Downtown Raleigh is growing in a big way, according to the 2023 State of Downtown

According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance report, since 2015, $7.1 billion has been in the downtown development pipeline.

The skyline of downtown Raleigh with completed, under construction, and planned buildings highlighted.

Raleigh is the hottest housing market in the US, according to US News.

Photo provided by Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Table of Contents

Downtown Raleigh Alliance released its annual State of Downtown report, detailing city trends in housing, transportation, culture, and more. Let’s dive into these numbers and what they mean for the city, including $7.1 billion in developments since 2015.


As of September 2023, 2,899 residential units are under construction, the most in downtown Raleigh’s history. These units will bring an estimated 4,000 new residents to downtown. Nearly 7,000 more units in 28 different projects are proposed or planned.

According to Integra Realty Resources, 94.1% of downtown apartments are occupied with over 19,000 residents living within a mile of the city center, an increase from approximately 17,900 in 2020.

Local biz

Downtown Raleigh knows how to eat. Food + bev sales are up 14% year over year, and according to DRA, there are 108 downtown lunch spots and over 260 places to eat or drink. Additionally, 22 Raleigh chefs have received James Beard Award nominations since 2010.

Between July 2022 and June 2023, 53 downtown storefront businesses opened, making for over 150 places to shop. More than 90% of downtown storefronts are locally owned and independently operated.

Bill King presents at State of Downtown 2023

President and CEO of DRA Bill King presented during the 2023 State of Downtown, showcasing the exciting developments for downtown Raleigh.

Photo by RALtoday

Tourism + transit

Between July 2022 and June 2023, outdoor events were attended by over 586,000 people with 3.7 million unique downtown visitors. Dreamville music festival’s 100,000 attendees sold out every hotel in downtown and generated $6.7 million in Wake County.

Raleigh boasts 18 miles of bike lanes downtown and has a 97 high walk score, outstepping both downtown Durham and Chapel Hill.

RDU connects to 57 destinations nonstop with 186 average flights per day. Plans are in motion for a high speed rail connecting Raleigh to Richmond with stops in Sanford and Wake Forest. Additionally, over 20 miles of bus rapid transit leading to the center of downtown are planned.

Read more about downtown moving up in the 2023 State of Downtown report.