RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In less than two years, a renovation of Moore Square in downtown Raleigh will be completed. Downtown Raleigh Alliance recently reported over $180 million in ongoing or planned development is taking place in and around Moore Square.
"The city will have put in roughly $20 million of public investment," said Bill King. King serves as the Senior Director of Planning and Development for Downtown Raleigh Alliance. "But you're going to see once that pipeline has finished out over $270 million in private investment...which is tremendous."
In a recent email to ABC11, DRA says part of the $270-plus million development includes the Moore Square renovation, the GoRaleigh Transit Station, The Lincoln, SkyHouse Raleigh luxury apartments, and the Edison Apartments. "Moreover, nineteen storefront businesses have either been announced, or already opened their doors over the last year," the email reads. "With numbers like these, it's easy to understand why we're so excited about the future of the Moore Square district."
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"We want to make sure (new development) blends nicely and that we have a nice mix of businesses that coexist with each other," King Said. "Along with residents and workers and visitors as well. We're already seeing the growth."
In addition to the development taking places, DRA also offers a retail up-fit grant for businesses looking to locate downtown.
Kid's bookstore owner Christine Brenner, who operates Read With Me, is a recent recipient of the grant. The store opened at 111 E. Hargett Street #103 in early April. "So far it's been very welcoming around here," Brenner said. ""I was very excited and trying to think of what to use (the grant) for. And I was thinking that while we could pay off some bills, it would probably be smart to use it towards marketing efforts."
When asked why she selected her store's location, Brenner said, "I felt like if I was going to have a children's bookstore, it needed to be near Marbles...since I have just children's books."
Brenner has seen the mockups for Moore Square and said, "That's going to be such an amazing well-rounded place to have a business and invite families down."
School teacher Lauren Dunning used Friday morning to shop the titles in Brenner's bookstore for a friend's birthday this weekend. "I think there should be more local bookstores where kids can come and explore books," said Dunning, who is also looking forward to the future. "I'm really interested in revitalizing this area and having local places to go and hang out and spend some time downtown."
According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, construction for Moore Square should begin in late 2017 and be completed by late 2018/early 2019.