Top city officials are on the verge of announcing a new hotel near the Rocky Mount Event Center while sitting on a state grant for a competing downtown project.
“Bringing in something new is not going to make people forget about the Carlton House,” said Tarrick Pittman during a meeting of the Central City Revitalization Panel on Thursday morning.
Pittman was joined by a chorus of downtown business owners expressing their frustration over City Hall stonewalling developers in favor of a pet project.
“It’s either incompetence or deliberate stalling,” said Councilwoman Chris Miller who sits on the panel as a representative of Downtown Renaissance, an organization with the goal of stabilization and preservation of the inner city of Rocky Mount.
State Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland in October announced $6.9 million in grant funding for 21 rural area projects across the state. One of those projects is a $55,000 grant to support the renovation of the 46,400-square-foot Carlton House, a 64-room boutique hotel on Church Street, which is set to include a restaurant.
Copeland said the Carlton is being renamed the Monk Hotel to pay homage to jazz legend Thelonious Monk, who was born in Rocky Mount.
The project, which includes $4 million in private investment, is expected to create 11 jobs and boost business downtown. (Read more)