Having previously designed upgrades of spaces that are now Person Street Bar, Edge of Urge and Lumina, Matt Konar can arguably be called the architect of the new North Person look. He confirms that he is working on plans for the building.
Konar declined to name his client, but state records
show that the property was sold in 2014 to North Person Street LLC. Alkesh Shah is listed as the sole member of the company, and a person associated with another North Person business confirms he is the owner.
Konar says the building needs considerable rehabilitation. It actually contains three commercial spaces. PieBird, which closed suddenly in September, occupied the largest of these, a central L-shape with a commercial kitchen. PieBird owner Sheilagh Sabol Cassidy had expressed hope of reopening
, but that doesn't appear to be happening at the moment. (She declined to comment on the advice of an attorney.) Smaller, long-vacant storefronts will become available as a result of this project, one at the corner of North Person and Pace streets, and the other opening onto Pace.
"We are still in the design phase," Konar explains, noting that the two smaller spaces will be addressed first. "We're designing for potential clients, but not specific ones."
Konar says entrepreneurs are eager to locate in the fast-growing North Person sector. Person Street Pharmacy, located just steps away, recently announced
that Daniel Whittaker of Green Planet Catering was taking over its café, while chef Scott Crawford opened Standard Foods in September
. Last spring, the neighborhood bar William and Company
opened one door south at 616 North Person.
Konar is hopeful that design work will be finalized by year's end. With a favorable permit-and-construction schedule, tenants could be in place by early summer.
"That would be supremely aggressive, but it's possible," he says. "The owners want to do the right thing with the building, something that fits with the neighborhood and character of what North Person is becoming: a nice corridor with a mix of food and retail."
Renovations will soon get underway at 618 and 620 North Person Street, a divided commercial property in Raleigh that formerly was home to the restaurant PieBird.