Danville's downtown is seeing changes

DANVILLE — The owner of a new downtown business, North Street Sweet Repeats, hopes to fill a niche in the local furniture market with a consignment shop.

Cheri Cirasuolo has opened North Street Sweet Repeats at 23 W. North St. and offers used furniture in good condition, along with other home items that, according to Cirasuolo, fit everyone's budget.

Her shop is one of several changes taking place in downtown Danville. Around the corner at 40-42 N. Vermilion St., Matt Long has started a new title business next door to his already-established appraisal business. Long, owner of Premiere Appraisal formerly located on Liberty Lane, acquired Allied Title's buildings at 40-42 N. Vermilion St. and all the files of Allied's title business. At 40 N. Vermilion, he has relocated his appraisal business, and at 42 N. Vermilion, he has started his new title business, calling it, collectively, Premiere Title and Appraisal Services Inc.

Long, who is also the Vermilion County supervisor of assessments, said he has done extensive remodeling inside the buildings and some exterior work as well. He said he's excited about the new location downtown.

Cirasuolo is renting her new business space from the owner of Rich's Deluxe, 21 W. North St., the longtime downtown restaurant that has closed while it's undergoing major interior and exterior renovations. Cirasuolo's shop is occupying the space at the west end of the Deluxe building, which was formerly occupied by North Street Salon and Spa.

Cirasuolo said she has collected a large inventory of used furniture, especially large items like sofas and chairs and dressers in various styles, including primitive, which is more country or pioneer; rustic, which is more rugged-looking; shabby chic, which features more romantic country pieces with a lot of cream colors or antique varnish that make them look aged; and modern.

Cirasuolo said Danville has the Goodwill store and the Habitat for Humanity Restore in addition to stores that sell new furniture, but she wants to fill a niche with used pieces from people who don't want them any longer, but also don't want to give them away. Instead, Cirasuolo said they can bring them to her store, where she can sell them on consignment.

"I can help people stage their items to sell them," she said.

She said she her inventory, which she has accumulated over time by going to garage sales and places in Indianapolis, has plenty of large pieces right now, but she's looking for more home decoration items that can complement a room.

The back of the store also has about 15 booth spaces where others can display whatever they want to sell, including crafts. Cirasuolo said she almost has all those spots filled.

Cirasuolo said she likes the small-town-store atmosphere, and a contractor is doing some interior work to make it look "Old World."

Dana Schaumburg, director of Downtown Danville Inc., said there's been other activity in the downtown area as well. She said an individual has leased the former Varsity Room restaurant space, 108 N. Vermilion St., from building owner Bruce Meachum. Schaumburg said it will be used as office space rather than retail, but she cannot yet disclose who has leased the space as the arrangement is not finalized.

She also said the Danville Symphony Orchestra will be moving its office from the Village Mall to office space in the DDI building at 149 N. Vermilion St.

She said that will help DDI offset some of its costs. And, she said, the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency, which is already downtown, needs more office space and is expanding into DDI's former office space at 7 E. North St.

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