Midtown - St. Albans Small Area Plan
Midtown Raleigh is a rapidly emerging district, serving as a nationally-recognized example of a suburban place retrofitted and redeveloped as a walkable urban center. The transformation began in 2003 with the redevelopment of an aging enclosed mall and strip center into a mixed-use development featuring retail, hotel, office, and residential. In recent years, the expansion of North Hills on the east side of Six Forks Road has continued the area’s evolution. More changes are expected in the coming years, including millions of square feet of new development.
St. Albans Drive currently serves as a transition line between the existing and proposed mixed-use development to the south and older, primarily residential, areas to its north.
As places evolve, the questions and challenges to be addressed evolve as well. In the Midtown-St. Albans area, many of these questions now involve transportation demand created by current and future development.
The St. Albans Drive area is poised to see significant change as this part of Raleigh continues to grow and transform. Neighborhood streets that connect into St. Albans could see traffic spillover from increased trips to and from the area.
More broadly, while an interstate highway and several arterial streets serve the Midtown area, it does not have the type of connectivity found downtown, creating a set of transportation challenges. Traffic is concentrated on a few heavily-travelled streets, bus service is slow, and safe and comfortable options for people walking or biking are few, particularly across I-440.
The study area is adjacent to two other current area plan efforts. The Six Forks Corridor Study is considering the transportation and land use along that corridor. The Capital Boulevard North Corridor Study, which will take place along the same timeline as the Midtown-St. Albans plan, is looking at transportation and land use along the portion of Capital Boulevard between the Beltline and I-540.
The Raleigh Department of City Planning is set to initiate a planning effort focused on addressing these questions. The study, which will also involve urban design and land use analysis in portions of the area, is set to begin in early 2018.