Axios Raleigh

Picture of the Raleigh skyline.

Welcome to another Wednesday in the Triangle. Apparently it is Duran Duran Appreciation Day. 🐺

Weather: High of 93, but it could feel as hot as 102. Chance of showers in the afternoon.

Situational awareness: In a press conference with Republican Congressional candidate Bo Hines Tuesday, U.S. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said North Carolina will determine whether the party wins a majority in both chambers of Congress.

Today's Smart Brevity™ count is 912 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: How the Triangle is spending its COVID money

The front entrance of the Raleigh Municipal Building.
Front entrance of the Raleigh Municipal Building. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Hundreds of millions of government dollars are being spent in the Triangle thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

What's happening: Local lawmakers are deciding how to spend their share of $350 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding.

Why it matters: The money — which must be budgeted by 2024 and spent by 2026 — could have big impacts on our communities.

  • While some of it is already budgeted, millions of dollars are still on the table — including $24 million in Raleigh and $22 million in Durham.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said affordable housing is the No. 1 priority for the remainder of the city's funding.

  • "What we're doing right now is seeing, OK, how is this all going," she told Axios in a recent interview. "We've set some of it aside, potentially, for an acquisition of land that could help us with affordable housing. But we want to make sure we just don’t go out and spend it all."
  • Baldwin declined to comment on the location of the land, as she worried it could affect negotiations.

Here's who is spending what:

Raleigh will spend $73.2 million by 2026.

  • Among the nearly $50 million in funding it has already budgeted: $8 million to buy a hotel and turn it into permanent housing, $200,000 to fund events in downtown, $650,000 for improvements to City Plaza and the Raleigh Convention Center and $1.2 million for Haven House, which provides services for vulnerable youth.
  • Baldwin also told Axios she would like to use another $1 million of ARPA funding to expand ACORNS, a team inside the Raleigh Police Department that works with social workers to respond to calls about mental health issues, substance abuse and homelessness.
  • You can find a list of funded initiatives here.

Keep reading to see how other Triangle governments are spending the money

2. Black millennials are migrating to the South and N.C.

Note: The analysis includes U.S. Social Security number holders born 1984–1992 measuring their childhood locations at age 16 and young adult locations at age 26; Data: Center for Economic Studies, et al., 2022, "The Radius of Opportunity: Evidence from Migration and Local Labor Markets"; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

A large study of the migration of millennials has found that North Carolina has been a magnet for them over the past two decades — especially Black members of the generation.

Driving the news: An analysis from the Center for Economic Studies found that Charlotte and Raleigh were the 7th and 8th most popular landing spots for Black millennials who moved away from their childhood homes.

  • The analysis studied residents born between 1984-1992 and compared where they were living at ages 16 and 26.
  • Black millennials, the report found, tended to move to the South — "a pattern known as the New Great Migration," the authors wrote.

Why it matters: Millennials have been huge economic drivers for cities and businesses in the past decade, and many of them are now moving into homeownership age.

  • A similar competition for the talents of Gen Z workers is beginning to unfold now.

Yes, but: As a whole, the study found, millennials were not moving away from their homes in large numbers. Around 80% moved less than 100 miles from where they grew up.

Zoom in: Greensboro and Charlotte were the most popular landing spots for millennials who moved away from the Triangle, followed by New York, Washington, D.C. and Fayetteville.

  • Millennials moving to the Triangle were most likely to come from Greensboro, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and New York.
Note: The analysis includes U.S. Social Security number holders born 1984–1992 measuring their childhood locations at age 16 and young adult locations at age 26; Data: Center for Economic Studies, et al., 2022, "The Radius of Opportunity: Evidence from Migration and Local Labor Markets"; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

3. Millennials are getting richer

Data: The Federal Reserve; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Millennials are getting richer with a push from the pandemic.

Yes, but: Generation X gained $16.4 trillion and now has some $42 trillion in total.

What's happening: Many millennials got onto the housing ladder just in time. Plus, as a result of the pandemic, student loan payments paused, government stimulus checks poured in and the stock market soared.

  • Between 2016 and 2022, millennial homeownership jumped from 36% to more than 51%.

Where it stands: Millennials had an average of $127,793 in net worth in the first quarter of 2022.

  • When baby boomers were the same age, in 1989, their net worth (in 2022 dollars) was a comparable $136,786, according to Kali McFadden, a data research manager at LendingTree.

Lucille's take: Can y'all stop telling us we spend all of our money on lattes and avocado toast now?

Full story: How millennials made $5 trillion in 2 years

4. The Tea: News worth spilling

Illustration of a glass of Sweet Tea with an ice cube shaped like the Axios logo in it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏗 Raleigh-based real estate company CityPlat bought the Arby’s property on Hillsborough Street and will likely build apartments on the site. (Triangle Business Journal 🔒)

🗞 How the Greensboro News & Record, the paper of record in North Carolina’s third-largest city, became a shell of itself. (The Assembly)

📍 Durham County will buy a Hope Valley shopping center for the new home of its board of elections. (News & Observer 🔒)

👩‍⚖️ A judge denied Attorney General Josh Stein's request to block the Wake County DA from prosecuting him.

  • Between the lines: This means North Carolina's sitting attorney general could be indicted over a campaign ad.

Your future begins here

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5. Arguments over Applebee's

The exterior of an Applebee's restaurant.
Photo: Don and Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A hot take in yesterday's newsletter — that, ahem, Charlotte might be comparable to the restaurant franchise Applebee's — sparked a bit of discussion online.

Prolific substacker Jeremy Markovich responded by asking his followers what restaurant chains embodied other North Carolina cities.

We want to get in on the fun, too. Let us know what each of the Triangle's cities aligns most with.

🧇 Zachery is now craving Waffle House. His order: pecan waffles, hash browns (smothered and covered) and roughly six cups of coffee. OK, maybe some bacon, too.

🍷 Lucille will only be drinking this rosé she tried at St. Roch's the other night for the foreseeable future.