Local News

Fayetteville Street Seeing New Businesses Moving In

Posted April 4, 2007

Raleigh leaders say the number of businesses moving into rental space on a Fayetteville Street since its reopening to vehicular traffic in July is well beyond their expectations.

When the four blocks of street reopened eight months ago, there were 12 ground-level lease spaces available, according to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Now, there are only four -- each going at about $23 per square foot. One developer told WRAL that for what is left, the cost will be about $15,000 per month.

"It also invigorates the street. What we're looking for is that it's bringing in various kinds of retails down there that we can offer our employees, as well as our residents," said Tracey Lovejoy with the Alliance. "But that's phenomenal, if you think about it, in any urban downtown environment."

The new spaces have been filled with everything from the Opera Company of North Carolina to restaurants.

"Right now, you're starting to see a lot more foot traffic, a lot more people -- hence, our lunches right now, we're on a waiting list as soon as we open the doors," said Yancy's restaurant general manager Allen Phillips.

Phillips said the increased business has made it easier to deal with other construction going on in the area, such as the RBC Plaza.

"During the day, you can hear the banging and clanging," Phillips said. "But they're accelerating and doing pretty good. And I think within a year or year and a half, it will be a great payoff."

While most agree things are going well, Mayor Charles Meeker has high expectations and says there is room for improvement.

"I always like to see things move more quickly," he said. "But frankly, Fayetteville Street's doing extremely well. There are four or five restaurants operating in the area, some clubs at night, and another six or eight storefronts being renovated, so things really are coming along."

Reopening the four-block area of Fayetteville Street was a 16-month, $9.3 million project. More than $400 million is being invested on the one street alone -- including $94 million in public funds on the street itself and the rest in private funding for mixed-use developments and other projects.

The new Fayetteville Street marks the beginning of change in the downtown area. Work is also under way to build a new state-of-the art 550,000-sqare-foot convention center, a 1,500-space parking garage and a four-star luxury Marriott Hotel. They are expected to open in 2008.

5 Comments

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  • mrlaidback11 Apr 5, 2007

    I think too much emphasis is on Fayetteville street. I think city planners should invest money into other streets. Overall, I think Fayetteville street is over-rated and heres why: Most of the restaurants either close or extremely slow down after lunch, after work downtown is a ghost town, and at night people are on Fayetteville street because its a nice place to park. I will say Yancy's is putting life into the street. I think downtown Raleigh has a lot of potential but they have to find a way to keep in downtown after work. If they manage to do that great things can happen.

  • Cowboy Apr 5, 2007

    Wakenative- c'mon now, you can't even begin to compare downtown Raleigh with downtown Atlanta. That's like comparing apples to grapes (guess who's the grape here?)

  • Wakenative Apr 5, 2007

    hondaman, Downtown Atlanta has no problem getting people into it, and I consider it an extremely miserable place. And if all you're looking for is a super wal-mart and a fast-food joint, stay in suburbia and keep burning gas.

  • Wildman Apr 5, 2007

    if the morons in city govt hadn't been so brain-dead and closed the street to begin with, they wouldn't have run thriving businesses out of downtown, and they wouldn't still be trying to rejuvenate it now....

    I said it was a stupid move when they talked about closing the street 20 years ago....sad that I was right....these morons are our and their own worst enemies.....

    hey guys....you must be at least this smart to go on this ride

  • superman Apr 4, 2007

    The rent is 15,000 a month-- thats a lot of pizza and newspapers. When the downtown is finished and the workers leave it will be a ghost town. No one that works in another part of town would venture downtown for lunch. But Mayor, keep throwing good money after bad-- enough cash and you can make anything work. I worked downtown for over 10 years and it was a miserable place to work-- there were no fast food places, no reasonably prices restaurants. So I ended up eating almost every day at the cafeteria in the CP&L building. If they wanna get people downtown, open a super wal-mart. Or a good adult book store.