Spring is a period of renewal, return and resurrection. It is fitting, then, on this Good Friday before the Easter holiday that we contemplate these aspects of the season and how they relate to us.
From a business perspective, which is the focus of this editorial, some things have been happening — and plans are moving forward — even as you read this piece. North Berkeley Boulevard got a shot in the arm last month when Hobby Lobby opened its location at Berkeley Boulevard and Ash Street. Prior to that, Harbor Freight started doing business in the same shopping center. The center is now full when recently it looked dead, little to no life at all with the public expectation that the situation would not improve.
In the same area east on Ash Street, shopping centers are refacing shop spaces to make them more enticing to businesses and their eventual customers.
Downtown Goldsboro also got a shot in the arm in March when the N.C. Main Street Conference recognized the continuing efforts to resurrect the central business district. The three awards included the “Best Public-Private Partnership” for the addition of crosswalk and facade murals, “Best Historic Rehabilitation Project” for the renovation of 151 N. Center St. where the 9,300-square-foot, historically significant property was developed into the Downtown Pharmacy and second-floor luxury apartments, and the Best Adaptive Reuse Project for the renovation of the former Goldsboro Fire Department headquarters at 109 E. Ash St., which now houses three businesses and brought about 10 full- and part-time jobs.
Also, Bethany Mohr, co-owner of Blue Yonder Properties, was named the Goldsboro 2018 Main Street Champion for her commitment to advocacy of downtown. Blue Yonder has developed several John Street properties, including Goldsboro Brew Works and the Barrique wine bar and steak house.
Just recently it was rumored that a Cracker Barrel restaurant could be going in the area of Wayne Memorial Drive and Tommy’s Road. It turned out that it was just that, a rumor at this point. But it was confirmed that developers contacted Cracker Barrel and other businesses about sites around where a 4,000-square-foot Bojangles’ is set to open next month. The developers and officials seem pretty sure the project will draw new blood. The developers finished a large stormwater retention basin to accommodate a number of business at the site. Also, the state announced a $14.4 million, 2021 project to widen Wayne Memorial Drive to serve increased traffic.
Many were disillusioned when Wayne County moved to Tier 1 status statewide, which means it is now among the top 40 most economically distressed counties in North Carolina. What the Easter season teaches us all, though, is hope for a rebirth to those things only seen as dead.
The county will return economically, as all the work and development is showing us, and Wayne County will move up a tier. We know this because we believe in renewal, return and resurrection.