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Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) publishes RFP for Economic Development Strategy


January 11, 2023


Media Contact –

Lauren Barnett

Director of Marketing and Communications, Downtown Raleigh Alliance



Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) publishes RFP for Economic Development Strategy

DRA requests proposals from qualified consultants to develop an economic development strategy for Downtown Raleigh.

 RALEIGH, N.C. – Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) seeks proposals from firms experienced and knowledgeable in preparing an economic development strategy for downtowns, business improvement districts and/or municipalities.

 The objective of this work is to craft an economic development strategy specifically for Downtown Raleigh, positioning it to leverage its unique strengths and respond to the new economic realities of central business districts.

 Major areas of focus and study for the strategy include: 

  • Providing a retail strategy for downtown with a specialized focus on the Fayetteville Street corridor
  • Examination and strategic positioning of the downtown office market
  • Opportunities for supporting a thriving Minority- and Women-owned business community
  • Identification of catalytic projects to stimulate and grow Downtown Raleigh’s economy

 “Fayetteville Street is our Main Street,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, “Focusing on how we enhance its offerings, vibrancy and appearance, along with making downtown as a whole even more competitive economically, is critical to our downtown. It will take creativity and innovation, so we are seeking a consultant who can lead us in the right direction — and create a Main Street and Downtown for the future.”

 This strategic planning is funded by the City of Raleigh, with RFP process, strategy development and execution spearheaded by DRA. DRA will work closely with the selected consultant to develop a plan of community engagement and study of the downtown market to be conducted over the coming year. From this process a guiding strategy document will be created that outlines actionable recommendations and an implementation strategy.

 Goals for diversity, inclusion, sustainability and equitable growth will be key focus areas within the strategy with the overarching objective to make downtown more competitive and resilient economically.

 “This is a significant opportunity for experienced innovators to combine efforts and lead the way forward for Downtown Raleigh,” said DRA President and CEO, Bill King, “So much has changed over the past three years that we need a new vision for our downtown economy that accounts for new normals and looks ahead to new opportunities. This strategy for the future of downtown will have a sizable impact in the years to come – not only in improving the community as a whole but in creating life-changing opportunities for many people.”

 Downtown Raleigh has a history of creation and implementation of successful strategies such as this with previous studies in 2005 and 2015 producing recommendations that included the reopening of Fayetteville Street, development of the Raleigh Convention Center, and the retail strategy that led to the successful recruitment of grocery stores to downtown. In the wake of the pandemic and changes to how downtowns across the world function, a new strategy is necessary for continuing Downtown Raleigh’s upward trajectory of the past decade.

 Those interested in learning more about the strategy and the open request for proposals (RFP) can reference the RFP document and timeline here:

All proposals must be submitted electronically by Monday, February 6, 2023, at 11:59pm Eastern Time (ET).


 About Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA)

 DRA’s mission is advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone. DRA facilitates this mission through five goals: 1) Building a culture of authentic engagement and inclusion with downtown’s diverse community; 2) Fostering a thriving and diverse storefront economy; 3) Facilitating strategic partnerships to produce positive, balanced activations across downtown; 4) Improving physical connectivity and accessibility within and around downtown; 5) Positioning DRA as reliable, responsive, representative, and mission-directed.