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Capitol Park. Creating density in DT Raleigh.


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OK, the title may sound a bit misleading, but we are talking about a major improvement on the area that used to be the infamous Halifax Court. To those who have never seen Halifax Court, Capitol Park may not mean much, but it is nevertheless a great revitalization work [in progress].

Let me start with how Capitol Park looks on the paper:







And this is how it looks in real life, although it is far from being done:


Capitol Park has at least one office building. Not much, but it is a good start.










Parking behind the houses, like it should be:


Yes, children can now play without fear :) This is part of Halifax Park:




... more parking in the back.


Pilot Mill I.





Nice view of Downtown Raleigh:




Bank of America finances great mixed-use, mixed-income projects. Thumbs up for BoA.


These are far from being homes for low-income families, but mixed-income neighborhoods tend to be more successful, in general. Just like Pilot Mill I and II, this neighborhood is not part of Capitol Park, but it does add value to that area. It is called The Village at Pilot Mill, and consists of 104 houses (only 25 of them have been built so far):


A couple of shots of the "older" buildings around Capitol Park:




Apartments are necessary to create a more urban feel. Nothing spectacular, but Capitol Park certainly follows most of the urban guidelines already in place for Raleigh.






Now some photos of the surrounding neighborhoods, to the East of Capitol Park, as I am heading back to work:


... this is the house my wife and I really loved and wanted to buy, several months ago, but the over $480,000 price tag made it prohibitive to us :(




Walking around this area is a relaxing experience, especially when there is plenty of shade and sufficient sidewalk space.









A future opportunity? I wish I had the money to buy this parcel and build something nice and urban, like a midrise with condominiums/apartments.





Sorry for the lengthy thread, but I did make an effort to create small images, leading to the reduction in quality, too. While I do not claim that Capitol Park is an urban heaven, I wanted to demonstrate how much the city can achieve when it is left to plan and execute the creation of an entire community. Still, I would love to see some retail in that area, but I would guess this will be a project for the years to come. Capitol Park is a good start, but nevertheless on the bottom of the list when it comes to shopping and entertainment. Its proximity to the State Government Complex and Peace College may help this area to develop into something very important for DT Raleigh, but there is still a lot of work to be done before Capitol Park is even completed. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

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All the photos seen above are pretty "fresh" (about 10 days old), but in terms of Halifax Court's previous image... it was bad!!! Here are a few pics, but they do not show much of the crap that used to be Halifax Court. Of course, the high crime was also a major factor that made this old project a prime candidate for revitalization.

This photo shows the bird's eye view. Halifax Court is the area below the middle, to the left of the image, right above the tennis courts:


... and here you can see some of the old buildings that made up Halifax Court:




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Tocoto: thank you for your comments. I am in the process of buying a digital camera for myself (no more "loans"), so I will have the chance to post some more images. Raleigh has been very misunderstood, and misrepresented in the past. This city is not an urban heaven, so I won't promote it like one. What upsets me the most, however, is that some people like to promote it as a suburban sh*thole, or the epitome of sprawl, not realizing that EVERY city in the United States is created like that. What saves most cities from being classified like "bad places" is the old urban fabric and the infrastructure created during the old times. If we keep in mind that bigger cities also have crappy areas (beyond salvation), Raleigh is far from a bad place to visit. As a place to live, it wins big time over most cities in the US.

That said, I don't want to be a hypocrite and I promise to offer the complete picture of Raleigh, for those who are interested. It is a great place to live, work and play, but it does have its downsides (e.g. lots of cul-de-sacs, unconnected neighborhoods, poor public transportation). From what I've seen in real life and from what I've read in this type of forums, this is the problem with all major places, including the more urban ones. Revitalization of DT Raleigh is inevitable and on the way. There are lots of un(der)developed areas in this city, and infill projects are proposed, planned, or even under way. The urban design guidelines should also be enforced, otherwise we run the risk of creating a huge suburban city in the next 20 years. Raleigh offers the amenities of a city its size, while maintaining the attributes of a small-town, but it does need some more urban feel.

Stick around and I promise to deliver more essential material on Raleigh. The ONLY thing that stops me right now is the lack of a digital camera, as I do not have the money to develop dozens of films and scan hundreds of pictures later. Thanks for the interest.

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The amazing thing about all run-down areas near downtown is that they get revitalized so fast. I was pleasantly surprised to see the area North & East of DT Raleigh receiving some much-needed facelift. When my digital camera arrives (within the next 5-7 days) I will start taking my breaks near the East side neighborhoods, so I can share the pics with everyone here. There is a wealth of good revitalization examples over there.

The planned Garner Rd (re)development will definitely shift the winds of change towards the South and South-East, with South-West following once the new Convention Center gets built and the regional rail approaches completion. It is frightening to see so many neighborhoods having been ignored in the past, but I want to believe that the community there wants to see some changes ASAP. Limited funds is the ONLY problem, but there is hope.

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