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Economic Development Strategy

Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh are developing an economic development strategy that aims to position Downtown Raleigh for the future, particularly as we emerge from the last three years.

This work will require a holistic approach that identifies the key opportunities to maximize Downtown Raleigh’s strengths, make connections between assets and neighborhoods, activate streets with a diverse mix of businesses and places designed for people, and to talk as a community about what will make downtown a place that is welcoming and provides opportunities for everyone. As Raleigh grows, the economic development strategy will ensure downtown has a prominent role to play in the calculus of where to live and to invest.

Part 1: Activating Fayetteville Street 

This initial chapter of the report is focused on Fayetteville Street and surrounding streets - the original center of Raleigh. Ten major ideas are presented as the initial result of close collaboration with local residents, business owners, property owners and other stakeholders.

Published February 8th, 2024

Download Compressed Report 

A blog post breaking down these ten recommendations for activating Fayetteville Street is also available to view here. Have feedback on the draft recommendations? Provide your thoughts to the project team via the form linked below.

Provide Feedback on the Report 

These strategies for Fayetteville Street will be integrated with other components of the plan - addressing the downtown retail and office markets, advancing and supporting Minority- and Women-owned business enterprises (MWBE), and identifying catalytic projects - to form a full economic development strategy in mid-2024.

Get Involved

We value your feedback and believe community participation will be essential for project success. There will be many opportunities throughout the course of the project to provide feedback, input and ideas. Please stay tuned for upcoming events, workshops, and online opportunities where you can contribute to help shape the future of Downtown Raleigh.

sign up here for updates 

Focus Areas and Timeline:


Project presentations from the consultant team can be referenced below:

OCTOBER 2023 - Retail + Fayetteville Street  

NOVEMBER 2023 - Residential Stakeholder Session Video  

April 2024 - Catalytic Project Category  

Timeline & Next Steps:

Project Team:

The Downtown Raleigh Economic Development Strategy brings together a dynamic team of experts and organizations dedicated to the revitalization and growth of Downtown Raleigh. Learn more about our selected consultant team, below:

Consultant Team:

  • Interface Studio: With their award winning approach and expertise in urban design and community engagement, Interface Studio will lead all aspects of public outreach, stakeholder engagement, and project research and report generation. 
  • &Access: Providing expertise on retail strategy, equitable economic development, and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) strategy, &Access will contribute to creating an inclusive and vibrant downtown economy that benefits all members of the community.
  • Ninigret Partners: Ninigret Partners, a trusted market analysis firm, will play a crucial role in shaping the retail and office strategies as well as catalytic project categories. Ninigret Partners will provide valuable insights and recommendations to drive the growth and development of Downtown Raleigh's market.

Project Partners:

  • Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA): DRA’s mission is advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone. As the project manager for this effort, Downtown Raleigh Alliance will work directly with the consultant and our community partners to create a guiding document to help inform our next steps for continued market growth.
  • City of Raleigh: The City of Raleigh is a key partner in this project, providing support, resources, and expertise to ensure the successful implementation of the Downtown Raleigh Economic Development Strategy. The City is committed to fostering economic growth, enhancing the downtown experience, and creating opportunities for businesses and residents.


Mary Sell
Planning and Transportation Manager