Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Visit to Bloomsbury Estates

Wow. I have to say that I am impressed with Bloomsbury Estates. I dropped by yesterday because I hadn't seen the inside since it was finished. Last time I was there was for a walk-through when all the floors had been poured and they were starting to frame out the rooms.

Whatever your feelings about the location, the interior more than makes up for it. It feels like one big house with separate rooms. There's an intimacy to the hallways that gives you a cozy feel. Wood doors for each unit's main entry and dark carpet keep the halls from feeling like a hotel. The first floor common area is covered in dark wood and it feels like a library out of your rich uncle's house.

The units aren't exactly alike. I noticed three major design schemes; modern, traditional, and sort of an in-between. My favorite views were definitely to the east and north. Look east and you have downtown (shown above). It's just gorgeous. But the view to the north is all green. All you can see are the treetops between Hargett and Hillsborough street. If you want a residential feel, definitely pick a condo on the north side.

I didn't stay long enough to really critique the place. Some layouts had very long living areas which made me wonder how you would place your furniture, but that's the great thing about condos. People are so creative, I'm sure someone will figure it out. The only thing I really noticed was the bathroom vanities. As someone who has lived with pedestal sinks for the last five years, I am in heaven now with a huge bathroom countertop with tons of storage. But the units at Bloomsbury all have pedestal sinks. I'm sure you could change it. And they definitely contribute to the look of the place. They do make up for it with lots of built-in wall cabinet storage in most units, but not all units had those. The showers were beautiful, too, but very narrow.

Overall, the finishes inside are unique for downtown. It definitely looks and feels more like a house than a condo inside. That's what I love about downtown Raleigh. Each building has something unique to offer, and Bloomsbury has given buyers another great choice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Raleigh Branded with an "R"?

Two press releases went out today and I saw them both in the Triangle Business Journal:

1)  The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has launched a new campaign, "You R Here"

2)  There is a new bus line called the "R-line" that will circle downtown Raleigh.

Really?  Is this a planned coincidence? 

I will have to wait to see the campaign before I judge, I guess, but off the top of my head "You R Here" doesn't say anything special about Raleigh. It just uses the first letter of our capital city. 

But what I really wanted to rant about was that the R-line, according to the press release, WILL NOT go to Cameron Village!  This I cannot believe.  Mostly because every single person who either lives or wants to live downtown complains about the lack of a grocery store downtown. With Capital City Grocery out of business, even the one little bus won't go to the one place, one mile away, that has a Harris Teeter and Fresh Market.  Cameron Village. 

The city's press release seems to focus on taking conventioneers to restaurants. What about shops? Cameron Village is historic.  It is one mile away.  One mile.  Until downtown gets a little more going on, Cameron Village has so much to offer to a conventioneer.  I really cannot believe it is not being promoted as part of downtown. Am I crazy?