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Business district approved for Hillsborough Street

Posted July 15, 2008

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— The City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution creating a Business Improvement District along Hillsborough Street.

The district would stretch from St. Mary's Street near downtown to Meredith College near the Interstate 440 Beltline.

Proponents said the district, which is expected to be operational by next year, could help revitalize the area and guide business owners to programs like Raleigh's façade-rehabilitation grant program.

The program is designed to create a partnership with property owners to improve the outside appearance of older buildings by matching up to $10,000 for the cost of exterior renovations. About 30 businesses downtown have tapped the grant program, but no merchants along Hillsborough Street have taken advantage of it.


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  • jtp755 Jul 16, 2008

    I would love to see Hillsbourgh Street updated. I live around there and it would be great. I dont think the traffic can get much worse after 6pm when people start parking on the sides but its still pretty easy to get through there. I heard some stuff about the roundabouts but i guess they are on hold now?? The area has so much potential...i just hope everyone will jump on board and fix it up!

  • ncwebguy Jul 16, 2008

    There is a lot of *through* traffic, but very little traffic going *to* the businesses on the street. Similar to 64 and the bypass in Knightdale, business will pick up when it is easier to get around. The city should have better east/west options other than Wade Ave. and Western Blvd. But it was all too happy to take the tax revenue generated by State students and spend next to none of it on the area surrounding campus, sending all the money to North Raleigh instead.

    The area could be a nice district, like 9th street in Durham, Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, or the Georgetown area of D.C. *if* the city treats it with the respect it deserves.

    All the benefits of the money spent in the 80s was lost due to the hands off approach employed by mayors Fetzer and Coble in the 90s.

    New business have already opened in anticipation of the improvements -- Red Hot and Blue and Locopops. Porters is nice, and living and business spaces on/near Hillsborough west of UT are in review.

  • ncwebguy Jul 16, 2008

    Looking at that stretch of Hillsborough Street today, it looks like nothing has ever been done there. But that isn't true.

    In the 70s, before the drinking age was raised, it was packed with college students, including Hillsborough Square, a series of bars where Red Hot and Blue and Players Retreat are now. When the drinking age was raised, college student's couldn't go, and just old enough military types drove up, drank, and started fights with just about anyone.

    Residents wanted to "improve" the area, so NC State bought the property across from the chancellor's house and tore a lot of it down, turning it into a parking lot. The "adult" movie theater was turned into a "themed" McDonalds that was going to show movies and offer popcorn.

    But that wasn't enough for the neighbors to the north. They pressed city council to revoke the ABC permits of the few remaining bars on the street, on-street parking, and pulled police and other services.

  • monkeyboy Jul 16, 2008

    help create more traffic? you can't possibly be serious. that street has a ridiculous amount of traffic as it is, and if/ when they get around to the 'revitalization' of it, they're gonna shrink it from four lanes to two through there to go with the roundabouts. horrible, horrible plan all around.

    no problem with the sprucing up of the storefronts, though. just make sure you keep the panhandlers far away. maybe they can hire some cary cops for that; they seem to do a good job.

  • davidgnews Jul 16, 2008

    They should have been cleaning up that tract between NCSU and Meredith a long time ago instead of all of the pet projects downtown. They also need to make that area safer as well.

  • DontBelieveTheHype Jul 16, 2008

    Bring back the McDonalds!!

  • l-rae17 Jul 16, 2008

    I hope these HB Street businesses hop on board ASAP! There's a few good places, like the fabulous Mediterranean place - but most of the buildings need a facelift! I want something updated and fresh to look at when I walk across campus!

  • SubwayScoundrel Jul 16, 2008

    whatelseisnew:------How is this bad for taxpayers? Just another another mindless quip from a faceless user of the internet. Keep the property values up, equals more tax revenue. Help create more traffic, more tax revenue. Help keep a area of town from going bad and possible dangerous, good for the city.

    This is a good idea and cost so little with the possibility of the payback great.

  • CestLaVie Jul 16, 2008

    Does this mean round-abouts are not far behind??

  • whatelseisnew Jul 15, 2008

    Bad; taxpayer gets ripped off again