Carrboro eyes incentive deal to retain businesses

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Town considers incentive for Fleet Feet, Kalisher: The Carrboro Board of Aldermen is considering an incentive deal to keep two growing businesses in the town: Carrboro-based Fleet Feet, the franchise business of athletic shoes and apparel stores, and Kalisher, a company that creates and provides art primarily for hotels.
The basics of the proposed deal are that the town would buy office space from Fleet Feet if the company agrees to lease space in the planned second phase of the 300 East Main development. In addition, the town would reimburse Kalisher for parking if it in turn buys another building from Fleet Feet.
Currently, Fleet Feet’s corporate offices are split between a building at 406 E. Main St. and office space above the restaurant Acme. The company is looking to consolidate its corporate staff into one location.
The town is proposing to buy the space above Acme at 110 E. Main St., and to lease it back to Fleet Feet for a period of time.
And in exchange for Kalisher buying the building at 406 E. Main St. from Fleet Feet, the board would reimburse the company for the cost renting up to 20 parking spaces in the 300 East Main St. parking garage for a period of time.
Jesse Kalisher, president of Carrboro-based Kalisher, said the company is growing, and is out of space. He said he was trying to find a space with sufficient parking, and was considering moving to Chapel Hill, although he’d like to stay in Carrboro.
“They offered to help solve the parking issue if we would stay in town,” Kalisher said. “We can’t invest in a building of that size and cost, and not be sure that you’vegot adequate parking for your staff,” he added.
Fleet Feet would have commit to leasing at least 15,000 square feet of space in the planned second phase of the 300 East Main for its corporate headquarters and retail shop.
The development’s second phase is slated to be under construction in the fall at 206 E. Main St. in the location of Seagrove Pottery, east of the railroad tracks, said Laura Van Sant of Main Street Properties, the company behind the development.
The new building is planned to have office space and three retail spaces on the ground floor.
The phase is planned to come on the heels of the soon-to-be-completed first phase, which includes a new Hampton Inn & Suites hotel, a parking deck, and space for shops and restaurants.
Leases have been signed for the retail space in the first phase for a new meatball shop called the East Main Meatball Shoppe, an empanada and tequila eatery, a sports café called Hickory Tavern, and the gift store Cameron’s.
The board is planning to continue discussion of the deal at a retreat to be held Sunday at the Carrboro High School Media Center.


More on Topper’s: The franchisee behind plans for the new Topper’s Pizza Chapel Hill restaurant location said he’s targeting September for the grand opening of the business.
Wayne Byers, a Raleigh resident who was previously an operating partner with a Domino’s Pizza franchise, said the Topper’s pizza chain differentiates itself from other pizza businesses because of its culture and brand.
“I think Chapel Hill is an excellent demographic for the type of customers that Topper’s is trying to reach out to,” he said.
In addition, Byers said Topperstix and Pokey Stix are “almost one in the same,” which is another reason he thinks the town is a good location for a Topper’s.
The location where the restaurant is planned to open at 306 W. Franklin St., Suite A, previously housed a Gumby’s, which makes Pokey Stix.
“That was a huge part of the remaining sales that Gumby’s had before they went out,” he said of Pokey Stix.
Byers said that in addition to the traditional Topperstix, Topper’s Pizza also sells cheese bread with different types of toppings. 
That’s not the only new thing that’s coming to the shopping center on West Franklin Street. Jeff Boak, general partner of Westside Limited Partnership, the owner of the shopping center that housed Gumby’s, said the company has been gearing up for a major renovation of the back of the property.
Boak said the plan is to improve space that fronts on Rosemary Street next to Launch Chapel Hill. The cost of the project is slated to be about $500,000.
“We’re excited about kind of a new energy and a new focus on Rosemary Street,” he said.


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