. And importantly the future Raleigh Central Park (Dorothea Dix Park area) and the future Southern Gateway District.


That being said there's so much construction in the Warehouse District that is been temporarily hampered by it. Key roads and areas have been shutdown for over 3 years so it has not been as vibrant as Glenwood South or Fayetteville Distict, which again are just short walks from the Warehouse District.


But the Warehouse District might be the most vibrant area soon since it's centrally located and both Amtrak and the future Commuter Heavy Rail will be use the Union Station and developers are buying every single piece of property available.



Soooo in the future the Warehouse District will be very trendy: new train station, new food hall (Morgain Street Food Hall), great drinking spots (Tasty Beverage, Crankarm Brewery, Boxcar, Vita Vite, Flying Saucer), the most popular gay bar in the Triangle (Legends), the Raleigh Jean company and Videri Chocolates are both located there--who doesn't want to try $300 jeans after getting fat from North Carolina made dark chocolate? By Raleigh standard's the restaurant scene is a bit lacking right now but I'm sure it will improve and there's great food just a 5 minute walk away anyways.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:38 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
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Originally Posted by brichard View Post
My thoughts about the Charlotte districts are this: South End has a lot going on, and it's a fairly large area, but there is no core to it. It's missing a plaza or other unifying focal point that tells you that you are in the middle of it. It seems people come to the area with a specific destination in mind, and they go directly to their intended destination but nowhere else, so you don't see people out and about on the street. I was there on a recent Saturday afternoon, and there was not much of a vibe from what I could see. NoDa, in contrast, does have that focal point and so there is an energy there and people are out and about. But it's a really small district of only a few blocks. Does the Raleigh Warehouse District resemble either South End or NoDa in any of these respects? Is it vibrant like NoDa or quiet on the outside like South End. Is it small like NoDa or large like South End?
What a great thread

I too, am unfamiliar with Raleigh's districts, so I am interested in what others have to say. I do know that the City has put a lot of money and effort into Hillsborough Street:

https://www.hillsboroughstreet.org/

***

I agree with your assessment of South End. One problem I find with Charlotte is that marketeers are a little too over the top, to the extent that their boasts are sometimes ridiculous. So instead of elevating a neighborhood and it's status, they make the neighborhood look silly, as it doesn't match the marketeers hype. In South End's case, the latest and greatest moniker is LoSo (Lower South End). Again...very silly.

Another problem with South End, and Charlotte in general, are ridiculously narrow sidewalks, which are of little use. In South End's case, there's a lack of continuity between spaces; a sidewalk in one area, and the lack of a sidewalk in another. A bar in one space, and a commercial building right next door to it. The lack of congruity between spaces and blocks have a dividing effect. In other words, there's no flow; I have a hard time picturing patrons bar hopping, without sidewalks, while traversing dark, empty, commercial spaces (at night). What might be helpful is the elimination of telephone poles, distinct pedestrian lighting; distinct signage, and consistent sidewalks from block to block. Some of the multi colored apartments are hideous as well.

On the plus side, the below development is exciting, and holds a lot of promise:

Railyard Southend | Urban Mixed-Use Development - Charlotte, NC
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NDL View Post
What a great thread

I too, am unfamiliar with Raleigh's districts, so I am interested in what others have to say. I do know that the City has put a lot of money and effort into Hillsborough Street:

https://www.hillsboroughstreet.org/

***

I agree with your assessment of South End. One problem I find with Charlotte is that marketeers are a little too over the top, to the extent that their boasts are sometimes ridiculous. So instead of elevating a neighborhood and it's status, they make the neighborhood look silly, as it doesn't match the marketeers hype. In South End's case, the latest and greatest moniker is LoSo (Lower South End). Again...very silly.

Another problem with South End, and Charlotte in general, are ridiculously narrow sidewalks, which are of little use. In South End's case, there's a lack of continuity between spaces; a sidewalk in one area, and the lack of a sidewalk in another. A bar in one space, and a commercial building right next door to it. The lack of congruity between spaces and blocks have a dividing effect. In other words, there's no flow; I have a hard time picturing patrons bar hopping, without sidewalks, while traversing dark, empty, commercial spaces (at night). What might be helpful is the elimination of telephone poles, distinct pedestrian lighting; distinct signage, and consistent sidewalks from block to block. Some of the multi colored apartments are hideous as well.

