Spring 2013 PSP Meeting Update - - Corridor Study, Facade Improvement Grants,and Mural Proposal

posted May 21, 2013, 3:58 AM by Philip Bernard   [ updated May 21, 2013, 8:20 AM by Reid Serozi ]

Opening Updates

Twelve people attended the first PSP meeting of 2013 at the Urban Design Center in downtown Raleigh. Philip Bernard opened the meeting with a recap on how successful the partnership had been in only two years of building momentum in the Person Street business district. All three major anchor locations on Person Street have been taken with the opening of Rapid Fitness, the renovation of the Person Street Plaza, and new construction at Peace Street Townes scheduled to start any day.

In Situ Studio and So and So books are leasing the space next to the Person Street Pharmacy with In Situ's architecture studio taking up the bulk of the space and So and So Books occupying the retail space near the store front. The former Rosie's Plate location is seeing some activity with an engineering firm beginning preliminary site planning. Jerimee Richir Outreach is occupying the former bank building - - Richir's company helps progressive organizations implement online strategies that will maximize their community outreach.

Currently, all locations along Person Street are leased and John Holmes indicated by email that the Person Street Plaza is fully leased and he will make an announcement confirming tenant names once all paperwork is complete.

Raleigh City Farm is among three national winners of its first “People & Planet” award, which recognizes America’s best green, small businesses. Each of three winners will receive $5,000. Raleigh City Farm also won the City of Raleigh Urban Stewardship Award for transforming unexpected downtown spaces into nourishing farmland, while serving as an educational tool to demonstrate responsible, intensive, sustainable growing practices.

Blount Person Corridor Study

Gerald Daniel, Senior Transportation Planner in the Raleigh City Development Office of Transportation Planning made a brief presentation on the corridor study's final results with particular attention to Person Street Business area and the partial and full two way conversion plans.

The Person Street Partnership has long advocated for two way streets if not along the whole corridor at least in the business district where business and property owners believe that two way traffic would enhance their business exposure and slow traffic down making it easier to park and access shops. But these options may have trade offs which may create other problems with on street parking and other elements of moving along person Street. Business and property owners are urged to attend the final meeting of the corridor study which will be on May 22nd at the AIA building from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The consultants and city staff will be on hand to answer any questions.

Moving forward, the PSP will be crucial in lobbying for the changes necessary to see these that improvements are made to the corridor in our area. As priority lists are created, having the partnership will help increase the level of priority as we act as a unified voice to see that the street and streetscapes that run through our business district receive the necessary funding for capital improvement projects.

Façade Improvement Grants

Carter Pettibone, City Planner with the Urban Design Center presented a brief power point presentation about the City's façade grant program which the UDC administers. The program was not funded in the past fiscal year, but the PSP has conctacted City Council members to assure that money will be provided in the upcoming 2013-14 budget to potentially fund façade grants for storefronts in the Person Street business area. Carter showed examples of completed facades in the downtown area including Piebird which took advantage of the grant when opening its popular location on Person Street. With new restaurants like the Market Restaurant and Grocery and their professionally designed façade, the streetscapes in the Person Street area are greatly improving.

Barbershop Mural Project Proposal

Local architects Tina Govan and Jeremy Hauch have made a proposal for a mural to be installed on the side of the recently refurbished barbershop building at the corner of Person and Pace Streets (see suggested visual at the top of this article). This is also the location of the barbershop window gallery. Tina and Jeremy were both involved with our Person Street Façade project which was displayed at last years PSP Holiday open house and one of the ideas they presented with was a mural for this key location. Their idea is to feature self portraits of children rendered by children. The theme is to proclaim that Person Street is good place to be for all members of the family including children. The mural idea was well received by the group as presented with one member suggesting that the portraits be displayed against some type of background such as a park like setting. This would add to the "green" outdoor feel of the mural.