Five Points and surrounding areas scheduled for improvements

New housing, grocery store and community center in the proposed plan

Five Points and surrounding areas scheduled for improvements

NEW BERN - The Five Points area seems like the place that time forgot, but the people that call it home have not.  They are asking for change.

"Look around, there's not really much here.  We need some diversity.  We need to bring some culture here for the children," said Verona Bryant who lives and works in the Five Points area.

The city listened and approved the New Bern Gateway Renaissance Plan to transform the area that includes Duffy Field, Craven Terrace, Trent Court, Five Points and surrounding areas.

"It outlines how to create a redevelopment plan that actually transforms and area, not focusing on one or two issues," said Jeff Ruggieri, Director of Development Services for the City of New Bern.

Some points in the plan include new and energy-efficient housing.  The housing will be designed as either apartment-style or small homes. 

One long term goal is turning the Days Hotel into a building that serves the community.  Services such as financial advising, health care advising, continuing education, according to the proposed plan, will be in the abandoned hotel.

Many residents have asked for a grocery store.  There is a plan to build a 30,000 sq. ft. grocery store in the area to provide healthier food options.

All of these projects will take years to come to fruition. However, one project we will be able to see within the year is a replica of the historical Five Points fountain.  It will be constructed at the intersection of Queen and Pollock Streets.

"In eight to ten months, we'll have a fountain in the middle of Five Points to symbolize that we've started, but also started with a piece of the past," said Ruggieri.

In the late 1950's, Five Points was a bustling community.

"New Bern was booming.  They had stores up and down the streets.  We had a movie theater,"said William Vail who is a long-time resident of New Bern.

Change will soon come, but the overall love of the city still remains the same.

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