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Riverwalk for Raleigh?

Posted April 23, 2008

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— City officials are eyeing a piece of land north of downtown for a possible water feature inspired by the Riverwalk in San Antonio and the American Tobacco complex in Durham.

"Our goal is to really establish Raleigh as an emerging, 21st-century city. We want those special landmarks, those special icons that define this city," Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said.

A 16-acre site near Capital Boulevard and Peace Street is the prime candidate to have a river run through it. The site now is the home base for Raleigh's fleet of sanitation trucks, but the Solid Waste Services Department is gradually moving the trucks to satellite locations around the city.

The property, which has a creek running parallel to it, could be sold to a developer as early as 2010 or 2011, officials said.

"I think there is a tremendous amount of potential," said City Councilwoman Mary Ann Baldwin, who lives across Capital Boulevard from the site.

"It's one of our gateways into the city. It's almost an embarrassment to me that that's one of the first things they see when they're coming into our downtown," Baldwin said.

Redeveloping the creek into a tourist destination will be a challenge, Silver said, but it can be done.

"It is possible," he said. "(In) San Antonio, it was a drainage basin that they reinvented into a Riverwalk. It's definitely possible engineering-wise of creating a similar element."

The American Tobacco complex, which is owned by WRAL parent Capitol Broadcasting Co., also has a man-made stream running through the middle of the complex of renovated buildings.

Raleigh officials haven't discussed any timeline or price tag for the project, but call it one of the more promising concepts in the long-range plan for downtown. Other possible ideas include a downtown sports venue and revamping the landscaping and design of Capital Boulevard.

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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 24, 2008

    Seeing that this site has been a parking lot and maintenance lot for trash trucks, I bet there has been leakage of oil, diesel fuel, and other fluids at this site. This site most likely will be declared a hazardous waste site and the city will have to foot the bill to clean it up if it's sold.

  • john283594 Apr 24, 2008

    Stupidest idea ever...

  • Tidbit Apr 24, 2008

    Because only Lord knows this is far more imporant to spend tax payer money on. we really don't have any other more important issues to deal with.

    However, it could solve water problems. The next drought, we can all go and bathe in the river!

  • foetine Apr 24, 2008

    Pullen Park's water feature - why isn't that Fast Fare overwhelmed by consumers since it's next to pretty water

  • oldcmag Apr 24, 2008

    a riverwalk in Raleigh I would be all for it if one there were a place to park to enjoy it ! Two it actually had a real watersource to move it and three it were more natual since non of the three I mentioned can occur there I vote no !

  • ThePunisher Apr 24, 2008

    the river will dry up during the next 800 year old drought which will happen 2-3 years from now

  • foetine Apr 24, 2008

    a major league baseball team in Raleigh? The Hurricanes lose enough money each year at the RBC that any other pro sports team knows we're not even a good "if you don't build us a new arena, we're moving to Raleigh" threat. A majority of the times I go to a Durham Bulls game there's plenty of empty seats.

    why doesn't the mayor decide to legalize gambling and hookers so we can become the Reno of the East?

  • catwoman1 Apr 24, 2008

    Hmm..a riverwalk in that location is absurd unless they plan to completely renovate that entire area. Now, I could almost see it over at Dix. One thing puzzles me though, haven't we just gone through a DROUGHT, and don't we still have restrictions in place?? YESSSSS. Durham's is lovely, but it's also right at the DBAP with nice restaurants. I don't think Finch's quite makes the grade and we don't have a main attraction nearby.

  • methinkthis Apr 24, 2008

    This is a great idea! Only it is absolutely stupid to put there, a few hundred yards of creek. Use a real river. Use the horse shoe shaped bend on the Neuse. An ideal place. Let the city grow up and down the river. As mentioned earlier, if Riverwalk is the model, you need a whole lot more river than that spot. Of course, it could be that Raleigh could just be Raleigh and those who want Riverwalk could move there and those who like Durham's creek could move there. Then may we would not be stuck with an overly stretched infrastructure that has no plan to catch up to the totally mismanaged growth.

  • GaFan008 Apr 24, 2008

    Something else for trash to take over later

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