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You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. And for business owners, storefront aesthetics could either drive business up or away. Unfortunately, expenses associated with renovating the outside of a business can put a halt on such efforts. But with help from the City of Raleigh, it is possible to increase customer traffic, gain more exposure, and build a better business brand.

Since the 1980’s, the City has been helping businesses with funding via the Façade Rehabilitation Grant Program. To date, more than 100 property owners in downtown Raleigh and older commercial districts have benefited from the program, putting a new face on the way they market their goods and services. The program provides up to $10K in grant rebates for each project, making it possible for businesses of any size to refurbish the exterior of existing buildings, restoring them to their former glory or completely reinventing them.

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Happy June! This is going to be another busy month here in Development Services. Be sure to bookmark DSinsider so you can stay up to date on all current activities.

Several re-organizations are currently underway at the City, including the relocation of the Public Works Street and Lane Closure program. Until recently, Right-of-Way permits for streets/lane closures had been issued by the Transportation Operations division at the Raleigh Municipal Building. Effective May 18, the program transitioned to the Transportation Field Services division on the third floor of One Exchange Plaza. Customers will now submit applications to this location. Upon review, staff will determine what type of permits are required. If additional permits are needed (ie. street cut or electrical), customers will be directed to the DSCSC which is conveniently located on the fourth floor of OEP.

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Welcome back! I hope that you were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had over the Memorial Day holiday. It will be heating up soon!

This week’s post will be short, but provides some important updates including changes to some of our forms and an introduction to the Planning Communication office's summer intern.

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How many times have you walked through Market or Exchange Plaza in downtown Raleigh? Did you even know these pedestrian plazas existed? My hunch is that most visitors are not aware of the plazas unless they frequent One Exchange Plaza (the building that houses the City’s Planning and Development offices, amongst others). Personally, I have made the journey well over a thousand times and have noticed that each plaza is in a certain stage of disrepair. That is all about to change!

City Council recently approved plans for a complete makeover of both pedestrian plazas. The plans call for the creation of more flexible and modern spaces, including new concrete paving, benches and seat walls, updated planters, improved site lighting, shade structures, and screen enclosures.

And if you're a history buff, you'll appreciate this...

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Raleigh Union Station (RUS) has been in the works for years. In fact, it has been contemplated since the 1990’s and is a significant component in the City of Raleigh’s draft Downtown master plan.

Last Friday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place which officially kicked off the construction phase of the project. Improvements to some of the rail infrastructure are already underway, but I am told that  the work in downtown Raleigh will not begin in earnest until later this summer.

The ceremony was conducted at the location of the former Dillon Supply Co. warehouse and was very well attended. The crowd enjoyed short speeches from Gov. Pat McCrory; Mayor Nancy McFarlane; Congressman David Price; NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata; Carlos Monje, assistant secretary for transportation policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation; and Jay McArthur, senior manager of State Corridors for Amtrak.

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From left, Hamid Dolikhani, Marilyn Libby, and Jack Newsome

Whew, April was a busy month in DS! This blog has really helped us get the word out about all the things that are happening. Thanks for reading!

You may recall that last week I blogged about the importance of obtaining permits for home improvement projects. Well this post is a great follow-up…

If you follow City of Raleigh news, you may already know that Curt Willis, Deputy Inspections Director, has retired and that Hamid Dolikhani has assumed that role in an interim capacity. You may have also heard about a new program that launched last week. The Permit Notification Program is intended to improve customer service and further ensure that construction in Raleigh is permitted and completed in accordance with the law.

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  • Development Services
    Customer Service Center
    1 Exchange Plaza
    Raleigh, NC 27602
  • 919-996-2495
  • Litchford Road
    Satellite Office
    8320-130 Litchford Road
    Raleigh, NC 27615
  • 919-996-4200