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Growth Continues to Thrive in Downtown Raleigh

Posted December 28, 2007

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— Raleigh's downtown is in a growth spurt with more development planned for next year.

Floye Dombalis' family has operated a downtown restaurant since 1930. From the Mecca Restaurant, she has seen downtown thrive, die and begin again. She is excited about the changes coming to downtown.

"I think it's wonderful for the next generation," Dombalis said.

The Mecca Restaurant plans to expand its hours and open weekends to accommodate the influx of folks coming downtown.

Several major projects under construction will be finishing next year.

"There will be a lot of people on the street. There will be new retailers, people will be excited to be downtown," said John Hogan of Highwoods Properties.

Among those new projects is the RBC Plaza on Fayetteville Street. It will be the headquarters for RBC Centura Bank, a law firm, condos and shops. The plaza is expected to bring 1,000 people to downtown when it opens next fall.

"It will be the tallest building in Raleigh, 33 stories," Hogan said.

"I gotta tell you, it's a very significant year for us and Wake County," said Denny Edwards, president and chief executive officer for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Business Bureau.

The largest and perhaps the most anticipated publicly-funded project is the Raleigh Convention Center.

The $228-million project will feature more than 500,000 square feet of space, 19 meeting rooms, an exhibit hall and a ballroom. The convention center is slated to open in October.

One-hundred forty-three conventions are already scheduled. Every convention is excepted to bring about 900 people to downtown for an average visit of four days.

In addition to the convention center, 326 condos have gone up downtown since 2005; at least 1,594 condos are either under construction or in the planning stages, according to Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Almost 600 of those condos are expected to be finished next year, bringing about 1,000 people downtown.

In October, plans were also approved for a 23-story mix of retail shops, a hotel and condominiums at the corner of Dawson and Hillsborough streets.

Attorney Ted Reynolds is developing the $65 million project, which will include 17,500 square feet of retail space, a 136-room hotel and 26 condos on the top floors.

Other high-rises planned downtown include The Lafayette at Lenoir and Salisbury streets and the twin-towered Edison at Wilmington and Martin streets. All of the towers are mixed-use projects.

It is anticipated to be an even bigger push next year for more stores downtown. City leaders said shopping is especially important for a downtown area to thrive.


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  • jenmaris Dec 30, 2007

    The mayor and his cronies putting restrictions on what I can do whith MY PROPERTY is stealing my equity away. A small, vocal, activist group in this area DOES NOT

  • downtownbrown Dec 30, 2007

    Hey, 2 inches of rain today...I guess Mayor Meeker decided to provide us with some relief.

  • flashlight Dec 30, 2007

    I'm sure you were the first in line to buy a rain barrel when you got the news it might be a bit drier. Bottom line: Meeker is not solely responsible for creating our water shortage. The people who use Raleigh's municipal water system are. The lack of rain might have something to do with it too... Good thing Meeker finally did step in though and save us from ourselves. Better late than never?

  • angora2 Dec 30, 2007

    I find it hilarious that some of you think Meeker is in charge of building permits! You blame him for everything under the sun. He is one man who answers to the city council, so pay attention to who's getting your vote, morons.

  • Fun Dec 29, 2007

    Meeker is running for higher office with YOUR money!

  • ladyblue Dec 29, 2007

    I think this is wonderful with only 90 days of water left for Raleigh. Think they will steal it from other counties for this growth...???? Sometimes I think we have dooorkheads working and running our governments.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 29, 2007

    "So you're all for keeping the government out of the people's daily business, but when an emergency comes: Why didn't the government regulate me more?! If these were restricted when Falls Lake looked full, you'd be calling him a commie socialist."

    I'm not for the extremes that you jumped to. But when the weather service was telling us that the lakes were going down and it was going to be a dry winter, anybody with common sense would have banned outdoor watering, car washes, power washing, etc... to maximize the water available to extend the amount of water that is available.

    Meeker didn't advocated banning outdoor watering last fall because he didn't want to jeopardize the city council elections that he had allies running in.

  • flashlight Dec 29, 2007

    "He's responsible for the water issues caused by excessive building permits being granted in Raleigh. He's responsible for not implementing tighter water restrictions last summer and fall when we could have reduced water usage and increased the amount of water stored in the Falls Lake. He's responsible for the financial boondoggle of investing tax dollars in the convention center and the downtown that were more needed elsewhere."

    So you're all for keeping the government out of the people's daily business, but when an emergency comes: Why didn't the government regulate me more?! If these were restricted when Falls Lake looked full, you'd be calling him a commie socialist.

  • getrealpeople Dec 29, 2007

    The reservoir east of Wake Forest is being used. the water plant is still operating but it is small and produces less than a million gallons a day. The lake is too small to expand plant or lake.

  • mr. relationship-advice Dec 29, 2007


    Don't be tellin me dat bro. What's their rating?