MyRaleigh

History Of Raleigh

Last updated Jan. 12, 2015 - 2:09 pm
Historic Raleigh, NC

Raleigh's history is bountiful. In 1792, Raleigh was created to be North Carolina's seat of government. To fully appreciate this uniquely blessed city, one must contemplate the history and delightfully complex composition of the state that created Raleigh. Home to the Native American Iroquoian, Siouan and Algonquian tribes, it is also the birthplace of Virginia Dare, the first child born of English parents in the new world during the first attempt by the English to settle the western hemisphere. One of the original 13 colonies, North Carolina was the first to officially call for independence with the Halifax Resolves in 1776.

A state of yeoman farmers and among the South's first industrial areas, North Carolina was no home place to the gentry, but rather a state of working men and women who valued education and established the nation's first state university. North Carolina's appreciation of education also created a notable public school system and the nation's best community college system. Though firmly in the grip of the hard times of the 1920s, North Carolina invested in a statewide network of paved thoroughfares and became known as "the good roads state," recognizing that the lifeline of economic growth was a statewide transportation network.

That diverse composition of people, that love of freedom, that gritty work ethic, that esteem for education and that common sense approach to economic development combined to create the robust environment in which North Carolina's capital city today thrives.

Listed below are key dates and events in the history of this great city.

Prior to 1800

  • 1587: Under direction of Sir Walter Raleigh, John White founds the "Cittie of Raleigh." The only known site is in the vicinity of the settlement built in 1585 by the Ralph Lane Colony on the north end of Roanoke Island, about 190 miles from present-day Raleigh. John White returns to England.
  • 1590: John White returns, but the colony has disappeared. Today, it is popularly referred to as The Lost Colony. The word, "Croatoan," carved on a tree, was considered a clue as to the colony's fate.
  • December 17, 1770: Joel Lane presents a petition to the General Assembly to create a new county.
  • January 5, 1771: A bill creating Wake County passes in the General Assembly. Wake County is formed in March from portions of Cumberland, Orange and Johnston counties. Many historians believe the county was named after Margaret Wake Tryon, the wife of Royal Gov. William Tryon. The county seat was Bloomsbury.
  • October 1784: Meeting in New Bern, the General Assembly voted to fix the seat of North Carolina government.
  • November 1787: The General Assembly authorizes the Constitutional Convention to establish the state's permanent capital.
  • August 4, 1788: The Constitutional Convention votes to locate the new capital within 10 miles of Isaac Hunter's Wake plantation.
  • January 5, 1792: The General Assembly appoints commissioners to select a site for the new capital.
  • March 20, 1792: After 10 days of viewing the proposed sites, the commissioners select a tract of land owned by Joel Lane for the new capital at a cost of $2,756. Sen. William Christmas, a surveyor, is hired to lay out the new city. The sale of lots begins.
  • November 1792: The North Carolina General Assembly chooses the name "Raleigh" for its capital city.
  • December 30, 1794: General Assembly meets for the first time in Raleigh new Statehouse.
  • January 21, 1795: General Assembly charters Raleigh. Seven commissioners are appointed to govern the new city. John Haywood is named the first Intendant of Police (later renamed Mayor).
  • 1799: N.C. Minerva and Raleigh Advertiser is the first newspaper published in Raleigh.

1800s

st. mary's school
  • 1800: Raleigh's population is 669.
  • 1801: At the cost of $374, the City purchases its first fire engine which expels water at 80 gallons per minute.
  • 1803: Amended charter grants voting rights to city residents. Raleigh voters elect first commissioners.
  • December 29, 1808: Andrew Johnson, the nation's seventeenth President, is born at Casso's Inn, which was located between Morgan, Fayetteville and Willington streets.
  • September 1818: Raleigh's first water system is completed. Pumps were operated by waterwheel on Rocky Branch and the water flowed by gravity through wooden spouts along Hargett and Fayetteville streets. The pipes frequently clogged with mud and burst and the scheme soon was abandoned.
  • March 1819: Raleigh forms a volunteer fire company. The City buys a pump fire engine.
  • 1820: Raleigh is North Carolina's third largest city with a population of 2,674.
  • December 22, 1821: The first regular fire company is formed.
  • June 21, 1831: Fire destroys the Statehouse. In December of 1832, the General Assembly votes to rebuild the Capitol.
  • January 1, 1833: The first railroad in the state is completed in Raleigh. Horse-drawn cars haul quarried granite to the construction site of the new Capitol. Riding the train is a popular means of entertainment for Raleigh society.
  • 1840: Raleigh & Gaston Railroad is chartered, opening on March 24 with 86 miles of track. The steam locomotives were given the spirited names of "Tornado," "Whirlwind," "Volcano" and "Spitfire." In June, Raleigh, which had 2,244 people and was the fourth largest city in the state, celebrated the completions of the new railroad and the new Capitol.
  • 1842: St. Mary's School for Women is founded by the Rev. Aldert Smedes.
  • April 17, 1844: Sitting under one of the city's finest and oldest oak trees, Presidential candidate Henry Clay writes the "Raleigh Letter," arguing against the annexation of Texas. The Henry Clay Oaks stood for many centuries on the north side of North Street, west of the intersection with North Blount Street. After losing the presidential nomination to North Carolina native James K. Polk, Clay retorted: "Sir, I would rather be right than be president."
  • February 14, 1848: The first telegraph message is sent through Raleigh. The line connects the city with South Carolina and Virginia.
  • January 29, 1849: The General Assembly authorizes the State Hospital for the Insane after an appeal and campaign by Dorothea Dix, for whom the hospital was named when it opened Feb. 22, 1856 in southwest Raleigh.
  • February 1852: The City reorganizes the Fire Department and employs its first paid chief.
  • October 1853: The first state fair is held near Raleigh.
  • 1857: Raleigh extends it city limits for the first time and established a new charter.
  • March 1858: Raleigh ends its citizen guard and hires a paid watch.
  • 1860: Raleigh is North Carolina's fourth largest city with a population of 4,780.
  • April 15, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated and Union troops camped in Raleigh are prepared to rampage through the city in retaliation. But Union Gen. John A. Logan intervenes with threats that he backs up with gun emplacements pointed at his own troops.
  • December 1, 1865: Shaw University begins with theological classes offered to freedmen by Dr. Henry M. Tupper. Originally called the Raleigh Institute, Shaw was the first coed college for African-Americans in the nation - perhaps the world.
  • 1867: St. Augustine's College founded is founded by Episcopal clergy for the education of freed slaves.
  • June 3, 1867: President Andrew Johnson visits Raleigh for the dedication of a monument in honor of his father, Jacob, who died from pneumonia after saving two leading citizens from drowning.
  • July 1868: Gov. Holden appoints new Raleigh Commissioners, including the first African-Americans, James Henry Harris, editor of the North Carolina Republican and Handy Lockhart.
  • November-December 1868: A series of fires culminates in the destruction of Raleigh City Market.
  • January 4, 1869: North Carolina opens the nation's first school for blind and deaf African-Americans in Raleigh.
  • April 1869: The Method community is established by freedmen.
  • January 6, 1870: The State Penitentiary opens in a log building.
  • April 1871: Raleigh Commissioners make provision for Mount Hope Cemetery.
  • 1872: Peace Institute is opened by the Rev. Robert Burwell.
  • 1875: Shaw University secures its charter; Raleigh's governing board is renamed the Board of Aldermen, increase to 17.
  • 1879: North Carolina's first telephone exchange opens in Raleigh.
  • 1880: Raleigh's population of 9,265 makes it the state's second largest city; The News and The Observer are consolidated.
  • 1884: Free home-delivery of mail begins for Raleigh.
  • December 1, 1886: Fayetteville Street is paved.
  • December 25, 1886: Mule-drawn street railway starts operations. The Raleigh Street Railroad Company switched to electricity after 1890.
  • March 22, 1897: Raleigh resident R. Stanhope Pullen donated property for Pullen Park.
  • August 27, 1888: The Raleigh Chamber of commerce is organized.
  • October 3, 1889: North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts is opened with the donation of $8,000 from the City of Raleigh and land given by R. Stanhope Pullen. The college was later named North Carolina State University.
  • August 21, 1892: Union rail passenger station opens.
  • May 1894: Rex Hospital opens. Its nursing school is the state's first.
  • 1898: Automobiles are first seen on Raleigh streets.
  • 1899: Raleigh adopts a flag.
    -- Baptist Female University (later Meredith College) opens.
    -- The Tucker Building, Raleigh's first skyscraper, is erected.
    -- A&M (NCSU) trustees vote to admit women students.

1900s

  • 1900: Raleigh's population of 13,643 makes it the state's fifth largest city.
  • January 1901: The first child is admitted to the Methodist Home orphanage.
  • 1902: The University of North Carolina operates its medical school in Raleigh until 1910.
  • 1903: Motion pictures are first shown in Raleigh.
  • 1906: Raleigh High School building is erected on West Morgan Street.
  • 1907: Raleigh extended its city limits for the second time; one-half miles in each direction.
  • 1909: J.S. Wynne begins his term as Mayor.
  • 1910: Raleigh paves 14 blocks with asphalt.
  • 1911: James I. Johnson begins the first of five terms as Mayor.
  • October 16, 1911: Raleigh dedicates City Hall and Auditorium on East Davie Street. The building burned October 25, 1930.
  • 1912: Raleigh establishes its first paid Fire Department.
  • July 4, 1912: Bloomsbury Park opens. The Dentzel carousel which is later bought by the City and moved to Pullen Park, is popular with the youngsters.
  • 1913: City acquires water plant.
    -- Raleigh voters adopt commission form of government for the city.
  • 1914: Lake Raleigh is filled as City's reservoir.
    -- Raleigh's first drive-in gas station opens on Fayetteville Street.
    -- Raleigh City market reopens.
  • September 25, 1918: United States establishes the nation's only tank camp, Camp Polk, at the State Fairgrounds.
  • October 1918: The influenza pandemic claims 288 lives in Raleigh.
  • November 11, 1918: The armistice ending World War I is signed. North Carolina loses 5,799 men in the war, the third highest total in the nation.
  • 1921: T.B. Eldridge begins his term as Mayor.
  • 1922: Motorbuses begin operating between Raleigh and Durham.
  • September 1, 1922: Raleigh Police Officer Tom G. Crabtree was killed in the line of duty.
  • 1923: Eugene E. Culbreth begins the first of four terms as Mayor.
  • April 1929: Curtiss-Wright Flying Field opens.
  • October 24, 1929: The stock market crash marks the beginning of the Great Depression. Six Raleigh banks close between 1930 and 1933.
  • October 25, 1930: Fire destroys Raleigh Auditorium.
  • 1931: George A. Isley begins the first of four terms as Mayor.
  • April 1, 1931: Raleigh is a stop on the first regular airline passenger flight from New York to Miami.
  • 1932: Voter approval of a bond referendum saves Raleigh from fiscal deficit.
  • August 4, 1932: Memorial Auditorium is dedicated. The North Carolina Symphony, founded earlier this year, performs in its new home. Cab Calloway and his orchestra play at the dedication.
  • March 1-14, 1933: The first local transit bus and the last electric trolley roll in Raleigh. Six bus routes are opened.
  • 1934: Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC) operates in Crabtree Creek area. The camp later is named Umstead State Park.
  • May 10, 1938: Chavis Memorial Park is dedicated.
  • 1939: Graham B. Andrews begins the first of four terms as Mayor.
    -- Halifax Court is Raleigh's first $1 million public housing project, thus establishing the Raleigh Housing Authority.
  • March 9, 1939: The General Assembly charters the Raleigh-Durham Aeronautical Authority. The Authority takes over the airport from the U.S. Army, with the first commercial flight lifting off May 1, 1943.
  • June 1939: Raleigh Little Theatre Amphitheatre is dedicated.
  • October 1939: Raleigh installs the first parking meters on Fayetteville Street.
  • 1940: Raleigh's population of 46,897 makes it the state's sixth largest city.
  • September 11, 1940: Raleigh Little Theatre's Drama Center is dedicated.
  • March 18, 1947: Raleigh voters adopt the council/manager form of municipal government.
  • July 1, 1947: P.D. Snipes begins the first of two terms as Mayor.
  • 1949: NCSU's Memorial Bell Tower and Reynolds Coliseum are completed.
    -- City offers water and sewer service to all Raleigh homes.
  • November 19, 1949: First stores open in Cameron Village.
  • 1950: Raleigh's population of 65,679 makes it North Carolina's fifth largest city.
  • July 2, 1951: James E. Briggs begins his term as Mayor.
  • 1952: Internationally acclaimed Dorton Arena is completed.
  • July 1, 1953: Fred B. Wheeler begins the first of three terms as Mayor.
  • October 16, 1954: Hurricane Hazel sweeps through Raleigh, felling trees and power poles and leaving 85 percent of the city's homes without power.
  • 1956: WRAL takes to the air.
  • March 10, 1956: Firefighter Vernon Smith died as a result of injuries incurred in the line of duty.
  • December 11, 1956: Raleigh voters endorse fluoridation and approve bonds for streets.
  • July 1, 1957: William G. Enloe begins the first of three terms as Mayor.
    -- The Research Triangle Park is established.
  • September 8, 1960: William Campbell is the first African-American child to attend a white school in Raleigh as he enrolls at Murphey High School.
  • October 16, 1960: Raleigh's new municipal building, located at the corner of McDowell and Hargett streets, is dedicated.
  • July 1, 1963: James W. Reid begins his terms as Mayor.
  • July 1, 1965: Travis H. Tomlinson begins the first of two terms as Mayor.
  • October 8, 1966: NCSU's Carter-Finley Stadium is dedicated.
  • August 17, 1967: North Hills, Wake County's first enclosed mall, is opened.
  • March 8, 1968: Raleigh Police Officer Robert E. Sparks was killed when his motorcycle skidded into a curve in the 2100 block of Ridge Road.
  • December 5, 1968: Raleigh Police Officers James Wade Allen and James Gayle Lee were killed when their cruiser collided with another car before striking a telephone pole at the intersection of Yadkin and Currituck drives.
  • July 1, 1969: Seby B. Jones begins his term as Mayor.
  • 1970: Raleigh's population is 122,830.
  • July 1, 1971: Thomas W. Bradshaw Jr. begins his term as Mayor
  • October 1973: Clarence Lightner is Raleigh's first mayor elected by popular vote. He also is the first African-American elected mayor of a major Southern city.
  • 1974: Ground is broken on the Heritage Park public housing community.
  • December 9, 1975: Jyles J. Coggins begins his term as Mayor.
  • June 1975: The Oakwood community is named Raleigh's first local historic district. Oakwood is the city's oldest intact neighborhood and contains the largest collection of Victorian era architecture in Raleigh.
  • August 15, 1975: Construction begins on the Fayetteville Street Mall.
  • December 8, 1975: Ground is broken for the New Raleigh Civic Center.
  • July 1, 1976: Raleigh City and Wake County schools merge after 10 years of discussion.
  • September 15, 1977: The Raleigh Civic Center is dedicated.
  • October 1977: The Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plan opens at a cost of $28 million.
  • November 3, 1977: Fayetteville Street Mall is dedicated.
  • December 13, 1977: Isabella Cannon is sworn-in as Raleigh's first female mayor.
  • December 4, 1979: G. Smedes York begins his first of two terms as Mayor.
  • February 3, 1980: Raleigh Police Officer D.D. Adams was shot and killed in the line of duty.
  • 1981: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins to fill Falls Lake, which will become Raleigh's primary water source. It takes two years to fill.
    -- Raleigh's population of 149,771 makes it the third largest city in North Carolina.
  • 1982: The new Central Prison opens at a cost of $27 million.
  • July 20, 1982: After seven years of work, Fayetteville Street Mall is completed at a cost of $2.8 million.
  • April 4, 1983: NCSU downs the heavily-favored University of Houston Cougars to win its second national basketball championship with a last-second shot.
  • December 6, 1983: Avery C. Upchurch begins the first of five terms as mayor.
  • September 30, 1984: Raleigh's new municipal building is dedicated. The new city hall is located at Hargett and Dawson streets and was constructed at a cost of $6.5 million.
  • April 11, 1985: American Airlines begins service to Raleigh-Durham Airport with plans to open a new hub there in July 1987.
  • April 16, 1986: NCSU unveils plans for Centennial Campus, which will include a mix of residential and retail facilities, along with new classrooms and research facilities.
  • October 1987: Raleigh voters approve five bond proposals totaling $97.5 million. The proposals including funding for a baseball stadium, sewer and water plant expansions, a $40 million road program, renovation of Memorial Auditorium, and indoor aquatic center and a multi-field softball complex.
  • 1990: For the first time since its 1932 construction, Raleigh Memorial Auditorium receives major upgrades and expansion with a new lobby and new stage house to accommodate Broadway touring shows.
    -- Interstate 40 to Wilmington is completed, providing Raleigh with interstate access from coast to coast.
  • March 1, 1991: The City of Raleigh kicks off its curbside recycling program.
  • June 17, 1991: The high-rise First Union Capitol Center opens on Fayetteville Street Mall, just a block south of the Capitol just as another skyscraper, Two Hanover Plaza opens on the mall, just three blocks to the south.
  • July 1, 1991: Raleigh's population of 212,610 makes it the state's second largest city.
  • July 7, 1991: Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh's $13.5 million premier entertainment complex, opens for its first season.
  • December 31, 1991: The first First Night Raleigh is held.
  • 1992: The City opens section of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard located adjacent to the MLK Memorial Gardens at the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and MLK Boulevard.
    -- The City opens the Walnut Creek Softball Complex which quickly becomes one of the South's most popular softball facilities.
  • December 31, 1992: Raleigh celebrates its bicentennial with a parade and the burying of a time capsule in the center of Nash Square.
  • 1993: The last two sections of New Hope Road are opened, offering motorists a continuous east-west connector north of the beltline from US 70 West.
  • May 19, 1993: The City of Raleigh dedicates the newly completed, 726-space Wilmington Street Station parking deck.
  • July 1993: The Cabarrus Street Parking Garage is completed, adding 595 parking spaces downtown.
  • November 12, 1993: A restored Estey Hall, the first structure built in the United States for the purpose of educating black women is celebrated on the campus of Shaw University.
  • November 27, 1993: An enduring drought lowers Falls Lake to its all-time low at 242.73 feet.
  • December 7, 1993: Tom Fetzer begins the first of three terms as the mayor of Raleigh.
  • June 30, 1994: Avery C. Upchurch, mayor of Raleigh from 1983 to 1993 and City Council member from 1979 to 1983 dies at the age of 65.
  • Oct. 5, 1994: Spring Forest Road Park opens.
  • April 4, 1995: Raleigh voters approved a bond referendum for nearly $28 million in parks system improvements, more than $11 million for improvements to the water system and nearly $7 million for improvements to the sewer system.
  • August 4, 1995: Raleigh Police Officer Denise Holden was killed in a single-car accident at Morgan and Hillsborough streets.
  • Jan. 29, 1996: The City of Raleigh Police Department installs mobile computer terminals in patrol vehicles.
  • June 21, 1996: The Olympic Torch is welcomed to Raleigh with a huge celebration on the Fayetteville Street Mall. The Torch spent the night in Raleigh before continuing on its trek to Atlanta.
  • Sept. 5 & 6, 1996: During the waning hours of Sept. 5 and the earliest hours of Sept. 6 category three Hurricane Fran tore through town with 79-mile-per-hour winds whipping 9.5 inches of rain into a howling Maelstrom and leaving in its wake devastating flooding, structural damage totaling nearly $275 million and extensive power outages for days to come.
  • January 8, 1997: The newly renovated and expanded Raleigh Convention and Conference Center celebrates its brand new look with a grand re-opening.
  • May 19, 1997: The City opens its first-ever satellite service center. It is located at 8320 Litchford Road.
  • July 11, 1997: Det. Paul Hale was shot to death in the line of duty. He had served the City of Raleigh as a Police Officer for seven years.
  • December 17, 1997: After nearly 40 years as part of the City's Capital Improvement Plan and being approved by voters three times, the 1.4-mile Western Boulevard Extension is completed.
  • May 5, 1998: Raleigh voters approve a $50 million bond referendum for transportation and culvert improvements.
  • May 6, 1998: A new era of stage spectacular dawned in Raleigh following major modifications to Memorial Auditorium to accommodate the new age, high-voltage Broadway blockbusters. The curtain rose on "Phantom of the Opera," the first in the auditorium's Best of Broadway series that consistently delighted droves of theatre lovers.
  • May 15, 1998: The City of Raleigh makes its initial purchase of alternative-fuel vehicles when it receives a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources to assist in the purchase of five vehicles. The van, small pickup and two sedans use compressed natural gas and another sedan operates on electricity.
  • August 6, 1999: The City of Raleigh flag is moved from the Avery C. Upchurch Gov. Complex to spend its centennial at the Raleigh City Museum on Fayetteville St. Mall. The flag was created in 1899 as a reciprocal gift to the USS Raleigh. The cruiser had presented its city namesake with a small cannon captured during the Spanish-American War. The cannon sits on the front lawn of the Fire Department's Keeter Training Center. The cost of the first ensign in November 1899 was $52.
  • 1999: Durant Nature Park's Campbell Lodge and Training Lodge receive major renovations, as does the lower lake dam.
  • October 1999: The Entertainment and Sports Arena, later renamed the RBC Center, is opened.
  • Dec. 7, 1999: Three-term City Council Member Paul Coble is inaugurated mayor of Raleigh.

