Thursday, December 27, 2007

Small Business Center Workshop Schedule

There are several resources available locally for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and a great one is the Small Business Center at Johnston Community College. Here is a link to their spring training calendar for your information in planning professional development:

Don Johnson is the director and here's his contact info:
919-209-2015, office
919-359-1176, fax
919-894-9508, mobile

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clayton Historical Association Interviewed on UNC-TV

UNC-TV's Kelly McCullen today interviewed members of the Clayton Historical Association about the Civil War Trails Marker they hope to have installed that will recognize Clayton as the location of the surrender of Raleigh to Gen William Sherman during the Civil War. Mary Compton (pictured to left) was the first to be interviewed as she told the story to reporter McCullen. Also interviewed were Town Historian Pam Bumgartner and Clayton Historical Association President Porter Casey, Jr. The 4-5 minute segment is expected to be aired on UNC-TV's "NC Now" program in early January.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Downtown Clayton Business News

By the end of January, three new restaurants will open in downtown Clayton, along with a piano bar! Mulberry on Main is expected to open by mid-January; El Sabor de Oaxaca and Clayton Steak House are both expected to open mid-late January. In addition, Main Street Piano Bar is anticapted to open in January. We’ll keep you up to date! A new yoga session with East 2nd Street Yoga and Massage begins the week of January 7th for beginning and experienced students. All classes are held on the 3rd floor of The Clayton Center. Contact number is 919-270-4892 or Clayton Parks and Recreation Department at 553-1551

DOWNTOWN 101: What Color Should I Paint My Building?

We have had several inquiries from business and property owners about improving the appearance of their building, most specifically about the color the building should be painted. This article is intended to present some guidance to help you make that decision based on information gathered this past year to help lead us to the successful revitalization of downtown Clayton.

Over the last six months, a number of property owners have repainted the facades of their buildings. Most updated the former color of the building and others have taken, or may be contemplating, a more radical approach. Upgrading the way our buildings look is an important step in the revitalization process, but doing it with a consensual purpose is equally important.

In August, the North Carolina Main Street Resource Team provided the Town with a report to assist the Downtown Development Association with its efforts to revitalize downtown Clayton. That report, in conjunction with the Downtown Clayton Vision Statement, provides the direction we need to move to achieve that vision in the next five years or so.

Lauren Malinoff, the NC Main Street Designer, conducted the Downtown Clayton Design Workshop in mid-November. One of the topics addressed was: painting. She said that there are “lots of historic colors.” Most of the downtown buildings are brick. She cautioned that if your building is natural brick then don’t paint it! If you are painting brick walls that are already painted, she suggests that Clayton building owners “pick out brick colors…there are so many different brick or masonry colors. She also showed examples of buildings that are painted white, off-white or gray that just “blend in with the sky, but when painted with a masonry color they stand out.”

The following recent statements relate to building appearance and the revitalization of downtown Clayton. Please use them as a guide to help make informed decisions about building color.

“The Main Street program’s design philosophy is that the architectural fabric of your downtown is your heritage, and it is worthy of preservation. Downtown was built over time, one building at a time. We are not, therefore, recommending the restoration of downtown Clayton. Instead we encourage property owners to respect the architectural character of their buildings. We believe in conservative rehabilitation, i.e., removing inappropriate additions (such as shingled mansards, flat metal canopies and oversized signs) and enhancing a building’s positive features with reasonably priced elements like cloth awnings and new signage. Clayton has a rich fabric of late 19th and 20th century commercial buildings. The citizens of Clayton should recognize, protect and celebrate the physical assets in downtown.” – NC Main Street Resource Team Report

“If your building is currently painted, leave it that way. Painting…leads inevitably to maintenance, and you will find yourself having to repaint every 5-7 years. If you are trying to add some color to your façade, you can do this by repainting windows, doors and frames, and by adding new awnings and/or signage.” Removing paint (emphasis added) though costlier than repainting, is actually more economical in the long run, since your masonry need never be painted again. You should consider this if you are weighing paint removal against repainting.” – A How-to Guide for Downtown Building Rehab, Rescue & Repair

““Now a diverse business center, Clayton retains its small town charm as it steams toward its progressive future. Trendy restaurants offer sidewalk cafes and entertainment for all tastes. Every storefront is occupied and restored to its original architectural glory accented by attractive landscaping.” – Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012

As a benefit of Clayton being in the NC Main Street Program, Lauren is available to help property owners with façade design planning. And, the Town has a downtown façade improvement grant program that can be used to improve the appearance of your building. Just give me a call at 553-1545 or send a note by email at and we can arrange it.

Town-wide Marketing/Branding/Wayfinding Recommendations Presented

Aaron Arnett & Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates presented their findings and recommendations Monday night (12/17/07) to the Town Council for a market analysis, Branding & Marketing and Wayfinding Strategy for the Town of Clayton.

They presented strategies for branding and marketing; wayfinding; business development and an implementation strategy, with short term, mid term and long term actions.

In addition, they presented the new marketing logo. Ben Muldrow pointed out that the Town Seal is the primary message for the Town of Clayton, but that there should also be a “marketing logo” for imaging. The tag line, “Thinking Outside the Triangle” connects Clayton with the Triangle and provides the opportunity to market Clayton as a unique destination/location.

