Merrilee Jacobson: Questions about Seaboard

July 12, 2013 

Seaboard questions

As a longtime resident of Mordecai in Raleigh, I’m very concerned about William Peace University’s plans to purchase Seaboard Station. While WPU has stated that it is interested in the long-term preservation of this commercial area, I’m not convinced. Most small universities do not invest two-thirds of their endowment to be able to manage a shopping center for decades to come.

As a land-locked university with publicly stated plans to substantially increase enrollment, WPU has certainly considered the possibility of using this land for dorms, classroom buildings, parking lots and playing fields. While I understand the need to “grow or fold,” I am already mourning the possible loss of this burgeoning commercial area.

The shops and restaurants at Seaboard Station not only contribute to Mordecai’s vitality, they also increase the vibrancy of the greater downtown Raleigh area. I urge WPU’s Board of Trustees to rethink its plans to purchase Seaboard Station or, if it insists on moving forward, to quickly let the tenants and neighborhood know how it plans to preserve Seaboard for generations to come.

Merrilee Jacobson, Raleigh

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