Raleigh and the Research Triangle Area Region
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Raleigh and the Triangle Area-A Little History
The Early Beginnings of Raleigh were as a Center of Government and Higher Education
In 1792, Raleigh was planned as the North Carolina State Capital. It was laid out around the square on which the Capitol building currently stands (See center of map below), and is the hub of the area identified in this web site as “Downtown Raleigh”.
At the middle of the 20th Century the primary employers were state and local government and institutions of higher education, including:
North Carolina State University, Shaw University , William Peace University, Saint Augustine’s University, Meredith College, and Saint Mary’s School.
The Triangle Area Comes Together-RTP
The research capabilities of three universities- NCSU in Raleigh, UNC in Chapel Hill , and Duke in Durham were central to marketing the Research Triangle and the formation of Research Triangle Park (RTP). The Park really got its legs in the 1960s with the opening of IBM.
Over the years, RTP and the area have attracted numerous well known research oriented companies with information technology, pharmaceuticals, and biotech prominent among them. These employers are now knit together with the Triangle area cities by Interstate 40 and are the heart of what makes this a great place to live and work.
Signs are that Raleigh and the Triangle Area will continue growing and developing as great place to be. Take a look at the “Crane Watch” interactive map from the Triangle Business Journal to see the major projects they are following.
The Four “Best Raleigh Neighborhood” Areas Reflect How the City has Grown
After its beginning, discussed above, the central part of the city lost much of its vitality to suburban growth in the last half of the 20th Century. Downtown Raleigh has reemerged as a dynamic part of the market. It has attracted significant new employers and has a skyline frequented by cranes constructing new multiple use buildings for living and working. It is also popular for its restaurants and entertainment.
Inside the Beltline (ITB for acronym lovers)
The I-440 Beltline around Raleigh was begun in the 1960s and finished in the 1990s. Its southwestern quadrant runs with I-40 which extends from Wilmington on the NC coast through Durham and Chapel Hill, the NC mountains and on to Barstow California.The Beltline delineates what some think of as old Raleigh. Growth in many of the newer areas outside the Beltline began coincidentally with that of Research Triangle Park. ITB includes what we refer to as “Downtown”, but Downtown is just a fraction of it.
Inside the Beltline new single family construction is limited mostly to tear downs and infill on scattered lots or small pockets of land. In general, land cost in the areas where we focus is relatively high, and the houses built there are at a premium. Buying or doing a renovation is a popular option.
I have have seen Midtown defined in more than one way. In the early 1980s, I was leasing shopping centers for North Hills, Inc. At that time, we considered North Hills to have become the geographic middle of town, though it was miles away from the central business district (Downtown) .
On this web site, Midtown will mean the northern sector of Raleigh between the I-440 Beltline and the I-540 Outer Loop. (See Map at beginning of this section). The Midtown neighborhoods lie between Glenwood Avenue (Raleigh-Durham Highway) at its western edge, with a few areas to its west, and Capital Boulevard (US-1N ) to the East. North Hills, bordering the Beltline, is at the southern edge of Midtown. Midtown is a large area with a lot of home opportunities at different ages and price points.
The North Hills single family residential area was begun in the 1960s, and many of the houses could be a good walkable option to the North Hills retail/mixed use center. Though the North Hills Mixed Use area was very recently redeveloped, this neighborhood is early in its redevelopment or renovation .
Brier Creek abuts the Outer Loop and lies on either side of Glenwood Avenue and is essentially at RDU Airport. It is a major planned development with a large part of its residential neighborhoods centered on a golf course. Such is the diverse nature of Midtown.
North Raleigh is the part of the northern sector outside the I-540 Outer Loop. A great deal of it is the watershed of the Falls Lake reservoir and is restricted to overall lower densities. If you look at the expanded map above, this would include the land lying along or served by NC 50 (Creedmoor Road) and Six Forks Road.
The dam of the lake is near Falls of the Neuse Road, and the lake is west of that. So land along Falls Road and east not in the watershed has been developed at higher densities. This includes planned communities with various types of residences, amenities and commercial uses, such as Wakefield and Falls River. For our purposes, North Raleigh also includes Wake Forest, which is contiguous and a part of the Wake County School System.
One of the things our customers frequently mention is their desire for a spacious lot. As the area grows, close-in undeveloped land has become harder to find, and expensive. Communities and developers have responded by combining open space with more compact lots. The large lots that characterized older developments frequently come with older houses. Depending on price range, home buyers who want to be in or near town are left with a choice of new and more compact or older and more spacious lots for equivalent costs.
Shown above, as an example of a new neighborhood, is Holding Village in the Wake Forest area. This is a model home in the final stages of being built and decorated by one of its builders, Ashton Woods. As you can see, the homes in this community are on compact lots, but are spacious inside with lots of nice features available. Note, for example, the windows in the back of the glass fronted kitchen cabinets and the solid walnut table integrated into the island. There are parks and a 15 acre lake where the neighbors can gather or just enjoy the outdoors.
Please take a look at the pages devoted to these 4 areas to start your search for the Raleigh Neighborhood that is best for you. To explore a little further, Please Contact me at email@example.com or by text or phone at 919-255-8321.