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'It'll be a brand new street': Downtown Cary undergoing $8M renovation

Posted September 4, 2015

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— Downtown Cary is undergoing a renaissance. The Cary Arts Center opened four years ago. The town opened the renovated Cary Theater last year. And now, it's working to remake one of downtown's signature streets. But that progress comes at a cost.

Academy Street’s new look will be pedestrian friendly and support more outdoor events and festivals. The new, $8 million streetscape will also connect a future downtown park with the arts center. But right now, it's a mess for businesses and residents.

“We are, unfortunately, right now in what I call a mini war zone,” said Tammy Harper, who owns Belle, a restaurant in the heart of the work zone.

Business has been off this summer as crews work on the major streetscape project. Kyle Hubert, the Town of Cary’s transportation engineering supervisor, says most people have been understanding.

“The sentiment is that there will be some challenges, but people are really excited about the end product and looking forward to that,” he said. “It'll be a brand new street.”

Harper agrees. She says the town is keeping her up to date, and the end result will bring more traffic to her end of the street. Until then, Harper is stepping up advertising and spreading the word that, despite the mess outside, Belle is open for business.

“If you find that you don't want to tackle the big trucks, park some place and we'll come get you,” she said.

The project should be finished next summer. For more information on parking and to get construction updates, visit the Town of Cary’s website.

Rendering of Academy Street in downtown Cary


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  • Mark Neill Sep 8, 2015
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    Yeah, Academy Street in downtown Cary, and Fayetteville street in downtown Raleigh, are like, totally the same sort of thing.

    I mean, Fayetteville street has the ABC11 TV studio, and the courthouse, and some restaurants that aren't in the Glenwood South district. Totally destination places for people to come and visit and spend money. Academy Street is just where the actual center of downtown Cary is, and the library, and The Cary movie theater, and Ashworth, and the entire downtown Cary improvement district is.

    It would be one thing if Raleigh had done this with Glenwood, but it's not even the same thing.

  • Dean Logan Sep 4, 2015
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    You know, cause turning Fayetteville Street into a walking mall worked so well for Raleigh.