The Spirited Cyclist plans to open its third area bicycle shop later this summer, in a long-vacant storefront on North Main Street next to Davidson College’s Cats on Main shop. Local officials say the deal could bring new “momentum” to that end of downtown and to the block of storefronts owned by Dr. Tom Clark and Joe Poteat.
Ty Burns, a River Run resident for nine years, owns two other Spirited Cyclist shops, in Huntersville and Mooresville. He said he and his wife Kathy have long wanted to find a location in downtown Davidson.
“Davidson’s a passion for us,” Mr. Burns said Thursday. “We just thought it was a good opportunity.” He said the shop will aim for a wide market, selling everything from $100 children’s bikes to $12,000 Pinarello road bikes that you might see in the Tour de France.
The storefront at 129 N. Main St., just south of Cats on Main, has been vacant for at least 20 years, and possibly longer. Dr. Clark and Mr. Poteat have used other shops nearby for years as offices for their Cairn Industries, which makes and markets the gnome figurines created by or inspired by Dr. Clark.
Davidson College succeeded in negotiating a lease for Cats on Main two years ago, becoming the first new business in the block in many years.
That area of North Main Street is in the midst of what could be a big transition. Davidson College recently bought the BB&T building at the corner of Depot Street and will move Cats on Main there in 2012.
The Stewart Group, a Davidson-based commercial real estate firm, helped broker the latest deal, and also was involved in the sale of the BB&T building.
“We’re very excited about the momentum that that end of the street has,” said David Stewart, one of the firm’s three partners. (Partners Greg Fallon and Michael Orlando also were involved in the lengthy negotiations that helped bring the bicycle shop to the site.)
“We think Ty (Burns) is a great person to go in there because he’s so excited about downtown Davidson, and it’s a great use. We think it’s going to bring a lot of people to that end of Main Street,” Mr. Stewart said.
Kim Fleming, the downtown manager at Davidson Town Hall, said “it’s fabulous. … We are so thrilled that he (Mr. Burns) was able to get in there. He just was so persistent. I hope it opens up that block for future tenants.”
Ms. Fleming said there is far more interested from retailers in Main Street than space available, so it’s significant when a long-vacant block comes on the market.
“We could sell (Main Street) a hundred times over,” she said. “We have people that want to get into those space. … It’s a step in the right direction and hopefully that will be a sign of things to come.”
Mr. Burns said he has a five year-lease with options to extend. He plans to renovate the 1,000 square foot shop beginning as early as this weekend. It’s about half the size of his other shops, so he plans to rely on those locations for storage of most inventory.
If everything goes according to plan, Mr. Burns expects the new shop to open around Labor Day.