4th Quarter 2016 Economic Report

2016 was the second year in a row where Glenwood South exceeded the rest of downtown in Food & Beverage tax sales, although the rate of growth has declined relative to the rest of downtown.

After a record growth in the 1st quarter last year, Glenwood South’s YOY F&B tax sales growth has slowed.  However, with the re-opening of Tobacco Road and the opening of Vidrio we should see a pick up in growth in the current quarter.

Community Music School Fundraiser

For over 23 years, Community Music School has been regarded as a “hidden gem” – but no more!  Glenwood South is proud to spotlight this community treasure where music lessons are made accessible to families without the resources for private music lessons.  On five days each week the former Episcopal rectory, which sits on the corner of Tucker Street and Boylan Avenue and is part of the Saint Saviour’s Center campus, begins to hum in the afternoons. Every room of the historic structure transitions into a classroom for a range of instruments, from guitar to saxophone, violin to piano.  The different melodies are a joyful noise to the staff, as students and families come in for their half-hour lesson each week.

Students at CMS pay just $1 for each lesson and the school provides an instrument of their choice at no charge.  However, the true cost for each student is around $1000 per year, and the funds are raised from individual donors, grants and corporate support.  Last year was a difficult fundraising season and the school was forced to suspend classes to catch up, by launching a $100K fundraiser.  To date, they have raised $90K and feel confident the remainder will come. 

During this challenging time, there was widespread local media coverage and as a result, the public has shown overwhelming support for the school.  Operations Manager Erin Zanders described this response as,

“a strong affirmation of our program. Our community clearly wants CMS to succeed. So do our students!”

And the Glenwood South neighborhood that CMS calls home wants to help.  On March 14th, the Hampton Inn will host a neighborhood drop-in to benefit CMS.  Tagged “Creating Musical Success”, the goal is to raise $5000 for Community Music School on an evening that will include a silent auction, exhibit by artist Lorrie Jones, raffles, prizes and of course, food by Glenwood South restaurants.  CMS students will also perform to give their neighbors a taste of what they’ve been accomplishing all these years.  Perhaps you heard the CMS Jazz Ensemble at one of their previous performances around town or at the Hampton Inn.  Well, you won’t want to miss a minute of the music this time, on March 14th from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

There’s still time to help with planning or supporting this event.  If you’d like to donate an item, experience or service for the silent auction or raffle, please contact Amy at amynjones955@gmail.com or Randall at rlmiller@nc.rr.com. If you’d like more information about Community Music School or to donate directly to the school, visit www.cmsraleigh.org.

USCRI NC Welcomes Refugees with Mats Made in Glenwood South

Article by Scott Phillips, Ph.D.
Field Office Director, USCRI

USCRI – the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants – provides support and assistance to refugee families arriving in the Triangle. We work with them to get settled, enroll in education, find employment and begin  the processes of integration. Our work is supplemented by the amazing work of volunteers and donors. That is why I was very excited when Glenwood Gatherings reached out to discuss the sleeping mat project. While living overseas, I saw similar sleeping and sitting mats (although never so ingeniously done from plastic bags) in various homes. We are looking forward to sharing these with the numerous refugee families that have been resettled here in the area over the past year and who are continuing to arrive.

Thank you to all of those who have provided their time, resources and passionate commitment to make this project a reality. This generous donation will be well received and well used.  I am looking forward to attending the collection and celebration event at Stags Head on March 22 to thank you all in person.

Some of you may be wondering about who is it that we are welcoming into our community and what brought them here.  A refugee is someone who has had to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. These are some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals.

For over 100 years, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) has advanced the rights and lives of those who have lost or left their homes. We believe we have a shared responsibility to clear obstacles and uncover opportunities for people everywhere. So, when lives are uprooted by force or by choice, we fight alongside those on the path to independence.

In the ten years that USCRI has been operating a field office in North Carolina (USCRI NC), we have helped around 3000 refugees resettle in the area. These individuals have become part of the fabric of our communities, schools and workplaces. We are dedicated to ensuring that newcomers to NC are given support and opportunities to find their footing.

Given the present political climate, we want to assure citizens that the process of gaining Refugee Status in the US includes a very rigorous (some could say extreme) two year long vetting process. (For more information, go to Security Screening of Refugees Admitted to the U.S.. If doubts arise during the continuous rigorous security screenings that include in-person interviews, trained U.S. personnel reject the application. When finally, candidates are selected, the government tracks where every refugee is placed. Reviews and updates to security measures in the U.S. admissions program have occurred and can continue to occur without suspension of admissions. 

How can you let your elected officials know that you believe America should continue to welcome and resettle refugees?

  • Request a meeting with your district Congressional office. They need to see support in their own district.
  • CALL CONGRESS – Your senators and representatives can be reached at (202) 224-3121*   (Please call this line 3 times to be connected with your 1 representative and 2 senators.)
  • Contact your local elected officials: state legislators, county commissioners, city councils, mayors, and governor. Given current efforts to stop resettlement in certain states and localities, this makes it more important than ever for us to ensure support for resettlement among communities, and state and local policy makers.
  • Collaborate with USCRI NC to ensure that we can continue to serve the refugee population in our community. Besides continuing to advocate and spread the word about the refugee program, we need your support to maximize our capacity. Join in our efforts by contributing items, donating, volunteering, or becoming an employer, a landlord, or a pro bono attorney. 

Again thank you for your support that has come in the form of creativity, time and concern for others.  Your mats will continue to carry this message of comfort and caring for years to come.

