Downtown Raleigh development boasts $2 billion worth of investments

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A recently released report by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance outlines downtown Raleigh's growth in 2018 and what is scheduled and forecasted for 2019.

In the fourth-quarter 2018 economic-development report, downtown Raleigh saw over $329 million of completed projects in 2018. In addition, between 2015 and 2018, at least $2 billion worth of projects have started construction, been delivered, or have been planned for the downtown area.

The report highlighted several accomplishments, despite the closure of several businesses and restaurants within the past 21 months.

For example, the economic report cited 2018 as a record year for food and beverage sales with over $240 million in revenue, which was an almost eight percent increase from 2017.

Office occupancy vacancies decreased from 11.4 percent at the start of 2017 down to just 6.8 percent at the end of last year. The report believed this statistic touted the strength in downtown Raleigh's office market.

In City Plaza, the $118 million FNB Tower is already under construction. The 22-story building is already more than 60 percent pre-released and is over one year away from being completed.

The year 2018 was a year that also saw several businesses close in downtown Raleigh, which included the highly-anticipated, yet failed, Wahlburgers on Fayetteville Street. Other businesses that closed in the fourth-quarter included Chick-Fil-A, Oak and Dagger, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Lucarne, Buku, Glenwood Seafood, and Deep South; however, 45 storefront businesses opened in 2018, which is the highest net gain since 2010 when closed businesses were factored in.

Aside from office space and new businesses, the residential landscape will also look different in 2019 thanks in large part to a buzzing 2018. Since 2015, over 2,400 units have been introduced and another 1,300-plus are "planned for the near future." Projects on Peace Street and the Fairweather, which will have views of Red Hat Amphitheater and the Convention Center, should be available for occupancy in 2019.

"We are also very excited to see growing retail density along the Hargett and Martin Street corridors," said DRA president and CEO-elect Bill King, who will assume full responsibilities under the role beginning Feb. 11. "Nine new retailers opened along those corridors, plus four more stores either expanding or relocating onto those streets."

To view the Economic Development Quarterly Report in its entirety click here.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.