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New pop-up shop program matches owners with downtown Raleigh space

Posted March 3
Updated March 4

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— It's been a busy week at Twisted Oak, one of the newest businesses to appear in downtown Raleigh.

The pop-up art shop will feature works from nearly a dozen local artists, and owner Kevin Peddicord is hoping he'll fit right in with the vibrant scene in downtown Raleigh.

"We decided to get together and have some fun with this, selling some artwork, original prints," he said.

The original prints will be sold in a location that was made possible by an original idea – allow retailers to use pop-up locations to test their ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in the heart of the City of Oaks.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance says it hopes the program will make it easier for business owners to find available storefront space, which is limited downtown.

"Empty storefronts are not good. They kind of give the idea that things are struggling downtown," Downtown Raleigh Alliance representative Bill King said. Raleigh downtown booster remembers when city was 'sleepy' Outgoing president of Downtown Raleigh Alliance: This is 'truly a special place'

According to King, the area is far from "struggling." In fact, the vacancy rate for retail locations in downtown Raleigh is about 3 percent, a number King says is quite healthy.

"We don't have a lot of empty storefront space, so we're fortunate to get to play with a space like this," King said.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance, nonprofit organization whose mission is to continue the revitalization of Raleigh’s downtown, has been matching entrepreneurs with landlords since 2015.

So far, two pop-ups that have used the program – Deco Home and Craft Habit – have found permanent homes on Hargett Street and Crabtree Boulevard, respectively.

"It's an opportunity to incubate, which is rare downtown," King said.

Peddicord said he hopes his pop-up art shop adds some green to local artists' wallets and some color to Raleigh's art scene.

"It's such a vibrant community anyway, and we just want to be part of it," he said.

Twisted Oak opened in February and will be featured as part of downtown Raleigh's First Friday celebration.

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