A personal view of working with refugees

By Catherine Campbell

The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest, and compassion… open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” -Orhan Pamuk. 

Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I know the beauty of crystal coast waters, a rolling piedmont, and mountains as hazy and blue as jazz. Yet nothing had prepared me to witness the vibrancy of a country where east truly meets west and the cultures sing and whirl incessantly like a dervish in his dance. At the beginning of my graduate studies at Campbell University Divinity School, my study abroad in Turkey took me to the ruins of vast ancient cities, to the colorful markets, to daily life alongside people who love and live each day with a tradition of hospitality. While the beauty remains at the forefront of my memories, the pain and poverty of those on the edges of a society is a steadfast reminder of the complexity and mystery of our world. 

So often as Americans, unless we go out of our way to really befriend those experiencing homelessness or being human trafficked, our concept of developing or third world poverty is incredibly skewed. A sad song comes on the TV commercial and images flood the screen of vacant, sad eyes. The first time I went to the refugee camp out in the countryside of Turkey, I felt my worldview burst as it expanded beyond its previously content bubble; and yet, I still witnessed hope. Here were a people without a home, strangers in a foreign land, using what little found resources available to make shelter and survive. But their hospitality and warmth remained. I drank çay with mothers, said English ABCs with school children, and for a short while, snuggled with a two year old so her mother could have rest. We laughed and smiled, but with the void of possessions and a plethora of dust and debris surrounding me, emotions of anger at the injustice still welled up; how can our brothers and sisters live like this? When our time was over, I was saddened to say goodbye to these fellow travelers and found myself silently praying, that they too would be remembered.

Raleigh Market Makers kicks off 2017 season in March

The Raleigh Makers Market brings together 25+ of the area’s most talented makers in a juried monthly event taking place at the Raleigh Beer Garden every first Saturday. 

Alongside handmade wares from jewelry to beard oil, we feature local live music, games, givaways, + more!  We will be kicking off our 2017 season on March 4th from 12-4pm and look forward to celebrating with you!

More info: raleighmakersmarket.com

Development activity to activate southeast corner of Glenwood South

TWO 20-story mixed used buildings promise to transform the six block area on the southeast corner of Glenwood South, as well as bridging an important pedestrian connection to the Capital and Warehouse Districts.

Click to enlarge

The first mixed use building (yellow on map) is designed to include 220k sf of offices space, 242 residential units; 41k sf of retail, 176 hotel units, and structured parking (991 spaces).

The second mixed use building (blue on map) calls for 125k sf of office space, 220 residential units, and 16k sf of retail space.  While this building will also include parking, the developer has also acquired the rights to add an additional 3 stories on the nearby parking deck on West Street (grey on map), presumably to support the planned ground floor retail.

Read more about each of these buildings:

Glenwood Gatherings Crochet Mats for Refugees

Tracy Hancock and Cindy Bolden

Gatherings are growing each week as increasing numbers of friends and neighbors show up on Wednesdays to process masses of crumpled plastic bags into sleeping mats for refugees. 

Feb 1, 15: 9:00-10:00am at Cupcake Shoppe

Feb 8, 22: 5:30-6:30pm at Stags Head

The neighborhood will work with Hillyer Memorial Church (DOC) to send the mats to a refugee camp in Turkey, where Associate Minister Catherine Campbell developed close ties through her service as a student intern.  This month the UN documented nearly 5 million registered Syrian refugees, with Turkey hosting over 2.7 million.  So the need is great. 

Though our effort – one of many in cities all over the world – started small, it’s already spread to some local schools and churches, and gathered attention from other nearby communities.  Anyone who wants to learn more, can go here to find instructions for cutting plastic bags into strips, connecting them into plarn (plastic yarn) and single crocheting them into 2.5’ x 6’ washable, soft mats that are durable and easily transportable.  Since each mat requires about 800 bags, this project is also removing a significant amount of plastic from local landfills.

Please join us.  Whether you want to sort bags or learn to crochet, there’s a seat at our tables waiting for you as we make this small gesture together that joins us in service to others.

Plan to extend N West Street to Wake Forest Road

The city’s Transportation Planning Department has shared their plans with the GSNC to extend N West Street all the way to Wake Forest Road, as pictured in the map below.

Timing is uncertain, but we’re told the plan is to be included as part of a Bus Rapid Transit route within the recently adopted Wake County Transit Plan.

The extension of West Street provides an alternative route to Glenwood South, continuing onwards through the Warehouse District and terminating at Union Station, Raleigh’s new multi-modal transit center currently under construction.

Better signage informs visitors where NOT to park during peak traffic hours

Glenwood South is home to some unusual parking restrictions, which have continued to confuse visitors parking along Glenwood Avenue.  Merchants on the street have long expressed concerns about the effects unexpected tickets have had on customers.

At the request of the GSNC, this new sign has been posted on the 500 block in front of the pay station on the east side of Glenwood Avenue.

This new signage is intended to better warn visitors not to park in this section of the street during weekdays from 4-6pm.

 

Some Background

To help ease traffic along Glenwood Avenue during commuting hours, the city limits parking between 7-9am for southbound traffic and 4-6pm on northbound traffic between Hillsborough and Peace Street in Glenwood South.

Several years ago the GSNC was successful in getting the city to limit these restrictions to the 500 and 600 blocks, thereby increasing available on-street parking during these hours in support of our local businesses and to reduce traffic speeds.

Diagram of proposed changes to parking restrictions