Welcome To Raleigh
Raleigh and the Triangle region offer many reasons for over 1 million people to call the area home. Not only is this a great place to live, work and raise a family, but students, young professionals and seniors also find something to their taste. The area offers a strong sense of community, arts and culture, educational opportunities, historic preservation, fine shopping and dining, parks and greenways, sports and recreation, and volunteer programs.
You can live in a quiet, established neighborhood near schools, in a newly built golf community, in a restored Victorian bungalow, in a new luxury condo near downtown Raleigh’s trendy arts and restaurant district, or in a smaller, historic town.
Whether you’re seeking a career in life sciences, technology or nonwoven textiles, the Triangle is the place to be. North Carolina, and more specifically the Research Triangle area, is home to the South’s largest and most dynamic life sciences industry and is among the country’s top three biotechnology states.
In your leisure time, visit a museum to see artistic masterpieces or learn about our history; take in a Broadway show, ballet, opera or symphony; or explore the dozens of parks in the area. Raleigh’s world-class facilities include the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of History, Exploris interactive museum and IMAX® theatre, and the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
With its three ACC schools, the Triangle area naturally creates a competitive environment in which to root for the home team, whether it’s the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, University of North Carolina Tar Heels or Duke University Blue Devils. The area is home to many other quality colleges and universities, including Peace College, Meredith College, Shaw University, St. Augustine’s College and Wake Technical Community College.
Public education is highly valued by Wake County citizens, who have consistently supported bond referenda to build new schools. Superintendent Bill McNeal was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators, and the Wake County Public School System was ranked the third-best school district in the nation by Forbes magazine.
No matter what your recreational preference may be from golfing, to canoeing, to fishing, to taking a relaxing walk Raleigh can accommodate it. With over 46 miles and 3,000 acres of greenways, our “city within a park” has plenty of open space for everyone.
For a complete change of pace, you can drive to the mountains in four hours, to the beach in two hours or to Pinehurst, site of the 2005 U.S. Open Golf Championship, in slightly over an hour.
Raleigh’s climate attracts many newcomers who enjoy four distinct seasons with enough moderate weather to allow golfers year-round access to the links. The area is increasingly popular with retirees, who find a variety of housing options, including amenity-rich retirement communities with homes to own or rent.
Raleigh is a mecca for sports enthusiasts. In 2005, basketball fans cheered the nearby UNC Tar Heels to the NCAA Championship. Football fans all over the Carolinas hope for a repeat of the Carolina Panthers’ 2003 NFC championship. For baseball lovers, the Carolina Mudcats and Durham Bulls offer plenty of action on the diamond. The 21,000-seat RBC Center is the venue for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and the North Carolina State Wolfpack, as well as for concert performances.
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Raleigh the award-winning Capital City of North Carolina.
Downtown Raleigh is on the rise. In early 2005, the city began construction of a new convention center that is expected to generate a half-billion dollars and about 2,000 jobs for the local economy over the next five years. Adjacent to the new convention center will be a four-star Marriott Hotel with 400 guest rooms and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom. This exciting development will put Raleigh on the map as a competitor in the meetings and conventions market. Successful Meetings magazine is already touting us as one of the 10 to watch as a new meetings mecca.
The city has also broken ground on a $10 million project to convert the Fayetteville Street pedestrian mall back to vehicular traffic. Once construction has been completed, Fayetteville Street will be a 40-foot-wide thoroughfare with parallel parking on both sides and wide, stone-paved sidewalks to accommodate outdoor dining, benches, bike racks, trees, planters and public artwork. The redesigned street will also create a vista to the State Capitol and allow access for parades, festivals and other events.
