Wake County News

Representatives from Indianapolis, Nashville talk city growth in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - At least $1.75 billion in projects are under construction or are being planned for Raleigh.

As many know, more growth is on its way — 29 new businesses will be opening soon just in downtown Raleigh alone.

Raleigh leaders met with representatives from Indianapolis, Indiana, and Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday to talk growth and what the future might hold for a growing city such as Raleigh.

With nearly 70 people moving to the area every day, Raleigh is changing by the minute.

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"As we move forward there's a lot of opportunity for our community," said Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Though hundreds of miles away, cities like Indianapolis and Nashville have a lot in common with Raleigh.

"[They have] a high focus on talent. They've got great universities, a high quality of life. In a lot of ways they look like our area," said Cole.

Because of that, representatives from those two cities were invited to this year's Economic Development Forum to share what is and what is not working.

"A generation ago it was about the tax base and keeping costs low. Those things still matter to a degree, but people want to live in a vibrant community where they see a future for themselves," said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. "Economic development and organizations like ours have to constantly try to adjust and evolve to keep up with that."

All three cities are consistently at the top of a lot of great lists. More recently, all three made the top 20 for Amazon HQ2, but with those successes come challenges.

"The reality is, in most of our American cities, we're trying to figure out and take all these tools, incentives, workforce, mobility tools and make them work for low to moderate communities, as well as everybody that we're trying to attract to our cities," said Huber.

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