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What changes could come to Fayetteville Street

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance released a set of major recommendations with the City of Raleigh to revitalize downtown as part of downtown’s economic development strategy, starting with Fayetteville Street.

A potential rendering of City Plaza on Fayetteville Street. Lights are above the street and a mural on a building says "North Carolina's Main Street"

Plans for Fayetteville Street include branding the historic road as NC’s Main Street.

Rendering provided by Interface Studio

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance released major recommendations in tandem with the City of Raleigh to support the future of downtown, starting with downtown’s main thoroughfare, Fayetteville Street. We’re breaking down a few big ideas in these 10 recommendations.

One big change Raleighites may see is a revitalization in the streetscape of Fayetteville Street. This street’s sidewalks are 29 feet wide, making it a prime spot for a potential refresh, including outdoor retail, dining + workspace setups, lawn games, swinging benches, and stages for performers.

Upgraded greenery and pedestrian lighting is also a possibility, including string lights and illuminated buildings to encourage more pedestrians to spend more time on Fayetteville Street.

Another proposed idea includes uplifting local Black-owned businesses and highlighting the history of Raleigh’s Black Business District. This recommendation calls for public art along Hargett Street recounting stories of Black businesses and the installation of permanent stalls at Exchange Plaza for Black-owned businesses to potentially occupy.

A rendering of City Plaza in Raleigh with a large-scale NC artwork, improved retail boxes, and signature gateways.

Take a peek at what City Plaza could look like in the future.

Rendering by Interface Studio

The DRA also recommends repositioning City Plaza as the “front porch” of Raleigh, including a potential renaming. An overhaul of the plaza would include removing current elements like the newspaper corrals and putting in flexible spaces for festivals + day-to-day activities, greenery, and large-scale NC artwork along the street.

“I am incredibly excited about the strategy set forth and anxious for our Council and staff to get moving on enacting these recommendations,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin in a press release. “This is the heart of our city, and just as we did in 2006, we need to set forth a new vision.”

The full economic development strategy, including finalized Fayetteville Street guidance, will be released mid-2024. These are just three ideas from the DRA — read all 10 recommendations + details online. What changes would you like to see on Fayetteville Street? Let us know.