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State of Downtown 2022 Recap

State of Downtown 2022 Recap

5 Takeaways from the 2022 State of Downtown Report, Imprint Award Winners, and more!


A big part of the work at DRA is to provide information that helps people plan for the future of downtown. The goal? To make sure downtown is a vibrant place for everyone. The science behind our data helps business and city leaders make better decisions, making our goal more and more within reach every year. There is a lot of information in our 2022 State of Downtown Report–96 pages of it, in fact. Here are a few highlights:

5. There are over 100 restaurants open for lunch.

Photo Credit: Monica Slaney Photographie FourSeven

Downtown Raleigh has more lunch options than all other major office submarkets in the Triangle… combined. In our annual survey, the restaurants were cited as the #1 thing people loved about working downtown. Keep downtown in mind for coffee and lunch meetings, and you’ll have plenty of options. What about after work? Downtown has you covered there, too. There are over 100 bars, breweries, bottle shops, music venues, and nightlife establishments!

4. Downtown Raleigh is growing, and is built to handle that growth.

There is $1.5 billion of development under construction or in site preparation. That means we’re growing, and new buildings will change the city’s skyline in the coming years. The signs of growth we have are healthy. Not only do they show we are recovering from the pandemic, but it means we’re using the land we have better. Several of the new buildings coming replace surface parking lots and unused, vacant or dilapidated buildings with new greener, more efficient and sustainable buildings. With transit plans in place, downtown will be more accessible by alternative mobility modes than ever before. More people living and working within walking distance and transit means fewer cars on the road across the region, which helps with cleaner air in a growing region and creates the necessary density for a more sustainable downtown. With this growth, though, our community still has work to do to better ensure housing affordability and make sure we continue to have space for our unique, locally-owned businesses that make Raleigh what it is.

3. Soon, many more people will live downtown–and this is a good thing!

Photo credit: Antionne King AK Photograpy

Over 1,400 residential units are now under construction with even more on the way across downtown. This will allow new residents to live downtown. New housing supply is necessary to accommodate more people moving to this region amid rising housing costs, and particularly rental rates, across the Triangle and it will mean local storefront businesses will have more support in new customers moving within walking distance.

2.  We’re the most walkable and connected part of the Triangle.

Photo Credit: Jared Haber

The high walk score in Downtown Raleigh is 97, and that’s a big accomplishment. It means that for downtown residents, workers, and visitors there are more amenities within a comfortable walk than anywhere else in the Triangle region- which means a more livable and enjoyable place and a high quality of life for downtown stakeholders! Downtown Raleigh is at the center of over 457 miles of sidewalk, 124 miles of bike lanes, and 121 miles of greenway in the City of Raleigh. These connections tie in downtown with the surrounding neighborhoods, business districts, cultural amenities and 491 acres of park space within a mile of downtown. Raleigh’s investment in mass transit will add 20+ miles of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), 30+ bus routes and over 43 miles of commuter and passenger rail within the decade with Downtown Raleigh as the central hub for connectivity for the entire Triangle region.

1. Diversity is our strength, and our locally-owned businesses make us unique.

58% of downtown storefront businesses are owned by people of color and/or women and since the start of 2021 over 50 new businesses owned by minorities or women have opened downtown. Not only do we aim high in this area, but 90+% of our stores are locally-owned and independent. This is something DRA works hard on and it makes our community a special place. When you shop and eat downtown, you’re getting a one-of-a-kind, local experience. 

Read the full report

Imprint Award Winners

Downtown Raleigh Alliance honored four significant construction projects with Imprint Awards at the State of Downtown Raleigh 2022 event, Wednesday, August 31st. Imprint Awards are given to major developments that contribute to the forward momentum of Downtown Raleigh and invest more than $2 million in downtown. This year’s Imprint Award recipients include Efird's Department Store, 301 Hillsborough at Raleigh Crossing, First Citizens Bank: 239 Fayetteville St, and AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown.

Efird's Department Store (Renovation)

208 Fayetteville Street

Delivered December 2021

Units / SF: 13,600 SF Office / 13,400 SF Retail

208 Fayetteville is composed of three above-ground floors and a full basement level, totaling  approximately 27,000 rentable square feet with frontages on Fayetteville Street and S. Salisbury Street. The 1935 building is unique among its Fayetteville Street neighbors in having a subdued Art Deco style, unsurprising given its Great Depression origins. The building is home to DECO Raleigh and Original Selfie Museum | Raleigh. The renovation of the building has allowed us lease the lower level to Original Selfie Museum and to offer for lease the Fayetteville St. retail suite and the 2nd and 3rd floor suites which have been empty since the North Carolina State Bar left in 2012.

Development Team

General Contractor: Empire Hardhat Construction
Architect: Maurer Architecture
PME Engineers: Atlantec Engineers
Structural Engineers: Lysaght and Associates
Financial Partner: North State Bank

301 Hillsborough at Raleigh Crossing

301 Hillsborough Street

Delivered December 2021

Units / SF: 280,000 SF Office / 
12,000 SF Retail

301 Hillsborough is a dynamic, 19-story, Class A+ mixed-use tower located at the center of downtown Raleigh's thriving districts, walking distance to all the the city has to offer. Market leading amenities, including WiredScore Platinum, Fitwel and LEED Gold certification, modern fitness studio and an outdoor Sky Park terrace offer a healthier, more productive office environment for today's business leaders.

Development Team

Developer: The Fallon Company
Financial Partners: Barings Bank
General Contractor: Clancy & Theys Construction Company
Architect: Duda | Paine Architects PA
MEP Engineer: Barrett Woodyard & Associates
Structural Engineer: Brockette/Davis/Drake, Inc.
Civil/Landscape: Stewart, Inc.

First Citizens Bank (Renovation)

239 Fayetteville Street

Completed November 2021

Units / SF:  39,000 SF Office / 2,140 SF Retail

The project is a renovation to existing four-story building that includes an exterior façade renovation, a new entrance, retail shell space, modifications to existing planters, and replacement of infrastructure, mechanical equipment and electrical closets. The branch bank has remained operational throughout construction.

Development Team

Owner/Client: First Citizens Bank
General Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Engineer: Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers
Architect: Gensler
Exterior Design Partner: Kimley-Horn & Associates

AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown

9 Glenwood Avenue

Delivered: September 2021

Units / SF: 77,400 SF Hotel (excludes The Willard) / The Willard 14,200 SF (includes outdoor terraces) / 3,600 SF Retail / 36,900 SF Garage

"Hotels should serve as an escape, an oasis from the mundane." This is the guiding principle of Antonio Catalan who founded AC Hotels in Madrid, Spain and brought it to the US market in 2013 in a joint venture with Marriott. Our AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown is a seven-story, 146-guestroom mixed-use property located at the nexus of Glenwood South and the Warehouse District forming the western gateway to downtown. Our crown jewel is The Willard- an exclusive, flowing mixture of tapas restaurant and lounge occupying the entire top floor(14,000 square feet) including multiple outdoor terraces, as well as private dining for as few as 6 people and as many as 120- offering broad stunning views of Raleigh's rapidly rising downtown skyline.

Development Team

Sponsor/Developer/Hotel Manager: Summit Hospitality Group, Ltd.
Lead Architect: ODA Architects
Site Architect: JDavis Architects
Civil Engineer: John Edwards Civil Engineering
Interior Design: DLR Group
F&B Consultant: Early Bird Night Owl
Construction Lender: SouthState Bank
General Contractor: Clancy & Theys Contractors

Photo Gallery

Photography credit: Veritas Digital Photography

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