Raleigh set to revitalize Hillsborough Street

January 28, 2014 by  

Hillsborough Street is considered a gateway to downtown Raleigh, with approximately 21,000 vehicles traveling it every day. Now, the city is considering substantial changes to the popular thoroughfare as well.

The changes require rezoning and include both commercial and residential development. Among the suggestions are to develop the old Nehi bottling plant for commercial and residential use, to add a hotel, and to improve the road itself. The hotel, which will be built by the university, has forced some small businesses at Enterprise and Hillsborough streets to close, among them Sadlack’s Heroes, a sandwich shop that has been a favorite of Raleigh’s citizens since the 1970s. John Kane, a developer, has begun construction on Stanhope Center, which will provide student housing and retail space, with completion scheduled for 2015.

Improvements to the street are estimated to cost $6m, and will be paid for by a transportation bond approved towards the end of 2013. The upgrades include more bike lanes, more medians, better lighting, and public art, as well as single-lane roundabouts at Shepard and Rosemary streets, Brooks Avenue, and Dixie Trail. The project will cover the area from Gardner to Shepard streets, and is scheduled to be finished some time in 2017.

Although some residents and businesses expressed concern about possible traffic tie-ups and other problems during the renovations, others noted it will be good for the area to improve Hillsborough Street.

City officials might consider working with brochure printers to create a mailer for city residents, explaining the upgrades and any times they can project when there will be traffic problems in the area.