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Success Of Sports Teams Could Boost Development Around ESA

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The success of the Carolina Hurricanes and Wolfpack basketball and football teams may give an added boost to development plans for an area of west Raleigh.

The master plan calls for rail stops, office complexes, stores and homes centered around the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

"It's an anchor, if anything, and brings people into the area. So I think it will have a positive effect," said Bob Winston, CEO of Winston Hotels.

Big-time sports has become critical to a city's stature. Winston hopes to draw a high-class hotel to a 168-acre piece of land that a Alabama company plans to develop. Winston said the land and its location offer opportunities.

"Because of the land that's available to do the newest, latest development and use the best practices that we know," he said.

Colonial Properties plans more than a million square feet of offices, hundreds of apartments or condominiums, and lots of shops and restaurants.

"The overall idea is how can you make places liveable and keep people from having to get in their cars.I think this gives us opportunity because of the scale to do these kinds of things," Winston said.

Some businesses on the periphery of the planned development, like Edwards Mill Bar and Grill at Olde Raleigh Shopping Center, are already benefiting from the success of the ESA and Carter-Finley Stadium.

"It's a very good crowd. We generally have probably 50 or 60 people before and after the games," restaurant owner Johnny Ray said.

The city has approved the land use guide and has final say on the project which could come this summer.The City Council Planning Commission will consider the proposal from Colonial Properties at a public hearing scheduled for May 21.


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