Downtown Design Projects
The Town of Apex is working to make the vision of the Downtown Plan a reality! The Downtown Design Projects will result in construction plans for three of the top ten projects in the Downtown Plan (listed in order of planned completion):
The original vision for these projects was established through the Downtown Master Plan & Parking Study. Between December 2020 and August 2021 schematic designs for the Downtown Design Projects were created, vetted, and revised through focus groups, public workshops, a survey, and meetings with downtown tenants and property owners.
The schematic designs selected by Town Council during a public hearing on August 4, 2021 are now moving forward to final design and eventual phased construction.
While the project may seem quiet, a lot of technical work and investigations are happening behind the scenes to advance the schematic designs into detailed construction documents. Check back here or sign up for updates on future engagement opportunities!
- How is the project being funded?
The design effort is fully funded through the Town's current annual budget. Major future capital investments, including construction of the parking lot and streetscape, are planned for through the Town's Capital Improvement Plan. Timing and funds outlined in the CIP are subject to change. Learn more about the Town's budget at www.apexnc.org/budget.
- Will the art shown in the schematic designs be the actual art installed at the time of construction?
No - the art shown is intended to representative only. A public process to select original artwork is anticipated for the actual installation.
- Will there be public transportation from outlying areas to downtown?
Both the regional GoTriangle Route 305, which extends from Holly Springs through Apex to Raleigh, and the Town’s GoApex Route 1 serve downtown. For more information visit: www.apexnc.org/goapex.
- Why not build a parking deck now?
Structured parking is expensive. The need for a parking deck was evaluated during the Downtown Master Plan & Parking Study. It was determined that a parking deck is not needed now nor in the near future. The Plan does recommend monitoring the need for parking over time.
- What are the plans for the Ambassador’s Garden and Apex Community Rock Garden?
The proposed design for this area is shown in the “Saunders Street Gathering Space” images under the Salem Streetscape tab. The area would be converted to a gathering space with some accessible parking retained closest to Commerce Street.
- What about some of the other projects included in the Downtown Plan?
Is the fire station included in these projects? Will the parking lot in front of the Depot be converted to a gathering space? Will there be affordable housing? What plans are there for connecting bicycle and pedestrian facilities to downtown?
The overall Downtown Master Plan and Parking Study provides recommendations related to each of these questions; however, they are outside of the scope of work for these three Downtown Design Projects. The following resources may be helpful to learn more about other plans and projects:
- Why is the Town working on these projects? The downtown is already great as-is and there are many other needs in town?
The Town’s process of prioritizing funding for projects is addressed through the development of the 5-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and annual budget. There are many programmed projects addressing other needs across the Town of Apex. The Town also prioritized improvements to the downtown as part of the Downtown Plan and intends to make progress on this vision.
- How will these projects be funded and how much will they cost?
The Town’s General Fund is the anticipated source of funding for these projects. Development of updated cost estimates is underway and these will be shared on the project website once ready. Based on early concepts, the Capital Improvement Program includes $500K for Seaboard Street and Commerce Street (combined), $1.2M for the Saunders Street Lot, and $2.5M for the Salem Streetscape.
- How will improvements to businesses/private property be funded?
Specific agreements regarding the funding of improvements on private property are anticipated in some areas and have not yet been developed. In addition, some of the proposed infrastructure will require acquisition of private property in the form of Town-owned land, public right-of-way, and easements. Public funds can only be spent if there is a public benefit. Some of the concepts shown would include both a public and private investment.
- Crosswalk paint on Salem Street is fading. Can it be improved before this project moves forward?
Specific maintenance requests can be made using the online portal: www.apexnc.org/139/Report-Concerns-Kudos. Staff have notified Public Works about this request. Paver crosswalks are also noted in the schematic plans for Chatham/Salem and Salem/Saunders.
- When will construction begin and can it be expedited?
Construction will be phased. It is anticipated that the Saunders Lot will move forward first, then alley improvements, and finally the Salem Streetscape.
- Why would parking be removed?
There is limited space on Salem Street between Saunders Street and Chatham Street and the two-lane roadway cannot be narrowed any further. The Downtown Plan recommended converting some to all of the parallel parking spaces to places for people to gather and walk, street trees, and other enhancements such as street furniture and lighting. This loss is also possible because of the net gain of more than 200 parking spaces within a 3-minute walk of Salem Street. This core block of Salem Street is a destination for both retail and restaurants which makes the convenience parking less critical for consumers (as long as walkable parking is provided).
- Will Salem Street be closed to traffic?
All alternatives under consideration would keep Salem Street open to traffic once the project is complete, with the exception of during events and festivals. If the road needs to be closed at any point during construction, efforts will be made to avoid and minimize disruption during normal business hours.
- Was angled parking on Salem Street considered?
There is not enough room for angled parking on Salem Street and this would not be consistent with the vision of creating additional space for people.
- What kind of sound abatement will be included for neighborhoods adjacent to the Saunders Lot?
The design and type of sound abatement has not yet been determined and will be considered as the designs move forward.