Downtown heating up in winter weather

RALEIGH Raleigh City Planning Director Mitchell Silver says there's been an increase in the number of new businesses that have opened up shop downtown.

"There are a lot of eating and dining establishments with entertainment both on Fayetteville Street, but also on some of the side streets like Wilmington," Silver said. "Bars, there's restaurants; there's entertainment that was not here before."

And that's attracted several people to downtown.

"Every once in a while we'd come down for dinner," visitor Christine Sheef said. "So much that's happened on Fayetteville Street in the last three years."

"It's headed in the right direction with everything they do, the outdoor events," visitor Rose Fields added.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker says the city attracts people from all over the Triangle.

"Downtown Raleigh is now almost as busy on Friday and Saturday nights as it is noon, during the business day," he said.

"If you do come downtown you'll see certain streets now where people are starting to spill out into the streets when they're going to some of these venues," Silver said.

There are some projects that have been put on hold because of the economy; however, city officials hope they'll start up again soon.

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