Other major projects underway that will considerably shape Raleigh’s future include:
• Two Progress Plaza. Progress Energy, a Fortune 250 diversified energy company headquartered in Raleigh, has completed Phase I of a $100 million mixed-use project that includes a 19-story office and retail tower, the city’s first new skyscraper in a decade. Phase II of the project is currently underway and includes residential condominiums and underground parking. Construction on Phase Source: Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
At A Glance
In 2004, the unemployment rate in Wake County averaged 4.3 percent, a figure lower than the statewide and national average of 5.5 percent. Compared to other communities in North Carolina, Wake County’s rate was also lower than those of Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
Total labor force (Wake County)* 389,743
*Source: N.C. State Employment Security Commission
Median family income (Wake County) $69,800
Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 2004
Median household effective buying income (Wake County) $48,490
Source: Sales and Marketing Management, 2004
Mean household income (Raleigh- Durham-Chapel Hill) $90,271
Source: Woods & Poole Economics, 2005
The Wake County Public School System has 134 schools, with a total enrollment of 114,092. Wake County is also home to six colleges and universities, including North Carolina State University, and is close to five other Triangle-area schools, including world-renowned Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Raleigh area 127.3 sq. mi.
Raleigh planning jurisdiction 181.6 sq. mi.
Wake County area 860 sq. mi.
Elevation 434 feet above sea level
Average annual high temperature 70.7°
Average annual low temperature 49.9°
Average annual snowfall 4.5"
Average annual rainfall 41.43"
• 190 miles east of the Great Smoky Mountains
• 150 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean
Raleigh 0.395 per $100 of assessed value
Wake County 0.604 per $100 of assessed value
State sales tax 4.5%
Local sales tax 2.5%
Prepared food and
beverage tax 1%
From 1990 to 2004, there were:
• 335 new industries in Wake County, bringing 19,216 new jobs
• 474 expanded industries in Wake County, bringing 34,554 new jobs
Source: Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Raleigh is experiencing a building boom! The city is continually growing and attracting jobs. In what some real estate professionals call “an unprecedented retail boom,” many major projects are underway that are contributing greatly to Raleigh’s revitalization.
At the cornerstone of downtown Raleigh’s redevelopment is the construction of a new convention center and four-star Marriott Hotel, as well as the Fayetteville Street Mall Renaissance. Plans include the opening of the mall to vehicular traffic, filling in developmental gaps, and establishing the mall as a vista for festivals and as the heart of Raleigh.
A number of high-rise condominiums and apartments are popping up in downtown Raleigh, affording residents a stunning view of the capital city and easy access to its lively nightclubs, fine dining, museums, music venues and other attractions. One of Raleigh’s premier residential addresses is The Paramount, which rises 10 stories above the vibrant Glenwood South district. This new luxury condominium complex offers residents panoramic views from their private covered terraces, 10-foot ceilings, secured parking, a fitness center and a fifth-floor landscaped pool.
Two other urban developments are The Dawson on Morgan and The Hudson. Both condominiums will offer residents secured building access and reserved secured parking spaces, views of the urban cityscape, and ground-level retail space.
Raleigh’s stylish new “midtown” address is North Hills. Once completed, this mixed-use project, located at Six Forks and Lassiter Mill Roads near the Beltline, will feature 730,000 square feet of office and retail space, a 200-room hotel, and two condominium properties.
Elsewhere around town, Raleigh’s first shopping center, Cameron Village, got a facelift. The center’s unique shops received new façades, reminiscent of Cameron Village’s original “Main Street” style. The public library was also transformed into a modern, two-story centerpiece of the redesigned center.
Brier Creek Commons, an 800,000-square-foot center near a golf course community at Interstate 540 and U.S. 70, continues to add retailers and restaurants. And Triangle Town Center, the city’s newest mall, added more than 1 million square feet of retail space to Raleigh. The mall has steadily added retailers, including North Carolina’s only Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
With 23,000 new citizens being added to Wake County each year (that’s 65 a day), public facilities are keeping up with the growth, as well most notably, the Wake County Public School System, which builds two to three new schools a year to accommodate the 4,000 new students it welcomes annually. City and county governments also keep up with growth by continuing to add sites for new parks, greenways, libraries and office buildings as needed.
Traveling in or around the Triangle is as easy as jumping in your car and getting on one of three major nearby Interstate highways, boarding a train, or catching a flight to the destination of your choice. To keep up with the demands of growth, area roadways and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport are continually progressing, which makes the area attractive to employers who need to move employees and/or cargo quickly and efficiently. Capital Area Transit and Triangle Transit Authority provide local public transportation, and for those who want a taste of the past, a trolley service runs through downtown Raleigh and to nearby historic neighborhoods.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
(919) 840-2123 :: www.rdu.com
In 2006, an estimated 9 million passengers will travel through Raleigh-Durham International Airport, located a short drive from Raleigh and Research Triangle Park.
