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Old 08-03-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
Reputation: 1488

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I personally want to see GPAC make a major architectural statement (landmark/iconic status), but I support a sleek modern design that would win national architectural awards. Quite frankly there are too many poorly done "retro" developments that have gone up over the past 10 years and its getting quite boring. Retro is played out now. While I'm all for historic preservation, Greensboro is never going to be the next Charleston, SC. Greensboro lacks the kind of cosmopolitan architecture that represents a city of the new south and the 21st century. We need a PAC thats going to stand out architecturally, not blend in with dull crap thats being going up recently.

Bottom line, we need a new performing arts center and it should be built downtown. War Memorial Auditorium was designed for the mid 20th century and it looks like an over sized high school auditorium. The architecture is typical of mid 20th century auditoriums which basically looks like an ugly brick rectangular box. The old Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte looks identical. We can do better.

Last edited by gsoboi78; 08-03-2013 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:12 PM
 
32 posts, read 43,323 times
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I guess you'll get what you deserve.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
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I must say I do like the ywca site. Its right next to the cultural arts center and across the street from center-city park and the future plaza park that will be a part of the PAC. There are three city parking decks within a block from that site unlike the two other site at the south end of downtown. The Church Street parking deck is practically next door to the ywca site. This is important because it saves the city money by not having to build an adjoining parking deck like Durham had to do with DPAC.

Some have suggested the parking lot at North Elm and Bellemeade/Summit but I think that site is prime real estate for a future office tower.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,024 posts, read 5,329,621 times
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Interesting read. As a political/news blogger in Durham (currently on hiatus), I was lucky enough to be writing extensively about DPAC at the time of its construction. Had the chance to meet with execs from PFM/Nederlander, tour the facility under construction, talk to Downtown Durham Inc and city economic development folks, etc. It was a fascinating process to watch come together. A few thoughts:

1) GSO might learn something by seeing how Durham's process came together. There was an initial proposal, heavy on corporate/civic types, to build a "big" theater (3,000+ seats) to be operated by Clear Channel. Downtown types -- residents, small business owners, really the pioneers in our renaissance -- revolted and pushed back hard. The idea was scuttled, and in its place came DPAC. In the end, we ended up with a much, much better product. Lesson: listen to your community, particularly in what's a little gem of a revitalizing downtown there.

2) PFM/Nederlander is the number one success factor in DPAC. Period. Don't build a facility if you don't know who the operator will be, or if the operator will be second rate. Nederlander runs most of the major theaters on Broadway and has the hook to bring in the biggest shows. PFM, out of Providence, handles the day-to-day facility operation and they have done a very, very high quality job. If you have attended a DPAC event, you have likely gotten an email-based survey looking, stem-to-stern, at all the things that went well or badly, from traffic conditions and road signage to food to staff hospitality. They are relentless in focus on quality. Yes, our high SES as a city and region help make DPAC a success. But not-much-older (or at least renovated) facilities in Raleigh and Chapel Hill had those advantages before DPAC, and DPAC wiped the floor with their tattered show schedules.

3) Find synergies to make the location work. Almost fifteen years before DPAC, the city (against the will of the voters -- and the then-Council paid the political price) built the Bulls stadium on an abandoned parking lot. From the growth of that, Capital Broadcasting, which owns WRAL and the Bulls, bought the old American Tobacco factory and revitalized that into the American Tobacco Campus, which has been a phenomenal success. Only then did the DPAC go in, adjacent to both the ballpark and ATC. The parking deck referenced upthread, for instance, serves the DPAC and Bulls by night... but ATC and general downtown business during the daytime.

4) Don't believe the hype on "naming rights." It's likely a bunch of BS. Durham built DPAC for around $35 million, with some of that being a diversion of some downtown/CVB funding until naming rights were sold. You will note that, despite being one of the five best-selling PACs in the WORLD by ticket sales, it is still called DPAC. Not the AT&T Performing Arts Center (mighta happened if our mayor had been successful in getting AT&T to move their state HQ from Cary to Durham)... not anything else. Some minor naming rights have been sold, but comparatively very little versus the plan. Even with a very successful facility.

5) Study your SES. This is mentioned up-thread... and please note I am not saying this with any malice... but can the Triad support the same kind of facility as the Triangle and Charlotte? No offense, but with the difference in growth rates -- Durham will in a couple of decades likely pass Greensboro as NC's second-largest city, if I remember right -- and the economic growth differences, is there the base to attract the kind of shows that the Blumenthal and DPAC get? Or would it be better to focus on a different niche? After all, Asheville's facilities draw the WNC crowds and, in fact, if I were coming from much of WNC, it'd not be that much harder to get to Charlotte than Greensboro.

6) If he is available, for God's sake, hire Phil Szostak to build the damn thing.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:05 PM
 
12,577 posts, read 13,309,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City Rising View Post
Interesting read. As a political/news blogger in Durham (currently on hiatus), I was lucky enough to be writing extensively about DPAC at the time of its construction. Had the chance to meet with execs from PFM/Nederlander, tour the facility under construction, talk to Downtown Durham Inc and city economic development folks, etc. It was a fascinating process to watch come together. A few thoughts:

1) GSO might learn something by seeing how Durham's process came together. There was an initial proposal, heavy on corporate/civic types, to build a "big" theater (3,000+ seats) to be operated by Clear Channel. Downtown types -- residents, small business owners, really the pioneers in our renaissance -- revolted and pushed back hard. The idea was scuttled, and in its place came DPAC. In the end, we ended up with a much, much better product. Lesson: listen to your community, particularly in what's a little gem of a revitalizing downtown there.

