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Downtown Plan

Experience It!

Last updated Sep. 21, 2015 - 1:02 pm
Downtown Plan Logo
Downtown is a place for people, a destination for business, and a hub of urban activity. The Livable Streets Plan started the transformation with the reopening of Fayetteville Street, the construction of the Convention Center and the outdoor Red Hat Amphitheater. Let’s keep a good thing going and set our sights on the next 10 years.
  • What will downtown Raleigh look like in 10 years?
  • How can we foster the downtown districts that have begun to emerge?
  • What role will public transportation networks play in our economic competitiveness?

Downtown Plan - Final

The Downtown Plan is available for viewing.

Big Ideas from the Draft Downtown Plan - Anne Franklin

Anne Franklin, Co-chair, Downtown Plan Advisory Committee

The Downtown Plan calls to amplify the “Southern Gateway” an area that includes Blount Street, Person Street and the South Park neighborhood. This area is important to our cultural heritage and has the potential to become part of the frame for downtown.

Big Ideas from the Draft Downtown Plan - Scott Cutler

Scott Cutler, Chair, Downtown Plan Advisory Committee

Public participation has been key the buzz around the downtown plan has been phenomenal. A key element of the plan is to build connections between districts, to weave together the districts, creating areas that are walkable and well lit at night.

Big Ideas from the Draft Downtown Plan – Ed Fritsch

Ed Fritsch, Downtown Plan Advisory Committee

For many the future just happens to you, the City of Raleigh is taking a bold step to construct a plan for downtown growth and development in a collaborative manner so at the end of the day we will build a plan that continues to make Raleigh a great place.

The Raleigh Downtown Plan Draft Presentation

The Raleigh Downtown Plan draft presentation

The Raleigh Downtown Plan: Strategic Planning For Downtown Raleigh's Future Development. September 11, 2014

Watch the full presentation.

Think about it!

Downtown Raleigh is booming and the momentum will continue with the new Downtown Plan:

  • Downtown is thriving as Wake County’s center of tourism and hospitality.
  • In 2013, downtown attracted over three million visitors to its world-class museums, dynamic convention center and its many arts, cultural and entertainment venues.
  • 34,000 pedestrians walk through the Fayetteville Street district during a 2.5-hour lunch period.
  • Downtown dining is thriving with more than 160 restaurants, clubs, and bars.
  • Over 200 events held in 2013 brought tens of thousands to Downtown.
  • An estimated 40,000 employees work in Downtown Raleigh.
  • $2.3 billion in completed, planned, or under construction development projects since 2003.
  • Class A occupancy rates for Downtown’s 2.27 million square feet of office space remain high at 93.3%
  • Startups and entrepreneurs are occupying Downtown’s 3 million square feet of Classes B and C office space.
  • The residential condominium market in Downtown grew since 2008 and an emerging trend is apartment rentals with nearly 1,600 apartments planned or under construction.
  • A significant portion of the 40,000 college students that attend the five universities located within two miles of Downtown major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) discipline.

Already underway

  • Public spaces like Market and Exchanges Plaza will add to the Downtown pedestrian experience.
  • New places like the Warehouse District will attract a wave of start-up companies and entrepreneurs.
  • The first phase of Union Station will be underway.
  • SkyHouse, a new 23-story residential tower, will welcome new residents.
  • Another 1,300 apartments are planned or under construction.
  • Citrix will open its doors to new downtown workers, adding to Downtown Raleigh’s base of 40,000 workers.
  • Charter Square will be under construction further enhancing street life and the economic competitiveness of our region on Fayetteville Street.

Priorities for the plan

The top priority for the Downtown Plan is achievable action items that will continue the transformation of Raleigh’s city center. The plan will analyze public realm, infrastructure, connectivity improvements, future development and potential impacts from these action items.

What is public realm?
Public realm embraces the outdoor places in the city that are accessible to all. These are publicly owned spaces that we move through and linger within that create experience of place.

Is the current infrastructure sustainable?
The plan will evaluate the infrastructure to ensure the framework will meet development needs for the next ten years.

What are connectivity improvements?
Connectivity improvements are a smart use of road networks to create direct links. The plan will look at multiple transportation options such as bicycle, pedestrian, automobile, bus and light rail.

Consultant Team

Sasaki Associates Inc., an internationally established team comprised of architects, interior designers, planers, urban designers, landscape architects, and civil engineers, was selected to develop the City’s Downtown Plan. Downtown Raleigh Alliance raised $250,000 of the $343,500 contract from local businesses to offset the cost to the city. This public private partnership will result in a plan for how our downtown will evolve over the next 10 years.

The project will be broken down into seven phases with deliverables:

  1. Project Start-Up and Familiarization: summary of key findings, opportunities and recommendations
  2. Downtown Master Plan Kickoff: public event with presentation at on key findings
  3. Conduct Analysis: Issues, Opportunities and Constraints Report, with a section dedicated to the R-Line
  4. Conduct a Downtown Visioning Session: facilitate visioning session, draft vision statement and illustrations and diagrams, identify 3-5 priority development sites
  5. Conduct Downtown Districts Visioning Session: facilitate visioning session, report on key findings and program elements
  6. Draft and Final Downtown Master Plan Recommendations: Downtown Raleigh Master Plan Recommendations Report
  7. Implementation Strategy: Implementation Strategy Recommendation Report, include list of potential funding sources

R-Line and DRA Districts Map

Downtown Plan Advisory Committee

The Raleigh City Council has established the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee comprised of 28 members. The committee will serve as advisors in support of the new Downtown Plan. The committee consists of a wide range of residents representing a cross-section of interests.

The committee members are:

Chair Scott Cutler, Vice President, Clancy & Theys Construction Company

Co-Chair Anne S. Franklin, Community Organizer

Neighborhoods and Residents
Philip Bernard, Owner, Landscape Design and Consultation, Person Street Partnership
Sarah Powers, Executive Director, Visual Art Exchange
Ed Fritsch, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Highwoods Properties, Inc.
Jason Queen, Real Estate Developer and Founder, Raleigh Restoration Group, LLC
Sally Edwards, Executive Director, Marbles Kids Museum
Ann-Cabell Baum Anderson, President and Sales Manager, Glenwood Agency Real Estate
Greg Hatem, Founder, Empire Properties, Empire Eats
Jim Belt, Co-founder & President, Downtown Living Advocates
Dan Lovenheim, Owner, Cornerstone Tavern
Karla Salgado, Student, Broughton High School

Business, Industry, and Merchants
Pam Blondin, Owner, Deco Raleigh
Ashley Christensen, Chef-Owner, Ashley Christensen Restaurants
Sumit Vohra, Owner, Lonerider Brewing Company
Brooks Bell, CEO and Founder, Brooks Bell, Inc.
Bill Spruill, Founder, Global Data Consortium
Aly Khalifa, Owner, Gamil Design, Designbox
Paula Fryland, Regional President for Eastern Carolinas, PNC Financial Services
John Boylan, President, Spectrum Properties
R.W. (Bill) Mullins, Member, Centennial Authority, President, DSM, Inc.
Gregg Warren, President & CEO, DHIC, Inc.
Ed Wills, Owner/Operator, McDonald's

Institutions/Non-Profits
Harvey Schmitt, President, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Denny Edwards, President, Greater Raleigh Visitors and Convention Bureau
Charles Lefler, Vice Chancellor, North Carolina State University
Lonnette Williams, Chair, Central CAC
Lloyd Williams, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Shaw University
David Diaz, President & CEO, Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Downtown Plan Sponsors

Downtown Plan Sponsors

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