RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Some changes may soon be coming to Raleigh’s iconic City Plaza.
A $2-million renovation to the open area on Fayetteville Street is included in the City Manager’s proposed budget.
With its proximity to hotels and the Convention Center, City Plaza has become one of the most visited areas in downtown Raleigh. However, some city leaders say that foot traffic has led to some wear and tear and the area is in need of some repairs.
“City Plaza is supposed to be our living room and I kind of refer to it as the rumpus room because it’s a place where all this stuff was happening and no one was taking care of it,” said Raleigh City Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “We have a million tourists coming through this area every year, so this is their first impression of Raleigh.”
The proposed renovations would include replacing the pavement, adding furniture to the plaza and creating more space by removing the fountain and planters. The additional space would allow Fayetteville Street to remain open during most events, according to city leaders.
“I guess any improvement wouldn’t hurt,” said Fred Miller, who sets up shop at the Farmer’s Market in Downtown Raleigh at City Plaza. “I think they do a really good job of keeping people coming downtown and giving them a reason to be here.”
City Plaza was developed in 2009 and recently, city planners have been looking at ways to renovate the area. At a work session in March, they took a look at several potential additions to City Plaza including a bike share station, site lighting and new landscaping.
“I think it’ll bring a lot more events and I’m really excited to see all the improvements,” said Erin Dooha, who works near City Plaza.
The renovations are part of a proposed budget that increases spending by nearly $60 million. The city wants to offset the cost by raising property taxes by 0.7 cents, raising it to 42.5 cents per $100 in valuation.
Council is expected to approve the budget before July 1.