Development to rehabilitate another building started on North John Street in an area that is growing into a popular downtown spot.
Chris Mohr, owner and property manager of Blue Yonder Properties, hauled debris out of his building at 211 N. John St., and tossed it in a large, red dumpster. He was helping his workers tear out the insides of the old E-Bay Sales Service and Home Set-Ups shop.
Mohr owns the buildings on either side of the one he is working on. They include Goldsboro Brew Works; Barrique, a steakhouse and wine bar; and the Coldwell Banker, Howard, Perry and Walston Real Estate building. The only property he doesn’t own along that stretch of sidewalk is Goldsboro Downtown Development Corp., which is owned by DGDC.
The narrow, two-story building being gutted for renovation, which started Tuesday, will have a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment loft of about 1,800 square feet on the second floor and an exercise studio on the first floor, Mohr said.
Mohr rehabilitated the adjoining building three years ago that Goldsboro Brew Works occupies and turned the second floor above it into five loft apartments similar to the one he is working on, he said.
Mohr is planning to lease the first floor of his newest renovation project to Katie Dickens, a barre fitness instructor. Barre exercises use a ballet barre for support. Her instructions include elements of yoga, pilates, weight training and some ballet conditioning.
Dickens, who now works at Studio 33 on Spence Avenue, said she was looking forward to having a studio downtown, hopefully in January.
“I love downtown, what is going on and the progress I’ve watched over several years,” Dickens said. “I knew if I did something, I’d always want to be a part of that.”
The lower price of rent downtown was also an incentive compared to other areas of Goldsboro, she said.
Dickens said she knew Mohr and liked what he was doing downtown.
“They do beautiful work,” she said. “I love that they bought that section (on North John Street) and saved or preserved some historic buildings. I’ve seen the quality of their work, and I definitely wanted to be part of that.”
Mohr said he decided to buy the buildings over the years because he liked where they were located.
“I really like this block,” he said. “It’s had potential for a long time. I just realized that this string of buildings is a project we could tackle over the next two years, and we’ve been kind of systematically mapping out each one. I really like having a steakhouse and a taproom bar. It’s kind of a trendy little area for up and coming people.”
Mohr said buying and renovating the buildings has been a successful venture so far.
“They’ve been paying for themselves as I go along,” he said. “It’s been great. I kind of had the theory if you build it, they will come, and it seemed to have worked out well.”
Mohr said he plans to have the new renovation project finished in six months.