Cary Chamber Ribbon-Cutting Celebrates Woman Power

Story and photo by Leslie Huffman

Cary, NC – The Historic Heater House, at 120 Dry Avenue, was built in 1918 by the Heater family. Years later it was used as a dormitory for students and then owned by several other families. But in the early 2000’s the property was purchased, restored and renovated into an executive suites office building, now named The Historic Heater Center. Read more

Jon Kane: A Strategic View of Development

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – The Heart of Cary meeting on Thursday morning was literally standing room only for a presentation by Jon Kane, the developer of North Hills.

A Who’s Who and Some Fine Baked Goods

Close to 50 downtown business owners, residents and public officials packed the Cary Chamber for the 8 o’clock meeting. It was a who’s who of downtown leadership including Ed Gawf, Ralph and Daphne Ashworth, Scott Ashworth, Sheila and Carroll Ogle, Don and Lisa Frantz, Howard Johnson and Sandy Jordan of the Chamber, Captain Don Hamilton of the Police, property owners Bill Taylor and Curtis Westbrook and many other civic and business leaders.

Tasty baked goods including Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread were supplied by Great Harvest and sponsored by CaryCitizen.

Down to Business

After some HoCA business, Doc Thorne turned the floor over to Jon Kane.

In a nutshell, Mr. Kane started with a small property that held a single drug store and turned it into one of the signature developments in the Triangle – North Hills.

In less than a dozen years, Kane Realty Corporation has expanded the project to over 100 acres of mixed use retail, residential, entertainment and office.

Fill In The Blank

Mr. Kane talked about North Hills, but the audience didn’t have much trouble picturing the parallels to downtown Cary.

The developer began with a simple statement relating to his own project. He asked the audience to complete this sentence:

“If you’re going to Raleigh, you have to go to _________”

What fills in the blank? Kane Realty set out to make North Hills the answer to that question.

Ingredients of a Successful Development

As he clicked through his slides, Jon Kane ticked off a list of ingredients that make a successful redevelopment on a community scale:

  • Areas to just “hang out”
  • Office above retail (makes life efficient)
  • Emphasis on unique, quality design and architecture
  • Lots of things to do , and easy to do them
  • Importance of events – days, nights and weekends
  • Be strategic about how parking fits into the development
At North Hills, you can go to the supermarket, lease an office, hit the gym, get a latte, see a movie, hear a band. You can shop ’til you drop, catch a meal, stay at a hotel, get a spa treatment and, maybe soon, ride your own personal pod transportation from one end of the development to the other.

Optimism for Downtown Cary Redevelopment

Mr. Kane identified a key strength in Cary’s revitalized effort downtown as broadly based community buy-in, from individual business owners to elected officials and landowners.

Fill In The Blank

Jon Kane closed by challenging members of the Heart of Cary Association to fill in their own blank:

“If you’re visiting Cary, you must go to ______________.”

Heart of Cary meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit Heart of Cary Association.

Events: Big Thursday

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Just a bref reminder of two big events on Thursday Downtown. Read more

Transportation: Cary Depot Opens Early, Under Budget

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC- The new Cary Depot has been operating since Labor Day, but the ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday, October 3 amidst much hoopla. Read more

Crime: Public Art Vandalized Downtown

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – On Friday morning, the manager of the Fidelity bank in downtown Cary called Clare Sifford, Director of Cary Visual Art. Someone had tipped over the sculpture on loan at the corner of Chatham and Academy. This is the second piece of sculpture vandalized in the last month.

Getawaycar

Getawaycar, the sculpture by Adam Wall was awarded Best in Show this year in Cary. “Last night,” Clare told CaryCitizen, “someone (probably more than one person, as this piece is VERY heavy) pushed it over.”

Damage was evident along the top of the sculpture. A paint smear on the sidewalk showed where the artwork had crashed to the ground.

“I could see that the paint was chipped and the steel was bent,” Clare said. “Fortunately, Adam is semi-local, as he lives in Laurinburg, NC, and will be able to come repair the piece at some point in the near future. This sculpture is valued at $5,000.”

2nd Piece Vandalized

This is the second piece of public art vandalized in downtown Cary in less than a month. “The first one was Collective Conductivity by artist Julia Rogers,” Sifford told this publication.

“It happened on Wednesday evening, 8/24/11. The glass heads of the sculptures were pried loose and dangling by the LED light wires, the glass lotus in the seated figure’s hand was broken, and her large glass hand was pried loose and stolen.”

“The glass hand is not cast,” Sifford said, “it is hand-formed. Each piece is individually made to properly fit the other components in the piece. This sculpture is valued at $15,000.”

Collective Conductivity photograph by Clare Sifford.

 

Victim #1: The Artists

In most cases, the artists themselves must pay for the damage in repair or restoration.

Cary Visual Art carries liability coverage for the exhibition, but artists are advised to self-insure their work. Few do.

So, in the case of vandalism, the artists are the victim.

Victim #2: The Community

Vandalism has a chilling effect in the arts. “I am so disheartened that it seems like vandals have specifically targeted our exhibition. This is heartbreaking to me, and I am afraid that continued vandalism will discourage artists from participating with CVA, therefore hurting our exhibition further.”

So, in the case of public art, the community is the victim as well.

Standing Up For Ourselves

Naturally, community members downtown and across town are outraged. Police Captain Don Hamilton wrote to Clare Sifford, “I hate that this is piece number 2 to be damaged and I agree that continued problems could jeopardize future artists wanting to participate.”

Cary Police run nightly patrols downtown. One expects they will step up their presence in light of this new challenge.

One might also expect video surveillance to be considered as a way to safeguard valuable artwork on loan to the community.

As our downtown redevelops, now is the time to make sure we have a safety regime commensurate with our community investment and needs.

Cary Buys Jones-Foy House

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – More dramatic news about the quickening pace of re-development downtown was revealed this morning at the Heart of Cary Association monthly meeting. Read more

Opening a Business in Cary Gets Easier

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree

Cary, NC – At a Heart of Cary meeting a couple of months ago, public frustration at a cumbersome Inspections and Permitting (I&P) process boiled over in front of senior town staff and officials. Since then, real progress has been made on the issue.

CaryCitizen spoke with Town Manager Ben Shivar about changes already in place and others still to come for I&P. Read more

Downtown Impact Fees Temporarily Shelved?

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Cary Town Council voted in a recent work session in favor of temporarily eliminating impact fees for development downtown. This is a change that could substantially increase the incentive for developing a business in the center of our community. Read more