2000 - 2010

  • Jan. 24, 2000: The new century brings the largest snowfall in memory and buries Raleigh under 25.7 inches of the white stuff; according to the National Weather Service, the largest snowfall in the Capital City's recorded history.
  • 2000: The Neuse River Corridor Park Plan takes a giant step toward completion with the dedication of Anderson Point Park's 98.3 acres adjacent to the Neuse River.
    -- The CIAA Championship Basketball Tournament is held for the first time in Raleigh at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
  • August 8, 2000: The City of Raleigh, Town of Cary, City of Durham and Granville County agree to jointly commission a study to evaluate the feasibility of developing Kerr Lake as a water supply source.
  • October 31, 2000: Eliza Pool Park is dedicated.
  • November 7, 2000: Three bond proposals totaling $75 million -- $45 million in transportation improvements, $14 million for affordable housing and $16 million for parks improvements are approved by Raleigh voters.
  • January 24–25, 2000: Raleigh receives its greatest snowfall from a single storm - 20.3 inches (52 cm).
  • April-August 2000: Auguste Rodin exhibit featured at the North Carolina Museum of Art, attracting more than 200,000 visitors.
  • June 2000: St. Augustine’s College Women’s Track and Field wins Outdoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • December 2000: I-540 Leesville Road to NC 50, opens; 2 miles.
  • March 2001: St. Augustine’s College, both Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams win Indoor NCAA Division II Championships.
  • April 2001: Raleigh hires J. Russell Allen as City Manager.
  • May 2001: The Raleigh population is 276,093 according to the 2000 US Census.
  • May 2001: St. Augustine’s College, both Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams win Outdoor NCAA Division II Championships.
  • June 2001: I-540 NC 50 to Falls of the Neuse Road opens; 4.3 miles.
  • October 2001: Charles Meeker is elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • February 2002: The Raleigh Memorial Auditorium complex is expanded with the addition of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Meymandi Concert Hall, Fletcher Opera Theater, Kennedy Theatre, Betty Ray McCain Gallery and Lichtin Plaza.
  • May 2002: St. Augustine’s College Women’s Track and Field wins Outdoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • June 2002: The Carolina Hurricanes make it to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals.
  • August 2002: I-540 Falls of the Neuse Road to Triangle Town Blvd (just beyond US 1) opens; 4 miles.
  • August 2002: Carolina Courage wins the Women's United Soccer Association's championship Founders Cup.
  • September 2002: The Entertainment and Sports Arena is renamed to the RBC Center.
  • September 2002: Shaw’s Football Team is reestablished along with the marching band, better known as the “Platinum Sound”.
  • October 2003: Citizens of Raleigh vote to pass a $49 million Parks and Greenways Bond.
  • February 2003: Dr. Clarence G. Newsome named President of Shaw University.
  • August 2003: Inaugural Raleigh Spy Conference is held at the North Carolina Museum of History.
  • October 15, 2003: Wake Technical Community College welcomed the third president in the college’s 40-year history: Dr. Stephen Scott.
  • October 2003: Charles Meeker is re-elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • April 2004: Shaw University receives 11 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an Upward Bound Program.
  • June 2004: Raleigh hosts the NHL Draft. The Carolina Hurricanes choose Cam Ward with their first pick.
  • July-December 2004: Robert A. Barnhardt named Interim Chancellor of North Carolina State University.
  • January 19, 2005: Raleigh traffic is snarled for hours by a unique set of weather conditions that mix an unexpected snowfall of less than one inch with melting snow and freezing ground temperatures to create icy road conditions throughout the city.
  • January 2005: James L. Oblinger named Chancellor of North Carolina State University.
  • May 2005: St. Augustine’s College Women’s Track and Field wins Indoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • October 2005: Charles Meeker is re-elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • November 2005: Raleigh suffers through drought; mandatory water restrictions are issued.
  • February 2006: Raleigh Civic Center is imploded to make way for re-opening Fayetteville Street Mall.
  • March 2006: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Indoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • April 2006: House Creek Greenway, a partnership between North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resource and the City of Raleigh, opens.
  • June 2006: The Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup.
  • July 2006: Fayetteville Street reopens to vehicular traffic. A variety of Downtown building projects are begun around this time including the 34-story RBC Bank Tower, multiple condominium projects and several new restaurants.
  • November 2006: Centennial Authority requests $60 million renovation for RBC Center.
  • November 2006: Claude Monet in Normandy exhibit is featured at the North Carolina Museum of Art attracting more than 200,000 visitors during its 3 year run ending in 2008.
  • September 2006: City Council approves North Hills East.
  • January 2007: I-540 from U.S. 1/Capital Boulevard (Exit 16) and Triangle Town Boulevard (Exit 17, eastbound only) to U.S. 64-264 (Exit 26) opens; 7 miles.
  • March 2007: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Indoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • March 2007: St. Augustine’s College Women’s Track and Field wins Indoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • June 2007: Raleigh is named Best City for Jobs by Forbes Magazine.
  • July 2007: Shaw University receives $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation to support its Nanoscience and Nanotechnology program.
  • July 2007: I-540 from Interstate 40 Exit 283 south to North Carolina 55 opens; 2.8 miles.
  • August 2007: Raleigh imposes Stage 1 mandatory water restrictions due to severe drought.
  • August 2007: Wake Tech Community College unveiled a newly-built 30.6 million environmentally friendly campus in North Raleigh.
  • September 2007: Harry Dolan is named Raleigh’s Police Chief.
  • October 2007: Citizens of Raleigh vote to pass an $88 million Parks and Greenways Bond.
  • October 2007: Charles Meeker is re-elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • March 2008: Raleigh named #1 Best Place for Business and Careers by Forbes Magazine.
  • March 2008: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Indoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • June 2008: Raleigh named #1 Best Place to Live un US by MSNBC.
  • September 2008: The Raleigh Convention Center opens. The west-facing wall of the new convention center boasts a large public art piece called the 'Shimmer Wall' that contains LED lights in the form of an oak tree, for which the city is nicknamed the 'City of Oaks'. Local Sculptor Thomas Sayer of Clearscapes designed the Shimmer Wall. Triangle based Cree donated the LED lights.
  • October 2008: Phase 1 of the RDU airport expansion opens.
  • March 2009: Raleigh is named Best Place for Business and Careers by Forbes Magazine.
  • March 2009: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Indoor and NCAA Division II Championship.
  • May 2009: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Outdoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • June 2009: James H. Woodward named Interim Chancellor of North Carolina State University.
  • June 2009: Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy named President of Shaw University.
  • September, 2009: Campbell University’s Norman Wiggins School of Law relocates to Downtown Raleigh.
  • October 2009: Charles Meeker is re-elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • January 2010: William R. Woodson is named Chancellor of North Carolina State University.
  • March 2010: Raleigh is named Most Wired City in the US by Forbes Magazine.
  • April 2010: The North Carolina Museum of Art expansion opens with 127,000 additional square feet.
  • April 2010: Peace College Board of Trustees named Dr. Debra Townsley President.
  • May 2010: Dempsey Benton Water Treatment Plant opens adding 20 million gallons per day to Raleigh’s water treatment capacity.
  • May 2010: St. Augustine’s College Men’s Track and Field Team wins Outdoor NCAA Division II Championship.
  • June 2010: a 5000 seat Raleigh Amphitheater opens adjacent to the Raleigh Convention Center Downtown.
  • September 2010: Raleigh hosts the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival, sponsored by The Independent.
  • September 2010: Dr. Irma McLaurin is named President of Shaw University.

2011

JANUARY

  • Phase 2 of Terminal 2 opens at RDU airport hosting 36 gates.
  • Raleigh hosts the National Hockey League All-Star Game.

APRIL

  • A devastating EF-3 tornado hits Raleigh. The tornado tracks northeast from Sanford, NC through parts of Downtown Raleigh, east central Raleigh and northeast Raleigh. The tornadoes took the lives of three children – two siblings and a cousin – when a treed landed on their home. The April 16 storms destroyed 63 homes, severely damaged 184 and inflicted damage on another 851. While one commercial establishment was destroyed, 11 suffered major damage and 22 received minor damage. The total damage in Raleigh exceeded $115 million.
  • The Contemporary Art Museum opens Downtown.

JUNE

  • Raleigh is named Best Place for Business and Careers by Forbes Magazine.

AUGUST

  • Dr. Dorothy Yancy is named Interim President of Shaw University.
  • Red Hat commits to Downtown Raleigh as the location for its corporate headquarters.

SEPTEMBER

  • 2nd Annual Hopscotch Music Festival is sponsored by The Independent. Hopscotch is a huge success in downtown Raleigh with 135 bands across 12 venues lasting three days.

OCTOBER

  • Nancy McFarlane is elected Mayor of Raleigh.
  • Raleigh passed the $16 Million Housing Bond Referendum to support quality affordable housing.
  • Raleigh passed the $40 Million Transportation Bond Referendum to fund bike lanes, greenways, new sidewalks, sidewalk repair and general street resurfacing.
  • The City formally opened the Falls of Neuse Road bridge, completing the first phase of a major project that provides motorists and pedestrians a new route to subdivisions and other locations in far north Raleigh.
  • The City Council approved a design for the planned Horseshoe Farm Park, 146 acres of land on the Neuse River in northeastern Wake County. The first phase of the park construction will include widening the access road to the park site, dam improvements, parking, signage, connecting to the Neuse River Greenway Trail, developing soft surface walking trails, natural resource management, stabilization of the existing farm house structure and building restrooms and a picnic shelter.
  • Mayor Charles Meeker joined with the North Central Citizens Advisory Council and the residents around the New Bern Avenue and Edenton Street community in a walking tour of the landmarks in the neighborhood. The tour is part of the City’s New Bern Avenue Corridor Study. The study of Raleigh’s historic eastern gateway focuses on the area from Swain Street to Wake Medical Center. The preliminary goals of the study are to identify ways to improve the appearance of the corridor; support pedestrian, bicycle and transit uses along the corridor; and stimulate economic development initiatives and revitalization in the area.
  • A new fall tradition was launched in Downtown with ARTSober. Performances by the Carolina Ballet, Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, the North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Theatre, North Carolina Opera and PineCone rang out throughout the day of Oct. 15, emanating from the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and Lichtin Plaza. The arts festival was designed to recruit wider audiences to the performing arts center.
  • The City conducted an open house on the Peace Street Corridor Visioning Study. The study is focusing on Peace Street from West to Person streets. The goal is to identify and propose improvements to enhance the corridor’s capacity for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic and support private redevelopment efforts. JDavis Architect worked with the City to develop the Peace Corridor Visioning Study as a pro bono project.

