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SubMarket Insights: Downtown Raleigh – Sneaky Cool

Published December 4, 2019 by yorkadmin

The New York Times visited Raleigh in 2018 and aptly deemed it “sneaky cool” – deceivingly mild on the outside, yet passionate, friendly and energetic on the inside.

Historically dominated by state and local government and universities, a new wave of tech entrepreneurs is choosing to call Raleigh home – both homegrown and transplant.  With all this growth comes new restaurants, arts, amenities and a burgeoning cool factor.  Downtown used to be dominated by one main street, Fayetteville, but now sports interesting micromarkets with an impressive array of major developments on the books.

  • To the west, the Warehouse District is growing up anchored by Raleigh Union Station, the Dillon mixed-use development, Morgan Street Food Hall and CAM Raleigh showcasing cutting edge contemporary art and performance.
  • Moore Square to the east is home to newly renovated Moore Square park, Marbles Kids Museum (the most-visited children’s museum per SF in the country), new residential development and ANOTHER great food hall, Transfer Co.
  • To the north, Seaboard is slated to undergo a major $250 million transformation and Person Street showcases a small-town main street vibe with restaurants spilling out onto the street, historic homes, and an urban farm.  Smoky Hollow redevelopment is under construction with hundreds of new apartments, an urban Publix grocery store, and class A office pushing downtown’s boundaries northwest.
  • To the southwest our crown jewel is taking shape, Dix Park, a 308-acre oasis adjacent to downtown, is the nation’s most exciting park project according to Curbed magazine.

We’re not ready to rest on our laurels, although we do have them……. Jus’ sayin’

Latest Laurels

  • Top 20 US City for Startups – Commercial Café, June 2019
  • #3 Best City to Work in Tech in America – SmartAsset, June 2019
  • #3 Best City to Work in – Fortune, January 2019
  • #1 Best Beer Festival in the US – Brewgaloo – USA Today, April 2019
  • Top 10 Places ot Live in the US – US News & World Report, April 2019
  • And so on….


  • City Population (2018 Est): 469,000
  • DT housing units: 5,472 @ 95% occupancy
  • DT Residents: 8,500 (18,585+ within a mile)
  • Downtown Employees: 47,000
  • Office occupancy: 94.6%
  • Median household income: $61,505
  • Bachelor’s Degree attainment or higher for those 25+: 50%
  • 3 James Beard Award nominations in 2018

Resources: City of Raleigh, Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Wake County Economic Development, US Census