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Person Street business owners want a change

Posted June 4, 2008

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— Business owners on Person Street want a piece of the growth that downtown Raleigh has experienced in recent years.

Nicole Kennedy, owner of Nicole’s Studio and Art Gallery on Person Street, said the area seems to be “stuck in a time warp.”

Kennedy said it has been frustrating to watch nearby West Street, Glenwood South and downtown Raleigh grow.

A project to revamp an abandoned plaza on Person Street was supposed to bring new life between Peace and Franklin Streets, but the project has been on hold for more than three years, Kennedy said.

“I think the entire area got fed up. … We said we have to try and change this area,” Kennedy said.

Business owners haven taken their messages to city officials. Owners said they would like to add parking in the area and possibly turn Person into a two-way street.

“The major issue is traffic. What you have is two thoroughfares historically used to move people in and out of the city, and this is becoming more of a neighborhood now,” City Council member Mary-Ann Baldwin said.

With much of the area privately owned and Person designated as a state road, drastic changes are doable, but complicated, Baldwin said.

“What we have to do is create an environment with regulations that make it easier for development to occur in this neighborhood that supports the neighborhood that they would like to see,” Baldwin said.

Raleigh officials will meet this weekend with residents and business owners to develop a vision for the area.

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