NOVEMBER

  • The City Council received an update of the draft Unified Development Ordinance. The Council approved a seven week public review period starting Jan. 3, with a public hearing set for Feb. 21.
  • The City Council approved a resolution requesting the State of North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources designate the first eight miles of the Neuse River Greenway Trail as a Mountain to Sea Trail segment.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the authorization of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization entering into a contract for Phase II of a transportation planning study of the U.S. 1 North Corridor in Franklin County.
  • The City hosted its second and final open house to gather public input on a comprehensive pedestrian plan. The City, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is developing a plan which will implement a convenient network of sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, trails and other pedestrian facilities throughout Raleigh.
  • Raleigh residents gained a new park to enjoy when the City opened Strickland Road Neighborhood Park. The 37-acre park’s phase I development included new playground equipment, walking trails, driveway, a 35-space parking lot and cost $628,884. Plans for the park include a neighborhood center, basketball half-courts and picnic areas.
  • The eight-mile Upper Neuse River Greenway Trail was opened to the public. This is the first section of the planned Neuse River Greenway Trail to be completed. The Neuse River Greenway Trail was envisioned as a segment of the State of North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which will run 1000 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks.
  • Newly released figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that some metro areas are beginning to distance themselves from the pack in their economic recovery from the recession, according to the Urban Land Institute magazine. Raleigh took fifth place among metropolitan areas posting the highest total economic growth. The article’s author, Jeffrey Spivak wrote: “In just 10 percent of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, total economic growth exceeded 10 percent since 2007.”
  • The financial services company USAA and the veterans’ membership organization Military.com placed Raleigh on their list of the 10 best metropolitan areas for military retirees to launch new careers.
  • The City was awarded most gracious access of more than four rolling and wooded acres that sustain one of the Piedmont’s most expansive variety of flowers, shrubberies, plants, grasses, groundcovers and trees. The benefactors Mary Coker Joslin and the late William Joslin, made their home at the site at 2431 West Lake Drive for more than 60 years. The Joslin family and the City of Raleigh have founded a tax-exempt entity, the City of Oaks Foundation, which will be the owners of the property and the recipient of the Joslin Gardens Endowment Fund for the maintenance of the property.
  • The City Council requested an extension from the North Carolina Department of Transportation of the temporary bicycle lane markings along Hillsborough Street between Gardner and Enterprise streets.
  • The long awaited reopening of the popular amusement center at Pullen Park took place on a glorious Nov. 19 afternoon. The 124-year-old park’s amusement center, the fifth oldest operating amusement park in the United States and the 16 oldest in the world, had been closed since December 2009 for much needed renovations. The renovations to the southern end of Pullen Park included a new carousel house, welcome center, train station, concessions building and restroom. The carousel’s animals received a significant makeover. Other site improvements included a new entrance, event spaces, playground, underground utilities and picnic shelters. Additionally, Lake Howell was drained and dredged and a new boat dock was installed along with a new apron and geothermal energy system for the lake.
  • The City Council voted unanimously to support policy recommendations by the American Water Works Association for the upcoming federal farm bill. The recommendations would significantly reduce nutrient loading in drinking water reservoirs from agricultural operations.
  • The City Council approved a request to negotiate a contract with Skeo Solutions of Charlottesville, Va., to serve as a consultant for the collaborative discussion with the Chavis community on the future of Chavis Park. In 2009, the Council approved the relocation of the historic Chavis Park carousel within the park. The Council also agreed to survey the Chavis community to learn the residents’ wishes and concerns for the future and the park. In addition to the historic carousel the 34-acre park which was dedicated in 1937, features greenway trails, athletic facilities, a neighborhood pool and community center.
  • Raleigh enjoys the quality of life that puts it on the top of the “best of” lists. To stay at such a dizzying height takes insight, foresight, innovations and a unified strategy. Making that happen is the objective of the Raleigh Innovation Summit that Mayor Charles Meeker announced Nov. 21 in conjunction with Dr. Terri Lomax, vice chancellor or Research, Innovation and Economic Development at North Carolina State University. The summit will be held Jan. 18 in the Raleigh Convention Center.

DECEMBER

  • The people of Raleigh gave outgoing Mayor Charles Meeker a big thank you Dec. 3, after he threw the switch on the city’s holiday tree. Immediately after lighting the tree on Fayetteville Streets’ City Plaza, Mayor-Elect Nancy McFarlane joined Mayor Meeker on the stage and read a proclamation from the residents of Raleigh proclaiming December “Mayor Charles Meeker Month” as a means of expressing their gratitude for his service and leadership. After reading the proclamation, the City fired up a glowing tribute to the Mayor that read: “Thank You Charles.” The Fayetteville Street setting for the tribute was most appropriate. Mayor Meeker listed the return of Fayetteville Street to vehicular traffic and the revitalization of Downtown as his paramount priorities. Traffic returned to “North Carolina’s Main Street” July 29, 2006.
  • A swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Mayor and City Council was held the evening of Dec. 5 in the Cabarrus Street lobby of the Raleigh Convention Center. The installation marked Nancy MacFarlane’s first term as Mayor of Raleigh and the 34th Raleigh City Council under the council/manager form of government. This is the 20th City Council under the district system, with direct election of the Mayor. The ceremony marked the close of Charles Meeker’s decade of service as Mayor. First elected Mayor in 2001, he served nine terms as a member of the Raleigh City Council, having served four terms as a Council Member being elected in 1985, 1987, 1991, and 1993. His five terms as Mayor tie him with the late Avery C. Upchurch as Raleigh’s longest-serving Mayors.
  • The City Council asked the City Attorney’s Office to pursue an exemption to the newly adopted State law that allows the carrying of concealed weapons essentially everywhere, with the exceptions of some City-owned parks and recreational facilities.
  • The City Council accepted the lowest responsible bid ($1.5 million) for the construction of phase I of the Simmons Branch drainage improvements project. The bid award is the first phase of three planned stormwater utility improvement projects in the Simmons Branch watershed to reduce roadway flooding, structural flooding and replace deteriorated infrastructure.
  • The City Council approved the initial planning phase of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens expansion.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane reacted to the Dec. 8 U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that, “discontinuance of Century Station will not be pursued at this time,” to thank those who made efforts to keep the Fayetteville Street National Register Property operating, especially former Mayor Charles Meeker.
  • Raleigh’s population of 403,892 makes it the nation’s 43rd most populous city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rise is a combination of Raleigh’s consistent growth while other cities’ populations are shrinking or growing at a slower pace. Raleigh’s population rose more than 46.2 percent since the last U.S. Census was conducted. The 2000 population was 276,093. The Capital City’s population has more than doubled since 1988 when 201,111 persons called Raleigh home. Raleigh’s population is between Miami’s at 399,457 and Omaha, Neb., at 408,958.
  • The City of Raleigh and Progress Energy Carolinas announced the start of a two-year research and development partnership to evaluate solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations. The project connects two charging stations in Raleigh to a solar photovoltaic array and battery system. When the sun is shining, the array produces electricity and charges either a plugged-in vehicle or the on-site battery.
  • In its quest to learn which city Southerners consider sets the best table in all of Dixie, Southern Living magazine has chosen what it evaluates as the top 10 and is asking its readers to share their opinions. Raleigh is among the 10 selected as the magazine’s Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South.” The magazine reports that Raleigh’s “fantastic farmers markets and chefs devoted to their culinary heritage” earned it a spot in the top 10.
  • The City Council agreed to be a partner for the “Run for Our Heroes” road race that will raise funds for the Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation. The City will contribute $3,000 to the event.

2012

JANUARY

  • The new year brought the reopening of two Raleigh historic cemeteries. O’Rorke Catholic Cemetery and Mt. Hope Cemetery experienced significant tree and monument damage in the April 2011 tornadoes. While the monument repairs are ongoing, the hazardous tree work and debris removal has been completed. City Cemetery will be reopened soon.
  • On January 3, the City Council unanimously selected Black & Veatch to provide professional services for a planned hydroelectric facility at Falls Lake Dam. Two public meetings and a site visit on the proposed dam facility were held on January 23.
  • A former warehouse building on the west end of Martin Street near railroad tracks in Downtown Raleigh should be retrofitted to accommodate a new rail station, the City Council determined on January 3. Council Members voted unanimously to endorse the site, upholding a recommendation from the City’s Passenger Rail Task Force. The vacant warehouse, called the Dillon Viaduct Building, would house the train station component of Raleigh’s proposed Union Station.
  • On January 6, Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced that Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will be making its global headquarters in Downtown Raleigh – 100 East Davie Street specifically.
  • The City kicked off the Blue Ridge Road District Study on January 12. The purpose of the study is to develop a plant to improve vehicle and pedestrian connectivity in the west Raleigh neighborhood. The study will also seek to leverage state and local policies and investments to support growth and to guide development in the corridor to conserve natural systems and landscapes.
  • The City’s Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant has achieved LEED Silver certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, and for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies.
  • The Raleigh-Wake 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center celebrates it 40th anniversary on January 12.
  • The City Council voted unanimously January 17 to approve a bid fro the new carousel building at Chavis Park. The construction contract for the carousel building was awarded to RESOLUTE Building Co., which submitted the lowest base bid in the amount of $1.8 million. The new carousel building is expected to be complete in the fall.
  • Also on January 17, the City Council authorized the City of Raleigh Community Development Department staff to begin negotiations with Passage Home for the development of affordable two-bedroom apartments for families with low and moderate incomes.
  • Developing Raleigh’s potential and resources to make it a 21st century innovation city was the pursuit of the Innovation Summit that was held January 18 in the Raleigh Convention Center.
  • Raleigh took another national “first place” January 25 with its opening of America’s first solid waste services facility built to LEED Platinum standards – the absolute pinnacle of sustainability.
  • A new year brings more accolades for the Capital City, this time for women’s health and raising families. The analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Cancer Society found Raleigh at the top of the rankings of the healthiest cities in the nation for women, according to Women’s Health magazine. 24/7 Wall St. placed Raleigh third among its “10 Best Cities for Raising a Family.” Among the Capital City’s assets that were identified in this ranking were its strong economy, growing high-tech and biotech industries, good schools and highly educated adult population.
  • On January 30, Chavis Community Center began serving as the first Raleigh College Center, an information hub for people who want to learn about attending college.

FEBRUARY

  • The City Council approved a $374,344 contract with Turner Asphalt, Inc., for bicycle and pedestrian improvements to Wade Avenue. The purpose of the project is to enhance pedestrian and bicycle connectivity and accessibility along Wade Avenue between Ridge Road and Faircloth Street.
  • City Manager J. Russell Allen received approval on Feb. 7, from the City Council to pursue the potential development of a Critical Public Safety Facility on City-owned property at 2425 Brentwood road. The Council Members approved the creation of a new fund account for the initial phase of work on the site and the transfer of $600,000 from previous public safety project accounts to cover the estimated fees that re required for conceptual development of the property.
  • The site analysis of the six acres bounded by Raleigh Boulevard on the north, Brentwood Road on the east, Westinghouse Boulevard on the west and private commercial develop on the south is cleared and ready for development. The report noted that its being located across Raleigh Boulevard from the City’s proposed Downtown Remote Operations facility would present opportunities for operations support, particularly during periods of emergency activity.
  • On Feb. 7, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution stating its intent to foster “open” government by encouraging the use of open-source systems in ensuring open access to data.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane and other City officials celebrated with two area “enviropreneurs” on Feb. 16, the completion of the Neuse River Solar Farm at the City’s Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant on Battle Bridge Road.
  • The solar array is the product of a four-year pursuit by the City and its project partners NxGen and Southern Energy Management. NxGen of Charlotte operates the Neuse Solar Farm. Southern Energy Management of Morrisville designed, engineered and constructed the solar array. NxGen is selling the power produced by the solar array to Progress Energy for distribution to its customers. The City owns the land. The farm’s 1.3-megawatt annual output can power 130 homes a year.
  • On Feb. 21, the City council received a report from the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Advisory Commission on how low-impact post-construction practices can protect Raleigh’s streams and lakes from deterioration. According to the report, the overall quality of surface water in Raleigh and downstream in the Neuse River continues to decline.
  • Also on Feb. 21, the City Council approved the selection of FSC II, LLC DBA the Fred Smith Company to build the Poole Road to Anderson Point Park segment of the Neuse River Greenway Trail. The $1.681 million contract includes construction of 1.2 miles of 10-foot wide trail and a bridge over a tributary of the Neuse River.
  • In the fall of 2011, an amendment was proposed to alter the location of a proposed multi-purpose facility at Lake Johnson Park. On Feb. 21, the City Council moved forward with the original plans for the Lake Johnson Interpretive Center being located adjacent to the pool.
  • As part of its Black History Month celebration, the North Central Citizens Advisory honored the decades of service St. Agnes Hospital provided to African American residents. The Feb. 25 celebration was in the Martin Luther King Jr. Ballroom on the St. Augustine’s College Campus. St. Agnes Hospital opened in 1896 and served Raleigh’s African American residents from its location on the St. Augustine’s College campus until the opening of Wake Med in April 1961. In proclaiming it St. Agnes Hospital Day, Mayor Nancy McFarlane noted that, “almost as important as the care the hospital provided its patients was the training it provided its nursing school students” throughout those 65 years.

MARCH

  • On March 6, the City Council endorsed the recommendations of the City of Raleigh Passenger Rail Task Force regarding the number and general placement of station locations associated with the Triangle Transit Authority’s proposal for light rail service from Garner to Durham.
  • The four commuter rail station locations endorsed by the City Council are: southeast Raleigh in the vicinity of Hammond Road and Rush Street; Downtown Raleigh at the Raleigh Train Station; North Carolina State University campus, just east of Dan Allen Drive; and, west Raleigh in the vicinity of Corporate Center Drive.
  • The City Council approved a proposed resolution committing to fund the first phase of the planned Union Station multimodal complex. The City’s share of the projected $75 million project cost will be approximately $7 million.
  • On March 7, the City of Raleigh refunded $33.4 million in Series 2004 water/sewer utility bonds. This resulted in net present value savings of $2.9 million or 8.84 percent of the amount of the refunded bonds.
  • The City Council approved the joint purchase of 113 acres of conservation easement in Orange County. The City is participating with the Eno River Association, the Orange County Natural Resources Conservation Service, Orange County and the Town of Hillsborough in the purchase. The land features approximately 8,000 linear feet along Seven Mile Creek. The City’s participation in the $746,000 purchase is $69,000.
  • Council Members voted in favor of the City issuing up to $9 million in two-thirds general obligation bonds. The proposal consists of $7.5 million for parks and recreational facilities bonds and $1.5 million for land acquisition bonds. The City proposed to use the bonds for the following projects: second-phase development of the Annie Louise Wilkerson, M.D., Nature Preserver Park; a new tennis complex next to Barwell Road Community Center; upgrades to the City’s Dix soccer fields off of Western Boulevard to the WRAL Soccer Center on Perry Creek Road; and, an urban agricultural center just south of Downtown off of Garner Road.
  • According to a March 12 report from the technology jobs website DICE.com, the Triangle is the hottest spot for technology jobs in the United States. The report found that employers within a 30-mile radius of Raleigh are posting 1,120 jobs daily with an average salary of $79,000. That jobs number is up 50 percent from a year ago and nearly triple from the depths of the recession in March 2009.
  • Raleigh residents posted the highest optimism about where they live among the nation’s large metro areas, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The index found that 74.9 percent of those polled said “their city or area is getting better as a place to live.” Only the smaller metro areas of Provo-Orem, Utah (76.0 percent) and Lafayette, La., (75.8 percent) posted higher results.
  • On March 20, the City Council authorized the contribution of more than $545,000 to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the City’s share of the replacement of the flyover bridge at Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard. The project is to be completed in the summer of 2014 at a cost of about $2.65 million.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the appropriation of up to $6,600 for the replacement of two video encoders to enable viewing the streamed feed of live coverage of meetings of the City Council and City boards, commissions and committees on mobile devices.
  • On March 23, it may have seemed to some that Sir Walter Raleigh was a bit overdressed, but the residents of his eponymous city thought he looked swell. That’s because the statue in front of the Raleigh Convention Center was decked out with a Shaw University Bears flag and a North Carolina State University Wolfpack basketball jersey. That evening, the Lady Bears won the NCAA Women’s Division II national championship. Alas, the NCSU men’s basketball squad fell short in its bid for a victory in the NCAA Division I Midwest regional semifinal.
  • First-phase construction of the Chavis Park carousel house project began the last week in March. The park and Chavis Community Center will remain open to the public throughout construction of the carousel house project.
  • The City of Raleigh’s commitment to building an even more robust, sustainable economy became tangible with the opening of the Economic Development Office. The mission of the new units is to develop a strategic plan for implementing the economic development policies that were established in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and to manage the relationship of City-funded economic development agencies.

