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Economic Development Quarterly Report Shows $2 Billion in Downtown Raleigh’s Investment Pipeline

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2019

Media contact: Stacey Simeone | Office: (919) 821-6976 | Mobile: (919) 796-6606

Economic Development Quarterly Report Shows $2 Billion in Downtown Raleigh’s Investment Pipeline

RALEIGH, NC (January 29, 2019) – The Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) has released its 4Q-2018 Economic Development Report for Downtown Raleigh. With over $329 million in completed projects last year, 2018 saw the most development completed in terms of investment since 2013. There has also been at least $2 billion in projects under construction, delivered between 2015 and 2018, or planned/announced for downtown in the near future.

“Downtown Raleigh continues to see rapid growth with over 2,400 new residential units delivered in the past four years and another record-setting year in food and beverage sales with over $240 million,” said DRA President and CEO-elect Bill King. “We are also very excited to see growing retail density along the Hargett and Martin Street corridors with nine new retailers opened along those corridors, plus four more stores either expanding or relocating onto those streets.”

King will become DRA’s new President and CEO starting Monday, February 11.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Downtown Raleigh set a new record in 2018 in food and beverage sales with over $240 million in sales, up 7.6% over 2017. Two districts saw double-digit growth in 2018 with Moore Square and the Warehouse District as the biggest standouts with more than 18% growth in sales over the previous year in each district.
  • During the fourth quarter, 12 new street-level businesses opened in downtown with two more already open in early first quarter of 2019. A total of 45 storefront businesses opened in 2018, the highest net gain in businesses since 2010.
  • Since 2015, 2,405 units have been delivered and more than 1,314 units are planned for the near future. Construction continues on another 682 residential units including Peace and several townhome projects throughout downtown.
  • Office occupancy has been near a historic high with a decrease in vacancy from 11.4% at the start of 2017 to a mere 6.8% at the end of 2018, illustrating a strengthening office market in Downtown Raleigh with more supply coming.

View the full report here. Interviews are available upon request with King. To schedule an interview, please contact Bob Hagh for available dates and times.

DRA Unveils New Website for Downtown Raleigh

To enhance access to the community, the DRA also launched a brand new Downtown Raleigh website. The redesigned website offers quick and easy access to downtown information and a user-friendly experience for computers, smartphones, and tablets.

“We were so excited to take on this project and provide a better, more functional online flagship for the Downtown community,” said DRA President and CEO Kristopher Larson. “A decade removed from the last DRA website overhaul, the new site combines best practices in web development with a truly local aesthetic that incorporates iconic imagery of Downtown Raleigh.”

In addition to the website being adaptive to any screen, it was built around a focus on accessibility. The website was tested with assistive technologies including screen reading and magnification software and considered usability issues, going beyond minimum accessibility standards. 

Some of the new features on the website include:

  • The "Super Map" which allows users to select what they want to see by selecting layers of different groups, giving them a snapshot of downtown from an aerial view.
  • New drone video footage and beautiful photos provided by local photographers including Brios Media and Matt Robinson of Raleigh Skyline, respectively.
  • A new human interest section called “Voices” which will include blog posts, interviews and features, special announcements, and more.
  • A live feed of the R-LINE with up-to-the-minute stop information.

You can view the website at To learn more about the digital accessibility work on the site, please contact LCI Tech Manager, John Samuel, at (919) 596-8277 or


Mission of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA): Advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone. The 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 the DRA as a reliable, responsive, representative, and mission-directed.