Person Street Partnership (PSP) Winter Meeting, March 9, 2015 - - Minutes

posted Mar 10, 2015, 5:28 AM by Philip Bernard

Philip Bernard welcomed an impressive turnout of 31 people to the meeting. Our quarterly meetings at the NC AIA Headquarters building on Peace Street continue to attract an important mix of business and property owners, City staff, neighborhood advocates, and others interested in the continued positive growth of North Person Street. 


New Business Updates and North Person Street News


  • Philip reported that City Vet is now open. Owners Jackie and Patrick McCrory thanked the neighborhood for its warm welcome.


  • Philip has been unable to make contact with the owners of the tequila bar that is set to open next to Pie Bird. He did talk with the owners of Custom Engraving and learned that the bar is on schedule to open this month.


  • Becky Wofford-Waehner has had to close Anvil, her jewelry business, due to health issues. Philip recognized her support of the PSP and her hosting one of the PSP Holiday Open Houses. The space originally contained two stylists in the back who will remain, and the jewelry/gallery area is being renovated to offer additional salon services.


  • John Holmes of Hobby Properties has reported that Standard Foods should open in about a month. In addition to the restaurant, there will also be a very affordable neighborhood grocery store. Co-owner Scott Crawford plans to have a butcher who will bring in whole animals, break them down onsite and pass the savings along to the customer. There will also be a fishmonger.  


  • Renovations at Person Street Pharmacy have been slowed by a change in the contractor but still on track. Dana Deaton noted that the pharmacy counter update is completed, and the café should reopen this spring. The pharmacy has been moved to the center of the building, and a small clinic will be opened in the back. The owner is also renovating the basement to provide space for small offices.  


  • Peace Street Townes are nearing completion.


  • The owners of the barber shop building continue to talk with potential tenants.


  • Vannity Salon on Wake Forest is offering discounts to Mordecai residents and handed cards out to the group.


  • The holiday light ball project was a big success as businesses in the Person Street Plaza were visually joined to those on Person Street. Special thanks go to Philip Bernard and the folks at the Village of Pilot Mill for coordinating the installation.


  • All residents are invited to the fourth Tuesday PSP socials at The Station, which provides light refreshments free of charge. This is a great opportunity to network with other PSP stakeholders in a less formal atmosphere. 


  • The North Person Street business district continues to be a vibrant mix of locally owned businesses.



North Person Street Logo Development


PSP graphic design volunteer Heather Nixon has developed several logo designs that were reviewed at the PSP fall meeting. Initial feedback indicated that there should be one logo for the North Person Street area and a variation of that logo for the PSP. Philip will seek additional feedback from North Person Street business owners, and Heather will present revised logos at the spring meeting.


PSP communications head Dana Deaton will begin to develop a North Person Street web site to provide information for new and ongoing visitors on local businesses, upcoming events, etc. Business owners will also be able to find information on policies and procedures (such as special event permits) and PSP contact information.



Permits for Food Trucks, Amplified Sound, Signage and Special Events


Martha Lobo, zoning inspector from the Raleigh City Inspections Department provided a quick reference guide on permitting for food trucks. (Link to her handout.) She noted that there are different policies for food trucks and food carts. 


Martha also reported that there is currently a moratorium on permits for outdoor amplified sound as the city works through some issues with these requests. The Person Street Bar has a provisional permit for amplified sound that will be in effect until a longer-term permit is available through the city. A representative from Governor’s Square noted concerns with the frequency, timing and volume of amplified sound in the business district. Philip encouraged residents to contact business owners or the PSP to discuss these concerns.
For more information about food truck permits or any type of inspection or permit questions, please feel free to contact Martha who will be happy to direct you to the correct source of info. Her mobile number is 919-278-6209. 



Special Events – North Person Street


Martha reported that the city has created a new office to deal with the closure of streets for special events. Philip noted that several years ago, businesses were able to close Franklin Street on a regular basis for special events. As more businesses opened in the Person Street Plaza, any closure of Franklin Street reduced access to the new businesses as well as parking space. At first, the PSP suggested that Franklin Street no longer be closed for any event, but North Person Street businesses suggested that they wanted some flexibility and decided to coordinate with each other to jointly plan more infrequent closures that benefitted all businesses that would be affected by a closure.


Recently, the Raleigh City Farm has investigated the possibility of holding a weekly farmers’ market on Thursdays from 4-7pm by closing Franklin Street. Local merchants were reluctant to potentially lose their limited parking spaces to farmers’ market customers. William Peace University had originally indicated some willingness to provide a location for the market on the Delway Street connector but then reconsidered the offer. The fitness center has a large parking lot, but 4-7pm is one of their peak periods and they have been hesitant in the past to utilize their lot for extra events. At this time, the Raleigh City Farm has been encouraged to hold off on closing Franklin Street on a weekly basis. They do, however, want to close the end of Franklin Street on April 18, Earth Day, to provide live music and special events.


Philip will put together a small taskforce of Franklin Street businesses, the Raleigh City Farm, Hobby Properties, etc., to look at the future of special events. Could we expand the business district north to include the funeral home, the Mordecai Historic Park and businesses along Wake Forest? The Salvation Army has a large parking lot in that area. When North Person Street becomes open to two-way traffic, that may allow the business district to expand further north.


The PSP is continuing to work with the city on the downtown Raleigh plan. Part of that discussion has been to ask for more parking, perhaps through a public/private partnership that could develop a large lot or parking garage.



Ongoing PSP role in North Person Street: Mission Statement


The PSP is beginning its fifth year. Many of the items on the original vision statement written in 2010 have been achieved as stated:
Over the next five years, the Person Street Partnership will actively seek to build momentum for positive growth and change in the Person Street business district by bringing together the area's business and property owners, City Council and staff, real estate agents and developers, adjacent downtown neighborhoods, Peace College, and other interested stakeholders who wish to see Person Street flourish as a vibrant neighborhood oriented restaurant, retail, and residential district with ample parking and an attractive pedestrian friendly streetscape that it connected to greater downtown by adequate transit and pedestrian connections. 

We need, however, to continue to focus on:
  • Providing ample parking

  • Creating attractive, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes

  • Connecting to downtown and other districts by adequate transit and pedestrian connections

  • Branding North Person Street as Raleigh's most popular downtown neighborhood business district


The PSP can continue its role as a mediator, a clearinghouse and a catalyst to help business owners connect to each other, City Council and staff, and other entities that can help North Person Street maintain its vibrant, neighborhood-oriented retail, restaurant and residential districts.


Philip noted that he met last Fall with Eric Lamb from the City Transportation Office. Making Person Street two-way is now on the drawing board but is part of the city’s extensive “to do” list. Eric has promised to contact the PSP, Mordecai CAC and Oakwood when he’s ready to show some proposals.


Kim Gazella and Damon Vaughn were introduced as co-chairs of the Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council. The group meets on the second Tuesday at the Mordecai Historic Park’s Visitor’s Center at 7:30. PSP partners are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting tomorrow night.