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April 05, 2007

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GK

Kevin

Thanks for the mention, and I couldn't agree more about the shortsighted-ness here. I'm not really sure what Terry Sanford, Jr.'s goals are moving forward. He owns a big chunk of real estate around this spot, as well as over at Erwin Square - but it's not clear that he really has the will to do anything more productive with any of it. I wonder if the seeming pettiness about parking has to do with leasing agreements - i.e., does he used the guarantee of a certain number of spaces to lure tenants? Retailers fret to no end over the available of copious, highly visible parking

GK

Bull City Rising

No problem (and I just remembered to actually hyperlink back on over....)

I figure one of two things is going on:

1) Sanford Jr. wants to hold out for parking deals with the Alivia's of the world, and either his neighbors are being cheap, or he's asking too much.

2) Sanford Jr. doesn't want to see his property helping the "competition," which comes back to my central point about how we do, and how we should, look at the district as complementary, not competitive.

In most places, I think you're right about the 'free parking' bit; it's one of the digs on downtown Raleigh, that Wake suburbanites wouldn't park in (horrors!) a garage, or in a parallel parking space. But the kind of tenants at Brightleaf Sq. and its neighbors? I don't think it's as much of an issue for them...

kat

Brightleaf aggressively polices the use of its parking lots for any purpose other than *immediately* shopping in their buildings. Ask the peace-protestor folks who stand out there at noon on Saturdays: I'm pretty sure they have to walk from city spaces to avoid being subjected to security guard harassment, even if they leave their protest corner and go eat or shop at a Brightleaf establishment afterward.

I find this to be particularly ironic considering how many times I've been (aggressively) panhandled in that same parking lot, with no guards in sight. And considering I know of at least one stolen vehicle that was "dropped" (after being ransacked) in that same lot one night, with no guard around to notice who left it.

I suppose the "security" they are "guarding" in those parking lots is economic security only. Too bad they aren't broad-minded enough to understand the connection between economics and social environments.

Dave S.

Kevin,

Somewhat off-topic...who currently occupies the building space off to the side of the North Brightleaf lot (Main & Gregson)? I've seen so many bars come and go from that location over the years (Playground, Rum Runners, several others).

I agree that, on the surface, it seems ridiculous that early AM Alivia's customers can't park in that lot. Besides your average customer not being up to speed on what exactly constitutes "Brightleaf", I always assumed management was most concerned about downtown workers or train/bus travelers using the lots, not patrons of adjacent businesses.

Bull City Rising

Kat: Thanks for the comments. My wife and I have had that same experience with panhandling -- only once, but it was annoying.

Dave: Ogilvy, a national ad agency, is now in that building. http://www.newsobserver.com/706/story/558555.html for details. The building has a web site -- http://www.studebakerbuilding.com/. Workers there are parking west of Gregson, north of Morgan -- over where the old bus station was torn down a few weeks back.

I too do not find the "parking for Brightleaf only" signs very illuminating -- esp. now that the city signs calls the whole area, including Alivia's/Devine's/etc., the "Brightleaf district."

GK

Kevin

I think to an extent that's true (on your last point,) with two exceptions. One, some banks may look at the whole project, including parking ratios, when providing a construction loan for upfit of a space to a tenant. And two, TS, Jr. may want the chain tenants, but just hasn't been able to get them to date. He's been leasing much of the land in the gated lot (several individual parcels) at a pretty high price for years - so he must be pretty convinced that he needs all of it.

GK

Valerie

Yeah, I realized the problem with that parking lot when I ran into Morgan Imports last year and only after discovered I couldn't have my parking pass stamped by what I thought *was* a Brightleaf vendor. Apparently this started as an argument with Fowler's? Fowler's is gone now; they should resolve the issue with remaining businesses. Anyhoo, there's a bit of parking behind (to the side of) Morgan Imports I discovered.

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