APRIL

  • April brought 10-digit dialing to the Triangle. The addition of the area code to local dialing accommodates the expanding number of telephone numbers in the area served by the 919 area code. Unforeseen was the tremendous burden careless dialing would placed on the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center. Misdials and hang-up calls related to 10-didti dialing slowed 911 dispatchers’ response time and overtaxed operators receiving calls. Residents are reminded that if they dial 911 instead of the intended 919 stay on the line and talk to the 911 dispatcher. Misdials and hang-up calls divert resources away from actual emergencies since dispatchers must dial back on hang-ups to assure than an emergency is not taking place. If no response is receive3d from the call-back, dispatchers send a police officer to the source of the call to make certain that no assistance is needed. To date in 2012 the Emergency Communications Center has responded to 597,555 911 calls, an increase of 17.4 percent over 2011.
  • Michael Baker Engineering Inc. of Cary was selected to conduct an environmental study of the proposed West Street extension project. The City is considering an extension of South West Street between West Cabarrus Street and West Martin Street in Downtown Raleigh as part of the proposed Union Station project.
  • The City approved an ordinance to designate parking spaces on City streets solely for plug-in electric vehicles. The ordinance requires that electric vehicles parked in the designated spaces must be attached to a charging station. Otherwise, the owner would be found in violation of the ordinance and face a $50 fine.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the issuance of two sets of authorized bonds. The proposal consists of the issuance of up to $138.6 million in general obligation bonds and up to $9 million in two-thirds general obligation bonds.
  • The $138.6 million in general obligation bonds were approved by Raleigh voters in past referendums to finance various public improvements. They include:
    • $30 million in street improvement bonds approved in 2005;
    • $88.6 million in parks and recreation facilities bonds approved in 2007; and,
    • $20 million in transportation bonds approved in 2011.
    The $9 million in two-thirds general obligation bonds consist of $7.5 million for parks and recreational facility and $1.5 million for land acquisition bonds.
  • The Local Government Commission of North Carolina awarded the bonds to J.P Morgan Securities LLC at a true interest cost of 2.78 percent. This is the lowest interest rate received by the City for its new money general obligation bonds in at least the last 20 years.
  • The Raleigh City Council approved the bonding of the City of Oaks and the capital of Kenya as Sister Cities. Nairobi becomes Raleigh’s fifth such “sibling” joining Kingston-Upon Hull, United Kingdom; Compiegne, France; Rostock, Germany; and Xiangyang, China.
  • AECOM was selected to assist the City with the Blount Street/Person Street Corridor Plan Study.
  • The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area was the fifth heartiest population gainer between April 1 2010 and July 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimate of the nation’s 366 metropolitan areas. The area’s population growth for the 15-month period was 2.9 percent.
  • The City approved a request by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission for $91,000 from the Preservation Revolving Loan Fund to assist with the rehabilitation of the Gethsemane Seventh Day Adventist church at 501 S. Person St. that was damaged by the 2011 tornado.
  • The upcoming proposed budget will contain funding for a hosted open data catalogue, the City Council directed. This catalogue is one of the steps that have been identified by City staff for Raleigh to become an open-source e-Government.

MAY

  • For the third consecutive year, a report released by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found Wake to be the healthiest county in North Carolina.
  • The Raleigh City Council endorsed portions of the Rocky Branch, Little Rock, Walnut Creek and Neuse River greenway trails as the designated East Coast Greenway trail through the Capital City. The trail will span from Maine to Florida.
  • The City Council eliminated the alternate-day outdoor watering requirement which was part of the City’s permanent conservation measures.
  • Park Construction was awarded a $21,144,474.75 contract for installation of a third parallel sewer pipe along Crabtree Creek from the I-440-Highway 264 interchange to just east of Capital Boulevard. The new sewer pipe is the first phase to relieve current wet weather flow capacity restrictions within the Crabtree Creek basin.
  • J.F. Wilkerson Contracting Company was awarded a contract for more than $3.5 million for the Centennial Reuse Pipeline – Segment 4 project. When completed, the reuse system will be capable of providing approximately 3.3 million gallons of reuse water daily.
  • Backwater Environmental, a division of the Osborne Company, was awarded a contract for $2,134,534 to perform the Upper Longview Lake Improvement Project. The project area is adjacent to Bertie Drive, behind Enloe High School and the tributary along Locke Lane. The project is to improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Upper Longview Branch Lake through restoration of approximately 3500 linear feet of creek channel and 2.7 acres of lake and wetland improvements.
  • On May 9, Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced that Downtown Raleigh will host the City’s Independence Day celebration.
  • The City moved ahead on improvements to Lake Wheeler Road that include a five-foot asphalt pathway on the western side of the roadway corridor combined with a concrete sidewalk along areas where there is existing or proposed curb and gutter. The improvements also include a left-turn lane at the intersections of Lake Wheeler Road and Sierra Drive and Lake Wheeler Road and Carolina Pines Avenue.
  • The City Council approved the purchase of nearly 25 acres of land for a future neighborhood park site. The property is located northeast of the intersection of I-540 and US 401. The purchase price for the land is $84,900 per acre, totaling $2,112,500.
  • The City Council approved the site plan for Stanhope Center II, a mixed-use development on Hillsborough Street. The plan calls for 156 multi-family dwelling units; 36,914 square feet of retail use; 12,630 square feet of restaurant use; 43,090 square feet of office space and a 1,037-space parking deck. The 4.5-acre site is on the southern side of Hillsborough Street between its intersections with Friendly Drive and Concern Street.
  • The Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 to approve a resolution asking the Wake County Board of Commissioners to place a half-cent sales tax increase on the ballot to pay for countrywide transit improvements.
  • RTD Construction, Inc. was awarded a $4.9 million contract for improvement to the Little Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant will be expanded to handle up to 2.2 million gallons per day from the current maximum of 1.85 million.
  • The City of Raleigh joined with the City of Durham, Durham County, the Triangle Land Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land in purchasing 527 acres of conservation easements to protect water quality along the Falls Lake and Swift Creek watersheds. The City’s participation is not to exceed $649,800.
  • Carousels and Carvings, Inc. was approved for the restoration of the historic Herschell carousel at Chavis Park. The historically accurate restoration work includes degreasing, cleaning, sand blasting, stripping, priming and painting all the original wood and metal parts and pieces, and restoring them to brand new working condition. The contract is for $211,437.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a resolution expressing its opposition to the North Carolina General Assembly of any legislation on the natural gas recovery by hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) until the safety of the process can be established by the appropriate state agencies.
  • Forbes magazine conducted a survey of the best big cities for jobs. It ranked the 65 metropolitan statistical areas that have more than 450,000 jobs. Raleigh placed seventh on the list. The survey included this year’s employment growth rate and the most recent year-on-year job growth.
  • The World of Bluegrass is coming to Raleigh! That is the great news the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced May 16. Starting in 2013, the World of Bluegrass, which includes the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show and the three-day Bluegrass Fan Fest will take place in Downtown Raleigh.
  • A collection of eight life-size (human form) bronze sculptures arrived in Downtown Raleigh for Artsplosure and lingered at various Downtown locations throughout the summer, leaving around Labor Day. The marvelous works of Seward Johnson conjured the works of Impressionist masterpieces from the likes of Renoir and Monet. Throughout the summer Raleigh residents were charmed; touching and interacting with the iconic images in a way that would never be possible in a museum.
  • Rent.com compiled a list of the 10 best cities for college graduate in 2012 and Raleigh was on it. The list was based on: mean annual income, cost of living, rental inventory and the unemployment rate, which received double weight.
  • On May 31, the City of Raleigh unveiled its “Big Belly” solar trash compactor at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and North Street.

JUNE

  • On June 5, the City Council approved the selection of Burns and McDonnell for the threat and security assessment for the Critical Public Safety Facility.
  • The vote was unanimous from the City Council to designate the Garland Dewey and Elma Arndt House as a Raleigh Historic Landmark. The house, located at 1428 Canterbury Road, is the 150th Raleigh Historic Landmark.
  • Brier Creek Town Center II gained unanimous approval from the City Council; the project would total up to 1.63 million square feet on 38.5 acres. It is to include up to 600 residential units, possibly 300 hotel lodging units and up to 115,000 square feet of retail. Two parking decks are included in the plans.
  • A $356,567 contract to AECOM was approved by City Council to lead the City in the creation of a new Parks and Recreation Department System Plan.
  • The City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development unveiled a website for economic development at www.investraleigh.com.
  • Citrix Systems chose Raleigh as the site for the expansion of its Data Sharing Group. In return, Citrix will receive an incentive from the City of Raleigh in which the City offers Citrix Systems a grant that pays the company 2.25 percent of the new tax value of taxable investment recorded on the tax records for a period of 12 years at the current tax rate of $0.3735 per $100 property valuation.
  • On June 16, the Fire Department had a free, daylong public celebration of its 100th anniversary.
  • The City of Raleigh provided the lots for four new houses dedicated by Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. Other sponsors of the houses on Parnell Street were Home Depot and the 12 churches that comprise Habitat for Humanity’s Apostle Build Coalition.
  • The City of Raleigh and Progress Energy began replacing traditional streetlights with light emitting diodes (LED) fixtures as part of a pilot project that will explore how much money and electricity could be saved from converting all of Raleigh’s streetlights to LEDs and whether LEDs provide a superior quality of street lighting.
  • The website RealAge placed Raleigh-Durham sixth on its list of “10 Best Cities for a Happy Marriage.” The area’s vibrant academic presence and high employment level were the reasons cited for the exalted placement.
  • By a vote of 7 to 1, the City Council adopted a budget that continues to promote fiscal sustainability and cost competiveness, with budget reductions targeted to minimize customer service impacts. The budget includes the increase in the property tax rate of 0.91 cents that was agreed upon as part of the successful 2011 bond referendum. Those revenues will go to the City’s debt model to pay debt service for transportation and affordable housing projects.
  • Moffat Pipe Inc. was awarded a contract of $1.85 million for Phases II and III of a major stormwater drainage improvement project in North Ridge.
  • The City Council approved a variance from the right-of-way requirements set forth in the City Code for the SkyHouse Apartment project located at 313 S. Wilmington St. The proposed complex will be a 23-story, 320-unit complex. The Council agreed that the existing rights-of-way of 66 feet were adequate for the transportation needs of the area. The Code calls for 90- or 80-foot rights-of-way.
  • The City Council received the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study. The study presents a vision and strategy for the revitalization, redevelopment and renewal of Capital Boulevard from Downtown to I-440. The study was referred to the Comprehensive Planning Committee.
  • The City’s efforts to develop a multi-modal transit hub in the heart of Downtown received a significant boast June 22 with the announcement of a $21 million federal grant though the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) federal grant. The grant will be used for the first phase of construction of the transit center located at 510 W. Martin Street. The project will transform the existing Dillon Viaduct building into a new train station with new platforms and multiple improvements to the railroad infrastructure. The City is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Triangle Transit on construction of the project.
  • City of Raleigh staff and transportation officials from eight states gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center to develop plans to accelerate the deployment of plug –in electric vehicles.
  • The members of the City Council joined more than 100 residents to participate in the second annual CityCamp Raleigh. The winning idea of the three-day gathering was R Greenway.
  • The $1.28 million in renovations to Carolina Pines Community Center were celebrated. The 17,139-square-foot facility at 2305 Lake Wheeler Road was opened in November 1972.
  • The Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program released June 28, showed Raleigh and Cary as having population growth percentages in excess of 3 percent, placing the area in the top 10 for U.S. cities’ population growth rate from 2010 to 2011.
  • Raleigh will be “an amazing place to get a job” Yahoo! Finance stated in its determination of the “Hottest American Cities of the Future.” It placed Raleigh sixth on its list.

JULY

  • The new fiscal year that began July 1, kept alive the very proud Capital City tradition of providing the best municipal services for the lowest costs. Municipal costs are: annual property taxes, solid waste fees, water and sewer charges, and storm water fees. Raleigh’s annual average for these costs is $1,487.06. The average annual municipal costs for the 11 other municipalities in Wake County is $1,710.76. That is $233.70 or more than 13 percent higher than the Raleigh annual average. The average for the non Wake areas of the Triangle is $1,869.84 or $382.78 more than Raleigh’s costs. That comes to 20.5 percent greater than Raleigh’s average.
  • The master plan for a mixed-use project near Crabtree Valley Mall was approved. The proposal includes up to 525 residential units, 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of retail space, including at least one eatery, 250,000 square feet of office space, a hotel with a maximum of 200 rooms and parking facilities.
  • An ordinance that prohibits fracking within the City of Raleigh was unanimously approved by the City Council. Fracking is the practice of recovering natural gas by hydraulic fracturing.
  • The City Council approved a permanent, full-time position dedicated to small business and entrepreneurial support. The staff member is to regularly engage local entrepreneurs within Raleigh to ensure the appropriate resources are being provided that fit their current and future business needs.
  • During its July 17 meeting, the City Council approved a recommendation from the Raleigh Police Department to create a new Greenway Volunteer Program. The greenway volunteers are to: promote courtesy and safety; provide information to the public; and, summon aid for greenway users in need. The program started August 1.
  • The roundabout on Hillsborough Street at Pullen Road was trimmed from two lanes to one in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents at the traffic circle.
  • Just a couple of weeks shy of its 80th anniversary, Raleigh Memorial Auditorium served as the site of the memorial service for native son Cpl. Darrion T. Hicks. Cpl. Hicks, 21, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

AUGUST

  • Raleigh placed fifth in a survey of the greenest U.S. cities. “Thumbtack,” a site self-described as “where you can easily hire local help,” ranked cities on per capita availability of eco-friendly services, as well as the premium charged by some “green” businesses.
  • The Chavis Park Community Conversation got underway. The goal of the conversation is to develop an adoptable revised master plan for the park. The program also is designed to develop a mutual understanding and respect for both the history and the future of the park and the role of the park in the community.
  • The City Council unanimously adopted the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study. The study, developed with significant input from the public, outlines recommendations for transforming the most traveled gateway into Downtown into a showcase for multimodal transportation and green infrastructure.
  • The City Council approved a contract for the construction of the Halifax Park and Community Center to Bradley Construction, Inc. The $3.15 million contract includes the construction of a new 17,000-square-foot community center. The center is located at 1015 Halifax Street on a 1.5-acre site leased from the Raleigh Housing Authority behind William Peace University.
  • HagerSmith Design PA was approved for the architectural, engineering design and construction administration for the Southeast Raleigh Tennis Center, located on an undeveloped site of nearly nine acres at the Barwell Road Park.
  • The design concept for the Mordecai Historic Park Interpretive Center was approved. The City acquired the nearly half-acre site and a 4,700-square-foot building at 1101 Wake Forest Road, to serve as the center. The purchase price was $600,000. The property is adjacent to Mordecai Park.
  • The City Council approved a strategy that merges federal grant funds with Capital Improvement Project funds to install up to 50 miles of new, on-road bicycle facilities. Council previously appropriated $500,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds for bicycle-marking projects. The City also received a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant through the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization for $1.1 million that required a $225,000 local match. Under the newly approved plan, the two efforts are combined into a single project.
  • Triangle leaders announced the opening of HUB Raleigh, a first-of-its-kind, co-working space in North Carolina that features a local and international network of resources to inspire, connect and mentor entrepreneurs. Located at 711 Hillsborough Street, HUB Raleigh is the first affiliate in North Carolina. Other North American cities in the network include San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta and Boulder, Colo.
  • Traffic-calming projects are designed to reduce speeding on neighborhood streets. After having completed four traffic-calming projects in the last six years, the City plans to do up to 13 traffic-calming projects per year. The City Council’s adopted 10-year Capital Improvement Program allocates a total of $2.7 million to traffic-calming efforts.

