Raleigh's mayor states new year projections

RALEIGH Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker also took some time to chat with Eyewitness News about the changes Raleigh saw last year and what 2009 will bring for the city of oaks.

"There's work to do and looking forward in this new administration, getting things turned around and getting our country rolling again," Meeker said.

He says despite an economy that hit rock bottom last year, Raleigh is much better off than other parts of the country, and even other parts of the state.

"The RBC tower got finished; it's really a landmark downtown," Meeker said. "The convention center also went up and is operating well, as is the downtown Marriott and also the North Hills Renaissance is open now, another hotel there, so it was quite a year for getting major buildings done."

The new year will also bring more changes to Raleigh starting with completing some unfinished business downtown.

"The plaza got under construction in September 2008, should be finished by September of this year and that great vista from the performing arts center to the capital will be open for the first time in over 30 years," Meeker said. "The projects on Hillsborough Street, the Reynolds Building didn't' get started last year, hopefully it will this year. Likewise site one for Charter Square didn't get started last year, but that should get going in the next three or four months.

Meeker says construction on the Greenway along the Neuse River will also begin this year and the city will continue its push to turn the Dorthea Dix Hospital property into a park. But meeker knows this fragile time will impact every move the city is able to make.

"We're keeping a careful eye on the economy, what it means to our revenues, and what it means to what projects can move ahead," Meeker said.

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