At the corner of Foster Street and Geer Street in Durham, North Carolina, stood four neglected buildings with interesting histories and phenomenal potential.
We began with redevelopment of 724 Foster Street, a decommissioned army reserve training center, as a child-centered charter school, Central Park School for Children.
Next came 410 West Geer Street, built in 1949 as a Kaiser-Frazer automobile dealership. This building then became the headquarters of North Carolina Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurance company. It then became the office of the North Carolina Fund, then an office supply store, then a yearbook printing company. Since being redeveloped as The Trotter Building, it has hosted a number of the Durham community's best times: weddings, birthday parties, design charrettes, concerts, festivals, educational programs and more. It is now home to Pantajali's Community Yoga, Lotus Leaf Local and Imported Goods, and CrossFit Durham.
Adjacent to The Trotter Building, at 420 West Geer Street, is a former gas station that now houses the popular and community-minded coffee shop, Cocoa Cinnamon.
Across from Cocoa Cinnamon at 644 Foster Street sits Geer Street Garden, a popular eatery and bar that has boasted enormous success and local support.
Together, the redevelopment of these properties have allowed innovative small businesses to establish themselves as indispensable compliments to a vibrant, diverse and growing district of downtown Durham.