Raleigh seeks public ideas to reimagine historic alley in Warehouse District

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Thursday, November 2, 2023
Raleigh seeks public ideas to makeover historic alley
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The area is known as Commerce Place, a single mid-block alley in the Warehouse District.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The city of Raleigh is working to reimagine an underused historic downtown alley as a place for people and wants your ideas.

The area is known as Commerce Place, a single mid-block alley in the Warehouse District.

Commerce Place spans the entire length of West Martin Street to Davie Street.

The current alleyway is mostly used for unloading and unregulated vehicle parking. The city hopes to transform it into a more pedestrian-oriented area possibly with streeteries or public art.

"We're taking inspiration from the Shared Streets movement, which really started in Europe but also has seen success all over the world where you can have different types of uses along one street so we can, you know, potentially narrow down the street so that there's less car traffic, less parking, but then more spaces for people and other types of users to feel comfortable and safe," explained Jake Levitas, Planning Supervisor for Urban Projects for the city of Raleigh

To spark public input and interest, Raleigh is hosting a one-day event this Friday called Commerce Place(making). The pop-up will feature snacks, games, and the chance to share your ideas for the future of the historic alley.

"We expect there to be a new development that's being planned right here next to us that will front onto Commerce Place," Levitas said. "So, that's part of the catalyst for this project, the timeline for that is still being figured out. But, we expect you know, anywhere between maybe two to five years. This street will have the chance to be basically dug up and reimagined repaved, maybe new pavements that are more pedestrian friendly and also, you know, new types of amenities, seating plantings."

The city doesn't have any budget yet planned for Commerce Place. Levitas says the budget planning portion will come later. Right now, the city is just looking for design ideas.

The public is invited to come and share thoughts on what to do with Commerce Place at a pop-up event on Friday, November 3rd. The event runs from 3 pm to 9 pm in the alley during the First Friday celebration downtown.

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