Market and Exchange Plazas Now Complete

Exchange Plaza

Setting up for the official opening of the new Exchange and Market Plazas

The new Exchange and Market Plazas are finally complete and the city held a ribbon cutting ceremony for them in late April. To the best of my knowledge, the last traces of the former Fayetteville Street Mall are now gone.

The plazas really are a fantastic space and for those that don’t know, these areas are city right-of-way and not privately owned. At one point in time, they were streets connecting Fayetteville and Wilmington Streets but have since been converted to pedestrian-only areas.

Below are five before and after photos. Enjoy!


Excchange Plaza
Exchange Plaza

Exchange Plaza
Exchange Plaza

Exchange Plaza
Exchange Plaza


Market Plaza
Market Plaza

Market Plaza
Market Plaza

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Comments

WOW! What a huge difference, looks so much cleaner and open, wayy more inviting than before. I also noticed a new awning on one building and a new paint job on another!

I was skeptical that it’d not be much improvement, but I was very wrong. It’s a huge difference indeed. Good job working in a couple of the existing crepe myrtles too. Little things like this do so much for the aggregate feel downtown. It really jives with what the 227 Fayettevile folks are aiming for too with their retro modern design (too bad they didn’t go full in on the original rendering for that). The City probably was helping itself too with adding to the appeal of 219 Fayetteville that they presumably will try to sell off as part of the eventual consolidation on Nash Square.

the homeless/mentally ill will love it! More space to lay around.

The red door with the vent is Mecca and the black awning is the new real esate group.

@Frank – take the negativity elsewhere, thanks.

@Mark – was not aware the the city owned 219 Fayetteville – not a bad building, would hope it’s never torn down (unless to build something even bigger). I just can’t wait for the day somebody tears down that horrible black First Citizens Bank building. I saw an image of the historic “skinny” skyscraper that used to be in that location- made me very sad to know it was torn down for such an ugly, short building. I would love to see a developer remake the original Citizens National Bank building someday.

Jake, I had to look up the exact date (January 2004) but the City bought 219 as a part of a temporary move for the originally conceived consolidation to Nash Square. That of course fell apart over the cost of the emergency management upgrades needed on top of the cost of just a high rise office tower (18 stories or so IIRC). They City was prudent though, and bought 219 also with a mind that it was a good investment given the other City driven initiatives downtown, and it would tighten the class A office space market in the short run and hopefully spur another or two office towers on the sites they were auctioning by Memorial Auditorium or elsewhere. The latest bubble altered some of those hopes, but 219 still stands to be a good return for the City (they paid less than 8M for about 130k sqft, or a tad over $60/sqft). Interestingly some modernist folks have pointed out some architectural significance to the First Citizens building, though it speaks to my heart not one tiny bit. I would tear that down and rebuild the 1911 Citizens bank building in a minute. Would make some sweet condos in my head…2 per floor, with 270 degree views for each unit as one example of an outcome rebuilt to the original dimensions. Maybe someone can reopen a version of th Dughi Grocery store as an homage to one of the buildings that preceded the Citizens Bank building http://www.waltermagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/PhC_166_4-Exterior-view-of-Dughi-Store_1900-1910rgb.jpg

I love that they are using the old-style wooden signs on Market Plaza. It’s a shame that most of Raleigh’s parks have taken these out and replaced them with the colorful but personality-free metal signage. The wooden ones had more of a classic feel.

@Brendan- not to ruin your day, but all the shots with the wooden Market Plaza sign are the “before” pictures – I don’t think the signs remained 🙁

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