On Facebook: can Durham avoid the ‘SoHo effect’?

June 12, 2014 

You can read and comment on more local news on my Facebook page. (Send me a Friend request at on.fb.me/18PjLMP)

Last week I posted this with a link to staff writer Jim Wise’s story.

“The success of Durham’s DIY (Do It Yourself) District is already sowing seeds of change. Read why Preservation Durham put the Motorco/Fullsteam/just plain cool place on its ‘Places in Peril’ list.”

Here’s what some of you said:

Jacquelyn Gist (Carrboro alderwoman): Same problem we faced in Carrboro – and now start ups go to Durham. (I) have yet to hear of any community winning the fight against the SoHo effect. Another ‘gift’ from the wonks who always know best and yet some how always get it wrong.

Rob Crook: Look at Chapel Hill, poor stormwater regs, suburban sprawl and the only answer they have for increasing economic development and lowering the tax rate is to create spaces filled with concrete hotels and retail shops that sell us crap from overseas ... boring ...

Dave Wofford: And then there's Scientific Properties just announcing that they are selling 401 Arts at 401 Foster St. I wonder what will happen here to all of us ... Urban Durham Realty, Piedmont Restaurant, Daisycakes, Bull City Arts Collaborative, Horse & Buggy Press.

Patricia A Murray: I call such businesses ‘placeholders.’ In Chicago, it used to be common to see entrepreneurs, the DIY crowd, and artists flock to ‘quaint’ city neighborhoods, where they unwittingly act as placeholders for the developers who later swoop in and ‘revitalize’ the area.

Suzanne Haff: Patricia, I agree that is a model. I wonder how Durham can develop a better model – maybe loans at low cost or tax credit to the DIY crowd with a protected zoning? I don't know, just thinking ...

Schultz: 919-932-2003

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