Downtown Raleigh

Entertainment District

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Downtown South?

  • Downtown South is a transformational privately funded development. The development would include office space, housing, hotels, shops, bars and restaurants, creating a destination place for the community to live, work and play. It would include an open-air Downtown Sports and Entertainment facility.

 

Where is it located?

  • The Downtown South project will occupy ~160 acres located in South Raleigh at the intersection of South Saunders Street, South Wilmington Street, and Interstate 40.

  

Who is paying for the project?

  • The project will be funded by private dollars. Some of the funding for public facilities may come from Interlocal Funds and other project development financing such as a synthetic TIF, which does not require investment from current city budgets or local taxpayers. 

 

What are interlocal funds?

  • Interlocal Funds (commonly known as hotel/motel tax or tourism tax revenues) are taxes levied whenever someone stays at a hotel or eats in a restaurant in Wake County. These taxes go into a fund that is administered by Wake County and the City of Raleigh, and are earmarked specifically for projects that would increase tourism in the area. More information on Interlocal Funds can be found here.

 

Will my taxes be affected?

  • No, the money the group is asking for is in a fund that already exists and levied whenever people eat at restaurants or spend nights in hotels in Wake County. 

 

Will there be new taxes to fund the project?

  • No, the group is not asking Wake County for any new taxes.

What are the benefits of this project?

  • There are many benefits to building Downtown South. Aside from creating a dynamic southern gateway into the city, an independent economic impact analysis performed by Economic Leadership LLC concluded that the proposed development would create 5,900 jobs in Wake County during construction and over 2,700 jobs in Wake County during its operations thereafter. Additionally, the development would generate more than $20 million in new county and city property tax revenues annually, $3.8 billion in economic impact in Wake County over the first 15 years, and $3.7 million per year in new Interlocal Funds contributions.

 

Why not use the public money for schools, parks, infrastructure or other projects the city needs?

  • Interlocal Funds are specifically designed to fund projects that would increase tourism in Wake County. More importantly, the net positive benefit to the City of Raleigh and Wake County after the $13 million in Interlocal Funds being requested is $12.6 million per year, which could be used for additional funding for schools, parks, infrastructure, etc. A synthetic TIF does not pull funds from current city budgets and does not require taxpayer funding. Instead, it is a financing structure for infrastructure projects that will benefit the public.

 

We have plenty of sports venues in the area, why another one?

  • Last year, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau released a strategic plan for growth in Wake County through 2028. Among their primary recommendations was a downtown stadium that could host over 75+ events annually, including sporting events, entertainment, small conferences/meetings, and consumer or public shows. Click here to learn more about Destination 2028.

 

How many jobs do you expect it will create?

  • It is expected that the development will create 5,900 jobs during construction for the City of Raleigh and Wake County. Furthermore, over 2,700 jobs would be created annually during the ongoing operations of the development. 

 

Will Southeast Raleigh residents be considered for the jobs created?

  • Absolutely! We want the community in the area to be a part of this transformative project. Creating jobs for the workforce in the area is imperative and we plan to initiate a workforce development and training program to create new employment opportunities in South Raleigh. 

 

Aren’t the new jobs going to be low paying service jobs?

  • There will be a range of jobs created that will involve management and leadership development. By partnering with our educational institutions like Shaw University, William Peace University, and Wake Tech, new curriculum and training will be developed utilizing the unique features of the stadium. Imagine e-gaming, sports management, and entertainment management among other opportunities. 

 

How does Downtown South benefit the entire area of south Raleigh?

  • There is a lack of services and retail in South Raleigh today. The addition of 1.6 million square feet of office space means that thousands of employees of the tenant companies will be in need of services and retail. This will spawn start-ups, new investment, multiple locations for existing businesses, and more available to the general area for existing citizens.

 

What is the project’s commitment to affordable housing?

  • Affordable and workforce housing are an integral part of the Downtown South plan. While the development project does not displace any residents today, delivering housing options in the project area is key to a live-work-play environment. The developers are already in discussions with various housing developers to consider different options and price points. The developers are committed to ensuring affordable housing options so that the people who live and work in this area now can remain and become part of this next chapter of Raleigh’s story.

 

Will any residents of the area be displaced?

  • Currently, there is no housing on the properties, and we do not expect the displacement of any residents.

What about traffic in the area during construction and after?

  • With large developments, there is always the question about traffic. Given the positioning of the land, we do not expect major disruption during construction. Additionally, the project sits close to two major arteries at I-40 and South Saunders Street, as well as South Wilmington Street, which are built to handle increased traffic.

 

Will there be parking for the expected events?

  • The development has provisions for ample parking to support all the events.

 

What about public transportation?

  • Downtown South sits along a route of the proposed new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines that would connect South Raleigh to the center of downtown. This is a significant benefit for the areas as increased employment means connectivity to downtown and beyond.

 

Is this project dependent on getting a Major League Soccer team?

  • No, this project is so much more than soccer and the downtown stadium is expected to host over 75 events including festivals and concerts. While bringing a Major League Soccer team to the area would be great for Raleigh, and is still an option, the project is not contingent on being awarded an MLS franchise and will house both the North Carolina Football Club and the NC Courage, both owned by Steve Malik. 

 

What about sustainability and environmental impact?

  • The developers are committed to building sustainable and environmentally-friendly buildings. We expect this project to be no different with potential plans for clean energy, parking for electric vehicles, and much more to keep our environment safe and clean.

 

Who will own the stadium?

  • The group developing Downtown South would advocate for the creation of an authority similar to the one that owns PNC Arena. This would ensure that an independent group would oversee the growth, management, and sustainability of the stadium.

 

Is this project contingent on a soccer stadium? 

  • No. This project is so much more than soccer. We envision the stadium will host concerts, festivals, trade shows, graduations, championship-level sporting events, and much more. In addition to the stadium, this development will include street-level retail, office space, and housing.