July 31, 2014
Major new developments
Underway Downtown Kinston
As summer 2014 enters its midway point, the heat in downtown Kinston is being fed not just by the sun but also by ideas and aspirations of local investors…sometimes called hometown "dream machines."
The first major project affects properties at the corner of North and Herritage Streets owned by businessman Terry Andrews of Modular Technologies.
Three building units are being redesigned:
(a) To house a new bakery Sweetiepies Cupcakery;
(b) To relocate sections of an existing business Stitches and Stuff;
(c) To make way for a military museum featuring Vietnam POW/MIA memorabilia.
The re-make of the corner is being engineered by property owner Andrews who owns other properties in the Herritage Landing area. "When its done," he told the Free Press, "its going to be a really nice presentation."
The bakery/coffee and dessert shop is the dream plan of Terry Eason, wife of the owner of Ken's Grill on US Hwy. 70, and daughter Kendi Davis. According to an interview in the Free Press, they hope to be ready for business by mid-August.
A trellis similar to the one pictured above will be constructed
outside the Sweetiepies Cupcakery under which customers
will be able to have coffee and dessert.
The corner will feature new pavements, brick pavers and a trellis under which customers can sit and dine.
The military museum is the dream plan of Eric Cantu, Vietnam veteran and community activist on behalf of military families. He hopes to have the museum ready to open as an adjunct to SALUTE by the end of November.
Stitches and Stuff owners Sue Shelton and Nancy Sauls, noting that their re-designed space between Sweetiepies and the museum is somewhat smaller but "we like the way it's arranged." They embroider monograms and other designs. The new space gives them the ability to see approaching customers.
In a related move, Andrews has convinced the City of Kinston to replace street signs along Herritage offering more attractive visuals for traffic and shoppers.
Half a block away, Tonya Adams who owns the Beauty Box on Airport Road, has purchased the Miller Furniture Store at 118 W. North Street and plans make the space a vibrant destination in the city center.
Her dream plans includes renovating the 10,600 square feet of space into three new purposes leaving a fourth space available for future development.
She will relocate her hair salon business from the Airport Road to 2,600 square feet in the new space. Entrance to the new salon will be off the First Citizens parking lot at corner of Gordon and Herritage Street. She is hoping for an early 2015 opening.
Her plans are also to install a 2,300 square foot downtown banquet space; and to create an artisans' shop of 1,300 square feet on the North Street side of the building. Artists/designers/collectors will be able to offer their wares to the public. A fourth large space will be available for future development, she says.
The existing Miller Furniture Store owners Greg and Mike Barrow are going out of business. A large sale is underway with hopes to sell off the inventory by early September. Ms. Adams hopes to begin renovations of the property by Sept. 12.
"The major renovations at 118 W. North and at the corner of North and Herritage Streets are welcome moves as we continue downtown revitalization," Pride said in a statement. "We applaud our hometown "dream machines" who are the key to Kinston's continued growth and prosperity."
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Enticing new investors
Pride of Kinston is ramping up its efforts to attract new investors to the downtown business district.
A growing campaign to highlight properties available for lease or purchase details information about each under the Invest in Downtown site on Pride’s website.
A project of Pride’s Economic and Property Development committee headed by Stuart Lindley, buildings deemed to be in good condition and available for immediate use are candidates for the enlarged promotional effort.
The current listing includes:
• 127 N. Queen Street
• 215 N. Queen Street
• 311 N. Queen Street
• 106 W. Gordon Street
"The vision of Pride of Kinston, Inc. is a downtown on the banks of the Neuse River that serves as the gateway to Eastern North Carolina. Our appreciation of history guides our future and promotes the magic to grow business, recreation, and the arts."
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What Is Pride of Kinston?
The mission of Pride of Kinston, Inc., established in 1984, is to lead downtown revitalization in Kinston using the Main Street approach developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which promotes economic development within the context of historic preservation.
Pride of Kinston is one of 57 Main Street communities in North Carolina in a program coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance. (www.nccommerce.com). For more information about Pride of Kinston, see About Pride.