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Report: Downtown Raleigh rising as creative urban center

Posted April 30, 2015

— Liz Tracy didn't know what to expect when she moved from California to Raleigh a couple of years ago. But she liked what she found when she got here.

“I think it's a big city with a small-town feel,” she said.

Tracy was among several hundred people who gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center on Thursday to get an update on the state of downtown Raleigh.

The news was mostly good.

One of the biggest changes outlined in the report by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance is that 1,800 housing units downtown will be completed this year. Developers say that's going to change the face of the city.

“Now we're going to have residents who are going eat during the day, shop during the evening downtown, and it has a mulitplier effect,” said David Diaz, president and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

He said downtown also faces some challenges. Building the infrastructure is needed to support the growing population, and more hotels are a must, he said.

“We're losing business from a variety of perspectives,” Diaz said. “We're hoping this discussion with the real estate community gets them thinking about hotels.”

Downtown boosters also realize Raleigh will have to work hard to keep that small-town feel that appeals to so many people. Tracy says the city's creative class will make sure Raleigh not only grows, but thrives.

“There are so many creative and driven people that continue to flood into the area,” she said.

Read the full report at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance website.

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  • Mary Zulch Apr 30, 2015
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    Parking? Does anyone think about parking? I go to downtown Raleigh as rarely as I can. The parking situation is horrible.