Business in certain parts of Downtown Raleigh is at or above pre-pandemic levels: DRA Report

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022
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The report lists ten new storefront openings and expansions downtown with three storefront closures for a net gain of five.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance's Q2 2022 Market Report shows the city continues to recover from economic challenges due to the pandemic.

The report shows certain parts of downtown at or above pre-pandemic levels. It lists ten new storefront openings and expansions downtown with three storefront closures for a net gain of five new storefront businesses. The report also lists seventeen downtown development projects under construction or in site prep.

"That's a really large number. It's the biggest number that we've had in a number of years from a storefront side of things and new businesses that have opened in the past quarter," explained Will Gaskins, Director of Economic Development & Planning at Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

"Food and beverage sales, pedestrian traffic are all continuing to be up recovering. Certain parts of downtown or above pre-pandemic and other parts are getting there from a monthly basis of recovery to pre-pandemic levels from the hotel occupancy side of things. Again, seeing a pretty consistent month-over-month recovery of downtown revenue. And on the apartment side, or the multifamily side of things. Continued high occupancy as well as new projects," Gaskins added.

New downtown business owner Irine Lavigne who opened 9 Rounds Fitness on East Davie Street in April is encouraged by what she's seen happening since she opened.

"I opened in April, but it took a long time to actually build it in," Lavigne explained. "So it took almost half a year and I remember us coming here to look around for a vacation and then the town looked like a ghost town. All the windows were blocked. There were no people there. And during that, six months I was building it, I could see the difference. I could see more cars passing by, and more people on the street. I can see how the festivals are coming and all that stuff. All the moving. I can see the difference now. It's a huge difference between six months ago to now. It's a great place to be. I believe in downtown. I love the atmosphere here. I love people start feeling more comfortable. And I love to help people to reach their goals and change their lives every day. And that's why I opened this business here and we have more people coming in every day. So it's getting there," she added.

The report lists residential occupancy at more than 95 percent, with more than 2,400 residential units under construction or in prep. Pedestrian traffic is also listed up 42 percent compared to the same time last year and food and beverage sales are up 29 percent.

The DRA's Q2 Market Report also shows more than 52 million dollars in commercial real estate sales downtown.

Read the full report here.

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