The city plans to break ground Oct. 20 on City Plaza, a high-tech gathering place on the south end of Fayetteville Street.
The public is invited to the groundbreaking at noon.
Construction of the $14.8 million project is scheduled to take a year, with completion in October 2009.
The plaza, in the 500 block of Fayetteville Street, will serve as a place for parades, markets and concerts. It will have flexible seating, an interactive water fountain, planters and trees.
Greensboro artist Jim Gallulci is designing light towers to allow for varying levels of lights, depending on the need, according to the city. Raleigh officials had hoped to start construction earlier, but the project was delayed in negotiations for easements over private property.