SEPTEMBER

  • The City Council unanimously allocated $250,000 for development of a schematic design for a train station that will be part of the Raleigh Union Station. The City and the North Carolina Department of Transportation will work with a private consultant to complete an architectural design for the renovation of the Dillon Viaduct building as a train station, as well as other improvements to accommodate the facility. The total cost of the schematic design is an estimated $966,000. The City share of $250,000 comes from $3 million in bond money that Raleigh voters approved for the Union Station project in 2011.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a $411,895 contract to WSP Sells for a construction administration and construction materials testing contract for the 5.7-mile Honeycutt Greenway construction project. Funding for the project comes from the 2003 and 2007 Parks and Greenway Bond referenda.
  • By a vote of six to one, the City Council approved an additional $3 million to cover a gap in funding for the Union Station project; Raleigh’s multi-modal transit center. The project includes the adaptive reuse of the Dillon Viaduct building and the construction of railroad track improvements and station platforms and concourses. The total cost of the project was projected to be approximately $60 million. In June, the City received notice that it had been awarded a $21 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation to help fund the project. The North Carolina Department of Transportation pledged matching funds of $9 million and Triangle Transit pledged an in-kind match of the building and land, conservatively estimated at $1.5 million. The City also pledged a $3 million match for construction of the station, from proceeds from the transportation bond passed by City voters in 2011.
  • A study that recommends improvements for a three-mile stretch of Blue Ridge Road was received by the City Council. The study area extends from Edwards Mill Road to Western Boulevard and includes properties on either side of Blue Ridge Road and the open space in the corridor. The study contains recommendation in three major areas: transportation, green infrastructure and development. The study provides the City of Raleigh, State of North Carolina, property owners, and residents a coordinated blueprint to guide future improvements.
  • The City of Raleigh announced that Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, had signed a five-year deal to transform Downtown’s popular open-air concert venue into the Red Hat Amphitheater. The amphitheater opened in June 2010.
  • A partnership of the City of Raleigh, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Activate Good converted the somber 11th anniversary of the terrorists’ attacks on the United States into a day of “doing good.” On September 11, volunteers participated in blood donations, food drives, disaster relief training, home improvements, education, environmental protection and much more.
  • A series of budget transfers are approved to speed the rehabilitation of Sandy Forks Road. The section of Sandy Forks between Falls of Neuse and Six Forks is in very poor condition. The estimated cost of rebuilding the road is $10 million. In order to expedite the project, the City Council approved transferring $1.5 million from the Council’s General Fund balance. The money will be used for design services. By funding the design services portion of the project, the plans will be ready should the road be included in a future transportation bond package.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane led the dedication of the City’s first adopted bus shelter. The shelter, located at 4104 Poole Road, directly in front of the City’s new Capital Area Transit facility, was adopted by the employees of Veolia Transportation, a City vendor that operates the Capital Area Transit fixed-route bus service. The City has more than 200 bus shelters. Those wishing to participate can assist in removing trash in and around the shelter on a monthly basis.
  • The Raleigh City Museum reopens as the City of Raleigh Museum. Located in the former Brigg’s Hardware Building at 220 Fayetteville Street, the museum had been closed since July as part of the transition to City management. In June the City Council authorized a five-year sub-lease that retains the museum’s current space. The City Council also authorized an agreement by which the City assumed responsibility for operations and programs of the museum. The Raleigh City Museum nonprofit, which previously operated the museum, transferred all exhibits, collections and artifacts to the City.
  • Ernest Dollar is the new director for the City of Raleigh Museum. Mr. Dollar has served for the previous five years as executive direct of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill.
  • As part of the planned redesign of Moore Square, the City of Raleigh conducted a tree investigation and inventory of the park. The work will help the City gauge how any redevelopment of Moore Square will impact the square’s popular trees.
  • The City of Raleigh hosted a visioning workshop for the Six Forks Road Corridor at the First Citizens Center on Six Forks Road. Six Forks Road is a major transportation corridor that connects to Interstate I440 beltline and is planned for future widening. The section of the corridor that is under review extends from Sandy Forks Road to I440.
  • The City Council approved the creation of the Historical and Museum Advisory Board and dissolved the Mordecai Historic Park Advisory Board.
  • The City Council authorized Capital Area Transit to move forward on implementing joint projects with Triangle Transit. One of the projects is a regional branding of transit services, including a new logo and other marketing materials.
  • The Federal Transit Administration awarded the City a grant of $1,344,000 for renovation of the Moore Square transit station, repayment of construction costs previously incurred by the City for the Capital Area Transit Operation Facility and purchase and installation of passenger amenities at various bus stops.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane welcomed Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo to Raleigh on September 21, for the announcement that the Union Station Project will receive the full $60 million in funding. The announcement was made at the site, the Viaduct Building, 510 West Martin Street.
  • The Pope House Museum officially opened for regular tours on September 29. Located at 511 South Wilmington Street, the structure has undergone a transition from private management to City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department management. The structure was built in 1901 as the home to Dr. Manassa Pope and his wife. Dr. Pope is the first medically licensed African-American doctor in North Carolina.

OCTOBER

  • The City Council approved the nominations of 22 community members to serve on the Public Leadership Group for the Chavis Park Community Conversation project. The goal of the project is to reach consensus on shared interests and identify options for additional amenities and improvements at Chavis Park.
  • The multi-year Little River Reservoir project was awarded an additional $355,000 in funding by the City Council. The funding will be used for engineering services for preparation of the required environmental impact statement, which will also consider alternatives to constructing the Little River Reservoir.
  • The City launched the Blount Street-Person Street Corridor Study. The objective of the study is to identify multi-modal transportation and streetscape design options and strategies to improve the corridors, with an emphasis on strategies that contribute to a distinct sense of place and economic development. The boundaries are 400 feet north of the intersection of Wake Forest Road at Old Louisburg Road to 800 feet south of the intersection of Hammond Road at Interstate 40.
  • The City and North Carolina State University hosted the kickoff event for “Uncovering Southwest Raleigh” at the McKimmon Center. The venture’s goal is to evaluate current and future forces affecting change, and to develop strategies to enable residents and the City to enhance and promote a healthy, creative and economically sustainable future for the district.
  • The City Council approved the renaming of the South Blount Street and Person Street Historic Overlay District the Prince Hall Historic District. In April the Council designated the area an historic overlay district. It was the first historic overlay district thus designated in 20 years. The Prince Hall Masonic Temple Building at 427 Blount Street is the source of the name. The district is comprised of 23.39 acres and is located in the general vicinity of South Person and South Blount streets between East Davie and East South streets.
  • DeVere Construction Company was selected to be the general contractor for the City of Raleigh’s Northeast Remote Operations Facility. The contract is $16.6 million for constructing the facility on 19.4 acres located at the intersection of Burwell and Spottswood streets.
  • A website was launched about the System Plan Project of the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department at www.yourparksyourfuture.com. The goal of the 16-month process is to create a sustainable plan through public participation that will shape the direction, development and delivery of the City’s parks and recreation services and facilities over the next 20 years.
  • For the past 33 years, the Wake County Council of Veterans Organizations has sponsored the North Carolina Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony. The City of Raleigh joined the council for the 2012 event. The City donated $1,500 to support the parade.
  • The City accepted public comments on a draft comprehensive pedestrian plan. The draft plan provides strategies for enhancing Raleigh’s transportation system by promoting walk ability throughout the city.

NOVEMBER

  • The City of Raleigh developed a new neighborhood planning strategy for its redevelopment areas. Proposed by the City’s Planning and Community Development departments, the new neighborhood planning strategy replaced Raleigh’s redevelopment areas with neighborhood revitalization strategy areas. The Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas will present a more comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization, moving beyond the redevelopment of houses with blighted conditions to include a broader range of neighborhood needs, including economic development. There are nine redevelopment areas in Raleigh.
  • The City Council approved the master plan for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens and authorized City staff to negotiate a contract with McNeely Associates, PA for the design and construction administration services on the park. In the spring of 2013, the City will host a meeting to give the public a chance to review the schematic design. In the spring of 2014, bidding will begin on the construction phase of the project, with the contract expected to be granted by the summer of 2014.
  • The City Council accepted the donation of two horses for the City of Raleigh Police Department’s mounted patrol. Ms. Donna Sparkman donated a five-year-old, crossbred Percheron/Quarter horse named Prince (aka Zeus) to the Mounted Patrol Unit. Ms. Kris Kamin donated a five-year-old Percheron mare, Willow, to the unit. When the horses are no longer able to perform Mounted Patrol duties, the original owners will have the opportunity to reclaim ownership. Two current equine members of the Mounted Patrol Unit, Blade and Flash, are being returned to their owners. Flash is 18 years old and has been with the Mounted Patrol for 10 years. Blade is 14 years old and has been with the Mounted Patrol for approximately six years. Blade is retiring due to a foot injury.
  • The City Council voted unanimously to authorize City staff to negotiate a design service contract with Kimley-Horn & Associates for Phase II of the Hillsborough Street roadway improvements project. Phase II will improve the street from Gardner Street to the Rosemary Street/Shepherd Street intersection, including converting it to two lanes with a raised media.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the acquisition of 27 acres directly upstream of Lake Benson. The purchase will protect approximately 2,150 feet of Buck Branch, which drains directly into the upper reaches of Lake Benson and will eliminate the previously approved construction of single-family residences on the land. The total project cost is $529,800, with $322,300 being provided by the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative. The purchase balance of $207,500 was donated by the landowner, Blackcap Properties.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Town of Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones officially dedicated the Upper Neuse Connector. The 558-foot bridge spans the Neuse River and connects the Town of Wake Forest’s Smith Creek Greenway with the City of Raleigh’s Upper Neuse River Greenway.
  • The City Council approved the staff’s reaching out to the Raleigh Development community for direction on how to streamline processes.

DECEMBER

  • The City of Raleigh sought input from the public during a four-day series of workshops on the design for the update of the Blount Street and Person Street corridors. The corridors extend from the I-40/Hammond Road interchange to the Capital Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue intersection.
  • Rifenburg Construction, Inc. was awarded a $2,957,389 construction contract for the Honeycutt Creek Greenway project. The 5.6-mile project will connect the existing East Fork Mine Creek Trail at Longstreet Drive with a paved surface continuing along East Fork Mine Creek through the Summerfield North neighborhood to Strickland Road. The trail crosses Strickland Road and proceeds through the Bent Tree neighborhood and through an existing pedestrian tunnel under I-540, through Honeycutt Park along Honeycutt Road to its intersection with Durant Road.
  • City Council authorized the City manager to execute a construction contract for $3,340,236 to DH Griffin, LLC for the construction of a 3.9-mile extension of the Walnut Creek East Greenway from Rose Lane to the Neuse River.
  • The City Council approved a $688,815 contract with Stewart Engineering for the construction administration of three greenway projects – Neuse River Trail-Horseshoe Bend, Walnut Creek East Extension and Crabtree East Extension.
  • The City of Raleigh will lease the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus from the State of North Carolina for 75 years under a lease agreement approved by the City Council on Dec. 4. The City plans to convert land on the 325-acre site into an urban park following development of a master planning process that will include citizen participation. The Council of State approved the lease agreement earlier in the day. The agreement was negotiated and recommended by Gov. Beverly Perdue and her administration. On Dec. 28 Mayor McFarlane and Gov. Perdue officially signed the lease agreement.
  • The City Council moved ahead with the proposed Critical Public Safety Facility and authorized solicitation of the Construction Manager-at-Risk for future approval for the project. The recommended phase one of the Critical Public Safety Center is approximately 95,000 square feet with a cost of approximately $69 million. The cost includes $15 million for required technology components. The facility will house the Emergency Communications Center, Emergency Operations Center and the City’s primary data center.
  • City Council Members authorized City staff to negotiate a contract with Wetherill Engineering for professional design services to determine the feasibility, design and cost estimates to retrofit bridges at six overpasses at Interstate 40 to improve pedestrian safety.
  • The City of Raleigh is the first municipality in the nation to be involved in the Apollo Program, an initiative aimed at encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles through the use of wireless charging technology. Launched by local startup company Evatran, the initiative has installed six prototype wireless charging systems with participants such as Duke Energy, Google and the Hertz Corporation.
  • District C City Council Member Eugene Weeks began his year of service as Mayor Pro Tem. Mr. Weeks succeeds At-Large City Council Member Russ Stephenson. The Mayor Pro Tem fulfills the duties of the mayor if that person is unable to do so.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane began her second year leading Raleigh’s government and her first year as the chair of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition. The coalition represents the mayors of the state’s 28 largest cities.
  • American Airlines announced it will launch daily non-stop service between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport on April 2.
  • On Dec. 28, Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Gov. Beverly Perdue signed documents leasing the State-owned Dorothea Dix property to the City of Raleigh for use as a destination park.
  • Assistant City Manager Julian Prosser wrapped up his career of public service that spanned more than 40 years, 32 with the City of Raleigh.

2013

JANUARY

  • On January 2, the City Council approved the Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan. The plan provides strategies for enhancing Raleigh’s transportation system by promoting walkability throughout the city.
  • The City Council voted 5-3 to give an additional $75,000 to the Carolina Ballet to cover a funding shortfall. The City’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget contains $250,000 for the ballet.
  • Forbes latest report on “America’s New Tech Hot Spots” ranks the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area the fifth most sizzling in the nation. The report found that Raleigh-Cary produced 6.2 percent growth in science, technology, engineering and math related jobs over the last two years.
  • Richard Florida’s study of metro regions and their supply of human capital found the Triangle with vast resources both in the center cities and the suburbs. The study, “Human Capital in Cities and Suburbs,” found that 45.9 percent of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill’s center cities held a bachelor’s degree or above. That is the nation’s highest percentage. Suburban Triangle dwellers came in eighth nationally with 34.0 percent of adults with a college degree or better.
  • On January 15, the City Council approved the selection of RK&K to perform the design services for the Sandy Forks Road widening project.
  • At the same meeting, the Council approved a budget transfer of $1.2 million for development of the proposed facility program including design alternatives, the project schedule and a cost estimate for the Downtown Remote Operations Facility. Council also authorized the City Manager to negotiate a contract amendment with Willard Ferm Architects to complete construction documents and provide for construction phase services. The Council also directed the City Manager to execute a contract for the construction manager at risk for $375,000 with Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors to provide pre-construction services sufficient to develop a guaranteed maximum price for phase 1 of the construction.
  • The City Council adopted a resolution of intent to lease the Stone’s Warehouse property, located at 500 and 512 East Davie Street and 419 South East Street, to the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, Inc. The foundation will enter into an option to assign the lease to Landmark Asset Services to develop the property as a 49-unit apartment complex geared towards artists and entrepreneurs with lower than area median incomes.
  • The City Council unanimously authorized City staff’s participation in the issuance of a request for proposals for the construction, deployment and management of the proposed self-sustaining ultra-high-speed North Carolina Next Generation Network.
  • The Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area climbed to third in the 2012 Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Index. The index ranks the nation’s 200 MSAs on how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include jobs, wages and salaries, and technology growth. Raleigh-Cary climbed 11 steps from 14th in 2011 to third in 2012.
  • The Human Life Project’s national rankings of America’s most family-friendly cities put Raleigh in first place.
  • 24/7 Wall St. placed Raleigh seventh on its list of the 10 best-run cities in America. The ranking looked at the cities’ credit rating, violent crime per 1,000 residents and unemployment rate.
  • Using several metrics, Forbes rated the nation’s 100 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas and found Raleigh was fourth on the list of America’s Fastest Growing Cities in 2012.
  • Raleigh is tenth on CIP.com’s ranking of Best Cities for IT Jobs 2013.
  • Using its 10-point transparency checklist, Sunshine Review ranked the City of Raleigh’s website the best government website in North Carolina.
  • On January 31, City Manager J. Russell Allen announced that he had named Cassandra Deck-Brown to be Raleigh’s Police Chief. She was Deputy Chief until the retirement of former Police Chief Harry Dolan, when Mr. Allen named her Interim Chief. Mr. Dolan retired October 1, 2012.

FEBRUARY

  • An annual study conducted by Texas A&M University found that the Triangle’s commuters wasted the least amount of time in traffic among the 32 U.S. metropolitan areas between 1 million and 3 million in population. Raleigh-Durham commuters wasted about 23 hours in traffic in 2011. That is five hours less than the next best metropolitan areas, Milwaukee and New Orleans.
  • On February 5, the City Council approved a design services contract not to exceed $450,000 with Stewart Cooper Newell Architects, PA for the design of Fire Station 12. The station will be built on City-owned land at the corner of Poole Road and Bus Way Drive.
  • In an attempt to best serve those who have sacrificed much for our country, the City Council approved a joint-venture rental, 10-unit housing proposal with CASA. The City will contribute $400,000 to the project to house homeless veterans.
  • On February 18, the City Council approved the Unified Development Ordinance. The new code is designed to address development trends over the next 30 to 50 years. The effective date is September 1.
  • The City of Raleigh’s state-of-the-art Transit Operations Center attained LEED Platinum certification.
  • The City Council approved a cost-sharing agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the replacement of the bridge at Trailwood Drive over Walnut Creek.

MARCH

  • The City Council voted March 5 to approve the schematic design of the two synthetic multipurpose fields to be installed at the WRAL Soccer Center. The estimated cost is $2.5 million, with $2.2 million coming from the City and the remainder from private contributions. (The fields were dedicated on August 18.)
  • Also on March 5, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing the filing of an application with the North Carolina Local Government Commission to sell up to $275 million in Combined Enterprise System Revenue Bonds. Approximately $75 million will be used to fund public utilities water and sanitary sewer system capital improvement projects. Approximately $200 million will be used to refund all or a portion of the City’s outstanding Series 2005 and Series 2006A Revenue Bonds with a lower interest rate.
  • At the same meeting, the City Council approved the schematic design for the second phase of the development of the Annie Louise Wilkerson, M.D., Nature Preserve Park.
  • During the evening portion of that same meeting, the City Council approved the schematic design for the Lake Johnson Center.
  • Forbes reported that the population of the Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area has expanded 47.8 percent since 2000, tops among the nation’s 52 metropolitan areas with a population of more than 1 million. That is more than three times the overall 12.7 percent average growth of those metro areas.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane was joined by other Wake County mayors at a press conference to voice opposition to HB150 that would limit the use of local housing appearance standards.
  • The team of Clancy & Theys Construction Company and Balfour Beatty Construction was selected to be the construction manager at risk for the Critical Public Safety Facility project. The planned $69 million facility will be constructed on a six-acre, City-owned lot at the intersection of North Raleigh Boulevard and Brentwood Road.
  • On March 19, the System Integration Plan for Barwell Road Community Park was unanimously adopted by the City Council. The plan documents existing site conditions at the 54-acre site and includes a set of guidelines for interim management of the park property.

