Relocation of Raleigh's Red Hat Amphitheater may force permanent closure to part of South Street

Elaina Athans Image
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Part of South Street in downtown Raleigh may permanently close
Expansion plans for the Raleigh Convention Center require the relocation of Red Hat Amphitheater and that could mean a permanent road closure downtown.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Raleigh Convention Center announced today its intention to permanently close a section of South Street, between McDowell and Dawson Streets, in order to relocate Red Hat Amphitheater.

An official said the closure will help the convention center stay within budget.

Rob Hale owns a townhouse along South Street. He loves to hang out on the rooftop, listening to concerts and other events at Red Hat Amphitheater.

"On New Years, you get a good amount of the fireworks," Hale said.

He bought his townhouse knowing that there would be development in the area, but not knowing exactly what that development would do to his home.

Now, Raleigh is getting ready to embark on a multi-million-dollar plan to expand the Raleigh Convention Center by 500,000 extra square feet. To make room for that, Red Hat Amphitheater will have to be relocated a block south.

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The plans feature three new residential buildings, a new hotel, and more. "This is going to be the place you want to be."

Rodney Faulk, from the Raleigh Convention Center, said leaders will apply by July 1 to reconfigure South Street in order to make room for the venue's new location.

He said four options are being studied now. Whatever option is chosen will require the North Carolina Department of Transportation to sign off on since proposals include state-owned roads.

Faulk said the change is necessary.

"Capacity of over 6,500 (people) is a must to keep Red Hat Amphitheater one of the top boutique (amphitheaters) in the country and continue to be an economic driver for our city."

Hale is hesitant about the changes and admits he's worried what it will ultimately mean for him and his home.

"I'd like to think for the most part, it means good things for us. I moved here to this community knowing that Raleigh was on the grow," he said. "With that comes, some increased traffic on the streets. That's a bit of a concern."

All of this development is coming as Raleigh is simultaneously coming up with a new economic development plan, which includes a focus on Fayetteville Street.

Another development on the board is creating a new urban walkway to connect Chavis Park with Dix Park.