Momentum Continues to Build on Person Street with the Re-opening of Person Street Plaza

posted Feb 20, 2012, 9:36 AM by Philip Bernard   [ updated Feb 22, 2012, 8:42 AM ]
Person Street Partnership Off to a Great Start! 
2012 will prove to be a great year for more exciting developments on Person Street! The Person Street Partnership ended 2011 with three well-attended and informative quarterly meetings under its belt, a very successful Holiday Open House for business and property owners, and the announcement of Rapid Fitness Downtown moving to an anchor location in the former Super 10 store site. Also that night, the Barbershop Window Gallery next to Piebird made its debut on First Friday featuring its first artist exhibition with paintings and an installation by Mordecai artist Marlowe Earl. This local eyesore is now a source of pride thanks to Reid Serozi and a group of dedicated neighborhood volunteers.
Now at the beginning of 2012, we are hearing confirmed reports that Person Street Plaza, another prime anchor location on Person Street across from the new Rapid Fitness location will we re-opening with a restaurant, bakery, grocery store, and more. Please see article in New Raleigh news below.
I received an email from John Holmes at Hobby Properties, the owner of Person Street Plaza confirming the news story. John had hoped to have renderings of the plaza completed for presentation to the Mordecai CAC prior to the announcement but as John said," Yes, I guess the word got out!".  John still plans to forward the plans to the CAC as soon as they are ready and added that "I hope Raleigh City Farm and the relocation of businesses to Person Street Plaza will be a positive development for the neighborhood." This is an understatement as redevelopment of the Person Street Plaza has been a major goal for the Partneship's efforts to anchor the North end of Person Street with a strong retail development for the community. We're grateful for these positive moves put forward by Hobby Properties and the property owner at the new Rapid Fitness location.
It has also been reported that a coffee shop is going in the space vacated by Nicole's Gallery. I received an email from John Treadwell, owner of the property saying that a lease has not been signed as of this report but that he is hopeful. I did speak to David Zell who is planning to sign a lease with Treadwell and open Oak City Cycling Project in the basement of 212 East Franklin Street facing Person Street Plaza with plans to open first of April.  Nicole will be moving into her new space on March 1st.
PSP Holiday Open House in December a Big Success!
An estimated 150-200 people attended the Person Street Partnership Holiday Open House this past December First Friday making it a
huge success. The open house was held at the former Golden Frog location (now a hair salon) next to Piebird compliments of Custom Engraving and Trophy, Inc. who owns the space. From 5-6pm, a special reception was held for the business and property owners in the Person Street business area with an impressive percentage of business and property owners in attendance. 
Philip Bernard welcomed the group by announcing the coming of Rapid Fitness and recognizing the many businesses who helped keep Person Street going through less than favorable conditions. He thanked Nicole Kennedy of Nicole's Gallery for renewing her committment to Person Street by purchasing and moving into the building next door. Philip especially thanked the owners of Pie Bird who overcame many obstacles and opened a neighborhood restuarant that is attracting patrons from all over Raleigh.  
The highlight of the open house reception was the unveiling of final project designs from NCSU architecture professor Tom Barrie's senior student design studio "The Person Street Project". This was a proud and professional achievement for Tom and his students as they worked with the PSP to showcase their ideas for a better Person Street. Doors then opened to the public from 6 to 9pm as interested neighbors viewed the designs, asked questions, and felt the momentum and excitement generated by this special gathering on Person Street.
Special thanks go to the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood, The Friends of Mordecai, and Tom Barrie and the NCSU Architecture Department for providing 
the funds necessary to mount the student exhibit and provide the opening reception. Thanks go to John Mimms and Custom Engraving and Trophy for providing the space and to Sarah Roholt and Naudain Machen for helping to plan and organize the reception. 
The Next PSP Meeting Date Announced
The next meeting will be on Tuesday March 27 at the Urban Design Center from 5:00-6:15pm. Tom Barrie will have a presetnation of his students designs for those unable to make the open house. More info about this meeting and the agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting.