RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The future redevelopment of downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square is becoming more clear. City council members showed their approval of expanded plans.
In the fall of 2022, the city began their partnership with Loden Hospitality to redevelop city-owned properties east and south of Moore Square.
To the east side of Moore Square, Loden Hospitality has put together a plan that would include a new apartment building with up to 590 apartments. About 400 of those units would be rented at market rate with the remainder set aside as affordable housing. Some of those affordable units could be reserved for people making as low as 30% below the average median income, which would translate into $23,800 for a family of one.
The plan also includes a 135-room hotel, a medium-sized grocery store along with retail and dining space. The developer has also offered to partner with the Raleigh Rescue Mission to construct a new building while keeping them on the same block.
“I think this is a wonderful use of the sites that are very underutilized around Moore Square where the city has made a significant investment,” said city councilmember Jonathan Melton during a presentation of the project this week. “I can’t think of a project that has more checked boxes for win, win, wins. We know we need more hotel rooms, they’re proposing more hotels. We know we need affordable housing, they’re proposing substantial affordable housing.”
Immediately south of Moore Square, the developer is also making plans to redevelop parts of City Market. That plan includes a second boutique hotel with up to 160 rooms. Co-working and creative space in the form of audio/recording production and art studios tied to the hotel would be included in that plan.
Plans for the area south of Moore Square would require the city to move Norwood House. The historic home built in 1870 is now used as a visitor center and museum. The city has identified a piece of city-owned land the house would fit on to the west of Moore Square.
Loden has also proposed converting properties on Blake Street into active storefronts for ArtSpace, a non-profit visual arts center, to showcase the work of local artists and to serve as a gallery and event space.
Neither the Norwood House nor the Blake Street properties were part of the original plan for Moore Square’s redevelopment but the city council voted in favor of incorporating them into the plan now.
The Moore Square area is a dynamic part of the city. It is home to popular restaurants, shops and the bus station. Crime along with the number of unhoused people have also created recent concerns that the city and its partners are trying to tackle. At the same time, Square Burger, a hamburger stand at Moore Square, has announced it will be leaving its current home.
Councilmember Christina Jones told city staff she wanted to make sure they were considering those issues as they move forward.
“We’re just wanting to make sure we’re having a holistic conversation about what we’re bringing to the area and not pushing more people out specifically in this spot,” said councilmember Christina Jones during a presentation of the development project.
A more defined plan for the east and south redevelopment projects is expected by the spring of next year.