Report: Downtown Raleigh In Fine Fettle
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s Q4 2017 Economic Development Report reiterates the well-known fact that Downtown is growing rapidly, but it also offers some new detail. All property types, including office and residential and even retail, are in growth mode as people want to live and work Downtown.
“At least $1.75B in projects are under construction, were delivered in 2015-2017 or planned/announced for Downtown in the near future, with several more major projects yet to announce their total investment figures," the report said. "Public investment is strong, with $200M in public projects either underway, planned or completed."
In the office sector, the year-end office occupancy rate was 94.7% — the second time that metric has hit more than 90% since 2010, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance reported. Downtown enjoyed net absorption of more than 248K SF in 2017, up from 66K SF the year before.
Two grocery stores are in the works Downtown: Weaver Street Market plans to open in The Dillon by late 2018, and Publix is set to open on Peace Street in 2019. The 17-story Dillon will also be home to FMI Corp., Stewart Engineering and the co-working concept Spaces.
Also, there are 825 residential units under construction and more than 900 planned for the near future, the report noted. Nearly 1,000 hotel rooms are planned or under construction, not including the 175 rooms at the Residence Inn by Marriott that opened last summer.
Downtown set a record for food and drink sales in 2017, totaling $223M and marking an increase of more than 10% from 2016, and a jump of more than 50% from 2012.
Nine businesses opened in Downtown Raleigh in Q4, including four restaurants and a bar, and three restaurants have already opened this year, the report said. Four businesses, including the restaurant Provenance, were listed as closing in the last three months of 2017.
“It was a good year for the Warehouse District," the Downtown Raleigh Association said. "The area saw a 53% increase in food and beverage sales from 2013, and the upswing will likely continue with the opening of The Dillon later this year.
"The 17-story tower will feature about half a dozen restaurants, including the just-announced O-Ku Sushi and 220K SF of office space. Union Station, the city’s $80M transit hub, is also expected to open soon in the Warehouse District.”