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City leaders planning for additional hotels in downtown Raleigh

Posted October 22, 2015

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— A new study found large event planners are interested in bringing big events and visitors to Raleigh’s Convention Center.

However, many city leaders say it’s not possible because of the lack of space in the downtown area.

“We’re missing out on this huge opportunity,” said Raleigh city council member, Mary-Ann Baldwin. “We have two hotels in walking distance—the Marriott and the Sheraton.

City leaders have said they would like to land another full-service hotel, like the Marriott in downtown.

“We need to think big this time,” Baldwin said. “Every community in the country who is getting a convention center hotel is subsidized.”

Baldwin said she believes Raleigh should consider a move like Durham’s with the 21C Museum Hotel, helping developer with capital and land to build.

City officials offered nearly $6 million incentive package to complete the building in Durham. Officials said the county added another $2 million in incentives.

“That is the bottom line and the name of the game these days,” Baldwin said.

An additional issue for bringing more hotels to downtown Raleigh is the cost.

Baldwin said rules require hotel developers to create a parking space for each room in their building.

Two new hotels are planned to be built near the convention center in downtown Raleigh, but city leaders said the downtown area will need larger projects to reach the room number requirements.

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