Amazon HQ2 Downtown?


I think that’s now dead. Voters overwhelmingly voted against that earlier this year.


Isn’t there population much larger?


I think the metro populations are similar assuming you include Durham with Raleigh.


Wow, that far off? :wink:


As of the latest estimates, and the land area associated with each, the combined Raleigh MSA and Durham MSA have 1,962,064 people in 22% less land area than Nashville’s MSA has 1,878,181 people.
By CSA, The Triangle has 3650 more people in 35% less land than Nashville.
By the latest urbanized area report, Raleigh (now contiguous with Durham) has 400,000 more people than Nashville (1.5M to 1.1M). The year prior, Raleigh’s UA alone had already passed Nashville’s. Unfortunately, that link is now dead because it’s supplanted by the new one below.


Interesting. I would have guessed Nashville to have a greater density and Raleigh-Durham to have greater sprawl.


That’s the narrative that everyone seems to have latched onto.
In reality, the Triangle gets the sprawl necklace hung around its neck while giving a pass to places like Nashville and Charlotte. IMO, Charlotte’s shiny skyline and Nashville’s music oriented core are like shiny object distractions from the reality of their overall metros. Raleigh doesn’t have such a distraction.
Now, I’m not saying that Raleigh isn’t sprawled. I’m just saying that it gets way more attention for that relative to its competitive sisters in the southeast.


Nashvilles DT is vastly more built up than Raleigh’s DT.


Very well said! I have to admit that I am one of those people who forget that all that “bling” is not gold, but it sure is pretty to look at on the TV/magazine etc :blush:


If you combined dt Durham with Raleigh (not talking high-rises, rather walkable urban areas) do you think dt Nashville would still be more built up?


Yeah, I get that…


Yes. Nashville had a more built up DT 10 years ago then Raleigh’s DT today. In 2018 it had more Cranes on its skyline than NYC at 27, the same amount as DC. Raleigh wasn’t even on the list. (Toronto had a eye popping 88 tower cranes…


IMO, Raleigh’s visibility is diminished down nearly every single statistical path. Its MSA is physically tiny. Heck, it even had counties taken away from its CSA while its adjoining MSAs in Durham and Fayetteville added counties. Its functioning urban area is split in two. Its city limits are tiny compared to other emerging SE cities like Nashville, Jacksonville & Charlotte.
This stuff matters folks because these are data that developers and corporations look at when making decisions about where to invest next.
So, while the city/county rapidly ascends, it’s like the statistical Gods are playing whack-a-mole with us. Raleigh needs its “one big thing” to really activate excitement for it at a national level. “A great place to raise a family” isn’t cutting it. Nashville has a built-in advantage that it has its one big thing already: its music industry. That is Nashville’s advantage that gives it national and international visibility. No wonder the investment comes to its core. Nonetheless, this does not mean that greater Nashville has been growing faster; it hasn’t. It doesn’t mean that greater Nashville has more people; it doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that Raleigh is more sprawled; it isn’t.
Nashville has another advantage that Raleigh can’t do anything about. It has a larger older part of the city because it was a much larger city way earlier. This means that it has a larger footprint of legacy city that is so attractive to people today. Raleigh can’t expand its legacy footprint where it doesn’t already exist.


Here’s a link highlighting what some of the finalists offered for Amazon’s HQ2.


John, I agree. Visibility will continue to be a factor for Raleigh in attracting big outside corporate investments. Our talent pool, quality of life, and cost of living continues to keep us at least in the conversation, even if mostly under the radar.

I think Raleigh and our region must continue to think about how it connects to key markets and leverages the more rural/agricultural eastern side of the state. Investment in rail (statewide and regionally) and even Interstate 87 towards Hampton Roads (in concept) are important parts of this. Though, These projects have more value with Virginia’s participation.


Just curious, what exactly would be leveraged from the east? ECU? Pulp and paper forests? Hog farms? Cheap sprawling land that people could move to? The two ports are tiny. Eastern NC has been a tough nut to crack since the 1700’s. It does it’s own thing because it is its own thing. No amount of 4 lane roads leading from Raleigh have changed that (64, 264, 70, 40).


Good question. One to which I wish I had more answers. ECU is certainly a big asset but there are other universities, agriculture, ports (small but valuable), beaches, natural areas. Wilmington and Greenville are growing. Are there better ways to support and connect to these and other eastern towns and cities?


I think that is a good point. Obviously there are some assets in the eastern part of the state (Wilmington, the ports, ECU), but they honestly aren’t major, which I think is one of the drawbacks of Raleigh’s location. It isn’t really between any major cities. We are located off of the major north-south interstates (I-85 and I-95), and the only major east-west interstate going through Raleigh (I-40) just goes to Wilmington which is a nice, but small, city. I like the idea of extending I-87 to make a more direct connection with Norfolk/Hampton Roads, but that is a long way off and even when/if it comes, it isn’t like that is a huge, growing market.

It is tough to think of too many major cities with so few interstate connections.


Not to reignite a storm of speculation but…


OREALLY? (and some more text to meet the minimum post requirements)