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Homeowner: Cary Wants My Land for Performing Arts Center

Posted September 16, 2007
Updated September 17, 2007

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— Marilyn and Marvin Goldman have spent the past 11 years living in a downtown Cary condo, but their home might be in jeopardy.

The town of Cary wants to build a performing arts center and a parking deck at the northeast corner of Dry Avenue and Academy Street. The problem is, the Goldman's home and 18 other properties are in the way.

“They’re going to bulldoze this,” Marilyn said. "It’s not my house they want. It’s my land they want.”

Buying the necessary properties could cost the town $8 million. The 650-space parking deck would cost $15 million. Designing and constructing the 100,000-square-foot performing arts center would cost $73.5 million.

The center would include a 1,200-seat auditorium for theater, dance and music shows.

“It takes a lot of money to create amenities citizens want,” said Cary Council Member Jennifer Robinson. “What we really see is that an investment in the center for the arts will spur private investment, such as new businesses and new restaurants. As a result, we'll see a much greater quality of life in downtown Cary.”

Robinson is the chairwoman of the Cary Community Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for large-scale projects to improve life in Cary. The foundation plans to start fund-raising for the performing arts center later this year, she said.

Fellow Cary Council Member Nels Roseland said he thinks the burden will still end up on taxpayers.

“In my opinion, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money to duplicate something folks can access 15 minutes away in Raleigh,” he said. "Private sector efforts are laudable, but the scope of that fund-raising and targets that would be needed are simply not realistic nor have ever been achieved in Cary.”

Cary town leaders said it could be anywhere from four to 10 years before the performing arts center could become a reality. For the people who live and work in the area, that could mean years of worry.

“I feel as though there is a dark, gray cloud over my head,” Marilyn said.

The town made the Goldmans an offer, but they said no thanks.

“I'm not trying to extort money from the town. I just want them to give us an amount of money we can replace our house with if we have to move," Marilyn said.

Town leaders would not say what will happen to homeowners who refuse to sell. Robinson said the town is approaching homeowners carefully and deliberately.

"It's a matter of going to find the fair value of the property and making sure we're a good neighbor," she said.


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  • Timbo Sep 18, 2007

    defabz, there's a few of those soccer moms that I wouldn't mind seeing do a pole dance! Maybe Cary should skip "Lazy Days" and have a pole dance competition.

  • denbull Sep 18, 2007

    they try and do that

  • Mrs. Yankee-Southern Blend Sep 17, 2007

    Love the shiny diner comment!

    I mentioned before that Cary lacks character. They have gotten rid of even the most simplest forms of American charm - the yard sale signs on Saturday mornings. There is a certain charm to simple things like that. I'm sure even Martha Stewart, Cary's idle, would agree. Martha Stewart even loves a tag sale and I recall seeing tag sale signs in one of her books (we call 'em yard sales down here).

    If you do a fall leaf tour through the beautiful Vermont countryside, you see tag sale signs along the way, and those are just as charming as the roadside stands that sell produce or the little cabin gift shops that sell maple syrup. Cary officials don't GET that. They don't get that it's the little slices of Americana that make a city a place that people want to visit and fall in love with.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 17, 2007

    Another reason not to live in the communist community of Cary.

  • IzzMad2016 Sep 17, 2007

    For those in need of a Shiny Diner fix, Gypsy's can be found on Buck Jones Road.

  • defabz Sep 17, 2007

    Trixie says, "I think the Caryites need to go to the poles in masse next election!"

    I am just wondering what they are supposed to do with these poles, exotic dancing?

  • dws Sep 17, 2007

    "What downtown Cary needs is a shiny diner."......and some sandwich/drink carts.....

  • giffman Sep 17, 2007

    Someone is comparing Cary to Knightdale? That's a stretch.

  • methinkthis Sep 17, 2007

    Should someone in the later years of life have to be worrying about a town taking their property, the place they had chosen to live possibly for the rest of their lives? Is the town quietly coercing people with a threat of the abused imminent domain for non-defense projects? If this is typical of these kind of projects it is driven by a small minority who have this idea that Cary is something which it is not. Cary is not a place that will meet all the needs of every person. However, if there are groups of people who want a particular thing like an arts center, then they should be free to privately raise the funds and privately, without government help, find a location and procure it. If the target land's owner does not want to sell, then they should find another place. As someone said, Raleigh is just down the road and it is trying to pretend to be a big city with all the perceived necessities. Cary doesn't need to duplicate it. What downtown Cary needs is a shiny diner.

  • i walk alone Sep 17, 2007

    knightdale caryites that is..........