Downtown Raleigh explores options for post-pandemic bounce back

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Downtown Raleigh explores multiple options for pandemic bounceback
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On Tuesday, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance launched a year-long economic study to figure out how to revitalize Fayetteville Street.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Leigh Anne Pridgen loves the people-watching on Fayetteville Street.

She moved her salon, named Finally, down here in February.

But she's hoping for more foot traffic down here as the city looks for a better post-pandemic bounce back.

Her business is one focus of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance's plan to figure out where the neighborhood goes next.

On Tuesday, it launched a year-long economic study with the consulting firm Interface LLC to figure out how to revitalize Fayetteville Street.

Many office space workers never returned after the pandemic, so the alliance has to adjust to that paradigm.

"There's a reality to hybrid work," said Bill King, president of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. "How do we position offices downtown to be competitive?"

The study will look specifically at the Fayetteville Street corridor for six months and examine all options.

It will also try to understand how to better support minority and female-owned businesses.

"Fayetteville Street is an underperforming main street, there are too many vacancies," King said. "It really should be the best street in the city."

Pam Blondin, owner of Deco Raleigh on Salisbury Street, said she hopes the solution builds on the creativity and strengths that are already in Raleigh.

"The solution is here with the folks who live and work in downtown Raleigh," she said. "I've lived here for more than 30 years. That creativity is here and I would love to see a solution that's really organic."


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