The wait is almost over for fans of Neo Gift Studio.
The store will soon reopen in its new location at 905 Elmwood Ave. after a monthlong hiatus as it moved from its former home at 512 Elmwood Ave. It's situated on the corner of West Delavan in Ellicott Development's newly built, 44,000-square-foot mixed-use complex.
Neo is waiting for a few last-minute things before it can open. Construction on the sidewalk outside needs to be completed. The store's exterior sign has to be installed and a certificate of occupancy must arrive. Joan Zoerb, who owns Neo with sister Joyce Zoerb, estimates the store will have its soft opening in about two weeks. It will have a grand opening later when JT's restaurant opens next door; probably in mid-April.
The new store is about the same size as the old one, but the new place has a more contemporary feel with cement floors and reclaimed wood. It also has 15-foot-high ceilings, track lighting and large windows that let in lots of natural light. Its outdoor sign will be a back-lit, steel square with the Neo logo. The store brought in a few more youthful product lines to match the new surroundings.
"Ellicott Development did a beautiful job with the interior," Joan Zoerb said.
Formerly the site of a gas station, the site at 905 Elmwood Ave. now includes 1,500-square-feet of retail space, along with 21 high-end apartments on the second through fourth floors. On the first floor with Neo will be JT's, owned and operated by local restaurateurs Henry Gorino and Chuck Mauro. It will have a sidewalk patio along Elmwood Avenue with more indoor and outdoor seating on the second floor.
When Neo moved to the 500 block of Elmwood Avenue 10 years ago, "it was a great little block," Zoerb said. Not long after, several shops moved out and foot traffic dropped. The Zoerbs moved to the new building to be closer to the shopping district and to capture more walking traffic, she said.
"It's a great little corner," she said.
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