Wake County

$2.3 billion in new development planned for downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh has seen billions of dollars in new development, and the boom continues.

More than $3 billion in development has been completed since 2005 or is under construction, according to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA). An estimated $2.3 billion is in the development pipeline.

The figures were released during the DRA’s State of Downtown Raleigh address Thursday. The full 70-page report can be found at www.downtownraleigh.org/reports.

“This once-sleepy downtown has been transformed into a vibrant center of activity,” the report said. “The future is even brighter for downtown with growth poised to add thousands of new residents, workers, visitors, stores, businesses, parks, and infrastructure.”

The downtown borders fit within a square mile and include the Seaboard/Peace Street, Warehouse, Fayetteville Street, Moore Square, Capital and Glenwood South districts.

Here are highlights from the report:

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 10.51.14 AM.png

Living in downtown Raleigh

  • Of the nearly 11,000 people who now live downtown, more than 7,500 moved in after 2005.
  • Nearly 2,500 apartments and condos have been built since 2015.
  • More than 1,000 units are under construction with 1,500 planned.
  • The average rent for a downtown residential unit? $1,513.
  • The occupancy rate is 94.4% for multi-family properties in downtown.
  • Nearly 40% of downtown residents are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • One-third of the new and planned residential units are in the Glenwood South District.

Working in downtown Raleigh

  • More than 48,000 employees work downtown, and the city is expected to add 9,500 office and service employees between 2018 and 2030.
  • There are more than 1,300 businesses and companies downtown.
  • The state, Wake County and the city of Raleigh remain three of the largest employers downtown. Other top employers include Duke Energy, Red Hat, Citrix, PNC Bank, McClatchy/The News & Observer, Empire Eats/Empire Properties, Shaw University and Pendo.
  • There has been a nearly 300% increase in co-working space since 2016.

Shopping in downtown Raleigh

  • Downtown has gained a net 40 stores since 2014.
  • The vacancy rate is 9.3% for leasable retail space.
  • More than 378,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space is planned or under construction.
  • More than 90% of downtown stores are locally owned.

Eating in downtown Raleigh

  • There are more than 150 restaurants downtown.
  • There was more than $240 million in food and beverage sales in downtown in 2018. That’s a 110% jump from 2009.
  • The Warehouse District continues to lead with the most restaurants in downtown, followed by Glenwood South.
Anna Johnson covers Raleigh and Wake County for the News & Observer. She has previously covered city government, crime and business for newspapers across North Carolina and received many North Carolina Press Association awards, including first place for investigative reporting. She is a 2012 alumna of Elon University.
Support my work with a digital subscription