How realistic are the plans for the Downtown South soccer, entertainment complex?

Elaina Athans Image
Friday, August 23, 2019
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Is ambitious Downtown South project realistic?

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Kane Realty is trying to get the ball rolling on glitzy new soccer stadium. The company just commissioned a feasibility study on the near $2 billion project which would include an open-air arena, street level retail, office space, and housing.

"It's more than just a stadium," said consultant Juanita Hardy. "It's larger than that. It's about transforming a whole area."

Some of the project's pros include access to a major highway, I-40, and that the stadium could be used for other large scale events.

A challenge highlighted is that there's no access to mass transit nearby or pedestrian.

A much larger feasibility study, which will carry greater weight, will soon be done.

Wake County Commissioners and the Raleigh City Council voted this week to do a joint review of the project.

John Kane, the CEO of Kane Realty, estimates that the mixed-use entertainment district could create more than $450 million a year in economic activity.

"All of that area is underdeveloped. All of that area is not paying a lot of property taxes today," he said.

The complex is set to swallow up 55 acres of land.

There are concerns about gentrification and people being pushed out of their homes for something sparkly and new.

"It has to be inclusive. No more coming in and taking over people's property," said Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley at a forum.

"There are other ways not to move people out of the area," said Kane. "We're not endorsing that. What we want to make sure is we're giving them the option to stay within their own existing communities with another housing options."