York Family Development Projects

Smedes York talks about Raleigh, development, and Cameron Village.

Interview on 2012-03-15


00:00:00.000 I think we've got a great city. A lot of other people do too.
00:00:03.409 I'm not taking the credit for it; I'm just saying
00:00:05.843 you have a great city because you have successful business, parks, recreation, cultural opportunities, that sort of thing.
00:00:14.215 The developments that we have done we're proud of,
00:00:18.188 and Cameron Village, my dad of course did it but I was involved in a lot of it in the later years.
00:00:23.533 A city is nothing but a series of developments.
00:00:29.009 Downtown revitalization; who better than somebody that understands the development process?
00:00:34.843 Then as a developer the projects we've done-Mission Valley, Cameron Village, others-we're proud of those.
00:00:42.104 We think they set a good standard.
00:00:44.177 The Urban Land Institute has been very instrumental in our family for many years.
00:00:54.874 My dad joined in 1946,
00:00:57.930 and the records of the ULI say 1947, but it was either 1946 or 1947.
00:01:04.751 I think it was 1946.
00:01:06.733 But in any event he became very interested in
00:01:13.101 developing a shopping center.
00:01:16.642 He met a gentleman by the name of J.C. Nichols
00:01:21.486 who had developed Country Club Plaza in Kansas City,
00:01:24.656 a very famous center, project,
00:01:27.542 and he got the idea for a shopping center. I mean there were
00:01:31.433 no shopping centers really in the United States-
00:01:35.071 well I say no; there were maybe eight or ten shopping centers in the United States-
00:01:38.773 but in a book by this author Daniel Yergin,
00:01:44.079 He wrote a book called The Prize.
00:01:46.379 he wrote a book called The Prize about the history of oil and won a Pulitzer Prize for that book and it was chronicled on PBS,
00:01:53.560 but on page five fifty-one he said the first major planned retail shopping center in the United States opened in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1949,
00:02:04.078 so that obviously was Cameron Village.