ArtsCenter plans for new space

Carrboro’s reputation as a quaint, family-friendly arts and innovation hub is likely to flourish even more with The ArtsCenter’s proposal to shift to a new, larger location in the next two years.

Main Street Properties of Chapel Hill LLC’s ongoing redevelopment project at 300 East Main in Carrboro does not officially include a new facility for The ArtsCenter. But Art Menius, executive director of the center, is working with Carrboro Board of Aldermen to change the plans to include a venue for the business.

Menius said that providing for an expanded ArtsCenter space will allow for more programming and classes, bringing more families to the area and providing an economic boost for surrounding businesses.

The proposed facility, officially presented to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Tuesday, would not only provide a new place for arts performances, but also meeting space for entrepreneurs, new offices for surrounding businesses, spaces for new tenants and creative development areas for phone application development and 3-D printing.

Menius said the proposal was well-received at the meeting.

If the design for the new facility goes forward, the current plan for the 300 East Main project would need to be revised.

Menius said nothing is set in stone yet, and they are currently working on forming a plan for the interior of the ArtsCenter space.

“We are keeping our options open and accepting new ideas,” he said.

Kevin Benedict, a partner in Main Street Properties, said the new space will bring more people to the area.

“The new facility will fill a cultural need not fully served by the school system in the area,” Benedict said.

Owners of local businesses near the project said they are thrilled for its development.

Brian White operates and co-owns Fleet Feet, located in the same complex as The ArtsCenter. He said the center is a great neighbor that brings good business to the area already, but the new facility would bring even more people to the site.

“We’re really excited for the transition,” he said.

Fleet Feet also intends to move into the new 300 East Main building when it is complete.

The store will gain space for corporate offices above its location. White said this will be crucial for training new employees and will also be helpful in holding more local events.

“We think it’s definitely going to do good things for business in this part of Carrboro,” White said.

The ArtsCenter’s current space was built in 1955 and requires constant upkeep, Menius said. The new facility would require less maintenance, allowing employees to focus even more on expanding Carrboro’s arts culture, he said.

“We are super excited for the project to progress and are truly energized by it now that it has been formally presented,” he said.

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