APRIL

  • Demolition began April 1, of the former AMF Bowling Alley on Capital Boulevard. The demolition marks the first step in restoring the floodplain, improving water quality and creating a new greenway between Wake Forest Road and Crabtree Boulevard.
  • On April 2, the City Council approved a contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., to provide professional services for the Downtown Bus Facilities Master Plan. The project has two phases, one associated with the Union Station Multi-Modal Facility and the second for improvements to the Moore Square Transit Station.
  • The City Council approved a contract with Martin/Alexiou/Bryson, P.C. for engineering and design services for the installation of up to 50 miles of bicycle infrastructure improvements. The contract is for $325,000.
  • A survey of nearly 8,000 small businesses throughout the nation rated the business climates of metro areas and found Raleigh-Durham the eighth most supportive of their objectives. The categories included: overall friendliness, ease of starting a business, ease of hiring, training and firing, tax code, licensing, environmental and zoning.
  • The Raleigh-Cary area came in tied for second in a Gallup poll asking residents if they “felt comfortable walking alone in their community at night.” The poll was conducted among the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the nation. The Denver-Aurora, Colo., area tied with Raleigh-Cary with 78 percent of respondents replying “yes” to the question. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area took first place with 80 percent responding in the affirmative.
  • The City Council on April 16 unanimously approved a design services contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the planned conversion of Lenoir Street and South Street from one-way traffic to two-way. The contract totals $297,883.
  • Also on April 16, the City Council voted unanimously to select Michael Baker Engineering, Inc., to provide design services for the planned widening of Capital Boulevard. The City is considering improvements to the section of Capital Boulevard from Spring Forest Road to Old Wake Forest Road. A traffic feasibility study will be conducted to help determine the scope of the project.
  • At the same meeting the City Council awarded two contracts for sanitary sewer improvements. The first contract for $2.4 million was to Centurion Construction Company, Inc., for the Marsh Creek Interceptor Sewer Improvement project. The second contract was for professional design services with Kimley-Horn and Associates for just over $519,000 for the Upper Walnut Creek Sewer Interceptor project.
  • The City Council awarded a $1,259,600 contract to Centurion Construction Company, Inc., for the construction of the Mordecai Interpretive Center.
  • The City Council unanimously adopted a utility connection fee schedule ordinance. The ordinance combines the currently charged acreage fees and capital facilities fees into one set of fees called capital facilities fees. This will simplify determining the correct utility connection fees for new construction and redevelopment project for both developers and City staff. The new fee structure was developed through the use of the Rational Nexus Test mandated by several court cases. The average increase in the combined water and sewer connection fee for a residential connection will be $388.00
  • On April 17, the Raleigh City Council voted not to renew City Manager J. Russell Allen’s employment contract.
  • The City of Raleigh and area residents joined on April 20 to celebrate the restoration and grand re-opening of the John Chavis Carousel in its new location within John Chavis Memorial Park.

MAY

  • On May 7, the City Council awarded a construction contract to Park Construction of North Carolina, Inc., for an upgrade of the sanitary sewer system along Mango Creek between the Neuse River and Hodge Road in the Town of Knightdale. The $2.49 million project will add necessary capacity to the drainage basin to help avoid sanitary sewer overflows.
  • Also on May 7, the City Council awarded a $4.18 million contract to FSC II, LLC the Fred Smith Company for the Crabtree Creek Trail east extension project. The east extension will connect with the existing trail at Milburnie Road, extend along Crabtree Creek, and ultimately join the Neuse River Trail at Anderson Point Park.
  • Under terms of a contract amendment approved by the City Council on May 7, North Carolina State University will expand its on-campus use of reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and other non-potable uses. The amendment provides for the City to accept wastewater from the university’s remediation system for delivery to the Centennial Campus utility plant, the Hunt Library, the Oval and other on-campus sites.
  • The City Council approved a low-interest loan of $750,000 to the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation for construction of a 48-unit development for families with low to moderate incomes. Camden Glen will consist of 12 one-bedroom apartments, 28 two-bedroom units, and eight three-bedroom units at 2904 Tryon Road.
  • Governor Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane asked the General Assembly to set the effective date of the Dorothea Dix lease bill to next year to give the State of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh time to negotiate a new deal.
  • On May 21, the City Council awarded a contract not to exceed $2.7 million to Resolute Building, Inc., for the construction of Fire Station #29 on Leesville Road.
  • Also on May 21, the City Council approved the purchase of 12 contiguous parcels covering 1.71 acres for economic development. The parcels on East Hargett, South Bloodworth and East Martin streets cost $3.73 million.
  • At the same meeting, the City Council passed a resolution accepting a $27.64 million loan to finance the third of five phases to increase the hydraulic capacity of the Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plant from a maximum of 60 million gallons per day to 75 million. The loan is provided by the North Carolina Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
  • NerdWallet calculated the best cities for starting a small business and ranked Raleigh second best in the entire nation. The results were based on the following questions:
  1. Is it easy to obtain funding?
  2. How business friendly is it?
  3. Is the local economy thriving?
  4. Will hiring be easy?
  5. How affordable is it?
  • Raleigh’s highly educated population and low cost of living were touted for boosting it so highly in the ranking.
  • Raleigh-Cary is number three on Bloomberg’s ranking of America’s “boom towns.”
  • About $15.1 million of the $60 million federal contribution will be pulled from Raleigh Union Station to pay for improvements to a rail line to Charlotte, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation officials.
  • On May 23, 31-year veteran Perry James was named the interim City Manager.
  • The Capital City’s population grew by 4.8 percent during the two years from 2010 to 2012. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 population estimates, the number of people who call Raleigh home totals 423,179, an increase of 19,232 people in the two-year period. The Census puts Raleigh 42nd on the list of America’s largest cities.

JUNE

  • Raleigh City Council Member Eugene Weeks joined a delegation from the Raleigh Sister Cities Association on a visit to Xiangyang, China. During the 10-day trip, the delegation discussed a trilateral agreement between the City of Raleigh, the City of Asheville, Xiangyang and Osogbo, Nigeria, where the association plans to construct a hospital. The association received a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the project.
  • The John E. and Mary Frances Beaman House was designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark. Located at 2120 White Oak Road, the house built in 1929 is an excellent example of the Georgian Revival architecture style that was popular in and around the affluent Hayes Barton development of the 1920s.
  • Former Raleigh City Manager Lawrence P. Zachary died June 5. He was 91. Mr. Zachary came to the City of Raleigh in October 1968 as Assistant City Manager of Operations. He took the reins as City Manager in November 1973, serving in that capacity for a decade.
  • June 7-13 saw 126,000 people attend significant events in either the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts or the Red Hat Amphitheater. During that week: a dozen Wake County high schools held graduation ceremonies at the Raleigh Convention Center or the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts; the amphitheater was filled to the brim for three concerts; all while five multi-day conventions with nearly 1,200 attendees took place in the convention center. “This is one of our favorite weeks of the year,” said Roger Krupa, the director of the Downtown events campus. “These facilities are never more alive.”
  • City Council voted 5 to 3 to place a $75 million bond proposal on the fall ballot
  • On June 18, the City Council unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget. The budget does not increase property taxes, stormwater or privilege license fees. It does include an additional $13.9 million in revenue for the City’s Public Utilities’ system. The additional revenue is derived from a 14 percent sewer volumetric rate increase and a redesign of the water and sewer administrative fee to provide a portion of its capital debt service.
  • The budget increased support for the arts, raising the rate for funding from $4.50 to $5.00 per capita. The change, coupled with an increase in the City’s population, resulted in an additional $237,660 being allocated to the activities and programs administered by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission compared to the previous year.
  • The budget keeps alive the very proud Capital City tradition of providing the best municipal services at low costs. Municipal costs are annual property taxes, solid waste fees, water and sewer charges, and stormwater fees. Raleigh’s annual average is $1,543.94. The average annual municipal costs for the 11 other municipalities in Wake County is $1,758.68. That is a difference of $214.74 or more than 12 percent higher than the Raleigh annual average. The average annual municipal costs for the other Triangle municipalities outside Wake County and the state’s other largest cities is $1,751.50 or $207.56 above Raleigh’s average. That is 11.85 percent higher.
  • PC Construction Company received a bid of approximately $25.6 million for the third phase of the expansion of the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • The City Council authorized a fee of approximately $876,000 with Kimley-Horn and Associates for design services for the Hillsborough Street Phase 2.
  • The City Council approved a $749,700 contract with RK&K for design services for the Sandy Forks Road widening project.
  • The City Council agreed to address the growing needs for additional water resources by entering into a memorandum of agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fund a reallocation study of the water stored in the Falls Lake reservoir. The $450,000 study will determine whether water currently allocated to the water quality storage pool at Falls Lake can be safely reallocated to the water supply storage pool. Local demand for water is projected to exceed supply by 2040.
  • Funding for the South Saunders Street/South Wilmington Street corridor study was approved. A total of $150,000 was allocated for the study of Raleigh’s southern gateway.
  • The City Council approved adding the words “cultural resources” to make the Parks and Recreation Department the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. The title change reflects the expanded scope of the department. The department’s Cultural Resources Division includes the Arts Commission and the historic resources and museum areas.
  • The schematic design for the Southeast Raleigh Tennis Center was approved. The new state-of-the-art tennis center will be located at 3935 Barwell Road. The $5 million project will provide approximately 20 outdoor tennis courts, the first public indoor tennis court in Raleigh, a 4,000-square-foot building and other amenities on an undeveloped site of slightly less than nine acres.
  • The Raleigh City Council approved the schematic design for the expansion of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens. One highlight of the expanded gardens will be a Civil Rights Path with future educational stations offering visitors an opportunity to learn key details and history about the struggle for racial equality. Other new features will include a masonry screen wall with a memorial to local civil rights leaders.
  • The City Council updated the process used to develop traffic-calming projects. These updates are intended to improve communication about projects, speed reduction measures and improve project delivery.
  • The City of Raleigh Planning Department staff offered training labs on the regulations and procedures in the Unified Development Ordinance.

JULY

  • At its July 2 meeting, the City Council approved the purchase of two contiguous parcels of land for approximately $3.2 million. The land, approximately 40.42 acres, is located adjacent to the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant. The land will be used as a raw water reservoir. The reservoir will enhance water quality and provide storage for at least 80 million gallons. Additionally, the reservoir could help accommodate future water supply resources.
  • Raleigh’s 3.74 patent applications per 10,000 residents place it fifteenth on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Inventive Cities.
  • Due to its contract relationship with the Raleigh Business and Technology Center, the City conducted an audit of the contract that brought several financial and programmatic non-compliance issues to officials’ attention. Mayor McFarlane announced that the City took the following actions to address these concerns:
  • The City would not pursue a contract for fiscal year 2013-14 with the center.
  • The City requested the center vacate the City-owned facility at 900 S. Wilmington St. as of July 31; and,
  • The City notified tenants of the facility that they may negotiate short-term leases with the City for continuation of their current arrangements.
  • The City Council approved an increase in the Limited Repair Program annual budget and raised the maximum amounts for loans made under the program to Raleigh households with low incomes.
  • The Blount Street/Person Street Corridor Plan was approved. The corridor extends more than five miles from Capital Boulevard to Interstate 40 and includes Wake Forest and Hammond roads. It runs through industrial, residential, institutional and commercials zones. The first phase proposes road restriping that would define the two travel lanes, add bike lanes and define on-street parking. It also would convert the four-lane section of Wake Forest Road to a three-lane section with a center turn lane and add bicycle lanes. Person Street would be restored to two-way traffic.
  • The City Council approved a preservation plan to keep the four acres tucked away between Glenwood Avenue and Six Forks Road pristine. William and Mary Coker Joslin gave the land and home to the City of Oaks Foundation with the future purpose of it being a public garden. In return, the City of Raleigh will manage and program the property.
  • The City’s Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services facility was honored by the Solid Waste Association of North America. The facility was built on the site of a former landfill, saving $4 million to $7 million. Energy consumption in the facility is reduced by more than 40 percent using renewable geothermal energy, LED lighting, solar photo-voltaic panels and a web-based building control system. Recycled building materials were incorporated throughout construction of the facility and nearly 95 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The facility is LEED Platinum certified.
  • The City’s Bicycle Program produced a map. BikeRaleigh highlights existing on-road bicycle facility, Capital Area Transit routes, the Capital Area Greenway system and popular destinations.

AUGUST

  • RMF Engineering, Inc. was awarded the contract for the design and construction stages of the Critical Public Safety Facility.
  • “It’s nice to be natural when you are naturally nice” once again has proven to be Raleigh’s most fitting aphorism, for it has been rated the fifth most hospitable of America’s cities by Airbnb.
  • The City Council accepted the recommendations from a Communications Task Force to review the City’s communications efforts, and forwarded the recommendations to the City Manager for review and implementation. The recommendations are:
  • Organize City communications operations to align all communication activities across the city. The recommendation included hiring a consultant to research the information needs of City residents;
  • Define the City’s identify to create a unique face and voice to communicate. This includes crafting and clearly defining a brand identity that supports economic development and the city’s innovative culture, and designing a new logo (not a replacement for the official City Seal) that reflects 21st century Raleigh;
  • Hire a social media manager to coordinate all social media outreach and to spark conversations with residents, and to act as a bullhorn for the City;
  • Expand the role of the Raleigh Television Network to provide additional relevant programming for residents, such as programming focused on innovation, culture, arts and entrepreneurships; and,
  • Define a crisis communication plan to guide response activities during emergencies.
  • With an expression of thanks, the City Council accepted the recommendation of its Passenger Rail Task Force to transfer the panel’s remaining work assignment to the Planning Commission.
  • Throughout August, the City sought public comment on the completed study of the Western Boulevard corridor that bisects the North Carolina State University campus between Gorman Street and Ashe Avenue.
  • Forbes acknowledged its abiding admiration of Raleigh in mid-August in presenting the 15th annual list of the Best Places for Business and Careers. Referring to Raleigh as a perennial top finisher, Forbes placed the Capital City in third place, touting its educated residents due to the proximity of Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.
  • Looking for cities with below-average living costs and higher-than-average incomes, Kiplinger’s placed Raleigh fifth on its top 10 most affordable cities. Raleigh’s highest marks were for its housing costs – nearly 31 percent below the national average.

SEPTEMBER

  • The City Council approved a resolution authorizing the Police Department to submit a grant application to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more than $525,000 to fund the creation of a squad to detect and arrest impaired drivers in Raleigh.
  • The City Council also authorized City staff to negotiate a contract to develop a Transit Technology Feasibility Study. The goals of the study are to investigate the possibility of future fixed-guideway transit investments, identify opportunities for preservation of rights-of-way for future transit system needs, and to consider ways to improve local transit operations in the City.
  • The City was awarded a $5.5 million federal transportation grant to help fund Raleigh Union Station. The additional funds move the City closer to building a passenger train station in Downtown Raleigh that will enhance connectivity and spur economic growth. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is working closely with the City of Raleigh and the Federal Railroad Administration in reviewing the project’s budget status and the existing cooperative agreement with a goal of reallocating stimulus money to support the station and have it listed in the agreement as dedicated funding for Raleigh Union Station.
  • Raleigh was ranked eighth on United Van Lines’ report of the nation’s top cities to which Americans are moving.
  • On Sept. 27-28, Raleigh celebrated the 75th anniversary of historic John Chavis Memorial Park.
  • The City Council approved a budget for the contractually obligated buy back from Charter Square of the “site one” Downtown development location adjacent to City Plaza. The buy-back obligation was triggered by Charter Square’s inability to meet the Sept. 20 deadline for starting construction of a planned 11-story, mixed-use building on the property. The original construction deadline of Sept. 19, 2012 was extended by the Council. The City will pay no more than $20.275 million to reacquire the site.
  • The City Council authorized the interim City Manager to execute a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Transportation to receive a $26.5 million grant in support of Phase 1 of the Raleigh Union Station project.
  • Tens of thousands of pickers and their fans were grinning throughout Downtown Raleigh the last week of September as the Capital City hosted the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass.

