I remember how big I felt downtown was getting when the state mall, civic center & central plaza tower were all completed around 1977. And it was compared with how sleepy it was prior to this. It looks so small and quaint now!
I remember how little I felt in 1977 when I wasn’t born for 5 more years. LOL
But seriously, I was just talking to someone yesterday who has lived in the area his whole life and is in his sixties, and how much change he has seen. I still can’t believe how much change I’ve seen in the last 10 years that I’ve lived here. Even if it hasn’t been at the same pace that I had been hoping when I moved down.
I know I will get a lot of “Boos” for this comment, but I LOVED the Fayetteville Street Mall!!!
That’s what Raleigh looked like when my family first moved in the 70s.
No hate from me!!!
I always thought that Fayetteville St. Mall was put in at the wrong time. With more people living in, and going downtown, a properly planned pedestrian mall could be a huge, huge success. Oh well…
Agreed, it was always deserted, but I liked the feel of it. The 16th Street Mall in Denver was really nice when I was there in the early 2000s, not sure about now. But if we had the current businesses with the FSM, I think it would have been an awesome (and very memorable) centerpiece for the city. Oh well, it is gone now. Maybe one day we will build it back again.
I doubt it will get rebuilt, but we’ve got to find a way to get retail and more energy on Fayetteville Street.
I know this is a bit nostalgic on my part, but what happened to the days when all of the big department stores were downtown with all the cool window displays at Christmas? My parents talk about going down to 4th Street in Winston (a big deal for them) to see all the window displays when they were kids. They still do this in NYC, maybe other big cities as well. Unfortunately, all the big department stores have moved out to the suburban malls. Part of me really wishes we could get this piece of Americana back. The retail landscape these days is very different, but I think the gist of what I am saying is still there. The window displays were a huge draw to get folks downtown to go shopping. Now we all just stare at our damn phones and don’t look around to see what is all around us. It is really sad.
But looping back. YES, I am 100% for more retail in DTR. But we need to appeal to all income levels, not just the richest of the rich. What is that suit place where they suits are crazy expensive? Of Raleigh Denim where a pair of jeans costs as much as a car payment? We need to get more retail options that regular folks can afford.
I agree with you about variety shopping experiences at all income levels, but I suspect that we are not going to see that until the retail market matures with massive foot traffic. For example, lower cost retailers rely on volume more than Raleigh Denim does. I wouldn’t hold my breath on modest retail making a big spash into the scene for quite some time. Frankly, I am surprised that Urban Outfitters took a gamble an opened their store in (what’s currently) a retail desert. Kane’s Smokey Hollow project is probably downtown’s best opportunity with Publix bringing foot traffic to the neighborhood, but it’s yet to be seen how that translates into more shopping.
As for downtown being inclusive the widest range of income levels, I also hope that it keeps dining and entertainment options that are affordable. That will also be a struggle.
Awesome John! Thank you!
Keep’em coming! Love these…
It was interesting. It might have worked if there was any residential on it, or enough walking distance from it. The one in Burlington Vt is very successful because UV is nearby and there are no large gaping parking lots separating the neighborhoods from the mall.
The one in Miami Beach has been so successful that it became some of the most valuable retail space in the nation. The key is to have lots of people who can walk to a pedestrian mall. This includes residents, workers, visitors, etc.
I can see my house from here
Great pic… I need to get out and take some.