David Arneson, of Center Studio Architecture, sent this proposal for a reimagined downtown Durham (specifically the Marriott/Civic Center/Carolina Theatre complex) to the ABCDurham list this afternoon. Here’s what he said, in part:
The author of this email, a guy named Rodney Derrick, is probably the archetype for what I’ll turn out to be once I’m older & retired. Dude actually changed Durham city policy via crankitude. I can only dream of someday achieving that.
Anyway. This email was sent to multiple public downtown Durham listservs, so I figure it’s kosher to post it here. This is the entirety of it. I’m omitting Rodney’s email address but he’s pretty easy to find.
Supposedly this is a DJ-based nightclub potentially going in the Empress Development project across the street from us at the Baldwin and the Kress. This is somewhat surprising news considering informal conversations we’ve had with Empress indicated that this location would be turned into offices, a restaurant based on a successful food truck, and something like dry cleaning on Parrish (e.g. businesses that respectfully would not keep us up all night).
Just for some background, as you probably know, our block has not had the best history/luck with nightclubs (i.e. Xscape Lounge disaster, the burned-out buildings across from us from the 2001 fire, shootings in mid-2000s etc.) so the prospect of yet another nightclub here is somewhat perplexing.
1.. What assurances will the owners of the 26 residential units in the Kress and Baldwin, and the other residents around us on Main and Parrish, have that this new nightclub will not be a bass factory, pumping thundering music into the wee hours of the morning? We have had the opportunity to read Greenfire’s tenant feedback from the rental days at the Baldwin and the #1 complaint, and #1 reason for tenants leaving, was noise from Xscape Lounge. Will appropriate soundproofing for a nightclub be installed during the ongoing renovations? If residents are affected by excessive noise, what recourse will we have?
Please note we do hear the Pinhook occasionally but owner Kym Register is receptive and quite sensitive to feedback about these issues and honestly their mix of live and dance music genres leaves most nights relatively quiet.
2. Will this nightclub be permitted by the city to prop its doors open? As you’re probably aware, nightclub noise and open doors is currently a hot-button issue in Raleigh. Open doors increase noise levels substantially and bass travels far enough without additional help. We are especially concerned now with their request to incorporate their business with Chicken Bone Park and how much noise pollution this could create in the area.
3. The first months we lived in the Baldwin several years ago, residents had to call police several times because of rowdy patrons at Xscape Lounge (Marvell Building) pouring into the streets and fighting after 2am. What assurances will we have that this will NOT be repeated with this business? Will there be an additional police presence at closing times to prevent this from happening?
4. With the state expanding their allowance of guns in bars and the very nature of a disco culture, we are very concerned with potential gang warfare and guns and the danger to folks in their homes and businesses and walking the streets.
We are also happy to discuss these issues privately due to the time constraints of public meetings as you have suggested, but right now many of us feel like we have been here all along across the street since the building was purchased. This shouldn’t be so hard. We shouldn’t be the last to know these things.
Regards and safe travels,