City leaders looking to improve Raleigh's southern gateway
Posted June 27, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Earp's Seafood Market has stood on South Sanders Street in Raleigh for more than four decades as the city has risen up on the hill behind it.
The skyline "is beautiful, and I do think it would be more gorgeous if it just kept going,” said Kimber Salmon, who works at Earp’s. “It would bring in more people.”
South Saunders and South Wilmington streets are considered southern gateways to the city. But city leaders admit the roadways look tired and worn.
“It talks about the impression of the city, your image of the city – and it's very important to people,” City Planning Director Mitchell Silver said.
Improvements are on the horizon.
Raleigh City Council this week approved funding for a yearlong study to help map out changes to the corridor. The $150,000 study will take input from residents.
“We want it to be greener, we want it to be more attractive,” Silver said. “Maybe some mixed-use or some more commercial, more upscale (development) might be more welcome.”
The study is part of a bigger picture. New Bern Avenue, which is the city’s eastern gateway, will soon become more pedestrian friendly with new sidewalks. New bus shelters have already been added.
To the north on Capital Boulevard, work has started on what's expected to be $60 million worth of improvements.
And the $10 million roundabout project on Hillsborough Street, which is considered the city's western gateway, has already paid off.
“As a result, we're seeing private investment, more activity,” Silver said. “NC State (University) is now embracing Hillsborough Street as their front door.”
The idea is to take that success and expand it to the southern gateways of South Saunders and South Wilmington. Officials said all the improvements will be done as funding becomes available, which could take up to 20 years.
At Earp's Seafood Market, employees say it's a vision they can buy into.
“It could use a lot of sprucing up,” Salmon said. “It would have a more welcoming feeling.”