Council pushes vote on Know's fate to Oct. 5 | News
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Council pushes vote on Know's fate to Oct. 5

Posted by on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 12:15 AM

To fund or not to fund?

Durham's city council still hasn't decided.

After two hours of deliberation Monday night, some council members said they still had too many questions to decide whether to help pay for the revitalization of 2520 Fayetteville Street, a controversial decision that could displace the Know Book Store, the building's current tenant.

The council will revisit the issue at its next meeting Oct. 5 -- the night before two incumbent council members, Howard Clement and Cora Cole-McFadden, face challengers in a municipal primary.

The Know, a restaurant and cultural center, has called the Fayetteville Street building home for 19 years. But the property's owner, Mozella McLaughlin, applied for a $175,000 city grant to renovate the building and re-open as a jazz and cultural center. She would add more than $400,000 of her own funds for the project. Legally, McLaughlin has every right to do with her property what she wants.

But supporters of the Know Book Store, which is owned by Bruce Bridges, say McLaughlin's plans will displace the store and attempt to recreate what Bridges has already achieved -- a meeting place for thinkers, activists, musicians and other groups.

Though McLaughlin has invited Bridges to be a part of the new, renovated building, the parties seem unable to reach a compromise, even after a four-hour negotiation just days ago.

Read all the developments in Wednesday's Indy.

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