Raleigh, Cary Becoming Urban Draw for Residents

Posted on 08/13/12 No Comments

Downtown Raleigh has been the subject of news about redevelopment for more than a decade.

Around 2000, the city’s primary corridor, Fayetteville Street, was a concrete walkway with untamed cement planters, empty storefronts and somewhere, a switch to shut everything down around 6:00 p.m.

A few years ago, the switch was left on. And no one has touched it since.

New business, new ideas and most importantly, new residents, are now a part of the growing, nationally-recognized urban southern destination that is Downtown Raleigh. A recent N&O editorial summed it up nicely.

(We commented just recently on the success of the Raleigh Downtown farmers market.)

A little to the west, a smaller urban neighbor of the City of Oaks is underway with its own resurgence. Two years ago, the City of Cary hired an urban planner to pave new life into its “almost quaint” downtown. Not quite Salem St. in Apex but a bit more than Morrisville’s main street, Cary’s urban core has plenty of potential. And it’s being realized.

Between programs celebrating the arts and the annual Lazy Daze event, which was recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for August 2012, the shaded, historic village appeal is finally being put on display. Additionally, last year Cary leadership announced an allocation of $8 million to aid in the development of capital projects in downtown, both public and private.

Cary and Raleigh’s growth has been largely in response to the region’s growing reputation as one of the best places to live in America. The recession by all means hit the Triangle, but not really with the same type of brutality as it did other regions. This is due in part to the Triangle’s combined draw of lifestyle amenities and affordable housing. Here, you can have both — and afford them.

Unlike some other popular coastal states around the country …

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