OCTOBER

  • The City Council voted unanimously to seek proposals for the sale and development of the Stone’s Warehouse property at the intersection of East and Davie streets. In January, the council approved a 99-year lease for the property with Vann Joines/Landmark Group. The developers sought to rezone and redevelop the City-owned block to allow for a 49-unit apartment complex geared toward artists and entrepreneurs with lower than area median incomes. The project subsequently failed to win the $4.1 million in low–income housing tax credits, prompting the City to solicit the proposals.
  • The Council approved a grant of $5,000 to Innovate Raleigh, a partnership between the City and North Carolina State University, Wake County Economic Develop, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Wake Technical Community College, the Wake County Public School System and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. The grant is for the annual conference that brings together those intrigued by and drawn to innovation.
  • While it’s an inclusive city, speeders are not welcomed here. That’s the message of the City of Raleigh’s anti-speeding pilot campaign that launched October 1.
  • On October 4, the City Council announced the selection of Ruffin L. Hall as Raleigh’s City Manager. A native of Fayetteville, Mr. Ruffin has more than 18 years experience working in local government throughout North Carolina in a variety of high profile and high quality communities including Charlotte, Durham, Chapel Hill and Wilmington.
  • On October 8, Raleigh voters approved the $75 million bond referendum by a vote of 70 percent to 30 percent. The approval will increase the property tax rate per $100 of taxation by 1.12 cents.
  • On October 12, volunteers planted 60 trees to mark the tenth anniversary of NeighborWoods, the City’s neighborhood street-tree planting program. The occasion marked the planting of tree number 14,246.
  • The Arts Commission hosted internationally recognized arts consultant and researcher Alan Brown on October 17, for a presentation on building creative capital in cities and communities.
  • Improvements to Pineview Drive from Swift Drive to the existing curb and gutter are approved. The street improvement petition was signed by 100 percent of the adjoining property owners and assessments for the improvements will apply.
  • Wake County was ranked eighth among the top 25 high-tech hot spots in the country by the Progressive Policy Institute, an economics think tank. The study showed that having a strong technology/information sector allowed the area to come back strong from the recession.
  • The Raleigh area is the only East Coast locale to make PayScale’s top 10 best cities for high-paying jobs in the United States. Raleigh was seventh on the list.
  • Money magazine named Raleigh one of the top five places in the nation to retire.
  • Lighten Up, Raleigh! And Get Your Shine On! is the City’s bicycle and pedestrian campaign to remind citizens they have to be seen to be safe.
  • More than 100,000 revelers packed the Red Hat Amphitheater during the outdoor entertainment season. Twenty-nine shows were held in the Downtown venue from May 2 through October 5. That was an increase of more than 50 percent compared to 2012’s attendance. The amphitheater, which holds a maximum of just under 6,000 people, hosted shows from Top 40 to R&B to Indie to Bluegrass.

NOVEMBER

  • The City Council approved a proposal that will bring the review of applications and coordination of City support for public events to a newly created City of Raleigh Special Events Office.
  • The City Council created a Watershed Protection Advisory Task Force to make recommendations on watershed protection fund activities.
  • The City Council unanimously approved two proposed property acquisitions and funding for stewardship of a third property during its regular meeting on November 5.
  • Six contiguous parcels adjacent to the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant, totaling 130.44 acres, will be acquired for $1.95 million. Also approved was the donation to the City of 10 acres of wooded uplands and 1,230 linear street feet of an unnamed Little Beaverdam Creek tributary in the Saddleback Ridge area. The Triangle Greenways Council negotiated the donation of the land which is valued at $50,000. The City will provide $1,750 to fund the transaction costs and to assist in stewardship of the property. The final approval was $11,000 for the planning and stewardship elements of six healthy working forest easements, totaling 668 acres located in the Falls Lake watershed. Purchase of the easement was funded by grants received from the United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities Healthy Forests for Healthy Watersheds.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a new bicycle ordinance on November 5. The new ordinance clarifies differences between a bicycle and motor vehicles, and defines the streets and facilities that may be used by bicyclists.
  • The City broke ground on November 7 for its Downtown Remote Operations Facility, located at 2556 Westinghouse Boulevard. The new facilities will free up the decades-old, over-crowded facilities on Peace and West streets.
  • On November 19, the City Council approved a$169,497 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. for the Lake Wheeler Road stream restoration project.
  • The City of Raleigh, the City of Durham and Durham County jointly acquired 134 acres to be used for watershed protection for Falls Lake and as an active-use park. Raleigh’s share of the $2.3 million acquisition was $250,000.

DECEMBER

  • Ballroom A of the Raleigh Convention Center was the setting for the December 2 swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Mayor and City Council. The ceremony marked Nancy McFarlane’s second term as Mayor and the 35th Raleigh City Council under the council/manager form of government. This was the 21st City Council under the district system, with direct election of the Mayor.
  • Three architecturally significant houses were granted Raleigh Historic landmark designation by the City Council on December 3. They are: the 1923 one-story frame Anderson House at 1201 park Drive; the Holleman House, 311 Calvin Road, an intact example of the Sears Americas foursquare kit house that gained popularly in the early twentieth-century Raleigh suburbs; and, the 1875 two-story weather-boarded Merrimon-Wynne House at 500 N. Blount Street. This residence serves as a local example of the Italianate residential style.
  • In early December the City of Oaks Foundation made two announcements that bode well for Raleigh’s future. The foundation presented a $25,000 award to the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. The award is to be used to sponsor need-based scholarships for children to participate in City-conducted summer camps and nature programs.
  • The foundation’s second announcement was a land conservation easement agreement with Bob Kellam and Susan Wyatt that will preserve their 58-acre farm in east Raleigh as a wildlife sanctuary and center for agricultural and environmental education. The conservation easement donation is appraised at $3.19 million.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a temporary food distribution facility near Moore Square to serve the needy. Following a series of community meetings that began in September, the City’s Food Distribution Task Force studied alternatives to food distribution in Moore Square and unanimously determined the best option was to use a vacant warehouse as a temporary food distribution facility.
  • Ground was broken December 3 for the Raleigh Police Memorial – a long-standing promise made by Raleigh Police Department veterans to honor and keep the memory sacred of the officers who make the ultimate sacrifice serving Raleigh. The ceremony was held at the entrance to the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex at 222 W. Hargett St., where the memorial is being installed.
  • The City Council approved a $2.1 million loan to DHIC to purchase the Washington Terrace apartments located at 1951 booker Drive.
  • The replacement of the failing dam and spillway at Lower Longview Lake was approved. Completion of the project will reopen to vehicular traffic the section of Albemarle Avenue that runs across the bridge. This section has been closed to traffic since 2009 due to the deterioration of the dam. The $2.50 million project will upgrade the capacity of the dam and spillway to meet the State of North Carolina standards.
  • The cost for the design of improvements to three pedestrian bridges providing access across Interstate 40 was approved by the City Council. The three bridges were selected based on pedestrian demand and funds available under a previously approved Federal Surface Transportation Program-Direct Apportionment/Planning grant. The three pedestrian bridges are: Buck Jones Road South of I-40 to Farm Gate Road; Avent Ferry Road south of Mistiflower Drive to 400 feet north of I-40; and, Rock Quarry Road south of I-40 to north of I-40. The design of improvements will total more than $1.94 million.
  • The City Council established the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee comprised of 22 members and five alternates. The committee will serve as advisors in support of the new Downtown Plan. A kick-off event will be held during the first three months of 2014, at which the members will be instructed in their roles in developing a strategy for further sustained improvements to Downtown Raleigh.
  • A contract was approved for the construction of the second phase of renovation planned for the Annie Louise Wilkerson, M.D., Nature Preserve Park. The contract for approximately $2 million was awarded to Daniels and Daniels Construction Co., Inc. The second phase includes the renovation of Dr. Wilkerson’s former home into an education center. Dr. Wilkerson gave the 157 acres in the extreme northern section of Raleigh upon her death in 2004 with the stipulation that it be maintained as a “nature preserve park” used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education.
  • Raleigh residents looking to make small improvement to their community gained a new funding option with the City’s two pilot projects using a “crowd funding” model of financing. The pilot launched December 9 with the goal of raising funds for two projects solely through small donations from residents. The City partnered with the City of Oaks Foundation on both projects, with donations being requested through December 31.
  • The first project is the purchase, installation and maintenance of decorative bicycle racks. The second project is the purchase, installation and maintenance of benches along the most popular sections of the new, 28-mile Neuse River Greenway.
  • The City of Raleigh contracted with the Triangle Transit Authority in mid-December to provide additional bus service for the Zebulon-Wendell-Downtown Raleigh route and to initiate an express route from Johnston County to Downtown Raleigh. The expanded service is designed to alleviate the clogged traffic that will result from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s multi-year Fortify Raleigh project that will make necessary improvements to an 11.5-mile stretch of Interstate 40 and Interstate 440. The new services are being paid by NCDOT.
  • Raleigh’s 7.4 percent increase in “workers in their prime” between 2007 and 2012 was the fourth largest rise in the nation, according to a study by demographer Wendell Cox. Forbes.com reported the study’s findings.

2014

JANUARY

  • The sale of the southern portion of the Charter Square site to Dominion Realty for $6.3 million was approved. Dominion’s plans for the site include construction of a 230,000-square-foot office building. Dominion also is acquiring an option to purchase the northern portion of the site for up to two years following construction of the proposed office tower. Charter Square is adjacent to City Plaza in Downtown Raleigh.
  • Sasaki Associates, Inc. was chosen as the consultant to lead the Downtown Plan.
  • Fred Smith Company II, LLC was approved to build the 0.81 acre Horseshoe Bend section of the Neuse River Greenway Trail for a contract totaling $819,950. Horseshoe Bend is the last remaining section of the Neuse River Greenway Trail to be constructed.
  • The City contracted with the consulting firm Design Workshop to lead the Six Forks Road Corridor Study. The study is to determine what is needed to make the corridor more transit, pedestrian and bike friendly. The study area extends from the Interstate 440 interchange to the Lynn Road intersection.
  • NerdWallet issued its listing of the 10 best American cities for job seekers. Raleigh earned the sixth spot on the list.
  • A $5.56 million contract for widening and other improvements to 5,800 linear feet of Leesville Road was awarded to DeVere Construction Company. The project will widen Leesville Road from Interstate 540 to New Leesville Boulevard.
  • The LEED Platinum certification and the unveiling of the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility were celebrated January 25.
  • Recent surveys and studies found Raleigh to be among America’s most friendly environments for small business and one of the nation’s new “opportunity cities” according to Rocket Lawyer’s Semi-Annual Small Business Index.

FEBRUARY

  • Wetherill Engineering was awarded a $302,648 contract for engineering design services for the Interstate 40 bridge pedestrian retrofits improvement project. The project will improve pedestrian retrofits on three bridges at Interstate 40 at Buck Jones Road, Avent Ferry Road and Rock Quarry Road.
  • Clancy and Theys/Skanska, a joint venture, was selected as the construction manager at risk for the first phase of the Raleigh Union Station project.
  • After 20 years, the City of Raleigh and Hanson Aggregates reached a settlement. The case focused on Hanson’s quarry operations at 5001 Duraleigh Road in northwest Raleigh. The comprehensive settlement is especially beneficial to both the City of Raleigh and homeowners near Hanson’s quarry. Under the terms of the agreement, the City immediately obtained temporary and permanent easements from Hanson to connect Crabtree Creek Greenway with nearby Umstead State Park.
  • Subfreezing temps and a night of rain and sleet on top of February 12’s freaky fast enveloping blizzard keep the Triangle largely shut through Valentine’s Day. (Conditions were so extreme that the Duke/ UNC basketball game was postponed.)
  • A winning combination of characteristics garnered Raleigh second place in Forbes’ 2014 poll of America’s 20 fastest-growing cities. The 2013 jobs growth rate of 2.44 percent and population increase of 2.15 percent pushed Raleigh past all other American cities except Austin.
  • The City increased the reward offered for reporting illicit discharges into its sanitary sewer system from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • The City approved the sale of 0.52 acre on South Salisbury Street, between South and Lenoir streets, to Raleigh-based Summit Hospitality Group, Ltd. Approval of the $1.73 million deal will result in the construction of an 11-story Marriott Residence Inn.
  • Barnhill Contracting Company was approved as the construction manager at risk for the $8.9 million Abbotts Creek Park project.
  • On February 19, Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced that Raleigh is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra-high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city.
  • The City Council authorized an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for proposed improvement along Tryon Road from Par Drive to South Wilmington Street. The total estimated cost of the project is approximately $7.1 million, with the City’s share to be $1.8 million. The improvements along the approximately 1.1-mile stretch of road include replacing the bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, realigning Tryon Road through the Renaissance Park development and widening existing portions to four lanes.
  • A public information session on the planning and design of the Raleigh Union Station was held February 27 at CAM Raleigh.
  • The recipients of the City of Raleigh Human Relations Commission’s annual awards are: Madison G. Dunn for her involvement in the community; Community Success Initiative, Inc. for helping men and women transition to contributing members of society; Randy Light for his unwavering dedication to the battle to defeat AIDS and champion its victims; and, Triangle Family Services for its steadfast service to Raleigh’s families for 76 years.
  • Michele Grant ended her 35-year career with the City of Raleigh on February 28. She was the City’s first housing planner and retired as its Community Development director.

MARCH

  • March 4, the City Council held its first work session prior to the start of the regularly scheduled daytime council meetings.
    Barnhill Contracting received the City’s $4.40 million annual street resurfacing contract. The contract calls for resurfacing 20.3 miles of 115 streets. The City maintains 1050 miles of streets.
  • There was a time America’s most desirable cities were also its most expensive in which to live. According to a survey by Cheapism.com, that is “so 20th century.” Using the metrics of: the Cost of Living Index; income; unemployment rate; state income tax and combined sales tax, Cheapism.com found the U.S.’s six most affordable, fast growing cities and Raleigh was among them.
  • The City Council approved Raleigh’s participation in a pilot open data program with five other municipalities.
  • The City unveiled an upgraded open data website at https://data.raleighnc.gov.
  • Centurion Construction Company Inc. was awarded the $3.6 million Northshore Lake and Dam Rehabilitation Project.
  • The City accepted a $35,000 donation from the Midtown Raleigh Alliance to help fund the Six Forks Road Corridor Study. The consulting firm Design Workshop was selected to conduct the study at a cost of $185,000. The study is to create a long-term vision for the area between Interstate 440 and Lynn Road.
  • The City solicited public comment through an online survey concerning the plans for new and renovated Downtown transit facilities.
  • “Great cities don’t just happen. They must be cultivated and designed. Raleigh is in great shape today because of the leadership of the past. To continue to prosper, Raleigh must follow a thoughtful design.” That was the synopsis of Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s state-of-the-City address, delivered March 24 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
  • The City’s Office of Economic Development compiled the Small Business Resource Guide to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.
  • Planned improvements to the Blue Ridge Road corridor such as sidewalks, trails and other amenities to make the area more pedestrian and bicycle friendly also will improve the health of the community, according to the Blue Ridge Road Corridor Health Impact Assessment.
  • A compelling aspect of the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate that North Carolina’s population moved passed 9.8 million is that two areas in Tarheelia are fueling the growth – Metrolina and the Triangle. Charlotte and the Triangle accounted for 67 percent of the state’s population growth over the years that have elapsed since the 2010 decennial census. The Triangle grew by 7 percent over the past three years, adding 114,200 new residents.
  • Sister Cities of Raleigh played host to a delegation of government officials from Raleigh’s Sister City Xiangyang, China on March 28. The officials met with local business and government leaders to discuss potential substantive collaborations between Raleigh and China.

