Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Tough Sell

Within the past several days, two proposed downtown mixed-used developments have come into the public view. In his column today, N&R editorial page editor Allen Johnson notes that both projects are competing for the same demographic and are only a block apart.

The Bellemeade project will get lots of attention, simply because it is new and located adjacent to the new baseball stadium, which will get lots of buzz in the coming months. I have to believe this spells trouble for Roy Carroll's proposal for the old Wachovia building. A certain amount of lipstick can be put on that pig, but I think the Bellemeade project will still be more attractive for residents and retailers.

I salute Carroll for taking the risk of redeveloping the old tower, but I suspect he will need to rework his plan for the building. He can sell the privacy and view at the top of the tower to upscale residential clientele, and a certain amount of retail/restaurant is almost a necessity at the bottom, but I think he will need to dedicate more space to office uses.

I truly hope that both properties will be redeveloped and successful, because that would be good news for all of us.


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