After reading Lewis Beale’s March 26 Point of View “Raleigh grows fast, but not well” about Raleigh development and its “problems,” I thought about my recent Sunday morning at North Hills.
The sidewalks were bustling with people of all ages. Locally owned restaurants were lively with diners enjoying a variety of brunch fare. Window washers were spiffing the new AC Hotel, an elderly couple strolled through Midtown Park while a group of young girls visited Quail Ridge Books. A workout of pull-ups and box jumps was underway at the outdoor gym, bike racks were in use, electric cars were charging and local art adorned throughout.
I couldn’t help but reflect on how forward-thinking the city was to designate North Hills as a growth center for urban development. This foresight led us to invest over $1 billion of private capital to build a pedestrian- and bike-friendly, transit-ready hub, complete with sidewalks, dog parks, pedestrian cross walks, public gathering spaces and art exhibits. We privately funded improvements to St. Albans Drive, Dartmouth Road, exit ramps and other roads throughout North Hills.
Once home to a run-down hotel and eyesore of a mall, North Hills is now home to residents, workers and visitors in thoughtfully designed buildings of many shapes and styles. It’s now a place someone can live, work and play, all within walking distance.
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Architecture, like art, is not about getting it right for everyone, it’s about creating distinction through good design. North Hills offers a diverse mix of styles in a thoughtful urban setting. Tall commercial buildings face the interstate while low-rise residential buildings front traditional neighborhoods. Suburbia causes congestion due to limited egresses in and out of neighborhoods or shopping areas.
North Hills – clearly not suburbia – offers urban planning with an internal grid of roads designed to improve traffic flow. Unlike other parts of our city, traffic flows during peak weekday hours thanks to smart road planning.
North Hills is not perfect, but it continues to be a model on how to successfully accommodate urban growth. My family lives in North Hills and enjoys walking to lunch, the Farmer’s Market, or to shop.
Many Kane Realty employees live in the neighborhood. We are not developers from out of town with plans to build and leave. Our goal has always been to provide a development that makes our entire community proud. And we intend to keep doing just that.
John M. Kane
Kane Realty Corporation
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the Point of View.