APRIL

  • The City Council, the Wake County Public School Board and Wake County approved the agreement for Abbotts Creek Park and Elementary School project.
  • The City Council signed an interlocal agreement with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization for a corridor study that will evaluate the transportation network along the North Carolina Railroad Company corridor between North East Maynard Road in Cary and Gorman Street in Raleigh. Raleigh’s share of the $520,000 project was $120,000.
  • The preconstruction services contract for the Union Station project, totaling $200,157 was awarded to Clancy and Theys/Skanska Joint Venture.
  • Precision Safe Sidewalks was awarded a $2.10 million contract to conduct a survey of sidewalks and provide for the removal of trip hazards throughout Raleigh.
  • Lord Aeck Sargent was awarded the contract to create the Cameron Village Vicinity Plan. The study area included Cameron Village Shopping Center, the Cameron Village neighborhood, Oberlin Village, Broughton High School, and parts of the Cameron Park and University Park neighborhoods.
  • The City Council authorized staff to proceed with designs for a traffic-calming project on Milburnie Road from Raleigh Boulevard to Chatham Lane.
  • Raleigh celebrated the completion of the Walnut Creek Greenway Trail Extension Project. With the completion of the 4.5-mile section from Rose Lane to the Neuse River Trail, the Walnut Creek Trail extends more than 15 miles across southern Raleigh.
  • When international accounting firm KPMG compared the U.S. metropolitan areas with populations between 1 and 2 million, it found Raleigh to have the fourth-most business cost-friendly characteristics.
  • A whopping 91.4 percent of Raleigh-Cary residents surveyed replied that they were satisfied with the area, which ranked 14th nationally.
  • The Cultural Planning Group was authorized to help lead the City through the creation of the Raleigh Arts Plan.
  • The City Council authorized the City Manager and the City Attorney to execute a master network development agreement between the City of Raleigh and AT&T. The proposed agreement is the result of the request for proposals (RFP) released by the Triangle J Council of Governments for the North Carolina Next Generation Network. The RFP invited one or more private companies to build and operate next-generation networks in six communities – Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, along with university partners Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University/Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
  • The City Council approved low-interest loans to two affordable rental housing projects for elderly residents with low incomes. Approved was $950,000 for Brighton Pointe Phase II and $800,000 for Wakefield Spring. The two projects will provide 168 affordable rental housing units.
  • The City of Raleigh recognized individuals and organizations committed to preserving and improving the environment with the seventh annual Environmental Awards celebration April 22 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
  • Since 2009, the Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation worked to make a long-standing promise a reality – to honor and keep the memory sacred of the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice serving Raleigh. That promise was fulfilled in the dedication of the Raleigh Police Memorial on April 25 at the entrance to the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.
  • Forbes not only gave Raleigh top billing as the best place in America to raise a family, it gave several reasons why the Oak City is the darling of the “best of” lists, not only for Forbes but other publications as well. It cited: median household income; cost of living; housing affordability; percentage of home owners; average commuting delays; and local school quality.

MAY

  • The City Council voted unanimously May 6 to adopt a new System Plan for the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, concluding a 16-month comprehensive process that included multiple public input sessions.
  • The City Council approved the design of the pedestrian improvement to Six Forks Road from Coleridge Drive to Wake Forest Road.
  • When Forbes.com looked at American cities’ percentage increase in the number of college graduates it attracted as residents between 2007 and 2012, it found San Antonio and New Orleans were the biggest gainers at 20.3 percent. Raleigh welcomed 45,546 during that period, earning the Oak City the tenth spot on the “New Brain Power” list. The figure of newly minted scholars was a 14.0 percent increase for Raleigh
  • The City of Raleigh opened the Northeast Outreach Center in the Mini City shopping center.
  • The Police Department announced that it would offer free classes on safe motorcycle operation in June, July, August, September, October and November.
  • The International Bluegrass Music Association announced May 13 that its World of Bluegrass would stay in Raleigh through 2018. “We want IBMA and the bluegrass community to put its roots down in Raleigh to stay,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said in announcing the extension from the stage of the Red Hat Amphitheater.
  • The City Council approved the revised master plan for John Chavis Memorial Park.
  • The Fred Smith Company was awarded a $1.86 million contract for phase one construction of the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve.
  • The City Council approved the rezoning of approximately 15.37 acres south of Hillsborough Street at the west end of Myra Road, adjacent to Interstate 40. The approved change was from Office and Institution Two Conditional Use to Residential Mixed Use – Four Stories – Conditional Use.
  • The City held six Downtown Plan visioning sessions in May.

JUNE

  • The City Council appointed 11 members to a newly established task force charged with reviewing the City’s window signage ordinance and procedures, and recommending any changes to the Council. Later in the summer, the Council referred vehicle signs to the task force as well.
  • The City Council expanded the scope of the Cameron Village Vicinity Plan to include Hillsborough Street.
  • The Hillsborough Street Municipal Service District was reauthorized by the City Council.
  • Mayor Nancy McFarlane welcomed officials from Raleigh’s French Sister City on June 6, the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
  • The repairs to the O’Rorke-Catholic Cemetery from the damage wrought by the April 2011 tornado are completed.
  • After several years of deferring needs due to the Great Recession, the Raleigh City Council approved the City budget for Fiscal Year 2015 that reinvests in Raleigh.
  • Included in the new fiscal year’s budget is a support program for entrepreneurial start-up businesses locating in the Oak City.
  • The Mordecai Historic Park Visitors Center is dedicated on June 18.
  • The two-way traffic design for Lenoir and South streets was approved.

JULY

  • The City Council approved the recommended alternative at Peace Street and Wade Avenue, as presented by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the proposed bridge replacement along Capital Boulevard.
  • St. Matthews School, 5410 Louisburg Road and The Mecca, 13 East Martin Street became Raleigh’s 155th and 156th historic landmarks.
  • Raleigh’s Independence Day celebration kicked off at noon and roared non-stop until 11 p.m. Downtown reveled in American freedom with 20 bands playing three stages, fun-for-all events, fabulous food, art for sale and eating contests all culminating in fireworks.
  • On July 10, the City broke ground on the communications center on North Raleigh Boulevard. The 95,000-square-foot, four-story $71 million building will house the: Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center; the City of Raleigh Emergency Operations Center; the City of Raleigh Traffic Control Center; and, the City of Raleigh Data Center.
  • The design for the widening of Sandy Forks Road was approved. The road will be widened from Six Forks to Falls of Neuse roads. The project will be submitted as a "greenroad" program, with the goal of promoting sustainable infrastructure design solutions on transportation projects.
  • For the fourth time in eight years, Forbes Magazine crowned the Capital City the best place for business and careers. Raleigh is the only East Coast city to make the list’s top 10.
  • City Manager Ruffin Hall announced his senior management team on July 21. They are: James Simpson Greene, Jr., former Deputy Manager of the City of Concord, who serves as Raleigh’s Assistant City Manager for Economic Development; Hamlet’s former City Manager Marchell Adams David, who was named Assistant City Manager for Community; Tansy D. Hayward, who serves as Assistant City Manager for Services and came from Tacoma, Wash., where she served as an Assistant City Manager; and Louis Buonpane, a 16-year City of Raleigh veteran who began serving as Chief of Staff on July 1. The Assistant City Managers began working for the City of Raleigh in August.
  • Assistant City Manager Dan Howe concluded his 29-year career on July 31.

AUGUST

  • The City of Raleigh, Wake County and other local government agencies agreed to jointly hire a consultant to update the Wake County Transit Plan. The Capital City allocated $50,000 to the project.
  • On August 5, the City Council got a peek into the future of the Moore Square Transit Station. Schematic design plans for a renovated transit station that would increase capacity and enhance amenities for transit passengers were presented at the council meeting.
  • The City Council approved a $49.43 million guaranteed maximum price contract with Clancy & Theys/Balfour Beatty, Joint Venture for completion of phase two of the construction of the City’s communication facility.
  • The City used grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance program and budgeted dollars from the City’s Stormwater Utility fund to purchase seven structures that had experienced multiple flood-related losses over the years. The FEMA program provides funds for projects to reduce or eliminate the risk of flood damage to buildings that are insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Wake County’s population surpassed 1 million.
  • To find out which cities offer the best prospects for professionals aged 24 to 34 who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, Forbes analyzed the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Raleigh captured the second spot nationally.

SEPTEMBER

  • NeighborWoods, Raleigh’s only source of residential street trees, turned 10. This year the program delivered its 15,000th tree.
  • On September 2, City Council Member Thomas Crowder issued a statement regarding the battle he had been waging with cancer for more than a year. His statement revealed that all options for a cure had been exhausted. He asked Council Members to appoint his wife to complete his term of office when his health forced him to resign from representing the residents of District D. In response, Council Member John Odom resigned the position of Mayor Pro Tem and made a motion that Mr. Crowder be named to the office by acclamation. The Council Members were unanimous in their consent of the motion. On September 16, the Council Members voted unanimously to allow Mr. Crowder’s wife, Kay, to serve out his term of office if he is unable.
  • The City provided a business incentives grant to Xellia Pharmaceuticals for the expansion of its manufacturing facility on Capital Boulevard. The grant requires the company to create 40 permanent full-time jobs within the next five years with average annual salaries of $45,000 to $70,000, plus the retention of 90 existing jobs.
  • Eight projects received Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance. The awards recognize outstanding new contributions to the character and appearance of Raleigh. The 2014 winners include: North Carolina State University (NCSU) Department of Architecture Design + Build Studio for the Artists’ Backyard on the NCSU campus; FMW Real Estate and New City Design Group for their residential project at 2604 Hillsborough Street; the Merrimon-Wynne House; the Raleigh Police Memorial; the Person Street Partnership; the City of Raleigh’s Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center; the Wander Box; and Midtown Park.
  • Two design workshops were held on the Six Forks Road Corridor Study.
  • The City hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of extensive repairs to Mount Hope Cemetery. The April 2011 tornado ruined headstones and uprooted trees throughout the historic cemetery.
  • The last of the information sessions on the future Raleigh Union Station was held September 9 at the Contemporary Art Museum. The design team presented a large physical model of the proposed building and grounds. Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in early 2015.
  • As the sun set on Downtown Raleigh on the 13th anniversary of the terrorists attacks on New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., a celebration broke out at the Red Hat Amphitheater, which was filled with Raleigh’s 9/11 Day of Service volunteers. For the third year the volunteers were coordinated by Activate Good and directed their talents to more than 60 projects.
  • Being family friendly is the “hippest” thing to be for American cities wanting a robust future, according to Forbes.com. The changes in the number of residents aged five to 14 since 2000 were examined in the nation’s 52 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Raleigh’s 55.7 percent growth in that age group was the nation’s tops.
    The Raleigh Historic Development Commission conducted two public reviews of the current design guidelines used by the City of Raleigh when reviewing proposed new construction in, and additions to, historic districts.
  • Stewart, Inc. was awarded the design services contract for the $490,935 Crabtree Creek West Greenway.
  • Scotia Construction, Inc. was awarded the $490,000 contract for the renovations of the old Capital Area Transit Facility on South Blount Street. The facility will house the joint City of Raleigh Accessible Raleigh Transportation Program/Wake County Shared Mobility Management Operations.
  • WalletHub went in search of the most and least educated towns in America. It found Raleigh to be the nation’s second-most educated. Durham was America’s third most.
  • The City acquired land on Harden Road for the relocation and replacement of Fire Station 14, which currently is on a 0.71-acre on Lake Boone Trail.
  • On September 24, Mayor Pro Tem Thomas Crowder resigned his seat on the City Council due to his failing health. Immediately following Mr. Crowder’s resignation, his wife, Kay, was sworn in to office and assumed her husband’s duties representing District D.

OCTOBER

  • Larry M. Jarvis was named the City of Raleigh’s director of the new Housing and Neighborhoods Department.
  • The Raleigh City Council approved GO Raleigh, a new branding and naming convention for Capital Area Transit (CAT). Other Triangle systems buses will be labeled GO Durham, GO Cary, GO Triangle and GO Chapel Hill. The new name and paint design will demonstrate connectivity while still allowing for local flavor and identity.
  • The City of Raleigh celebrated the 25th anniversary of its recycling program.
  • The City hosted a public open house and presentation on the East Cabarrus Green Street Project. The public input helped determine the scope of the project. The City has begun work on a draft streetscape plan for the East Cabarrus Green Street Project.
  • The Atwater-Perry House gained the distinction of being Raleigh’s 157th Historic Landmark.
  • On October 7, Raleigh City Council District B’s John Odom was unanimously approved to serve as Mayor Pro Tem.
  • Citrix held the grand opening of its office in the Warehouse District of Downtown Raleigh on October 9.
  • The City Council approved an interlocal agreement with Johnston County for future water resource planning. Both use the Neuse River as a primary water supply and both entities are actively planning for water resource needs. The goal is to identify sources capable of reliably supplying enough raw water to make the mutual pursuit of supply development favorable for both the City of Raleigh and Johnston County.
  • The City Council endorsed a proposed process to receive outside stakeholder input on a draft work plan for advancing the use of green infrastructure and low-impact development in Raleigh. The stakeholder process is expected to be completed and recommendations presented to Council in early 2015.
  • Long-time District D City Council representative Thomas Crowder died October 14. Mr. Crowder was in his fourth two-year term. At his request, his seat representing southwest Raleigh was filled by his wife, Kay, upon his resignation.
  • On October 20, the City of Raleigh launched Next Century Cities, a bipartisan, city-to-city initiative dedicated to ensuring the availability of next-generation broadband Internet for all communities.
  • Capital Area Transit provided 73,556 passenger trips on its State Fair shuttle. Ridership on the North Raleigh Line increased more than 12 percent.
  • The City of Raleigh Arts Commission selected five individuals – Marta Findlay-Partridge, George Holt, Terrence Mann, and Thomas and June Roberg – and two organizations – Ruggero Piano and Arts Together – to receive the 2014 Raleigh Medal of Arts.

NOVEMBER

  • Raleigh residents overwhelmingly approved a $91.775 million bond issue for parks and recreational facilities by 68 percent to 32 percent.
  • The City Council authorized an initiative to further reduce waste in the City by forming a task force which will make recommendations to the City Council and staff on waste reduction goals, potential guiding principles and implementation strategies.
  • The City Council approved an ordinance that established the Glenwood South Hospitality District for a one-year pilot. The pilot is an attempt to address concerns that the outdoor amplification noise permits adversely impact surrounding residences. The ordinance provides clarity and specifics for outdoor noise levels.
  • The design phase of the bicycle pavement marking project was completed in early November.
  • With more than 100 miles making up more than 28 trails, the Capital Area Greenway system is one of the jewels of the City of Raleigh’s parks system. To continue to serve as a highly functional, multi-use, recreation and transportation trail network, as well as an environmental conservation tool, City staff developed a planning and design guide for future development.
  • Raleigh racked up two more accolades – top 10 among U.S. cities for veterans (WalletHub) and second-best American city to find a job (Forbes.com).
  • The area between North Carolina State University and downtown Cary continues to attract residential, commercial, and institutional development. Due to projected increases in road and rail traffic, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization partnered with the City of Raleigh, the Town of Cary, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Triangle Transit, the North Carolina Railroad, and the Norfolk Southern Railroad to study land uses and mobility at railroad crossings between N.E. Maynard Road in Cary and Gorman Street in Raleigh.
  • On November 18, Council approved the master plan for the Sierra/Lineberry Drive Park and the Wooten Meadow Park, adopted a System Integration Plan, received the Situational Assessment, and appointed the citizen planning committee for the 2.42-acre southwest Raleigh park’s master planning process.
  • A consultant team led by JDavis Architects will be paid $293,745 to provide professional services for the City’s Southern Gateway Corridor Study. The focus area is along South Saunders and South Wilmington streets that are south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, east of Lake Wheeler Road to Interstate 440 and west of the rail corridor that parallels South Wilmington Street.
  • Public Work Director Carl Dawson ended his career of nearly 40 years of public service, retiring in late November.

DECEMBER

  • Barry Furey, Director of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center retired on December 1.The City Council approved a $244,981 contract with Clearscapes, P.A. for the strategic implementation phase of improvements to John Chavis Memorial Park.
  • The Garland Scott and Toler Moore Tucker House was named Raleigh’s 157th historic landmark.
  • The City Council voted unanimously on December 2 to partner with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance on funding a new Downtown hotel market feasibility study. The City contributed $20,000 toward the $55,000 study.
  • The final design, permitting and the bidding phase of a construction project that will provide sidewalks on both sides of Capital Boulevard from Spring Forest Road to Old Wake Forest Road was approved by the City Council.
  • The widening of Mitchell Mill Road between Louisburg Road and Forestville Road got the green light.
  • The playground at Roberts Park was renovated for the first time in 23 years and on December 6 the community rejoiced in the $157,500 in improvements.
  • Wake County launched its quest for a new transit plan December 8 with a public meeting in the Raleigh Convention Center. The finished plan will be evaluated by Wake County, Triangle Transit and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which includes representatives from every municipality in Wake County. The process is estimated to take seven months.
  • Former Raleigh City Council Member Mary Watson Nooe died December 14.

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