Fleet Feet has been reluctantly considering moving their corporate headquarters and retail store out of Carrboro. This Tuesday, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will consider an Economic Development Agreement under which Fleet Feet would stay in Carrboro and move into a new building at 300 E Main Street—putting their (greatly-expanded) national flagship store on the ground floor and their national headquarters above.
The proposal is essentially that Main St Partners would build a new building, Fleet Feet would bind themselves to move into it (under a ten year lease) and the town would reduce Fleet Feet's risk by buying their office condominium above Acme Restaurant. We would pay tax value only and then re-sell the building. This would keep Fleet Feet from running the risk of winding up paying their mortgage on the office condo and rent on their new building at the same time.
Fleet Feet would also sell their current HQ (the Bleeker Street building) to Jesse Kalisher Gallery. Kalisher is also planning to expand and do some more hiring over the next couple of years, so the Bleeker building would become their new studio. The town would also kick in a small amount of money to lease some additional parking spaces to make this work for everyone.
This whole proposal will help expand Carrboro's commercial tax base by creating 30,000 square feet of new commercial space, while retaining many jobs in downtown Carrboro (as well as adding new jobs). The jobs at Fleet Feet are healthy-lifestyle jobs that align well with the kind of future that our town/state/country/planet should be pursuing. And the new and retained jobs at Kalisher's studio are just the kind of local, arts-oriented jobs that Carrboro prides itself on.
The new building will add millions of dollars to our commercial tax base and the expanded flagship store will increase sales tax revenue for our local governments. This is a win-win-win with little risk for Carrboro taxpayers and a huge long-term up-side.
If you think this is a good plan, I hope you will let the Board of Aldermen know. There are 3 things you can do to help:
- Like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KeepFleetFeetInCarrboro.
- Email the BOA by sending an email to the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org (she'll forward it to them).
- Come to the BOA meeting this Tuesday and show your support by wearing a Fleet Feet T-shirt or other Fleet Feet apparel!