Downtown Raleigh seeing growth, some areas still struggle

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Saturday, September 3, 2022
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A new report from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance shows the area has grown by 5,000 people in the last decade and it's expected to more than double in the next 10 years to 12,500 people.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- On a Wednesday night in downtown Raleigh , it's not uncommon to see people like Mike Rogosich out walking his dog. "I grew up in Raleigh. So, I've always liked Raleigh and I used to live downtown a while ago when I went to NC State quite a while ago but I love being downtown," he explained.

Now Rogosich is back and a part of the resurgence of downtown. A newly released Downtown Raleigh Alliance report shows how much the area has grown in the last decade and how much it's expected to increase in next 10 years. Rogosich understands why. "I actually take the city bus at times. I love walking my dog down here and I got some friends who live nearby and it's close to work."

Brandon Baker shares in that same excitement. He left Fuquay-Varina six months ago for the city life. He said, so far there are no regrets. "I was looking to join younger people and enjoy life like that and we picked here. So far so good."

Nearly $7 billion worth of projects have been completed since 2015, are under construction, or are planned right now in downtown Raleigh. That includes new residential spaces, retail shops and restaurants. Downtown has seen a nearly 50% increase in restaurants and an 83% jump in retail stores in the last decade. It's a part of the draw for people like Maliyah Acevedo who was visiting from Knightdale. "They have now the Sip and Stroll and you're able to take drinks at a restaurant I've seen a few that have their labeled cups so you know they are a part of the sip and stroll. That is something I do like that just came into play a couple of weeks ago."

While everyone loves the new energy in downtown Raleigh, some areas need improvements. The Fayetteville Street Corridor hasn't bounced back since the pandemic. Some businesses have shut down since the pandemic . More people are also working from home, which cuts down on foot traffic.

People who live in the area want to see that foot traffic again. "I think life is returning as more and more people return to work. so I'd like to see more of those people return to work so the shops down here can thrive," continued Rogosich.

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