Downtown Raleigh’s growth reflects a long-term vision

Posted on 05/04/15 No Comments


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It started around 1999.

At least, that’s when the talk about revitalizing Downtown Raleigh started to materialize.

Opening up Fayetteville Street to traffic would be the centerpiece around a years-long public-private partnership to bring stores, eateries, nightlife, and new business of all kinds to the city’s urban core. Housing and more professional services would soon follow. As would public events and national conventions.

Believe it or not, many were against it. Those voices aren’t heard from much today. The plan was, and is, a major triumph.

Raleigh, and the Triangle in general, is without question one of the nation’s most desireable places to live.

The City of Oaks is a destination for professionals and families nationwide seeking a place with moderate weather (relatively speaking) and a seemingly ever-growing foundation of well-paying jobs.

When you compare our housing market to places like Chicago, New York, and Southern California, you’ll find affordability galore, open space, lawns, and no over-crowding. And significantly less traffic. (Again, relatively speaking.)

A number of recent metrics have emerged that show just how far Downtown Raleigh has come in the last 15 or so years. It continues to blossom like the dogwoods of spring.

Figures compiled by the non-profit Downtown Raleigh Alliance show Downtown Raleigh’s population growing by more than 50 percent. If you want a place to shine with the aura of new business, you need new people. Accomplished.

There’s also the fact that Raleigh is on track to see an estimated $700 million in new development. Over the last ten years, the report says, the total was $2.5 billion. The numbers just continue to grow.

A number of civic efforts continue. Hotels. Apartments. Office space.

People want better urban transit options and more retail. Transit seems to be the most challenging; but still, it’s not at all unreasonable. Between Uber, bicycle-rickshaw companies, and Downtown Loop buses, there are a number of more than adequate ways to get around.

Now, if we can just get that light-rail between each of the Triangle’s corners …

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