by Whitney Kenerly

Flocking to Fisher Park | @YesWeekWhitney

Fisher Park has long been one of the most coveted historical neighborhoods in Greensboro, but the area is about to become even more desirable. With new restaurants, a co-op market, the Downtown Greenway and a brewery all taking shape near the 600 block of Battleground Ave., Fisher Park will be even more connected to the north side of downtown.

Architect Steve Johnson moved his family to Fisher Park in May in order to be closer to the activities that his family enjoys.

“We decided to move back into town and identified Fisher Park because it’s as close to downtown as you can get without living in an apartment,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s family now live in a 1930s ranch and enjoys being able to walk to the Children’s Museum, restaurants, and NewBridge Bank Park to see the Grasshoppers.

Once completed, the Downtown Greenway will allow residents of Fisher Park to become even more connected to downtown. Phase 3 of the Greenway will border the north side of downtown from the new Tradition Cornerstone at the corner of Smith and Prescott streets running east down Smith Street and then Fisher Avenue until it crosses Summit Avenue.

Dabney Sanders is the Project Manager for the Greenway, and anticipates that bids for construction for Phase 3 will start to roll in this September, and that construction should begin within several months.

“My guess is it’s going to start right after the first of the year,” said Sanders.

The section of the Downtown Greenway near Fisher Park is expected to be a little complicated due to the crowning in the middle of Fisher Avenue, and traffic engineering obstacles around some of the street intersections. This section of the Downtown Greenway will also be built using federal funds.

More importantly, Sanders notes that businesses have already been attracted to areas such as Fisher Park where the Downtown Greenway will be. Andy Zimmerman of AZ Development purchased the former Steele & Vaughan building at 600 Battleground Avenue earlier this year because he saw the area’s potential.

“I saw an opportunity in a great property that probably was going to be leveled,” said Zimmerman. “The ball park is there – and with Deep Roots Market being the only downtown market in the community, and then you’ve got Roy Carroll’s development, the Greensboro Performing Arts Center will just be a couple of blocks away – it just makes sense.”

It was announced this summer that trendy restaurant Crafted: The Art of the Taco would be leasing the space at 600 Battleground Avenue for a second location. Shortly after that announcement, it was revealed that Preyer Brewing Company, a small-batch locally owned brewery, would be in the adjoining space.

“One of the reasons we’re doing the Downtown Greenway is to attract businesses exactly like that,” said Sanders.

“This is just another example of something that’s really compatible to be adjacent to the Downtown Greenway.”

According to Zimmerman, the space will be slightly less than 10,000 square feet once completed, and will be large enough to rent for meetings and events. Zimmerman expects to complete the renovations for an opening on January 1.

“The interior of both Crafted and Preyer will be something Greensboro hasn’t seen yet,” said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has met with Sanders and others working on the Downtown Greenway while planning his vision for the space.

Deep Roots Market moved to its new location across the street from the 600 Battleground Avenue development less than a year ago. It is not just the only co-op currently located downtown, but also the only full service grocery store. According to Sanders, Deep Roots Market has been on board with the Downtown Greenway plans from the start.

The new Greenway Apartments at Fisher Park are currently in Phase 2 of construction, and will also be steps away from both Preyer Brewing Company and the Downtown Greenway.

Lomax Properties and Bellemeade Development created the one and two bedroom apartments with luxury amenities that include a rooftop terrace, a saltwater pool, a sports lounge and a yoga studio. The rent for the apartments ranges from $820 to $1369.

The apartments are bringing a new young professional demographic to an already diverse neighborhood. The mix of people is one of the reasons that Johnson was attracted to Fisher Park.

“The thing about Fisher Park is that there’s something for everybody,” said Johnson. “You can buy a multi million dollar mansion, or a smaller more affordable home that’s perfect for a young family.”

Zimmerman echoed this sentiment and added that the new additions will add to that diversity. He praised Kristina Fuller, owner and executive chef at Crafted, for bringing different types of people together in her own restaurant.

“I think she has created something where people want to be,” said Zimmerman. “I’m a casual kind of person and I go in there and see business suits and I see tattoos all over the place. What she has created is a mix – it’s something different.”

In an area that is mixing local beer and natural foods with luxury apartments and historic homes, the north side of downtown might not only represent something different, but also serve as a development model for other areas around the Downtown Greenway. !