On the plus side, the below development is exciting, and holds a lot of promise:

Railyard Southend | Urban Mixed-Use Development - Charlotte, NC
Thank you for your comments. The reason I started this thread is that I keep reading on the Raleigh forum about the Warehouse District, like is the big happening place in Raleigh. In Charlotte, the closest thing to that seems to be South End and NoDa. As I'm familiar with the two places in Charlotte, but not the one in Raleigh, I'm just curious how they compare. I agree with your points about South End. Your suggestions would probably make it a more inviting place. I've visited there several times when I've been in Charlotte, and it's always the same feeling of "Am I there yet? I passed a sign welcoming me to South End, so this is it? Oh. Well where is everybody?" NoDa seems much more vibrant and interesting than South End, but it's tiny. I've lived away from Charlotte in other cities the last 30 years, and each of these other cities (as well as most cities I've visited) have interesting, eclectic, *large* and vibrant neighborhoods that are major draws. This is what I find is Charlotte's biggest deficiency. And Atlanta's, for that matter. I was wondering if Raleigh, with its Warehouse District and downtown area, is different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCGuyTravels View Post
Downtown Raleigh (DTR) is fairly compact and very walkable, the Warehouse District is one of the rapidly transforming areas of DTR. The brand new Union Station and the new Dillon tower will be focal point of the district once they both open Spring. Unlike NODA and Uptown Charlotte there's no separation between the districts, from the Warehouse District you can walk to: Fayetteville Street District, Moore Square District, Capital District, Glenwood South District. And importantly the future Raleigh Central Park (Dorothea Dix Park area) and the future Southern Gateway District.


That being said there's so much construction in the Warehouse District that is been temporarily hampered by it. Key roads and areas have been shutdown for over 3 years so it has not been as vibrant as Glenwood South or Fayetteville Distict, which again are just short walks from the Warehouse District.


But the Warehouse District might be the most vibrant area soon since it's centrally located and both Amtrak and the future Commuter Heavy Rail will be use the Union Station and developers are buying every single piece of property available.

Soooo in the future the Warehouse District will be very trendy: new train station, new food hall (Morgain Street Food Hall), great drinking spots (Tasty Beverage, Crankarm Brewery, Boxcar, Vita Vite, Flying Saucer), the most popular gay bar in the Triangle (Legends), the Raleigh Jean company and Videri Chocolates are both located there--who doesn't want to try $300 jeans after getting fat from North Carolina made dark chocolate? By Raleigh standard's the restaurant scene is a bit lacking right now but I'm sure it will improve and there's great food just a 5 minute walk away anyways.
I appreciate the insight. It sounds to me like you're saying Raleigh's Warehouse District, as well as the surrounding areas in downtown, are far superior to Charlotte. Outside of tiny NoDa, there is very little pedestrian activity and buzz. But that's not the case in Raleigh? When I retire, which is not that far away, I'm thinking of coming back to NC. I want to be in a city, but I want to feel like I'm in a city. I'm really only familiar with Charlotte, which is mostly sprawling suburbs. I would die if I had to live in a suburban environment. I'm used to having people around and being able to walk everywhere.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by brichard View Post
Thank you for your comments. The reason I started this thread is that I keep reading on the Raleigh forum about the Warehouse District, like is the big happening place in Raleigh. In Charlotte, the closest thing to that seems to be South End and NoDa. As I'm familiar with the two places in Charlotte, but not the one in Raleigh, I'm just curious how they compare. I agree with your points about South End. Your suggestions would probably make it a more inviting place. I've visited there several times when I've been in Charlotte, and it's always the same feeling of "Am I there yet? I passed a sign welcoming me to South End, so this is it? Oh. Well where is everybody?" NoDa seems much more vibrant and interesting than South End, but it's tiny. I've lived away from Charlotte in other cities the last 30 years, and each of these other cities (as well as most cities I've visited) have interesting, eclectic, *large* and vibrant neighborhoods that are major draws. This is what I find is Charlotte's biggest deficiency. And Atlanta's, for that matter. I was wondering if Raleigh, with its Warehouse District and downtown area, is different.



I appreciate the insight. It sounds to me like you're saying Raleigh's Warehouse District, as well as the surrounding areas in downtown, are far superior to Charlotte. Outside of tiny NoDa, there is very little pedestrian activity and buzz. But that's not the case in Raleigh? When I retire, which is not that far away, I'm thinking of coming back to NC. I want to be in a city, but I want to feel like I'm in a city. I'm really only familiar with Charlotte, which is mostly sprawling suburbs. I would die if I had to live in a suburban environment. I'm used to having people around and being able to walk everywhere.
You can really live anywhere in Downtown Raleigh, not just the Warehouse District, there's a free bus that goes around all of Downtown and it's easy to walk about anyways.

