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Raleigh looks to revitalize Capital Boulevard area

Posted December 1, 2008
Updated December 2, 2008

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— Ideas about how to direct Raleigh's growth were unveiled Monday. The comprehensive plan targets 18 areas for economic growth and revitalization, such as Capital Boulevard from downtown to the Interstate 440 Beltline.

"It (Capital Boulevard) needs lots of work. It needs change. It needs some kind of new vision for it,” Frank Haidar said.

Haidar owns a computer store along Capital Boulevard. He said he agrees with Raleigh city planners who say much of the land lining Capital is underutilized.

"If you really look at it between the (Interstate 440) Beltline and Peace Street, there is nothing over here," Haidar said.

The city wants to make Capital Boulevard more appealing in hopes of attracting more development, including more affordable housing. 

“I can't find a place around Capital, and I have looked. Everything is $700 or $800 just for me, and I can't afford that,” said Jessica Corn, who works off Capital Boulevard.

Haidar hopes the improvements will lead to more business.

“It will trickle down to us, and that's good news if we can get it,” he said.

Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan also calls for funneling 60 percent of future growth – about 72,000 homes, townhouses and apartments – into eight growth centers in locations with combined highway and targeted transit access.

Along with the growth centers, planners say, new homes should be built smaller, and the city should become considerably more transit friendly, with street cars, express buses and commuter rail.

The proposals are the first updates to Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan since 1989. The plan was developed following workshops in which residents shared their vision for the future of the city.

People can watch a presentation of the plan Wednesday night at the Raleigh Convention Center.

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  • kittiboo Dec 2, 2008

    Shadow: Actually, the article doesn't state WHERE the smaller houses would be built. So they could direct developers to build smaller, less expensive houses wherever in the city they want them.

  • colliedave Dec 2, 2008

    It's called "planning". If you want a bigger house, don't move into downtown or surrounding area. Move to the country. And stop whining.

    If individuals have the needed income, they should be able to purchase whatever size residence they desire. And these individuals probably own business that employ individuals. And to the individual who couldn't afford rent: have you ever heard of roomates to share expenses?

  • Shadow213 Dec 2, 2008

    kittiboo-- the area of cap blvd we are talking about is inside the beltline. it costs a pretty penny to have a house there, including a small one. a 2000 sq ft house is going to run you about 400 grand. (check out wakegov website for real estate info). if that is out of someone's budget, then they probably shouldn't be moving there...

  • rc4nc Dec 2, 2008

    I'm really not concerned with that part of Raleigh, I already boycott it because of the traffic light cameras. How's business there folks?

  • kittiboo Dec 2, 2008

    Maybe McMansions mean something different to you people. Anything above about $300,000 is, to me, excessive. I don't understand why it is a bad idea to build smaller residences (1000-1500 or so sq. feet) and make them affordable ($100,000-200,000) for people who make EVERYDAY salaries. Who can AFFORD these big, expensive houses, anyway?
    I also don't have much sympathy for people who buy a bigger/more expensive house than they need- but it seems that's all they're building these days around here!

  • wildervb Dec 2, 2008

    "Yeah, but would that be feasable? You would still have to reconfigure the existing road to accomidate the overhead rail.

    Personally I think they screwed themselves by not building Capital Blvd. as limited access to begin with...."

    A monorail system might be easier and cheaper than making Capital Blvd into a limited access highway. You would just need around 10 feet of space in the middle to build the support columns. A limited access highway would require overpasses at all intersections turning lanes and service roads to get to the businesses located on either side of Capital.

    It's probably still feasable to make US1 a limited access highway from 540 North, though this is becoming more an more difficult as Wake Forest grows and locates more businesses along US1.

    It's unbelievable to me that at the intersection of 540 and US1 that NC Dot did not put in clover-leaf intersections to avoid having to put up traffic lights. The lack of foresight is pathetic.

  • RaleighRob Dec 2, 2008

    Capital Blvd between 440 and Peace Street is indeed bleak and I'm glad the council is finally considering putting some focus there. The upside is that traffic flows well there...most of the major streets (Wade, Peace, Atlantic, Fairview, Wake Forest Roads) have overpass intersections instead of stoplights. And a big plus is most of that stretch already has service roads....dating from back in the 70s (I'm guessing) when there were plenty of active businesses along there. (So any new businesses opening probably wouldn't impact traffic much.) Repave the service streets, add some landscaping and better sidewalks and some incentives for new businesses and residential options to open up, and I think the area could certainly improve.

  • Jeremiah Dec 2, 2008

    "Along with the growth centers, planners say, new homes should be built smaller"

    "Soon the Marxists will be dictating the size of a home one in which one can live." -colliedave

    It's called "planning". If you want a bigger house, don't move into downtown or surrounding area. Move to the country. And stop whining.

  • Pineview Style Dec 2, 2008

    "Build an elevated monorail system above Capital Blvd."

    Yeah, but would that be feasable? You would still have to reconfigure the existing road to accomidate the overhead rail.

    Personally I think they screwed themselves by not building Capital Blvd. as limited access to begin with....

  • PowderedToastMan Dec 2, 2008

    Renovating the area to put in condos that will be priced out of range for most that live in that area will do no one any good except the developers who build it.

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