Wake Forest Renaissance Plan - September 2017


C h a p t e r 5 R e ta i l S t r at eg i e s

At first blush, downtown Wake Forest’s trade area would seem to encompass just a small fraction of the Town’s overall footprint, only incorporating, the Downtown itself and the neighborhoods that immediately surround it. While it might boast higher population density and soon be welcoming new townhome and apartment developments, this catchment will likely still fall short of the threshold needed to effect meaningful change to the retail mix. For example, just 2,400 people live within a ten-minute, roughly half-mile walk of downtown Wake Forest (corresponding to the red polygon in the map below), and only 5,900 within a twenty-minute,

approximately mile-long walk (blue polygon). Assuming that it can capture 15% of the latter’s $64.3 million in annual retail expenditures, downtown Wake Forest would be capable of sustaining a total of 46,000 square feet of retail space (versus the 239,000 square feet already in place, some of which is not occupied). This is not to underestimate the value of new higher-density residential development in and around downtown Wake Forest. Such projects will likely beget a more frequent and reliable customer base for Downtown. But, even with such growth, downtown Wake Forest retail will still need to draw from well beyond the immediate vicinity, as a larger “destination,” if it is to support the current





S S Polygons responding to a five (green), ten (red) and twenty-minute (blue) walk from White Street Brewing in downtown Wake Forest Source: ENCI, MJB Consulting

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