Remarks from Sir Walter Raleigh Awards Ceremony on September 2, 2014

Post date: Sep 3, 2014 12:47:35 PM

Following are remarks made during the Sir Walter Raleigh awards ceremony at the Contemporary Art Museum:

This next award is in the Public Service category and goes to the Person Street Partnership for its project titled The Revitalization of North Person Street. Partners in the partnership are:

North Person Street business and property owners

Raleigh City Council and Staff

Mordecai CAC and Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood Raleigh City Farm, Mordecai Historic Park, and Mordecai Market

Urban Design Center and NC State School of Design

NC AIA Building and Staff and William Peace University

The Village at Pilot Mill and Downtown Raleigh Alliance

In just four years, The Person Street Partnership (PSP) has revitalized the North Person Street business district from a lackluster row of sparsely occupied and boarded up buildings to one of USA Today’s “top 10” up and coming business neighborhoods in the country.

In 2010, the PSP began revitalization by conducting quarterly meetings at the Urban Design Center which featured knowledgeable speakers, City staff, and an agenda geared towards building positive momentum in the district. The PSP hosted design/visioning workshops with student and professional architects and annual holiday open houses displaying their results.

With the slogan “Building a Better Person”, the PSP has created a strong North Person Street brand which encourages property owners like Hobby Properties to renovate vacant buildings that now attract trend setting restaurants and shops. Long neglected, the corner barbershop received a community makeover and is now under contract. The Raleigh City Farm tends new crops on once vacant land and businesses old and new attract new life to the street. The Station restaurant brings a vintage gas station back to life and new live/work spaces at Peace Street Townes are under construction.

Encouraged by the PSP, City Council funded the Blount Person Street corridor study. Phase One has been funded and includes a three block, partial two-way conversion of Person Street which will improve better visibility and safer access for businesses.

The PSP posts updates to its partners, neighbors, and media contacts and updates its Facebook page daily. Annually, it decorates Person Street with a Holiday Light Ball display, attracting visitors from around the city.

Currently, PSP meetings at the AIA building address continued revitalization, façade and streetscape improvements and, as part of the new Downtown Plan’s Person Street/Seaboard District, advocates for better pedestrian and bicycle connections to Seaboard Station and the other downtown districts.

No one gave acceptance speeches, but special thanks go to Sarah Roholt, Dana Deaton, and Naudain Machen for their support and expertise in making the Person Street Partnership meetings, outreach, social media, and special events go so smoothly.