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An Insider’s Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 1: Maywood

It’s no secret that Raleigh is growing fast—the cranes and construction are obvious, yes, but there’s MUCH more coming. That's why we're introducing the “Future of Raleigh” series. We tapped our partners at BHHS, along with a couple of local experts and business owners, to help us bring you the inside scoop on all the exciting things to come—not just next month or next year, but five years into the future (because the kind of *major* developments we’re talking about take a minute!). In each article, we’ll hone in on specific, up and coming neighborhood to give you a comprehensive view of who’s coming to town, what to look forward to and where you’ll be getting offline in 2020 and beyond.

Welcome to Maywood, the first neighborhood we're exploring in our "Future of Raleigh" series! You may already know and love it as the area where you can go see an epic flower field or join a great festival at Dix Park, cheers at Trophy Brewing, and get your veggies on at the State Farmers Market. 

It's already a pretty great place to be, but—if you can believe it—it's about to get even better. Here's everything to get excited about in Maywood, now and for years to come. 

A Truly World Class Dorothea Dix Park

Dorothea Dix Park’s Master Plan was approved in February, meaning major changes are coming. Raleigh bought the 300+ acre site south of downtown, which had been used as the state’s first mental health hospital, back in 2015 for a cool $52 mil. Since then, it’s become one of the city’s most beloved outdoor spaces. 

Beyond its picturesque surroundings, Dix has hosted everything from festivals to special events, installations, pop-ups, public art, movies, concerts, and way, way more. Throughout the years, they’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to their programming. And still, Raleighites were hungry for more. Luckily, the city heard residents loud and clear. Their response? The Master Plan.

The master plan is the culmination of years and years of hard work and lots of public input. While it was approved this year, it’ll take a solid decade to fully implement. But with a vision to turn Dix into something as magnificent and renowned as New York’s Central Park, we reckon the wait will be worth it. “Dorothea Dix Park is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The chance to create a new urban park this size in the center of a city is remarkable—and simply unparalleled in the United States today,” says Dorothea Dix Park. 

The Master Plan, as the name suggests, is a mega-long, uber-detailed document that you probably don’t have time to read. But at its core, the park aims to create something for everyone and make the area super accessible, all while honoring the history of what this park has been to the city. Perhaps the most exciting part of the plan are the six distinct areas they hope to create within the park, each offering something unique (and completely awesome!). This includes:

  • The Ridge: the heart of the park is getting a full-on facelift, including some building revitalization and an OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM (not 100% sure what that entails but we’re pumped).
  • The Creek: the stream will be widened to restore habitat and improve ecological function. You’ll see the ecological diversity of our wetlands and we’ll get to stroll by a natural-feeling body of water!
  • The Meadow: an expansion of Dix’s iconic Big Field. Its proposed design will make it a “boundless-feeling common ground for Raleigh.” Translation? More room to frolic free, hang with sunflowers, pose, picnic, and whatever else you can dream up.
  • The Valley: perhaps the MOST exciting development of all, this former service area is getting transformed into a venue for outdoor concerts and other large events. There will also be an elevated trestle walk, which will allow folks to easily walk between sections.
  • The Grove: because first impressions are important, this area will be revived to make it, once again, the picturesque entry point it once was.
  • The Gateway: there will be more entry-points into the park from the downtown and Fuller Heights neighborhoods. 

Now keep in mind, The Master Plan is a living document and there are still plenty of unknowns and developments to come. The plan is simply meant to illustrate the high-level vision of what the park can and may be. In the meantime, rumors, whispers, and innovative ideas are flying. A new hotel, food hall, and garden are all potentially in the works—stay tuned to see what develops.

You can read more about The Master Plan FAQ here and read the Executive Summary here.  

A Transformational Mixed-Use Project at South Saunders Street

“A local development firm, Five Horizons, plans for something special in the mostly wooded area along the eastern side of Saunders. Residential towers with skyline and park views plus ground-floor restaurants may one day make up this area,” explains Leo Suarez, The Raleigh Connoisseur

This 9-acre project is still roughly three years from breaking ground but has gained lots of community support in the meantime. Read more about it here.

A Bigger & Better Trophy Brewing

"When we first opened Trophy on Maywood, things were a bit quieter. There was an out of service radio station, and a large stretch of swampland across from us. The street was really used as a cut through to the State Farmers Market. Now, the Maywood/Caraleigh Neighborhood is humming. Between Trophy on Maywood and the houses being built across the street, there is a lot of new energy," says Chris Powers of Trophy Brewing.

Part of that "new energy" is thanks to Trophy Brewing's pizza expansion, which is underway right now and should be done this year. Once that’s complete, they’ll begin their “campus” project in 2020 or 2021. Details on this new “campus” are still hush-hush but obviously, you’re the first people we’ll tell when we get intel.

More Places to Live on Maywood

There’s also a massive residential development coming up across from Trophy on Maywood (and it looks super cool).   

They’ll be building 50+ houses and two four-unit apartment buildings, styled to fit into their surroundings (read: no faux-modern homes that stick out like a sore thumb). They’ll range from $350,000 to around $1 million. Read more about it here

Way Better Bus Service

Busses are about to come back into style, thanks to some major (and much needed) updates. Besides more bus service, the city is planning to add bus-rapid transit sometime in the 2023-2027 time frame.

The plan is to “expand existing frequent bus service from 17 to 83 miles, with service at least every 15 minutes,” says Go Forward NC.  It’s nearly a 400% increase that’s bound to make commuting much more convenient.

Routes will also operate every 30-60 minutes to provide full coverage to the city. Combine that with the bus-rapid transit system (which will bring dedicated bus lanes and give buses priority treatment at traffic signals) and getting around will be easier and more environmentally friendly than ever before—watch out, Uber! 

A Neighborhood You Def Want to Be a Part Of

We’re all about getting *offline*, so while developments may feel far away, we can’t help starting to dream about what may come. So just close your eyes and picture it’s 2024. We’re all enjoying:

  • Way more commercial development and things to do. 

  • More programming and easy access at the increasingly beautiful Dorothea Dix Park.

  • A walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. 

  • Craft brews (and lots of surprises) at Trophy’s new “campus.” 

  • A useful public transit system so we can zip around town, no problem.

  • And a bunch of stuff we don’t even know about yet...

In short, there’s a lot coming to ‘hood. If you want to live among the action (a reminder that there are a bunch of gorg new homes being built too), give our friends at BHHS a shout. Not only are they knowledgeable about Raleigh (case and point: they helped us write this!), but they’re experts on the ins and outs of home buying. 

And if you’ve got the idea that Real Estate Agents are all essentially Used Car Salesmen, think again. We’ve been hanging with them at our new Premium neighborhood happy hours, so we can personally attest to the fact that they’re easy to talk to, trustworthy, and on top of their game. Click here to get the convo going

A huge shoutout to Leo Suarez of The Raleigh Connoisseur for helping BHHS and us write this piece. If you geeked out about this article, you'll LOVE his development-focused blog with tons of up-to-date info. Check it out here. 

An Insider’s Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 1: Maywood
An Insider’s Scoop on the Future of Raleigh, Part 1: Maywood