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About the Downtown Raleigh Municipal Service District

How It Works

The Downtown Raleigh Municipal Service District (MSD) was created by the City of Raleigh to provide enhanced services for the Downtown Raleigh Area, such as additional cleaning and safety services, as well as economic development, activation, marketing and community engagement. The district is funded by an additional assessment on properties within the district. At present, Downtown Raleigh Alliance is the service provider for four of the five services (economic development, marketing & events, safety, and community engagement), while the City of Raleigh provides enhanced cleaning services.

Exploring Boundary Expansion

The district’s boundaries have not been revised since they were established over 15 years ago, while Downtown Raleigh has continued to grow and evolve. As such, what is considered downtown, in terms of built environment and storefront businesses, has changed but the service district has not. So, there have been increasing challenges with providing services to rapidly growing areas on the periphery of the current MSD. For example, DRA Safety Ambassadors must keep their patrols within the MSD, according to state law, so they cannot provide safe walks or address safety issues in areas immediately bordering the present district. And more mixed use buildings with new storefronts have been built, but DRA staff cannot help recruit businesses to these nor provide as much marketing and financial support for new, small businesses as we can within the current MSD.

Given these challenges, DRA and the City of Raleigh are exploring expansion of the Downtown MSD to include some areas immediately adjacent to the current district. Criteria for considering an area for expansion included areas that are adjacent to the existing downtown boundary, contains current or under construction significant development consistent with downtown built environment, contains businesses and developments that have requested Downtown MSD services, and areas that already feel like a part of downtown.

Community Engagement

In early 2024, we are hosting community engagement meetings to help potential expansion areas understand the MSD services, listen to needs in these areas and gauge interest in joining the Downtown MSD. Based on that feedback, a proposal for expansion would then be developed and studied by the City of Raleigh.

If you are a stakeholder in one the expansion areas, please sign up to participate for the areas in which you are a stakeholder below. You can refer to the postcard you received to find your area. The meetings are hybrid or virtual - see the meeting link for details. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can request a virtual meeting or a copy of the presentation to learn more about the Downtown Raleigh Municipal Service District and be able to submit your feedback. Click here to make that request.

Missed our earlier meetings? Sign up for one of the virtual information sessions below or submit a request for a follow up conversation or your feedback at this link.

Register for February 7th Downtown MSD Expansion Information Meeting:

Register for February 8th Downtown MSD Expansion Information Meeting: