On the agenda at tomorrow’s City Council meeting is a request to jump start the redevelopment of Moore Square. The so-called “Moore Square Design and Public Process Concept” would be split into three phases. Phases one and two would cost $9,000 and would involve asking for ideas about what should be done with Moore Square. The third phase would involve a design competition costing $40,000.
This process looks a bit like the idea dump the city had a while back to come up with ideas for downtown. (Let’s build a river walk!) The request notes that any implementation won’t occur until “once the economy turns around,” meaning that in the near-term there is likely to be lots of stuff being thrown against a wall and maybe eventually some renderings.
The request says public investment will jump start private investment in Moore Square. The key component to any revitalization plan for Moore Square remains City Market. Once regarded as the jewel that would spark downtown Raleigh's urban renaissance, it has not enjoyed the investment and development that other parts of the city have. Many blame Hakan Market Partners, the owner of City Market for the last several years, for the area’s fall from grace. Hakan Market Partners announced late last year that it would renovate the 1914 farmers market building and remodel surrounding storefronts. Work has started on those renovations but is not complete.
Another boost for Moore Square could be the Edison, a proposed four-tower office-hotel-residential mix that developer Gregg Sandreuter is behind. Last year Edison Land LLC paid about $12.1 million for at least 2.68 mostly undeveloped acres on the block bounded by Martin, Blount Davie and Wilmington streets. The block is east of the 33-story RBC Plaza tower and north of Progress Energy's new headquarters. Two of the Edison towers could be 39 stories and dwarf the recently completed RBC tower.
Sandreuter had once hoped to break ground on the first Edison building by the end of 2010, though that timeline may be tough to meet given the problems in the credit markets and the wider economy. The city isn’t expecting any actual construction on Moore Square to occur until 2011 at the earliest.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, 222 West Harget Street.