The recently demolished Cargill Plant on the southern edge of Downtown Raleigh represents a large piece of the city’s southern gateway revitalization plan started in 2013. The plant processed soybeans since the mid-1980s, but like many industrial sites located on the fringes of town, the resurgence of urban development and the size of the site has made it a prime location for a new, transformative community in southern Raleigh.
Cargill gives Raleigh a unique southern downtown location that has immediate access to I-40 and is sandwiched between two roads that, with slight adjustments, would be capable of handling gameday traffic. This setup would make the stadium accessible to the entire metro area, while still acting as a major entertainment piece for downtown tourists and residents alike. Its location would also be ideal for limiting its effect on traffic in the downtown grid.
The challenge to Cargill location could also be looked at as an opportunity. Its close proximity to the South Park neighborhood would surely impact the residents. However, if done correctly and done with the residents in mind, it could create a ‘Wrigleyville’-like vibe for the historical community. This proposal would certainly need to come along with strong plans for affordable housing additions as well as ways to integrate a stadium and surrounding district in a tasteful fashion that feels more quaint and community-oriented and less manufactured and gaudy.