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Part of Raleigh's Fayetteville Street Could Get New Look

Members of the Raleigh City Council will discuss the possibility of a makeover in the downtown area.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council will consider a new look for part of Fayetteville Street. City councilors are expected to look at a blueprint of how the plaza would look.

The city's Urban Design Team has been working to fill the void left by a plain, open space in the center of downtown. Some critics said it is what surrounds the plaza that matters most.

"We're working really hard with all the adjacent property owners to draw restaurants, cafes, newsstands -- the type of activity that will support everyday life in the downtown (area), said Dan Douglas, of the city's Urban Design Team.

In October, Raleigh City Council members rejected an art project by international artist Jaume Plensa. The design featured a light canopy over the plaza. City leaders were concerned about blocking the view of the new
Fayetteville Street.

Although Plensa's idea never got off the ground, city leaders are not giving up.

"We are very confident it will be an even better place than Mr. Plensa envisioned there. It will be a good place for sitting in the daytime, for parties at night and it will be surrounded by a lot of active uses," said Assistant City Manager Dan Howe.

City leaders said they are prepared to spend $10 million to upgrade the plaza's infrastructure. Once city council members get look at the design and approve any changes, the project could be completed by June 2008.


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