Investment in Raleigh's Moore Square is overdue

April 16, 2014 

Many thousands of people visit Moore Square in downtown Raleigh, some with frequency. The Marbles kids’ museum is right there, as is City Market, which these days thrives with merchants selling a variety of goods and with restaurants offering everything from gourmet Italian to pub fare.

But that’s just the beginning for a square with old trees and new possibilities. There are high-rise developments and high-ticket apartments going up. The future for the area, as they say, is in an upswing.

So the Raleigh City Council should move ahead with a proposal to invest over $12 million in park money to enhance the square with landscaping and a granite plaza, opening the way for an outdoor cafe.

The city has long delayed these plans, which have been discussed for years, because of shortfalls or other priorities in finances. But now the city is in good shape and could afford this project.

Those hesitant to jump onto the square project, such as Thomas Crowder of City Council District D, rightly note that the city has a number of parks and community centers in need of investment. But Moore Square has been in line a long time, and it is in a booming area, which counts for something.

If downtown is to thrive in the important goal of drawing people who want to live in the area, it’s going to have to have some “accessories” that will bring them. A better Moore Square also could be a draw for nearby Southeast Raleigh residents.

If the city is looking to get the most out of its investment, Moore Square is a good project that makes sense. In addition to drawing residents, renovation would help businesses in City Market and would help to stabilize that area. This is an ambitious proposal but also a sound one.

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