This story was written for WRAL TechWire partner CBRE | Raleigh.

Earlier this summer it was announced that plans for a Major League Soccer stadium were underway for Downtown South, an area of land available for development located — you guessed it — south of downtown Raleigh.

If Steve Malik, owner of the North Carolina Football Club, and associated developers get their wish, the almost $2 billion proposed stadium will span more than 55 acres of this district. The 20,000-seat stadium is intended to double as an entertainment and event venue with an additional 125,000 square feet of retail space, 1.6 million square feet of office space, 1,200 hotel rooms, and 1,750 residential units and green space.

Wake commissioner: $1.9B soccer development project would produce 6,000 jobs

A lot must be done before a development project of this magnitude can become a reality though. If plans for the stadium get approved, it will occupy more than 25 percent of the current space available in Downtown South, which is approximately a 200-acre stretch of land.

As the proposed stadium project demonstrates, Downtown South has become an area of focus for developers in Raleigh as “downtown proper” experiences increased activity and other development projects.

“As downtown continues to grow, developers are looking for opportunities in other adjacent areas. Currently, the greater Downtown South area is comprised of older, single-family homes and smaller commercial buildings. We’re starting to see commercial parties with development ambitions look into this district for new, larger-scaled projects,” explained Chester Allen, an executive vice president at commercial real estate firm, CBRE | Raleigh.

Allen noted Downtown South’s ease of accessibility, whether by vehicle, bike or pedestrian pathways; proximity to other areas of Raleigh including downtown, I-40 and Dorothea Dix Park; and its affordability are huge draws for developers.

Downtown South Plaza (rendering by Gensler)

Downtown South Plaza (rendering by Gensler) for proposed new sports/entertainment complex in Raleigh.

CBRE | Raleigh is marketing a 45-acre tract of available land in this district just south of the Beltline on Hammond Road. Allen said this kind of acreage so close to downtown is almost impossible to find these days. The land grab provides an opportunity for urban mixed-use development, and “represents one of the last remaining large-scale development sites in a fast-growing core area of Raleigh.”

Allen anticipates Downtown South is just the beginning of a commercial development “trickle effect” that will take place as downtown Raleigh becomes more developed and competition for available space increases. He said the Triangle community will start to see tethers of this trickle as development expands into places like Garner.

“This isn’t a knock to Downtown Raleigh — the development going on in downtown is vast and there are a lot of exciting projects happening right now. However, downtown Raleigh is only so large and so the growth has to go elsewhere,” Allen said.

This story was written for WRAL TechWire partner CBRE | Raleigh.