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DTR Economic Development Strategy Q&A

Frequently asked questions about DTR's new Economic Development Strategy in collaboration with the City of Raleigh and Interface Studio.  

What other cities have gone through a process similar to this one? 

Many urban centers are continuing to think about ways to be agile and adapt to changing conditions on the ground, like an evolving office market. Some of the communities we are watching right now that are undergoing a similar strategic process include; Washington DC, Atlanta (GA), Montgomery (AL), Houston (TX) and Fort Worth (TX). 

What are some examples of outcomes that other cities have had in undergoing a process like this one?

Some products of an economic development study can include; identification of new projects for strategic public investment, public realm improvements that center walkability/bikeability, aligning resources for targeted business and entrepreneurial development, new programming to reach different audiences, evaluating ground-floor strategy and land-use mix, and concentrating retail activity on key corridors to name a few.

Could this project have an impact on the daily lives of business owners and residents downtown? 

Our main goal with this effort is to help Downtown Raleigh continue to evolve into the best version it can be. We think that business owners and residents should get really excited about this effort (we sure are!) and help bring their ideas and feedback forward so we can work collaboratively as a community to create a plan that serves our biggest and boldest goals for the best possible Downtown Raleigh.  

What are the specific goals and objectives of the project, and how will they address the current challenges and needs of the community?

Our intention is to create a dynamic plan that serves our community in a catalytic way and helps Downtown Raleigh to emerge stronger than ever. The specific focus areas outlined in the project scope for our consultant include; creating a retail strategy for downtown including a specific strategy for the Fayetteville Street corridor, strategic positioning of the downtown office market, opportunities to support a thriving Minority- and Women-owned business community, and catalytic projects to stimulate and grow Downtown Raleigh’s economy. These four focuses encompass a defining opportunity to reposition and drive positive change and new momentum in our community. 

Downtown Raleigh Alliance strives to help steward a future that serves current and future stakeholders through carrying forward bold goals for a more equitable, sustainable and resilient Downtown Raleigh. We believe that engaging in each of the focus areas outlined above will be more than just a plan for our community, and more of a guiding implementation strategy for us to tackle challenges and emerge stronger than ever.

Will community members have the chance to weigh in on what happens next? How can someone get involved?

Absolutely! There will be multiple stakeholder feedback and engagement opportunities throughout this 12-month process. This is a community led effort that will greatly benefit from robust civic engagement and participation. We want a final product that represents a future we are all incredibly proud of and excited to pursue together. One of the reasons that our team selected Interface Consultants was due to their award winning work on community engagement and stakeholder feedback. 

What will we have on the other side of this process? (i.e. a plan, presentation, etc.)

At the end of this community driven process, Downtown Raleigh will have a guiding document that provides an implementation strategy for our community to arise to big challenges, together. One of the things our team was most clear on at the beginning of this process was that we did not want a document that sat on a shelf. Our intention with this process is to facilitate a community driven conversation that helps us all ideate on what an ideal and best version of Downtown Raleigh would look like. Our consultant is tasked with taking those shared ideas and crafting an implementation based approach that enables the best version of our home to shine forward with each of us working together to carry a torch. DRA is thrilled to help steward this process and equally excited about engaging with stakeholders to help craft and cultivate big ideas to carry our community forward.