By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A North Carolina architect hired to study redevelopment of the First Street corridor in Pulaski will present his report to area officials and the public in May.
Pulaski Economic Development Director John White said David Gall’s report, “Will place a heavy emphasis on private development, the establishment of citizen advocates, and even a private, for-profit venture fund.”
The public is encouraged to attend the May 13 presentation before a joint session of Pulaski Town Council and Pulaski County Board of Supervisors. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Pulaski Train Station on South Washington Avenue.
Gall, whose firm handled the train station rebuild, met with community members in November to help collect information for a First Street Progress and Development Plan. The town and county are splitting the cost of the plan, which will make recommendations for redevelopment of the section of town from the iron bridge on First Street NE to Jefferson Street.
At one of those meetings, Gall emphasized the importance of citizens believing Pulaski can be revived. “You have to believe you can do it,” he said, adding that there needs to be a “citizen movement to get out and advocate for the community” and they have to believe change can occur.
“You can’t wait for someone else to do it for you,” he added.
Gall’s firm specializes in redevelopment of historic buildings and districts. He has taken investors on tours of Pulaski on several occasions. One investor, Ken Reiter of Belmont Sayre Developers LLC in Durham, N.C., commented during a February 2012 visit, “There are so many towns that would kill for the setting you have.” He made note of the “wonderful building stock,” Peak Creek, area trails and other attractions.
Copies of Gall’s report will be made available to local elected officials Friday, May 10, and to the public at the May 13 meeting.
White said he and Pulaski County Community Development Director Shawn Utt met with Gall last week and “had a lively discussion about the report and its possible, positive outcomes for the community.”