Burt's Bees could move downtown to American Tobacco, pending incentives
Bull City's urban core to be featured in "Main Street"

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for March 31, 2009

  • The Indy is reporting that a Charlottesville, Va.-based environmental advocacy group has released its own opinion on the Jordan Lake boundary fracas, citing NASA/NOAA-created LiDAR studies commissioned for flood-plain purposes. The Southern Environmental Law Center's reading of the studies, though noting that they cannot substitute for a ground-based survey such as the controversially developer-funded one currently in play, finds Jordan Lake's edges could actually be larger, not smaller, than 1970s USGS maps claim. (Indy Triangulator)
  • According to the H-S, Duke exec VP Tallman Trask has confirmed the university would plan to install parking gates akin to those in place in other parking lots at the new lots to emerge under the university's plan to close Sumter St. and Maxwell Ave., citing security and vehicle thefts according to City Councilfolk Diane Catotti and Eugene Brown. It represents a change from the position that "a Duke-hired architect" took in a December meeting. Meantime, Catotti has asked city attorney for a ruling as to whether her husband's interim leadership of Duke's parking and transportation division creates a conflict of interest. (H-S #1, #2)
  • The 2011 bond date we talked about for the downtown main library branch renovations is still on, which now gives the renovation a projected completion date of early 2013. The renovations will still add a few thousand sq. ft. of space and add more natural light, a fix-up of the wacky central stairs, an enlarged North Carolina Collection, twice the number of computers, more seating and a modern layout. Meanwhile, although construction and renovation of the South and Southwest branch libraries, respectively, continues, "severe budget cuts" or delays in the building work could delay spring '10 opening dates. Staff will likely be re-assigned from existing North and East Durham branch libraries to help staff the new branches. (H-S)
  • The future of the Lyon Park community center is up for a fresh look after a church-affiliated non-profit that got the structure from the County for $24 fifteen years ago is now asking the City for $35 per sq. ft. as rent for Parks & Rec's 5,100 sq. ft. facility there. (By comparison, office space in American Tobacco leases for less than $30/sq. ft.) The move comes on the heels of the City having stepped in to spend $7 million to renovate the facility. The City and the non-profit are jointly managing the space until 2011, at which time the building is supposed to revert to Calvary Ministries. (H-S)
  • Duke's Human Rights Center, part of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, is launching an initiative to take a closer look at Durham's racially-infused past, with a focus on the work of pioneering African-American Pauli Murray, who lived a good portion of her childhood in Durham. The partially grant-funded center will also make recommendations that could shape plans for a future county history museum in Durham. (H-S)
  • The site of now-closed Pizza Palace on Guess Rd. now has signs heralding the arrival of the "Backyard BBQ Pit," which Carpe Durham notes is also the name of an eatery on NC 55 -- no word whether they're related, though. (Carpe Durham)


Tar Heelz

Can you imagine any other private project's fate if its developer had the same difficulties with disclosure, good faith, and honesty as is the case over at Duke University?


Is anyone else having trouble getting thru to city services through the One call number this past week? I have tried three times to get thru to the water department, had to hold for several minutes just to get a One Call operator -- and then was put on hold for 26 minutes, 22 minutes and, today, 8 minutes respectively before I wised up, gave up and hung up.

A One Call operator told me there is a new computer system causing problems but come on -- this is unacceptable. What s the point of a One Call system if it's just a clusterf****?

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