Raleigh may give stalled Moore Square revamp a second look
Posted April 15, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Talk of revitalizing Moore Square in downtown Raleigh started five years ago, but it's been limited to talk since then.
City Manager Ruffin Hall on Tuesday asked the City Council to "refresh the conversation" about revamping the urban park because an improving economy and low interest rates on bonds mean it's an attractive time to undertake the estimated $12.5 million project.
Several years ago, Raleigh officials sought public input and held a design competition to generate new ideas for the 4-acre park. The winning plan included a civic plaza, a central lawn and a play area for children.
Council members took a new look at old renderings of Moore Square. Councilman Bonner Gaylord said the park has seen better days.
"It's the premier location in the city of Raleigh for a park, and at this time, it's not serving that function because it's outdated," Gaylord said.
Hall said investing in Moore Square would bring even more economic development to the area. Businesses around the park are already doing well, a new high-rise apartment building is going up nearby.
Sprucing up the park also could spur much-needed development in east Raleigh as well, he said.
Some council members aren't sold on the plan or the price tag, however.
"How do we make sure the economic development will spread over to Chavis and other parts of my district?" asked Councilman Eugene Weeks, who represents southeast Raleigh.
The council is expected to put Moore Square on the next meeting's agenda and vote on whether to move forward. If the city decides to revamp the park, construction could start early next year, and it would likely take about two years to complete.