Plan for downtown Raleigh beach making waves

April 25, 2013 2:21:46 PM PDT
One man's idea for a Raleigh beach planted in the heart of downtown is making waves around the city.

The idea was born on social media, starting as a picture on Twitter. Now, Facebook and Twitter are helping the idea gain followers.

Matt Tomasulo is the mind behind Raleigh Beach. He lives and works downtown and wondered why the prime location on West Hargett Street isn't something special.

"Wow this is a great view of Raleigh here. We love Boylan Bridge. Something could be here," Tomasulo said.

On Thursday, a sign popped up at the vacant lot where Tomasulo envisions the beach. The message on the sign read, "Coming this summer on West Hargett Street, a pop-up oasis to beat the heat. It's time to relax on the beach."

"Why not a beach?" Tomasulo said. "Simple pop up events like Raleigh Beach could add to the energy and excitement of what's happening."

And his vision could become a reality. Tomasulo said after the online idea went viral, he now has the unofficial support of several city leaders and investors.

"We have a few people who are interested in investing in it, managing it, helping run it. We're excited to see where this rabbit hole goes," Tomasulo said.

ABC11 spoke with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the organization at the forefront of the downtown's revitalization. The CEO said several interested parties are looking into developing parts of the warehouse district, including a possible hotel and an office building.

The lot where Tomasulo proposed the Raleigh beach is for sale by an out of town owner.

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