Raleigh looks to revitalize Capital Boulevard area
Posted December 1, 2008
Updated December 2, 2008
Raleigh, N.C. — Ideas about how to direct Raleigh's growth were unveiled Monday. The comprehensive plan targets 18 areas for economic growth and revitalization, such as Capital Boulevard from downtown to the Interstate 440 Beltline.
"It (Capital Boulevard) needs lots of work. It needs change. It needs some kind of new vision for it,” Frank Haidar said.
Haidar owns a computer store along Capital Boulevard. He said he agrees with Raleigh city planners who say much of the land lining Capital is underutilized.
"If you really look at it between the (Interstate 440) Beltline and Peace Street, there is nothing over here," Haidar said.
The city wants to make Capital Boulevard more appealing in hopes of attracting more development, including more affordable housing.
“I can't find a place around Capital, and I have looked. Everything is $700 or $800 just for me, and I can't afford that,” said Jessica Corn, who works off Capital Boulevard.
Haidar hopes the improvements will lead to more business.
“It will trickle down to us, and that's good news if we can get it,” he said.
Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan also calls for funneling 60 percent of future growth – about 72,000 homes, townhouses and apartments – into eight growth centers in locations with combined highway and targeted transit access.
Along with the growth centers, planners say, new homes should be built smaller, and the city should become considerably more transit friendly, with street cars, express buses and commuter rail.
The proposals are the first updates to Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan since 1989. The plan was developed following workshops in which residents shared their vision for the future of the city.
People can watch a presentation of the plan Wednesday night at the Raleigh Convention Center.