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Downtown Raleigh Alliance Releases 2019 Fourth Quarter Economic Development Report

For Immediate Release
Media Contact

Katie Bailey
Director of Marketing and Communications, Downtown Raleigh Alliance | (919) 821-6986

Downtown Raleigh Alliance Releases 2019 Fourth Quarter Economic Development Report

RALEIGH, NC (January 22, 2019) – Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) has released its Fourth Quarter 2019 Economic Development Report for Downtown Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh has continued its strong performance and growth across all sectors, easily setting a new annual record in food and beverage sales with $262.7 million in sales in 2019, the highest yearly amount ever recorded in downtown. Warehouse District food and beverage sales alone increased by 28% in Q4 2019 over Q4 2018, and increased by 69.4% year-over-year, representing an unprecedented surge in a single district.

“Downtown Raleigh continues its extraordinary growth with yet another record-breaking year in food and beverage sales in 2019 and a $2.3 billion development pipeline bringing new towers of office, retail, hotel, and residential space throughout downtown,” said DRA President and CEO Bill King. “Our goal is to build on this growth and continue to create a downtown where everyone feels welcome and can succeed.”

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Downtown Raleigh has $539 million in construction projects currently underway with another $538 million proposed. More than $1.13 billion in projects have been completed since 2015, with $278 million completed in 2019 alone. 
  • FNB Tower opened in December as downtown’s newest high-rise. The 22-story LEED and Green Globe certified mixed-use development brings 239 new residential units, 152,000 square feet of Class A office space, and 11,010 square feet of retail space to Fayetteville Street, with First National Bank moving its regional headquarters into the tower.
  • Downtown Raleigh’s newest hotel, The Longleaf Hotel, opened last week, transforming the former Days Inn on N. Dawson Street into a 56-room boutique hotel. The Origin Hotel across from One Glenwood is nearing completion and will add 126 rooms to the market. And development has begun for the future 147-room hotel on Glenwood Avenue called The Willard.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, 2,665 residential units were delivered, and construction continues on 786 residential units downtown, with most of them set to deliver in 2020. An additional 1,485 units are planned for the future.
  • Office space development in downtown is at an all-time high, with three new towers currently under construction.
  • With 11 new street-level businesses opening in downtown in the fourth quarter, a total 182 storefront businesses have opened in Downtown Raleigh since the start of 2016. And at least 20 more street-level businesses have been announced and are expected to open over the next few months, including retail, restaurants, bars, and services. 
  • Overall, 46 new storefront businesses opened in 2019, and 16 new food hall vendors opened in Morgan Street Food Hall or Transfer Co. Food Hall. Over 90% of downtown retailers are independently owned and local, making Downtown Raleigh the best place to shop locally in the region. 

You can find the complete report here or on the Reports, Publications, and Plans page of our website.