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Raleigh boosters outline plans for downtown

Posted February 25, 2010

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— Downtown boosters are trying to cement the reputation of Raleigh's new City Plaza as a public gathering spot.

Moving a weekly farmers market from Moore Square to City Plaza this summer was one of the 2010 goals the Downtown Raleigh Alliance laid out Thursday.

City Plaza in Raleigh City Plaza on downtown boosters' agenda

The $15 million City Plaza, which officials have called Raleigh's "public living room," opened on Fayetteville Street in October, featuring sculptures by local artists, retail pavilions, motion-sensing fountains and 50-foot light towers.

In addition to City Plaza, the booster group plans to support a new outdoor amphitheater the city is constructing at McDowell and Davie streets, as well as Raleigh's proposal to redesign Moore Square.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance President and Chief Executive David Diaz said the organization is working to attract another corporate headquarters, another hotel and an upscale apartment complex to the central business district.

Several condominium projects opened downtown in the last year. When the economy soured, real estate became hard to sell, but Diaz said developers are hoping for a turnaround this year.

"On average, we were selling 150 to 170 condos a year downtown," he said. "In 2009, which was a disastrous year for the economy, we sold over 100 – 110. The condo sales have dipped, but they didn't dip as far as I thought they would. So, I wouldn't be surprised if we get close to that 130- to 150-a-year (level) in terms of condo sales."

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  • SubwayScoundrel Feb 25, 2010

    I think for all the DT haters who say nobody goes DT, should go downtown on a Friday night for dinner. Just look at the capitalism going on. Pack with people of all ages. The key to a successful DT is it gives people of all ages a central place to go and that is what companies are looking for to locate here and to continue to hire. That is what young and people of all ages are looking for that keep businesses going and staying. Otherwise, look at the rust belt states. Ignore that simple fact, and Raleigh could easily be like a rust belt city where the young are leaving faster than they can pack.

    For Mr. Capwell, if only Bums are gathering downtown, I must be one of those $100K plus salaried highly educated Bums along with thousands who go there on a weekend.

    So please, if you are so negative on DT, please stay at home and don't ruin a good thing as I don't think you would happy any place.

  • Tax Man Feb 25, 2010

    I like downtown, but until the parking is free I see no reason to go there - they need to make it easy for us to spend our money on restaurants etc, but if I have to pay several dollars just to park and still walk a ways to the places, forget it. Maybe the merchants could go with a validation stamp - if you buy at any merchant then your parking is free. Especially needed during the day Mon - Fri!

  • town guy Feb 25, 2010

    Ooops, my bad! I see now that this is just a forum for downtown-haters. There I was, trying to say something constructive!

  • Commenter Feb 25, 2010

    If the RBC center had been built downtown it would be even more of a PITA to get to. When are the "boosters" going to learn that no matter how much of our tax money you spend, most of us avoid downtown at all costs. If you build it we won't come.

  • Weaker Pelosi Feb 25, 2010

    Timothy: U R correct. The same thing happened in 1977 when they wasted money on building the Fayetteville Street Mall.

  • town guy Feb 25, 2010

    Here's an idea - a small "pocket park" in the triangle bound by Hillsborough, N. West St. and Edenton St. It would provide a good transition/link from the warehouse district to the Glenwood South area

  • ncwebguy Feb 25, 2010

    It already *is* a gathering space, and not for bums.

    The ice skating rink was packed every time I went by, and there is always someone outside the Krispy Kreme and Starbucks during their operating hours.

    Despite the ongoing lies and speculation, reality has a pro-Meeker bias.

  • timothycapwell Feb 25, 2010

    It'll be a gathering spot...for bums.

  • tdouble232323 Feb 25, 2010

    Just think if the RBC Center had been built downtown, the area wouldn't need boosters to hype it up. Oh well, just another judgement in error by our local leaders.