Two downtown Raleigh plazas undergo extreme makeover
Posted April 27
In the last 10 years, downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville Street has undergone many transformations to make the area inviting.
Not long ago, Market and Exchange plazas were a construction zone between Fayetteville and Wilmington Streets. Today, city leaders have high hopes for the area.
Kris Hammer, who owns a business nearby, said she is looking forward to taking advantage of the new plazas.
"It's so close to my bar," she said. "It is wonderful to just know that people can come here and sit and have a cup of coffee, or enjoy their lunch outside."
Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the spaces have numerous possibilities.
"We have had a lot of ideas floating around," McFarlane said. "Everything from the ability to have craft fairs, or...having another public art display. I think the potential is unlimited and we are very excited."
David Diaz with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance said the design deviates from what many plazas looked like years ago.
"What we found was when we created kind of like a Central Park, and you would walk in and it is an oasis, people do not feel safe in those environments anymore. They do feel safe when they can see through to the other side," he said.
Diaz said the plazas will generate more tax revenue for the city and more customers for local businesses.