Some of the recommended branding and marketing strategies include:

Short Term
– Adopt uniform brand system for Clayton & downtown
– Apply brand to existing organizations, events, & collateral
– Begin aggressively marketing to local growth areas

Mid Term
– Expand Clayton’s marketing reach integrating regional tourism & arts efforts
– Target greater Raleigh market to increase regional penetration

Long Term
– Promote Clayton’s quality of life and recruit residential development
– Follow up market definition study every five years & perhaps quarterly
– New regional event

They reviewed recommended wayfinding signage as well as the type and locations of signs and gateway entrances throughout town. The wayfinding helps residents and visitors find their way around town. Some of the recommendations they made include:

Short term
– Approval of sign design, locations from NC DOT
– Brand application to wayfinding signs, gateways
– Early efforts focusing on downtown trailblazers, banners for character districts

Mid term
– Arterial trailblazers on US 70 & NC 42
– Billboards on I-95 & I-40
– Coordinate new signage with completion of new Bypass

Long term
– Billboards in Raleigh Metro
– New gateway signage on US 70 (west) & US 70/Main
– Secondary gateway signage dowtown

Aaron reviewed the market potential data which shows that Clayton can support over 200,000 square feet of additional retail space. There is tremendous Primary Trade Area leakage and the lack of retail creates the opportunity to expand the local market. In doing so, Clayton must figure out a way to reach the “new” market which is the residential growth associated with Raleigh.

Clayton must build on its strengths to recruit complementary retail based on the market analysis data, such as furniture, apparel, gifts, furniture & home furnishings, and specialty shopping. He said specialty shopping and restaurants would be best suited in downtown and general merchandising on US 70.

Mr. Arnett also noted that there is a HUGE opportunity for expanding restaurant offerings, since restaurants are now pulling more regional customers and visitors. He also suggested developing a great mix of unique businesses downtown with broad appeal. Some of the implementation strategies recommended include:

Short Term
– Town host implementation work session to present this plan & assign responsibilities to partner organizations
– Pursue economic development position at Town to lead business development & recruitment of small businesses, retail, mixed use
– Create advertising committee with reps from key destinations (responsible for marketing, communication, media flight plan)

Mid Term
– Economic Development position strengthens regional partnerships with Economic Development, tourism, cultural agencies
– Community event calendar

Long Term
– Continue to evaluate planning progress & adjust tasks & priorities as needed

The final report will be provided following a review of the material presented last night. For more information, please contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or

Monday, December 17, 2007

Downtown Clayton Residential Holiday Decorating Contest Winners Announced

The 2007 Downtown Residential Decorating Contest winners were announced today by the Clayton Downtown Development Association. All residential neighborhoods within the boundaries of Robertson Street to the west, US 70 to the south, town limits to the north and US 70 to the east were considered. Categories are Most Traditional, Most Creative, Best Neighborhood Block, and Best Overall. Anonymous, out-of-town judges drove through downtown’s residential neighborhoods between December 9 and 12.

DDA Chair Joyce Blackley said that, “We are fortunate to have such wonderful residential neighborhoods in the downtown area and wanted to recognize them at this time of year.”

Winners in each category, except Best Neighborhood Block, received gift prizes, donated by Fancy That Gifts at 227 E Main Street; Fine Jewelry by Vincent, 335 E Main Street and Cakewalk Creative Studios & Gifts at 308 W Main Street. Winners and Honorable Mentions each received a certificate.

The Contest Results:

326 Page Street
Porter & Timpla Casey

113 W Blanche St
Michael Crabtree

Honorable Mention
404 Kildee St
406 S Fayetteville St
304 S Lombard St
307 S Lombard St

555 N O’Neil St
Pete & Laura Sealey

Honorable Mention
614 N O’Neil St
226 Pineland St
112 Hardee St
312 W Stallings St

315 – 339 Page Street
(8 of 9 homes)

Honorable Mention
301 – 339 S. Lombard Street
(8 of 10 homes)

For more information about the Clayton Downtown Development Association, contact Joyce Blackley, Chair at 553-6813 or Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator at 553-1553 or For downtown news and information, visit

Friday, December 14, 2007

Clayton High School Band Concert

The Clayton High School Band will present their annual Holiday Concert at The Clayton Center on Tuesday, December 18 at 8:00 pm. The concert is free!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clayton Tree Lighting Video

Here's a link to the video from the Clayton Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, November 29, 2007. Thanks to "Henry" for shooting the video!

Tree Lighting Video Part 1

Tree Lighting Video Part 2

Tree Lighting Video Part 3

We will also be posting photographs as we get them!

Downtown Clayton Calendar of Events

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Friday, December 7
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: jazz with Nobody’s Bizness 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 8
CLAYTON CHRISTMAS PARADE, Main Street, Clayton Chamber of Commerce (553-6352) 3:00 pm

THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Zydecopious 9:00 pm

Tuesday, December 11
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic hosted by Tracy Wiebeck 8:30 pm

Thursday, December 13
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke with KJ Ray 8:30 pm

Friday, December 14
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Celtic music with Barrowburn 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 15
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Rootzie 9:00 pm

Tuesday, December 18
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic hosted by Tracy Wiebeck 8:30 pm

Thursday, December 27
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke with KJ Ray 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 29
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Coty Rivers & Johnny Orr 9:00 pm

Always Shop Clayton First!