2) PFM/Nederlander is the number one success factor in DPAC. Period. Don't build a facility if you don't know who the operator will be, or if the operator will be second rate. Nederlander runs most of the major theaters on Broadway and has the hook to bring in the biggest shows. PFM, out of Providence, handles the day-to-day facility operation and they have done a very, very high quality job. If you have attended a DPAC event, you have likely gotten an email-based survey looking, stem-to-stern, at all the things that went well or badly, from traffic conditions and road signage to food to staff hospitality. They are relentless in focus on quality. Yes, our high SES as a city and region help make DPAC a success. But not-much-older (or at least renovated) facilities in Raleigh and Chapel Hill had those advantages before DPAC, and DPAC wiped the floor with their tattered show schedules.

3) Find synergies to make the location work. Almost fifteen years before DPAC, the city (against the will of the voters -- and the then-Council paid the political price) built the Bulls stadium on an abandoned parking lot. From the growth of that, Capital Broadcasting, which owns WRAL and the Bulls, bought the old American Tobacco factory and revitalized that into the American Tobacco Campus, which has been a phenomenal success. Only then did the DPAC go in, adjacent to both the ballpark and ATC. The parking deck referenced upthread, for instance, serves the DPAC and Bulls by night... but ATC and general downtown business during the daytime.

4) Don't believe the hype on "naming rights." It's likely a bunch of BS. Durham built DPAC for around $35 million, with some of that being a diversion of some downtown/CVB funding until naming rights were sold. You will note that, despite being one of the five best-selling PACs in the WORLD by ticket sales, it is still called DPAC. Not the AT&T Performing Arts Center (mighta happened if our mayor had been successful in getting AT&T to move their state HQ from Cary to Durham)... not anything else. Some minor naming rights have been sold, but comparatively very little versus the plan. Even with a very successful facility.

5) Study your SES. This is mentioned up-thread... and please note I am not saying this with any malice... but can the Triad support the same kind of facility as the Triangle and Charlotte? No offense, but with the difference in growth rates -- Durham will in a couple of decades likely pass Greensboro as NC's second-largest city, if I remember right -- and the economic growth differences, is there the base to attract the kind of shows that the Blumenthal and DPAC get? Or would it be better to focus on a different niche? After all, Asheville's facilities draw the WNC crowds and, in fact, if I were coming from much of WNC, it'd not be that much harder to get to Charlotte than Greensboro.

6) If he is available, for God's sake, hire Phil Szostak to build the damn thing.
Some good, solid input other than "the design will be ridiculed" that has been mentioned yet no alternative design provided.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,558 posts, read 2,394,579 times
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It's a beautiful building as pictured. Please tell them not to use those horrid wood seats like the DPAC has and it will definitely get my vote!
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
Reputation: 1488
This project has taken a MAJOR step forward. The city of Greensboro is shifting its focus from the former YWCA site to a much larger site bound by North Elm St, Summit Ave and Lindsay St. The city plans to buy most of the parcels to assemble enough property for the performing arts center, premium parking and future private development. A live music jazz/blues restaurant (Boston's House of Blues & Jazz) sits within that block and would likely remain. The premium parking will contribute over $10 million towards the project closing the cost gap. The city has already approved $20 million from user fees and it looks like private donations could exceed $20 million. That adds up to $50 million. The city's portion of the county hotel/motel tax could fund the last $10 million or less for the $60 million arts center. Folks the funding is ALMOST in place. Because a new site is being selected, obviously the latest design will change. But one city council person said the foot print of the site is large enough for a major corporate headquarters. I personally think it should be VF Corp. The Wrangler division of VF Corp is already headquartered across the street from the PAC site. VF Corp could move from its north Greensboro location and build a corporate tower between 10 to 15 stories next to the PAC. VF Corp is really the only headquarters outside of downtown (not including Volvo Trucks), that would need enough space for a tower in that height range. Action Greensboro's original PAC plan placed the facility on that site and it included an attached office tower around 18 stories. I have always believed the site is prime real estate for a tower but there very well could be a possibility for both a tower and a performing arts center. BTW VF Corp is Greensboro's only fortune 500 company and owns brands such as Wrangler Jeans, Lee Jeans and Tommy Hilfiger.


Lets not forget that Summit Ave, bordering the site, will be closed or relocated for a privately funded park/PAC plaza which could have some sort of an indoor venue.


City may buy site for arts center - News-Record.com: Local News

Last edited by gsoboi78; 08-08-2013 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
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more on the site move

City Considers Location For Greensboro Performing Arts Center | digtriad.com
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
Reputation: 1488
video link showing the site

Greensboro Considers New Location For GPAC | Video | digtriad.com
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,582 posts, read 4,402,977 times
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Here are examples of the kind of performing arts center I would like Greensboro to have

CES Consultants, Inc. Miami-Dade County Performing Arts Center

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...rts-Center.jpg
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