Union Station, Harris Teeter to add to downtown Raleigh growth
Posted January 16, 2017 6:30 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Construction crews completed projects totaling $350 million in downtown Raleigh last year, as more people moved to the city center and dozens of new businesses opened. Boosters say even more is in store for 2017.
"We're seeing growth in every area of downtown," said David Diaz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
Following are some of the pending projects:
- Construction should begin on a mixed-use project at Peace and West streets.
- Work will continue on replacing the interchange at Capital Boulevard and Peace Street.
- The city is studying consolidating offices at a single campus downtown.
For the thousands of people who live downtown, 2017 also could bring a long-awaited supermarket. Harris Teeter plans to open a store at the Seaboard Station complex off Peace Street, possibly by the end of 2017, which Diaz said is a sign the area is at a turning point.
"We're going to have some retail we've never had before. We may have the kind of retail that can anchor and encourage more growth," he said.
Still, he said Union Station in the Warehouse District on the west side of downtown, could be one of the biggest catalysts for growth in the future. The transit hub, scheduled to open late in the year, will host everything from Raleigh's Amtrak service to regional buses.
"Union Station is going to link the downtown to the city, to the suburbs, to the rest of the region. All roads will be leading into downtown, so to speak," Diaz said.
That, however, highlights one of the challenges the city faces: Where are those visitors going to stay?
Downtown Raleigh has more than 1,000 hotel rooms available, and a Residence Inn by Marriott near the Convention Center should open soon, adding more to the supply. But Diaz said that still isn't enough.
"We did a study that showed we could add five to 10 more hotels in the downtown area and absorb that demand," he said.