I think the parking lot is being severely underused. Yes, it’s useful for parking, but it could be sacrificed for a greater purpose: a City Market expansion.
Here’s a quick sketch of my vision for the block:
Blue represents new buildings, which would vary in design and generally keep with the historic theme of the area. I’d like to see a number of small spaces, as well as one or two slightly larger businesses.
Green represents circulation and access. The existing passage at the end of Wolfe St. would be the main access point for the expansion, in combination with a new access closer to Davie St. The new “street” parallel to Person St. and Blake St. would be pedestrian only, and paved with cobblestones to keep the historic sense of the area. There would be space here for outdoor seating and some landscaping. String lights would of course be present.
Finally, I’d like to see the two buildings facing Moore Square renovated and reused. The old house could be a museum or antique store, and the smaller building at the corner (which appears to have been a bank or service station in a past life) could be an ice cream stand (I have a vision for something along the lines of Va Da Vie Gelato at Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte). Between the two buildings would be some sort of “gateway” or marked entrance to the Market.
I’d love to see others’ ideas for this block. What would you do?