Some people prefer Charlotte but I think most people in Charlotte have an understandably limited and dated view of Raleigh. Certainly, Raleigh in 2018 is far different from what it was a decade ago, DTR now is a very cohesive area with a strong community (Downtown Raleigh Alliance) that promotes cultural and quality of life activities. Instead of just promoting development of large buildings and shopping/entertainment areas and hope culture spontaneously erupts, organizations like the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh spend money on festivals and events and promoting Quality of Life projects the new Dix Park (Future Raleigh Central Park).

When I live in Charlotte it was very rare of me to visit Uptown Charlotte since there's rarely any non-sports events happening and the events that do happen are in other locations. Downtown Raleigh closes down streets almost every weekend in Spring/Summer/early Fall to hold events like Hopscotch Music Festival, Blussgrass Festival, Capital BikeFest, Artsplosure Art Festival, 5 to 7 Food Truck Rodeos right on Fayetteville Street, Krispy Kreme Challenge, SparkCon Creative Art Festival, BugFest, Brewgaloo Beer Festival, Caribbean Heritage Festival, La Fiesta del Pueblo Hispanic Heritage Festival, and many more I can't think of right now. Not to mention First Friday happens every month in Downtown Raleigh. Food is fantastic and starting to get national attention thanks to people like Chef Ashley Christensen (Poole's Diner), Chef Cheetie Kumar (Garland), and the team at Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda.

I now live in Downtown Raleigh and I rarely use my car now since I walk everywhere or take the bus or bike and it will get a lot easier once the two grocery stores (Publix and Harris Teeter) open in Downtown Raleigh in 2019 I think.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NCGuyTravels View Post
You can really live anywhere in Downtown Raleigh, not just the Warehouse District, there's a free bus that goes around all of Downtown and it's easy to walk about anyways.

Some people prefer Charlotte but I think most people in Charlotte have an understandably limited and dated view of Raleigh. Certainly, Raleigh in 2018 is far different from what it was a decade ago, DTR now is a very cohesive area with a strong community (Downtown Raleigh Alliance) that promotes cultural and quality of life activities. Instead of just promoting development of large buildings and shopping/entertainment areas and hope culture spontaneously erupts, organizations like the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh spend money on festivals and events and promoting Quality of Life projects the new Dix Park (Future Raleigh Central Park).

When I live in Charlotte it was very rare of me to visit Uptown Charlotte since there's rarely any non-sports events happening and the events that do happen are in other locations. Downtown Raleigh closes down streets almost every weekend in Spring/Summer/early Fall to hold events like Hopscotch Music Festival, Blussgrass Festival, Capital BikeFest, Artsplosure Art Festival, 5 to 7 Food Truck Rodeos right on Fayetteville Street, Krispy Kreme Challenge, SparkCon Creative Art Festival, BugFest, Brewgaloo Beer Festival, Caribbean Heritage Festival, La Fiesta del Pueblo Hispanic Heritage Festival, and many more I can't think of right now. Not to mention First Friday happens every month in Downtown Raleigh. Food is fantastic and starting to get national attention thanks to people like Chef Ashley Christensen (Poole's Diner), Chef Cheetie Kumar (Garland), and the team at Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda.

I now live in Downtown Raleigh and I rarely use my car now since I walk everywhere or take the bus or bike and it will get a lot easier once the two grocery stores (Publix and Harris Teeter) open in Downtown Raleigh in 2019 I think.
That all sounds really wonderful. You're convincing me that Raleigh is the place to be in NC. My parents are in NC. I went to college in Charlotte, so I have friends there and some family as well, so I visit a couple times a year. I don't know anyone in Raleigh, so that's why I'm never there. I really want to visit Raleigh, especially after reading what you wrote. Walkable is a big key for me in choosing a place to live. I hate having to depend on a car. I live in walkable neighborhood in San Diego (stores, restaurants, book stores, music, clubs and other hangouts, grocery store, drug store, quirky shops, parks, post office and so much more) and lived in a very walkable neighborhood outside of DC (where I even walked to work). After living this lifestyle for so many years, I would have a really, REALLY hard time going back to an auto-dependent lifestyle.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:50 AM
 
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If you are just driving through South End, you aren't going to see most of the people walking around. The main pedestrian route is the Rail Trail. You'll find people using the rail trail to walk between restraunts, bars, and jump on the light rail to ride down to the next station to go to other bars, etc... Now that there are dockless bikes throughout SouthEnd as well, you'll find many people biking to their destinations along the rail trail.

