New Developments in Raleigh, N.C.
Here are the major new visitor developments that are contributing to the Raleigh area's stature as a modern establishment—the thriving state capital of North Carolina.
Fenton mixed-use development (first phase opened summer 2022)
Fenton is a mixed-use development located in Cary near WakeMed Soccer Park off Cary Towne Blvd. The $850-million project is expected to include one million square feet of office space, 444,000 square feet of retail space, more than 800 multi-family housing units, two boutique hotels and more. Anchor tenants that opened in summer of 2022 include Paragon Theaters, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Arhaus Furniture, Athleta and more, plus big-name restaurants including Superica, M Sushi, Colletta and CRÚ Food & Wine Bar. A steakhouse concept from chef Scott Crawford is expected to open in 2024. The entire development may take five to eight years to complete. Learn more
North Carolina Freedom Park (construction underway, estimated opening summer 2023)
North Carolina Freedom Park—a long-planned park aiming to honor the African American struggle for freedom and liberty for all—broke ground in late 2020 just a few blocks from the North Carolina State Capitol (corner of N. Wilmington and E. Lane Sts.), with plans to start full construction this year. The park will include phrases and quotes from famous Black North Carolinians engraved throughout the space, and a large sculpture in the middle of the park will shine a light into the night sky—the Beacon of Freedom—to reflect the fire for freedom. Designed by the internationally known late architect Phil Freelon, the park expects to open to the public in summer 2023. Learn more
Downtown Cary Park (construction underway, estimated opening fall 2023)
First proposed in 2001, the Town of Cary City Council approved the master plan for Downtown Cary Park in March 2019. The plans are to create an iconic, seven-acre public gathering space that includes two food and beverage facilities, four interactive water features, a great lawn and an outdoor entertainment pavilion. Construction of the park is underway with full completion in expected in fall 2023. Learn more
Aviator Brewing Company expansion (opening late 2023)
Mark Doble's Aviator Brewing Company has plans for a five-acre site of hospitality businesses on North St. in Fuquay-Varina, just around the corner from other Aviator properties that include the Taphouse, SmokeHouse, Pizzeria & BeerShop and 23,000-square-foot brewery. The new site will house a four-vessel, 60bbl brewhouse, plus include two new restaurants, five new bars, a distillery, an indoor/outdoor concert venue and more. Construction is underway, with the concert venue and brewhouse opening first, followed by the other projects. Learn more
Dueling Dinosaurs (exhibit opening late 2023)
Buried side by side during the Late Cretaceous on a subtropical coastal plain in what is now Montana, the Dueling Dinosaurs are among the most complete skeletons ever discovered of the two most iconic dinosaurs—Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex—including what is thought to be the only 100% complete skeleton of a T. rex known anywhere in the world.
These historic fossils have taken up residency at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where a new lab is being built to put them on display. This state-of-the-art space will allow the public to watch as scientists uncover long-buried secrets within. This lab is scheduled to be completed and open by the end of 2023. Learn more
Beech Bluff County Park (estimated opening spring 2024)
A Wake County park project, Beech Bluff County Park will be located in the southeast corner of the county, adjacent to the towns of Garner and Fuquay-Varina. The 300-acre site could include hiking trails, nature prairies, a classroom, playgrounds and more. Construction is expected to begin in fall of 2022, with an anticipated opening date of spring 2024. The project may cost between $17 and $20 million. Learn more
Dorothea Dix Park (phase 1 of master plan implementation began in 2020; Gipson Play Plaza expected opening 2024)
In July 2015, the City of Raleigh acquired 308 acres of the Dorothea Dix Campus from the State of North Carolina. The purpose of the City’s acquisition of the property is to plan and develop a new destination park—Dorothea Dix Park. A master plan for the park—the city's largest green space—was unanimously approved by Raleigh City Council in Feb. 2019. The master plan proposes the park be transformed through six distinct landscapes, with ideas on how each landscape could be used by visitors (open space, playgrounds, plazas, gardens, performance spaces, public art etc.).
Implementation of Phase 1 began in 2020 and will be broken into areas of the park. In July 2022, the park broke ground on the Gipson Play Plaza, an 18-acre area that will receive new landscaping, fountains, gardens, a waterfall, an amphitheater, picnic grounds, civic plaza and a playground that includes climbing towers, a sand bowl, swings and much more. Construction is expected to take two years. Full implementation of the first phase at Dix Park may take 10-20 years. Learn more