A Natural Consequence of High-Density City Plans | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: The author of this post is Julie Tisdale, who is city and county policy analyst for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.

    When I read a recent News & Observer headline, "Self-storage developers eye prime real estate in Wake," my first thought was that this sounded like good news. Developers are building. That sounds like economic activity. There will be jobs associated with the building itself, and more to run the facility once it's built. This is a good news story, right?

    Not according to some.

  • ... Raleigh leaders and some neighbors are criticizing a developer's plan to build a self-storage facility on South Street, about a block away from the [Red Hat Amphitheater] music venue. They say the roughly 1-acre site, which has a tax value of $2.4 million, is deserving of something more exciting.
  • "This doesn't seem like the kind of development that fosters a dynamic area around the amphitheater," said Josh Marlow, president of the Boylan Heights Association, which represents the historic neighborhood. "I think we'd like to see something more vibrant ... not just something to occupy the space."

    I will grant that self-storage facilities are not the most exciting thing in the world. That's true. But they're useful in locations where space is at a premium, where there is high-density housing, where garages and attics and spare bedrooms are rare. Which pretty accurately describes downtown Raleigh.

    I looked at properties available to rent or buy in and around downtown, somewhat near the site of this planned self-storage facility, and there are actually quite a lot. However, and this is crucial, if I start looking for houses that have some storage - at least two bedrooms and some sort of garage - the number drops pretty quickly. The number of homes available, that is. The other important number, the price, shoots up.

    So it's not surprising that there's increasing demand for storage facilities. We keep being told how great high-density living is, how much the city of Raleigh wants to encourage people to live near where they work and eat and shop. But the homes near Raleigh's vibrant downtown - unless one is very wealthy indeed - just don't have the sort of space that people need to store very much.

    And then there are people who are moving to Raleigh and will buy a large enough house to store all their stuff, but who have a transitional period before they make that purchase. Many families live in a small rental while they get to know the area and then buy or build a house. Those folks are the very people we are so keen to attract to the Triangle, but they're also folks who use self-storage facilities.

    Let me be clear. I don't want people to stop living in or near downtown if that's where they want to live. I don't want to suggest to anyone that he should or shouldn't buy the small condo or rent the tiny house with no garage. I also don't want to force people to live in those smaller homes if they'd prefer a larger one with more storage on a bigger lot farther from downtown. I don't want to push people toward high-density housing they don't want. And neither should the city government.

    But it's even worse when the city pushes for a particular kind of urban plan and then pushes back against some of the natural results of that development. Thankfully, it appears they'll be unable to do so in this case. The zoning of that particular area allows for a self-storage facility, so it will likely go ahead.

    And that's a good thing, because government shouldn't put itself in the position of choosing which businesses are and aren't good for a particular community. The developers are responding to demand, in part created by the city's planning. City leaders should step back and allow them to do so.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Tillis: End The Red Wolf Recovery Program Carolina Journal, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics How Did We Get Here and Why Should You Care?


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

as UK starts to acknowledge risks of their AstraZenica Covid mRNA vax
Withhold funds from states and tribes that legalize marijuana for recreational use
worse than stacked Presidential Debate Commission
CCP using the pro-Palestinian campus protests to discredit the U.S. government and amplify social divisions
President Joe Biden’s Small Business Administration (SBA) was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Small Business on Tuesday over alleged efforts to “register Democrat voters” in Michigan, a vital battleground state in the 2024 election.


more Biden regime overreach as he continues to act like a dictator
On Monday, May 6, 2024, at the Beaufort County Commissioners' general meeting, Commissioner Stan Deatherage sponsored the Constitutional right of a Beaufort County citizen "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a member of the leftist “Squad,” is again facing the prospect of being censured, this time for suggesting that some Jewish students support genocide.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) began sending out letters last week to up to 300,000 people who are enrolled in Medicaid’s limited Family Planning program and now qualify for full NC Medicaid benefits
Witnesses claim to have seen New York City Mayor Eric Adams quietly blacking out the words of the Statue of Liberty's famous inscription with a permanent marker.
It is happening already, even as illegal radical rewrite challenged in court


Back to Top