Moore Square East Plans Updated With More Art, Affordable Housing Comes First

Moore Square is a such a vital part of the downtown Raleigh fabric. I love the space here as it truly feels like a space for all and you can see people from all different walks of life. The square organically caters to residents who want some open space, visitors who want to linger around the city, and events, planned or unplanned, in the various sections around this park-like square.

The current iteration of Moore Square was completed in 2019. Loosely attached to the $12 million investment that was spent to renovate the square were expectations for additional vitality in the area. One of those was added development in nearby blocks that could bring more residents and retail nearby.

We’ve discussed this in the Moore Square East plans so if you’re new to this topic, please read this post from November 2022 to catch up. Recently, an update was given to the city council that suggest we’re getting close to starting the first phase of this project.

Embedded above (or watch on YouTube) is a clip from the October 3rd council meeting that has an update to the Moore Square East and Moore Square South plans. The quick highlights of the update are:

  • The full build out would be across three phases
  • Additional parcels have been added to Moore Square East
  • New proposed site for the Norwood house
  • Proposed adding 333 Blake Street

The first phase would be the affordable housing component. With the city driving this project (owning the land) it’s not surprising that, given the current state of housing, this is the first to be delivered. You can see the breakdown of units and income requirements in the additional slides below as well as the proposed location of this new building. The homes would be built mostly along Bloodworth Street at the corner with Martin Street.

Above is the latest site plan for the Moore Square East block. The full build out would also include a new location for the Raleigh Rescue Mission at the corner of Bloodworth and Hargett, the market-rate residential tower on the west side of the block, and a future hotel. This tower would include space for a grocery store as well.

Bringing us back to City Market, the plans are mostly the same but I thought the changes were interesting. First, the Norwood House is proposed to be moved to a spot near GoRaleigh Station. This space, or transit plaza, along Blount Street is currently an outdoor, grassy space with a few benches. The Norwood House could be moved here and continue to function as the Moore Square Visitor Center.

The next proposed update includes an empty building along Blake Street that’s been closed since the Covid pandemic. 333 Blake Street used to operate as an open-air vegetable market for quite some time. The property, and adjacent parking lot, have been added to the proposed plans with nearby ArtSpace as a partner. The vision is to renovate this building, have ArtSpace move in, and add more retail spaces for artists along Blake.

The main reason to include these properties is that it would add even more opportunities for retail in City Market and Moore Square. Moving the Norwood House allows the proposed hotel to build up to Martin Street and add retail spaces fronting the square.

During the council meeting, the proposed changes were approved by council so it’s likely we’ll see new life in these spaces as part of the Moore Square plans. I’m hoping the next step is the final presentation and approval to sell these properties so that the developer can get started.

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