Granite Crossing sees rebirth as spaces fill, current businesses thrive
By Liz Moomey
GRANITE QUARRY — Granite Crossing is coming back to life after years of empty spaces. On Thursday, the shopping center celebrated businesses that are thriving, relocating and opening in hopes to become a destination for community shoppers.
Drew Hooker, owner of the retail center, has pushed through the recession and the economic upswing to give Granite Quarry residents a place to eat, shop and be active in the community.
“We’ve had some ups and downs,” Hooker said. “The economy was down. It was definitely a setback for a few years, but we are filling up. We’re excited to bring some energy into the neighborhood, and the most exciting thing about it is it’s all local businesses.”
To the Point Dance Co. is relocating from Salisbury to Granite Crossing. Owner Deanie Ribelin said with the bigger space, she will be able to accommodate more students, provide meeting space and potentially use it for weddings.
“It was an open space,” Ribelin said. “We can design it like we wanted to.”
Rowan County commissioners Chairman Greg Edds spoke at a ribbon cutting about what the shopping center will do for the community.
“This is right in the forefront of Granite Quarry,” Edds said. “Granite Quarry is one of the communities that’s really leading the charge for improvement in Rowan County. This is more than creating businesses. This is really creating some healing in our heart. When you drive by and see activity going on, folks are going to drive by here every day on their way home and they’re going to glance over and see activity going on, and they are going to feel good about their community.”
Hooker said he has been working to bring businesses back to Granite Crossing. It took some time to bring in new tenants like To the Point and Destination Hope Church.
“I definitely hope it brings a lot of energy in,” Hooker said. “It’s a nice neighborhood center, and it’s been empty for a little while. It’s taken a couple years to work with these large tenants coming in. We’ve been talking to the church for more than a year and the dance studio for a while as well.”
Granite Quarry Mayor Bill Feather said ribbon cuttings sponsored by the Rowan County Chamber are typically reserved for new businesses, but he wanted to celebrate the center’s revival.
“We thought it was an appropriate time to encourage Drew along with the chamber to do something that’s a little more formal since it was filling back up and to get the businesses promoted and help them,” Feather said.
Edds said Hooker and the business owners are vital to the Granite Quarry economy.
“We owe it to folks who take a chance,” Edds said. “We appreciate your talking a chance. We’re going to tell you, it’s going to get better and better here.”
Hooker said the businesses should be settled in by early 2019. Other businesses at Granite Crossing include Fight Factory, Knead Sweets, Pro Nails, Sno Biz and Slice of Heaven Pizza. Hooker said he wasn’t intent on filling the spaces with only local businesses, but that gives the center a community feel.
“Everyone knows each other,” Hooker said. “They live here as well as work here.”
Feather said the location is ideal, being close to Salisbury and Interstate 85 and with the residential growth nearby.
“I think there’ll be a lot more rooftops that will help the business here,” Feather said.
Feather said a State Employee’s Credit Union will open nearby soon and will be another positive for the center.
Granite Crossing is at 900 N. Salisbury Ave.