The Old Cargill Mill

Located just south of downtown proper and just north of I-40, the former Cargill Mill site sits on a spacious lot between Wilmington and Hammond Rd with a rail line and Raleigh's greenway running directly through it.

A mockup of what a stadium may look like at the Cargill site.
Skyline view from Cargill location

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.

The Experience

Imagine a new urban entertainment district just south of the downtown grid with a Major League Baseball stadium as its centerpiece. A large public plaza resembling a college campus quad rolls out from center field like a red carpet framing the downtown skyline. Fireworks illuminate the quad after each victory, with the Raleigh skyline as their backdrop. The Norfolk Southern line allows for commuter rail ingress and egress to the far ends of the Triangle region, and easy access to I-40 enables car access for fans traveling east and west. Pick up a Citrix Cycle downtown, hop on the greenway (which runs alongside the stadium) and be at the game in minutes.


The Norfolk Southern rail line skirts the northern edge of the area. A multimodal transit station could serve both buses and commuter rail. Fans from all over the Triangle would be able to access the complex by parking at satellite lots and coming in via shuttle bus or rail. Certain lanes would be limited to buses and rideshare on gamedays, keeping car traffic to a minimum. Tailgate lots to the east of Hammond would allow for a lively pregame atmosphere, and connecting the adjacent Capital Area Greenway would provide easy access for cyclists and foot traffic.

Surrounding Community

Since the Cargill site is so closely ingrained with the South Park neighborhood, special care would need to be taken to develop the site with these residents in mind. Mixed retail, grocery stores, affordable housing, parks, and other green spaces should all be considered to compliment the neighborhood fabric and enhance the South Park living experience. A warehouse district is also envisioned to the south of Hoke Street where Brewery Bhavana (brewing facility) and Slingshot Cold Brew have already set up shop.