SouthEnd is also in a big transformation right now with the two big hubs of the neighborhood (Athereon Mill) and the former Common Market corner being redeveloped. Once those projects are done, the sense of place or a main 'square' should return. Many residents also just jump on the light rail which will be 19 miles stretching up to UNC Charlotte this spring.

With the light rail completion you'll have access from everything from Ikea, TopGolf, and UNCC in the north, the NODA neighborhood and it's breweries and theater, Uptown restaurants, parks, performing arts, and jobs, as well as the SouthEnd stops. SouthEnd has walkable Harris Teeters and Publix, while Uptown will soon have a Whole Foods built on the light rail stop at Stonewall in addition to Harris Teeter Uptown. The dockless bikes have also made car free access to Dilworth and Freedom Park easy from SouthEnd. Yesterday was a beautiful day and there were at least 50 dockless bikes people had taken to Freedom Park.

Last edited by CLT4; 01-22-2018 at 04:59 AM..
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by brichard View Post
I want to be in a city, but I want to feel like I'm in a city. I'm really only familiar with Charlotte, which is mostly sprawling suburbs. I would die if I had to live in a suburban environment. I'm used to having people around and being able to walk everywhere.
This statement makes me think neither Charlotte nor Raleigh are a good fit for you. Both are prime examples of sprawling cities. Look at aerial pictures of both cities. The vast majority of residents in both cities will live suburban lifestyles and be jumping in their car to go to work, run errands, etc... Look at the commuting statistics for example:

Raleigh: 78% drive alone, 10% carpool, 8% work at home, 2% take public transit, 1.5% walk to work
https://datausa.io/profile/geo/ralei...transportation

Charlotte: 78% drive alone, 10% carpool, 6% work at home, 4% take public transit, 2% walk to work
https://datausa.io/profile/geo/charl...transportation

If you know you will be compromising what you are used to, there is walk ability in both cities. It just isn't going to feel like a booming metropolis where there are lots of people on the street 24/7. Charlotte will have more light rail to connect you to more neighborhoods, where in Raleigh you'll be limited to your immediate downtown surroundings before you have to jump in the car. In both cities, you are going to find the vast majority of people in the area are used to going in a car for errands.

This is a good thread on walk ability: Walkable areas
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CLT4 View Post
This statement makes me think neither Charlotte nor Raleigh are a good fit for you. Both are prime examples of sprawling cities. Look at aerial pictures of both cities. The vast majority of residents in both cities will live suburban lifestyles and be jumping in their car to go to work, run errands, etc... Look at the commuting statistics for example.
Agree completely. But, I will also say that between the light rail, streetcar and the walkability and presence of grocery stores and other retail in Uptown and Southend, Charlotte is far more what you're looking for than Raleigh.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:42 AM
 
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Agree completely. But, I will also say that between the light rail, streetcar and the walkability and presence of grocery stores and other retail in Uptown and Southend, Charlotte is far more what you're looking for than Raleigh.
Agreed, but I suspect that these threads were NOT created by a real person interested in relocating to Charlotte or South End. I work out at the Dowd YMCA regularly. I know what RESIDENTS of South End think about their area. They walk and bike ride all the time. These threads were created with a stupid Charlotte vs Raleigh (which is more urban so us Raleighites can feel superior to Charlotte) agenda and we already have a historic-structure-biased Charlottean who fell for the trap. Charlotte is not historic, so get over it. Neither is NYC to the visitor from Rome or Paris. It's all perspective.

With that said (and I visit Raleigh frequently due to work) Uptown/South End (while still a work-in-progress) trumps all of downtown Raleigh most days of the year. DT Raleigh just opened a YMCA for example. Heck, there are 3 YMCAs in South End/uptown (and the Dowd YMCA is open until midnight Monday-Thursday) along with quite a few other gyms and athletic clubs.

Uptown/South End
Movies, bowling, sporting events, festivals, DNC convention, NRA convention, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods (coming soon), Publix (South End), the NBA All Star Game (2019), streetcar expansion, light rail expansion, 40 towers above 250ft tall (more on the way), hotels (more on the way), restaurants serving exotic foods (Kangaroo Loin anyone?), two performing arts centers, dance clubs, etc...

Why on Earth are we comparing central Charlotte to a downtown that can't even compete with downtown Greenville SC? YES folks, downtown Greenville can hold its own to central Charlotte better than dt Raleigh. No joke...
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