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Downtown Raleigh Skyline at Night

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Plans are underway to revitalize Fayetteville Street, downtown Raleigh’s main thoroughfare, making it known as “North Carolina’s Main Street.”

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) on Thursday released its 82-page “Activating Fayetteville Street” report, which lists ideas and plans to make Fayetteville Street more lively, vibrant and colorful with feedback from the community, business leaders and Interface Studio, a consultant to the project.

According to DRA, Fayetteville Street lacks the local charm and vibrancy of other areas of downtown development like Hillsborough Street, the Warehouse District, Glenwood South and Dix Park, which is currently undergoing a major transformation.

The report calls for the “loosening up” of Fayetteville Street and suggests: “The core of downtown centered around Fayetteville Street is disconnected from these investments and lacks some of the color and vibrancy of these newer districts.”

The initial plan released Thursday includes 10 “big ideas”:

  1. Develop a streetscape design for Fayetteville Street that offers variations on a theme
  2. Build a strong foundation to ensure downtown is clean, safe and vibrant
  3. Develop a family-friendly itinerary and route around Fayetteville Street attractions
  4. Design and market the downtown core as North Carolina’s Main Street
  5. Celebrate Raleigh’s Black Business District
  6. Add more housing on and around Fayetteville Street
  7. Use public space to support neighborhood livability
  8. Reposition City Plaza as downtown’s front porch
  9. Grow Raleigh’s arts and entertainment district
  10. Create a bold connection south of downtown

The report reads: “We also need to think of Fayetteville Street as more than a single street; it is really a series of overlapping mini-districts tied to surrounding streets and uses. In this way, Fayetteville Street has different personalities, and the design and retail strategy should reflect that.”