RALEIGH — An unprecedented number of residential units are in the construction pipeline for downtown Raleigh, according to the  2023 State of Downtown Report, released today by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA).

“We have more cranes over downtown than we have ever had in our history, and most of them are building housing,” said Downtown Raleigh Alliance CEO Bill King in a press release about the report. “We have seen and will continue to see tremendous change in downtown and to our skyline over the next few years.”

Image: Downtown Raleigh residential population projections | From Downtown Raleigh Alliance 2023 State of Downtown Report

In addition to data about growing residential construction, the 80-page report highlights current market trends, an analysis of future projects, and details about Downtown Raleigh data and demographics.

Highlights from the press release include:

  • 2,899 residential units are currently under construction, a new record for downtown Raleigh.
  • New residential units could add 4,000 new residents to downtown in the next two years, and downtown could double its current population in the next five years.
  • The occupancy rate of apartments downtown is currently 94.1%.
  • Net gain of more than 25 new storefront businesses in downtown so far in 2023.
  • Over 14% increase in food and beverage sales year over year.
  • More than 3.7 million unique visitors to downtown in the past year, a 16% increase year over year.
  • Over 320,000 positive net absorption of Class A office space since Q1 2020

“The biggest shift underway is the continued addition of urban residential, further remaking our downtown into dense, walkable neighborhoods. When fully delivered, this pipeline will more than double the current downtown resident population—a major shift for our state’s capital city that has historically been anchored by office and government uses,” said King.

Over 600 attendees wereexpected to attend today’s State of Downtown event at Memorial Auditorium in the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts. King was scheduled to speak, alongside panelists like Evan Raleigh, Assistant City Manager with the City of Raleigh, Stacey Buescher, Managing Director of Operations for Kane Realty, and Tyler Helikson, co-founder of the casual bowl restaurant concept Happy + Hale.