Raleigh’s City Market Hopes for Moore Square Renovation

Raleigh's City MarketDowntown Raleigh’s City Market celebrated its 100-year anniversary last week with live music, street performers, and special menus from Big Ed’s Restaurant and Smoked Out ‘n’ Fried.

Unfortunately, events like the Centennial Celebration have been few and far-between for the market building, and countless small retailers have come and gone in the area. Now, with hundreds of apartments being developed within a couple of blocks, City Market owners are feeling optimistic about the future.

Area Concerns

Michael Hakan, owner of City Market since 1995, believes that City Market has been isolated from other development projects throughout downtown Raleigh. He also says that a common assumption hurting City Market is that the Moore Square area is a hangout for homeless people and unsafe for visitors. Though Raleigh City Council members voted for a $15 million renovation last spring, plans are in still in the discussion stage.

Moore Square Downtown Raleigh

Moore Square

Hakan sees the Moore Square renovation as a key to making the area feel more inviting. “I think all the downtown working residents of SkyHouse and the other apartment buildings that are built around here are going to want a neighborhood that they can walk in safely and comfortably and that they can enjoy,” Hakan said. “There’s going to be a very positive transition. We aren’t going to be a voice in the wilderness anymore.”

An Optimistic Future

Sam Hobgood, owner of Big Ed’s restaurant said the influx of workers and residents downtown has already boosted his business. He has even changed the menu to appeal to the changing demographics. Citrix, a software company that recently moved 600 workers into its new building in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, has already booked a breakfast event at Big Ed’s.

“We’re on the edge of a new frontier of downtown,” said Hakan. “That’s an exciting place to be.”

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