Nine major airlines and 14 regional carriers offer service to nearly 40 destinations across the United States. Passengers can also travel internationally to London’s Gatwick Airport and Toronto.
RDU has continued its work on the expansion of Terminal C. Once home to American Airlines’ hub, the terminal is being redeveloped into a modern, multi-airline facility, featuring a new north concourse, ticketing level, spacious baggage claim area, gates to accommodate a variety of aircraft sizes, and an expanded security checkpoint
In addition to air service to popular destinations, RDU features a variety of programs to enhance the travel experience. Visitors to RDU will find over 35 restaurants, bars and shops, as well as wireless Internet access, North Carolina’s first airport-based USO and first-class taxi service. Over 11,000 parking spaces are located within walking distance of the terminals. Motorists can also take advantage of Exit Express, an automated parking payment program that allows motorists to bypass the lines at the exit plaza.
Airlines Serving Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Air Canada (888) 247-2262
AirTran Airways (800) 247-8726
America West (800) 235-9292
American/American Eagle (800) 433-7300
Continental/Continental Express (800) 525-0280
Delta/Delta Connection (800) 221-1212
Independence Air (800) 359-3594
Northwest Airlines/Northwest Airlink (800) 225-2525
Southwest Airlines (800) 435-9792
United/United Express (800) 241-6522
US Airways/US Airways Express (800) 428-4322
Capital Area Transit (CAT)
(919) 828-7228 :: www.raleighnc.gov/transit
Triangle Transit Authority (TTA)
(919) 549-9999 :: www.ridetta.org
CAT offers bus service throughout Raleigh, including a nighttime entertainment trolley and service to the Amtrak train station. TTA provides rush hour, daytime and Saturday intercity service between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill and also serves Apex, Cary, Garner, RDU and Research Triangle Park (RTP). TTA is developing a 12-station, 28-mile regional rail system to link the Triangle; it’s scheduled to open in late 2008. Local and national services are available from Carolina Trailways/Greyhound Bus Lines (834-8275); the bus line now offers service to the TTA bus transfer center at RTP.
The Raleigh Showtime Trolley (828-7228) operates free in the downtown area Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:3011:30 p.m. The trolley route serves the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, city parking garages and the City Market area. The Historic Raleigh Trolley Tour operates on Saturdays from March through December, offering a narrated step back in time to see Raleigh’s 200-year history. For ticket and tour information, call 834-4844.
(919) 833-7594 :: (800) 872-7245
www.amtrak.com :: www.bytrain.org
Amtrak’s Raleigh station is one of the busiest in the Southeast. The popular Carolinian, Piedmont, Palmetto and Silver Service trains serve 60 stations from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania northward and Georgia and Florida to the south.
The area is served by all national car rental companies as well as several local companies. Taxi service is available from more than 25 companies with rates of about $3 for the first mile and $1.50 for each additional mile. Fares from downtown to RDU average $27.50. Limousine service is also available from several companies.
RDU Airport Taxi Service, operated by Dulles Airport Taxi Inc., provides service to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and accepts reservations. Contact the RDU Airport Taxi Service at (919) 840-7277.
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (834-5900 or 800-849-8499) offers information on group transportation and tour services, while the Capital Area Visitors Center (807-7950 or 866-724-8687) arranges tours for school groups.
North Carolina maintains the second-largest highway system in the nation. The Triangle region lies at the intersection of three Interstate highways, which gives the area excellent access to many East Coast destinations. Interstate 40 which -connects the East and West coasts of the United States joins Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill and serves the airport. I-40 also provides easy access to the mountains and the Atlantic coast beaches. Interstates 85 and 95 are located 30 minutes away and provide north-south access.
Other major highways serving the area include U.S. Highways 1 (north-south), 64 (east-west), 70 (east-west) and 401 (north-south). The Raleigh Beltline, or Interstate 440, is approximately 21 miles long and circles the city. Interstate 540 (also known as the Raleigh Outer Loop) connects I-40, U.S. 70 and U.S. 1 and provides easy access to RDU. The Outer Loop will continue to open sections until the entire loop is completed.