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Raleigh Officials Want To See Residents Living, Working Downtown

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RALEIGH, N.C. — It may be a bustling capital city by day, but after dark, Raleigh closes down. Only 2,800 of the city's 300,000 residents live downtown. City officials say they would like to see more employees working and living downtown.

Mike Beatty bought a condominium on Dawson Street, which is close to where he works and plays.

"It's going to a local restaurant or walking to the gym or the downtown attractions without getting in the car and driving someplace and worry about parking," he said.

Close to 200 downtown homes are under construction or on the drawing board. The Progress Energy building will include nearly 100 condominiums and 68 condominiums are planned for the Belk building. A few dozen are being built on Hillsborough and Dawson Streets.

"We hear from employees of government and secretaries in office buildings that they'd be happy if they could live downtown. A lot of high-tech employees would like to live downtown, but they cannot afford it," said Margaret Mullen, who heads the

Downtown Raleigh Alliance


Mullen said her group will release the results of a year-long study Tuesday. One of its key recommendations is to remove the roadblocks that prevent progress.

"If you want to put a restaurant on the ground floor and four apartments above it, you might as well be building 100 condos because you are going to go through the same process with the city," she said.

Mayor Charles Meeker says the city is considering a streamlined process for approving downtown development. He also says the city may eventually get involved in building affordable housing downtown.


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