City planner focuses on growth near RBC Center
Posted October 10, 2008
Raleigh, N.C. — While city officials admit growth near the RBC Center is virtually non-existent, planners are now refocusing their efforts to get developers to give the area another look.
The Forty Wade Project, a planned mixed-use development not far from the RBC Center, is the main project being developed in the area. It is designed to bring a village atmosphere.
“It is not one of the strongest markets, but we believe it has great potential,” Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said.
Silver said his office is updating the comprehensive plan for the area. Officials are focusing on what needs to happen to stimulate development there, he said.
“We’re trying to find out how we can use zoning to really increase some opportunities to see more development there. We know when people come to an arena, they want to have things to do,” Silver said.
The area of west Raleigh took a hit last year when Damons, a sports bar near the arena, closed.
RBC Center executives say they believe that if the Wade Project is successful, it could spark other developers to look at that section of the city.
“They say they are going to have 5,000 (people) over there on their site; when that happens, other things can happen,” RBC Center General Manager and Vice President Dave Olsen said.
City planners had wanted a downtown arena near Fayetteville Street. Officials said their theory now is that if an arena can’t come to downtown, downtown will come to the RBC Center.
“You have large wooded area; we have the fair grounds. You have state property. So we really have little pods of opportunity,” Silver said.
Silver’s office plans to release a list of suggestions and new ideas for development in the area at the end of November.