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Old 03-06-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
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Downtown advocates and educational leaders are taking advantage of the colleges and universities that border downtown by proposing a downtown university district. So far its just a concept and not an official plan but it could include a building or a small campus where all of the city's colleges and universities would collaborate. I created a few drawings showing where this university district could go. I placed the district in the southwest quadrant of downtown bordering the greenway. I included an architecture school because the educational community is trying to bring an architectural school to Greensboro. It would be the third school in North Carolina. NC State in Raleigh and UNC Charlotte both have architectural design programs. An architecture school in Greensboro would compliment UNC Greensboro's interior architecture program as well as NC A&T's architectural engineering program. I chose this strategic location off of Lee Street because its just a few blocks from UNCG expansion projects along Lee Street. It would serve as a gateway into downtown. The location would tie in with the South Elm/Lee Street development which will include educational facilities, residential, a hotel, international market, retail and civic space.


The concept includes an art park and a small amphitheater near the architecture school as well as signature bridge sculpture over the Eugene Street bridge.



Last edited by gsoboi78; 03-06-2013 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
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This site does have 3 big challenges. There are multiple property owners and they would have to be willing to sell like the south elm street development. Secondly, soil contamination would have to be dealt with. But if it can be classified as a brownfield, federal dollars could help this project. And because state universities are involved, the state could help as well. Lastly, some of the site would have to be purchased from the Norfolk Southern railroad company. The city has had difficulty doing that with the rail yard by the depot. Eventually something has to be done about the southwest quadrant of downtown because its the only big eye sore left in the center city. The architecture design school would anchor this concept that I have presented and it would help bring UNCGs interior architecture program together with NC A&Ts architectural engineering program. Imagine the two schools collaborating on one student project. Interior design, architectural design and architectural engineering would all be brought together in one project. It presents a unique opportunity for Greensboro and for students studying architecture. The campus would go beyond architecture and would include collaboration with the other colleges in Greensboro. As far as the site, its one of the last opportunities for a massive downtown project of this scale. What do you guys think?

Last edited by gsoboi78; 03-07-2013 at 07:46 AM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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To my understanding the properties at S Elm/Lee St have been cleaned up.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
To my understanding the properties at S Elm/Lee St have been cleaned up.
So has the plan for the South Elm/Lee St proposal changed as well as opportunity Greensboro's university district plan? The most recent plan for the South Elm St site is to build a hotel, condos, apartments, civic space, retail and one office building that has some space for educational related business. The focus of the project doesn't seem to cry out "University District". Has Opportunity Greensboro abandoned the idea of a multi-building campus? I sure hope their plan for a University District hasn't been diminished to renting some space in a little building. That's certainly not a University District if that's the case. They should probably call it a University Center. Then we have a council person that basically implied that the university district will help us compete with Durham and Winston-Salem (in reference to research/technology). I'm not sure how renting a little space in a building for some classes accomplishes that. That's what G.U.R.P. is suppose to do. This downtown university proposal is not a research park. But if they decide to expand on the idea of a downtown campus, my idea shows where they could potentially expand. Honestly, I think an educational/student village development is the only thing that would work on the site in the southwest part of downtown. I just don't see luxury condos and high-rise office buildings going up there. What ever happens, they need to clean it up. From what I understand hobos have set up camp there.

Last edited by gsoboi78; 03-07-2013 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsoboi78 View Post
So has the plan for the South Elm/Lee St proposal changed as well as opportunity Greensboro's university district plan? The most recent plan for the South Elm St site is to build a hotel, condos, apartments, civic space, retail and one office building that has some space for educational related business. Has Opportunity Greensboro abandoned the idea of an entire multi-building campus? I sure hope their plan for a University District hasn't been diminished to renting some space in a little building. That's certainly not a University District if that's the case. They should probably call it a University Center.
The properties were cleaned up a few years ago before the economy tanked. Though I haven't followed it very closely, nothing has changed on the property that I have observed. Even the "future site" sign remains on one corner.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Boone, NC
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I think it's an incredibly awesome idea if the property can be acquired. There are so many good educational institutions in the area and it would be real boon to the city if they collaborated more.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
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Originally Posted by DSS94 View Post
I think it's an incredibly awesome idea if the property can be acquired. There are so many good educational institutions in the area and it would be real boon to the city if they collaborated more.
I just hope Greensboro and its university leadership have the vision to take the idea to this level. Its certainly doable and would be a smaller version of what Spokane, Washington has done.

( http://www.spokaneuniversitydistrict.com/ )

Just look at what UNCG is doing a few blocks west with Spartan Village.

( http://hrl.uncg.edu/living_on_campus...an_village.php )

Imagine all of the colleges combining their resources. Add a little federal money with it and this should not be a problem. Its all about having the vision, desire and political will to do it. Greensboro needs to have a little bit more confidence in itself. The city seems to always settle for mediocre ideas and it wonders why it lags behind its peer cities. And honestly I can't see anything else happening on that site. Its just going to sit there as an eye sore with run down buildings with areas with overgrown vegetation. The city needs to get its act together. Right now there is some infighting between the city and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. The city claims DGI doesn't have a vision for downtown and has done very little to promote economic development. Now the city is threatening to cut off its funding if changes are not made. The mayor said our downtown is stale and he is right. While there have been a lot of success stories on Elm Street and a few big projects like the ballpark, Center-City Park and Southside, much of downtown has been ignored and is not as visually appealing. We need to stop focusing on Elm Street, Elm will take care of itself now. We need to focus on areas like the site I proposed for the joint campus.

The architecture school in this campus would be an added bonus and it would be the only urban architecture school in the state. I think it would help attract more architecture firms downtown and maybe some of our developers can learn something from these architecture students in how an urban project should be designed.

Last edited by gsoboi78; 03-08-2013 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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I went to For Work. For Play. For Life. | South Elm Street Redevelopment and there hasn't been an update for over a year with no indicators of what direction the project is going.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC USA
4,586 posts, read 4,402,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
I went to For Work. For Play. For Life. | South Elm Street Redevelopment and there hasn't been an update for over a year with no indicators of what direction the project is going.
Looks like the economy has stalled the project.

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Old 03-09-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsoboi78 View Post
Looks like the economy has stalled the project.
Like they say "no news is good news."
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