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Many Downtown Raleigh Dwellers Welcome New Development

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh is going through a revolution of sorts. New high-rises or subdivisions are going up near the downtown area. The rapid pace of development is OK with many current urban dwellers, as long as it brings new vitality to the city.

As 17-month-old Avery Delcambre rides around town on his scooter, his family can walk almost anywhere they need to go from their home in Oakwood.

Dave Delcambre, Avery's father, believes so strongly in the power of downtown development to bring vitality to Raleigh that he wrote his master's thesis about it at N.C. State.

"Before it's been a 9-to-5 government town," said Dave Delcambre. "I think building more houses is a positive thing."

Developer Doug Redford with the LNR Property Corporation plans to restore 25 historic homes along Blount Street. The proposal also includes building nearly 500 new condos, townhouses and single-family homes.

"That's vibrant, exciting, not a cookie-cutter neighborhood with beige houses that look the same, sameness all the time," said Redford.

Redford spoke to two neighborhood groups Tuesday night about the Blount Street proposal. He said so far neighbors are pleased with the plan. He believes it will restore the city's historic district, and create a brand-new residential area near downtown.

For developers, the big picture is getting people to work and live downtown. They can walk to and from work and to modern conveniences like a new shopping center off of Peace Street.

The Seaboard Wine Warehouse is 9 years old, but with brand-new stores going up around it, as well as new homes, business is better than ever.

"We've never had the lifeblood of the community down here to support our projects," said store manager Ed Herring. "With more people moving down here, the sky is the limit."


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