Raleigh is back on track to getting the Triangle’s largest hotel.
We first dropped the news of DTR’s massive 500-plus-room hotel next to the Raleigh Convention Center in 2020 (ring a bell?)—but, you know the drill… the project was halted due to the pandemic and the city’s waning hospitality tax revenue. Now, Raleigh City Council is pressing play on the project—which would be the largest hotel in the Triangle—along with plans to expand the convention center.
The decision comes after a report put out by commercial real estate agency JLL that detailed Downtown’s lack of hotel rooms. According to the report, the convention center lost about 45% of its business between 2018 and 2020 due to that lack of hotels, totaling a whopping $102 million in economic impact.
Echoes Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, “Currently, we have a shortage of hotels close to the Raleigh Convention Center, which is hindering our ability to attract top-quality events. A new Convention Center Hotel will ensure future success and bring true economic impact, allowing us to compete against our peer cities in a more meaningful way.”
The city-owned lot where the hotel is planned—currently a parking lot in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts—is about 1 acre and is zoned for up to 40 stories. The city had originally designated $30 million for the hotel, and $230 million for the convention center expansion, but City Council says those numbers may change.
Pre-pandemic, the project also included a mixed-use office tower (originally slated to serve as an HQ site for the convention center with offices, ground level retail, residential units and more—plus below-grade parking underneath Fayetteville Street), but at a meeting in mid-March, City Council debated whether or not it should instead be used as residential and retail tower. After all, that part of Fayetteville Street is already very office-heavy.
“If we learned one thing during COVID, it’s that our restaurants and small businesses depend on visitors—as well as residents—for their success,” says Baldwin. “This is one way we can continue to build a