Friday, December 3, 2004

Summit Avenue is happening

World War Memorial Stadium gets all the press.

And there's no way I can complain about that, since over the past couple of years I've written two guest op-ed pieces about it in the News and Record, one of which Ed Cone didn't like much, and I've probably been interviewed about it on TV five or six times. (So how come Hoggard is still the famous "Aycock David"?)

But the biggest change at the north end of downtown Greensboro in the next few years will be the transformation of Summit Avenue.

The City of Greensboro will soon be receiving proposals from six highly-qualified firms to study how best to improve the streescape, pedestrian environment, zoning, and traffic patterns of this once-beautiful avenue as it passes through the Aycock Historic District into the downtown's cultural district.

A team composed of City staff from various departments, along with neighborhood residents, has been working quietly on this project for months. Once the proposals come in, there are going to be a lot more opportunities for public input.

When the planning is done sometime next year, the next question will be, "who will build it"?

Shamefully, not one Greensboro developer stepped up to the plate after the planning stages of Southside, and a Charlotte firm came in and executed the vision that won Greensboro a national smart growth award.

I have even heard through the grapevine that some local developers badmouthed the Southside concept to council members while it was in the works, and that some council members voted for it only because they thought it would never get built. Luckily for us all, everyone now gets to bask in the glory.

Will we see a similarly un-visionary response from Greensboro's development community on Summit Avenue?

Update: Hoggard was interviewed by WFMY about the Summit Ave. project today; the story will run on the 6 p.m. news. Just curious: I first posted this item early this morning. Did WFMY get the story idea from here?

1 comment:

D. Hoggard said...

Actually, I am known far and wide as "The Mayor of Aycock" so you may have the lesser title.

It WILL be interesting to see if local developers "get it" this time around.