Family modifies plan for jazz center; council defers vote | News
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Family modifies plan for jazz center; council defers vote

Posted by on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 9:29 PM

As reported last week on Triangulator, Durham property owner Mozella McLaughlin has excised The Know Book Store from plans for the jazz center she hopes to build at 2520 Fayetteville St. McLaughlin also has downsized the renovations she planned for the building, thus postponing any vote the City Council would have made Monday night to give her a neighborhood revitalization grant.

Among the changes, McLaughlin will nix plans for a rooftop garden, her son William McLaughlin told Triangulator last week. The revision could trim $200,000 from the initial proposal of $575,000 in renovations. The smaller total investment by McLaughlin could change the city's participation through a revitalization grant. The changes will become clear once the Office of Economic and Workforce Development reviews the modified plan and presents recommendations to Council, sometime in the near future.

Meanwhile, as McLaughlin also told Triangulator last week, Bruce Bridges, owner of The Know, has been notified that he must move out of the building by Dec. 31.

THE BACKGROUND:

McLaughlin's roughly 3,000 square-foot building currently houses The Know, run by Bruce Bridges. Earlier this year, McLaughlin applied for $175,000 neighborhood revitalization grant in hopes of creating Mok'e Jazz Cultural Center, which would bear her nickname. Original plans for the new cultural center called for $575,000 in renovations and included a small space for Bridges to sell The Know's books and other merchandise. The restaurant currently at The Know would not be continued in the new plan. Instead, another vendor would be serving food in the space.

McLaughlin's plans displeased Bridges because his rent would go up and his business would be limited to selling books in a mere 400 square feet. His restaurant, which is packed during Friday night jazz jam sessions, are where he makes his true profit, and the proposed setup wouldn't put an end to that income.

McLaughlin and Bridges met in two lengthy mediations in the past several weeks, one hosted by Durham city staffers. But Bridges and McLaughlin were unable to reach a compromise that suited both parties.

That was when McLaughlin removed The Know from her plans and modified her proposal.

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