Raleigh, North Carolina — Developers are planning billions of dollars in new projects in downtown Raleigh.
On Wednesday, more than 600 city leaders, developers, business owners and real estate agents gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center to hear the annual report on the state of downtown.
The report showed some key growth indicators:
- Nearly $2 billion in new investments added to the development pipeline in the last year alone
- 1.7 million square feet of office space under development, which could bring more than 14,000 new workers downtown
- Residential development is booming, with over 8,300 units being built, adding up to 12,500 residents over the next decade, doubling the downtown population
“We’ve had good growth this year, but we’re definitely not where we want to be when we get back to work yet. We’d like to see more employees working here,” said Bill King, President and CEO. direction of the Alliance from Downtown Raleigh.
Those gathered at the event say they want to see developers, residents, city leaders and business owners work together to envision the future of downtown Raleigh.
“We don’t want to look back 10 years and see a downtown that’s completely indistinguishable from any other urban center,” King said.
A big message in the State of Downtown report: focus on the people who will live and work in all those buildings that are rising around us.
Downtown Raleigh Alliance is leasing space for pop-up shops to minority women and small businesses, so they have a place in the cavernous corridors of towers and cranes that build downtown.
LaTanya Lodge, owner of TresLife, uses this space to help her build her dreams.
TresLife pump and spray bottles are more than just a business for Lodge.
“I wanted to, actually, be an example for my daughter to embrace my natural hair, so I started creating the products,” she says.
She expanded the online store to a storefront last fall, at pop-up stores on Martin Street.
“It gave me great exposure for the product,” she says. “And TresLife’s message of traveling the world now, because so many people know us because we’re downtown.”
This perspective encourages Lodge to find a permanent showcase to give TresLife a window into the city’s growth.
“I see it looking totally different in the next 3, 4, 5 years, and I see a lot of diversity so everyone can feel included and part of Raleigh, NC,” says- she.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance says it is focused on revitalizing the Fayetteville Street and Moore Square neighborhoods. Recovery has been slowest in these parts of downtown.