I was disappointed to read the N&O’s take in this editorial.
Greg Hatem is an acquaintance of mine. He’s done a tremendous job helping kick-start downtown Raleigh’s renaissance, investing when others would not. He’s earned some respect and should have his say.
On this issue, though, I must respectfully disagree with Greg. Downtown has continued to grow since those days when Empire Properties was the only game in town. Greg’s businesses have grown and thrived as well in this new, noisier downtown Raleigh. Heck, his businesses have contributed more than their share to the noise and revelry. For Greg Hatem to have played such a large role (as well as profited) in popularizing downtown and now complain about its success seems a tad hypocritical, doesn’t it?
It mystifies me how the editors at the News and Observer failed to see this irony.
When someone heads a company with 40 buildings and 500 employees connected to downtown Raleigh, getting the Raleigh City Council’s attention is fairly easy.
And Greg Hatem – whose company owns the restaurants Sitti, Gravy, The Pit and the Raleigh and Morning Times, along with many other properties – has earned that attention. Hatem’s involvement with downtown Raleigh goes back to a time when it was by no means certain that the city would see the boom it has. Hatem took big chances and got big returns.
But he’s moving his family, which includes younger children, out of a Fayetteville Street apartment into the Oakwood neighborhood near downtown. Why? The noise and party aftermath have made downtown, he says, "unlivable." He doesn’t like the idea of his family waking up to the garbage and other remnants of the previous night’s revels.
via Lower the volume on Raleigh's boom | Editorials | NewsObserver.com.