Garner- Closest suburb to Downtown

So with South Raleigh’s continued gentrification, combined with Downtown South, the soccer stadium and all the potential the project will bring, when does everyone see Garner, especially Downtown Garner finally seeing a turnaround? The spillover from Downtown South has to finally allow Garner to feel the love that has bypassed it for so long even though it’s the closest to Downtown Raleigh of any suburb.



Probably when the next phase of 540 gets completed.

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540 doesn’t really have anything to do with the area of Garner closest to downtown, including Downtown Garner. 540 is WTH out


I have to agree that 540 won’t do much for Downtown Garner, though it probably will accelerate the sprawl that’s already overtaking the area where the highway will go. In terms of downtown, I think it’s slowly but surely moving in the right direction, but I don’t expect much in terms of a truly transformative change. The Town is building (or perhaps just completed; not sure) a new Recreation Centre in the downtown area, so they’re definitely making investment in their downtown. However, their newly-reconstructed town hall and police stations are both located outside of downtown, along 7th Ave.

I don’t spend much time in downtown Garner, but the general vibe I get is that it’s a pretty sleepy downtown with a lot of houses and only about two street faces remaining of a historic urban core. I don’t think there’s much prospect for or interest in large new redevelopment projects. We’re probably more likely to see renovations and small-scale infill for the near future. However, if I’m not mistaken, there is planned to be a Downtown Garner station on the planned commuter rail to Durham (the easternmost stop will actually be a park-and-ride station on Greenfield Pkwy.), so I suppose there is potential for change in the future.

I live near Garner in the area affected by 540, and while the town itself isn’t that exciting to me, it is fairly convenient to Raleigh. It’s maybe a 20-25 minute drive to Downtown Raleigh from my location near 40/42, except during rush hour, so it’s closer than it feels.

In short, I think the town has promise, but is moving very slowly and not very deliberately toward fulfilling it.


I think Garner has and will start to take off here shortly. You can literally get downtown, via Hammond Rd. from Garner in 10 mins. Also, Hammond is just itching to get developed.


540 will be IMO a limited impact to Garner or Raleigh because Swift Creek watershed rules are so strict, it really limits the density that could be built. It would be awesome if Garner got proactive with zoning and allowed more residential density by right across city to help accelerate investment


Kane, are you listening to the pleas from Garner?

But seriously, Garner has to eventually pop. If I had many millions to spare, I’d be gobbling up land in north Garner and sitting on it.


There is a cool coffee shop already downtown; Full Bloom Coffee and it looks like any ‘hipster-type’ coffee shop you’d see in downtown Raleigh and there’s a barbecue & bourbon restaurant/bar opening in one of the old buildings downtown this fall. Full Bloom also sells craft beers and has food trucks in the evenings later in the week and on the weekends. A couple historic homes have recently been renovated or are being renovated and are being put up for rent (for now). From what I’ve seen of the renovations, the developers are doing a great job restoring those old homes. They’ve ripped off some awful vinyl siding on one of them and appear to be repairing the old ship lap siding and restoring the interiors as well.

It’s also something like only 4 miles+/- into Downtown…a $10 uber ride at best. The cost of properties there is considerably less than even South & East Raleigh now.


Very cool to hear. That said, what distinguishes and confuses me about Garner is just how low density the town is compared to Raleigh and its suburbs. It’s odd to me given how close and connected a lot of Garner is to downtown Raleigh.


yep. agreed. I think South Raleigh has inhibited Garner’s revitalization…until now. With South Raleigh/East Raleigh’s resurgence…combined with the potential of DowntownSouth, Garner may finally see the ‘love’ it has been deprived for so long. The problems associated with South Raleigh spilled over 440 and into Garner, effectively creating a barrier between Downtown & the closest suburb Raleigh has.

It is kind of amazing how all the other far flung suburbs have thrived while Garner seems to have been ignored but maybe that’s about to change…but they had RTP…not S. Raleigh on their border.

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Clearly the access to RTP has been the differentiator. As DT Raleigh becomes a larger employment center, along with Centennial Campus, Garner’s profile should rise. As it gets more and more difficult to commute by car, I think that people will look more closely at Garner as both an affordable place to live & a more convenient one. This should increased value and development in Garner.


I think Garner may be better situated to take advantage of the BRT and commuter rail than any other municipality in the Triangle.

  • It will have both Commuter and BRT connections.
  • The existing housing stock is more overdue for a refresh than any other outlying town.
  • Many opportunities for redeveloping underutilized parcels at TOD nodes.
  • It’s closer to DTR than most other municipalities.
  • Historic barriers to DTR such as industrial areas on SE side are going away.
  • Raleigh is going to develop the Southern Gateway
  • 540 will make a huge difference.
  • It’s actually feasible to have Commuter Rail, BRT, Automobile, and Bike access to DTR from one node.

It’s interesting that Holly Springs is developing a traditional small town feel downtown, where previously they just had a couple of buildings and some churches. I think Garner has more to work with than that. I really like Garner’s future.


It seems to odd to me that Garner is not connected to the Greenway system huge missed opportunity for them. I tell people about how cool it is that I can ride my bike to Oak City Brewing in downtown Knightdale 99% on Greenway. Garner is way closer and people would definitely ride to full bloom coffee and a brewery down there.

My guess is that the powers that be down there just don’t get the urban stuff, and would say their Amazon fulfillment center is an example of how they are kicking butt. In some ways they feel more like Clayton than anything else near Raleigh.


I have lived in Garner since 2007. My home value, as of late has really appreciated; also, people are buying the small brick ranches all around the neighborhood and flipping them. You can still get a nice home in Garner under 200K, for now!


You described exactly why I wish I had millions of dollars to invest. I thought the same thing for “midtown” in the late nineties. Oh well, if only gut feelings were enough to make one rich!

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It’s gradual, but it’s already happening. I was driving through the area this weekend, down Jones Sausage past the new Amazon distribution center, and then along Garner Road, past Main Street and the proposed commuter rail stop and down as far as Vandora Springs. I few things I noticed:

That Amazon distribution center is just colossally massive. The projection is 1,500 new jobs, which I’m sure will accelerate Garner’s growth. It also looks like the site will have its own dedicated bus stop right by the front door, which is great.

There’s are 160 new townhouses getting built near the corner of Garner and Jones Sausage (The Avenue at White Oak). That whole stretch of Garner Road is really going to build up fast once the commuter rail comes in.

I also saw a SFDH home getting rebuilt within walking distance of said train station. :man_facepalming:

Main Street is showing signs of life that weren’t visible even a couple of years ago. Again, once the commuter rail is up and running, it should be transformative for Main Street.

Along Timber Road, there are commercial real estate for sale signs all over the place. That’s another corridor that is going to build up like crazy in the very near future, no doubt.

There’s a lot else happening, too. There’s ground broken on Aversboro Road just south of Timber, for what I assume is more housing, but I can’t find any information about it online. But, yeah, it’s already happening.


It is going to be a town home development (off Aversboro and Timber)

Info source for most things Garner

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Never knew Garner had any kind of downtown. But then I don’t go that way too often.

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