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A new wood-fired pizza restaurant is coming to historic downtown Wilson after a Thursday decision by the city council.
The sale of a former service station at 224 Goldsboro St. and redevelopment proposals were the subject of a closed session before the 7 p.m. Thursday meeting. Officials considered two projects: an art shop, cafe and sculpture garden or Pie Station, an eatery centered around brick oven pizzas.
The winning proposal is a joint project between sisters Nancy Harris and Carol Bowen, Dr. Mike Bowen and Brent Boyette that included a $20,000 offer to the city for the property and more than $600,000 in additional investment.
“The energetic vibe from the nearby Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is contagious and we want this energy to flourish in the 200 block of Goldsboro Street,” the proposal states. “Pie Station will be an asset for the residents living in all the downtown lofts as well as people working in downtown Wilson.”
The proposal emphasized the partners’ experience and commitment to the community, including six letters of recommendation. One of the letters is from Bob Kendall, who lauded the local ownership as Pie Station’s “secret sauce.”
“I’ve already ordered a large original crust pizza with sausage and onions,” Kendall wrote. “Probably a year before it might come out of the oven. I know it will be perfect because Carol Bowen made it.
“Better ingredients. Better proposal. Carol Bowen.”
A timeline for the project has not been released.
In other downtown news, Wilson was approved for a $199,656 U.S. Department of Agriculture rural business development grant for a wayfinding sign program.
“Wilson often outpaces our peer municipalities in grants and a lot of that is due to the quality of applications prepared by staff and our reputation for administering grants properly,” said City Manager Grant Goings.
Goings noted that the grant and $50,000 from the Wilson Tourism Authority enabled the project timetable to be expedited into about 18 months instead of three or four years.
Other actions taken at the Thursday meeting included: rezoning 5026 Lamm Road to heavy industrial, retirement and sale of K-9 Rhett to Senior Police Officer J.A. Boykin as well as setting Aug. 16 as the public hearing date for annexation of the Lamm Road property, annexation of 9 acres on Bucklin Drive and Thornwall Court and rezoning for 27 acres on the 4900 block of Summit Place Drive.