Reducing Crime and Reducing Poverty: How Rocky Mount’s Downtown Revitalization Helps – Rocky Mount Review

The Political Agitator’s response: Can’t wait to see what kind of twist the Community Council, Fighting Crime In Nash, Wilson and Edgecombe Counties, WHIG-TV and other naysayers will put on this article.

Two words: Downtown Revitalization

Not only are cities across the country embracing and improving their downtown areas, but these renovations demonstrate how this innovation can make cities less dangerous and fight poverty.  Rocky Mount is no different. Rocky Mount’s downtown development has not only been a success, but the city’s crime rate is at a 35-year low. Additional benefits of downtown development include: employment opportunities, restoration of historic buildings and reduced crime. Crime prevention techniques are most effective if they address all environmental factors, from street lighting to clean streets. (Source: Read more)

Young professionals see potential in city – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator response: Interesting, “Gorman said transplants are blessed without bias and see potential where others see problems.” This is because there are some folks whom just don’t want to see Rocky Mount move forward simply because of this city council, this city manager and staff.

The development of projects such as Rocky Mount Brewmill and the redevelopment of downtown has proven to be the catalyst for a growing group of young professionals picking the Twin Counties to develop their careers as well as their personal lives.

Rachel Gorman and Vann Joines are one such couple. Joines, a 31-year-old developer, and the 29-year-old public relations guru at Nash Health Care moved into an apartment on the Douglas Block this spring after falling in love with the walkability of the area.

“I walked into this apartment and was totally floored,” Gorman said. “It is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever lived in. I love the fact that it is historic with these tall ceilings. It is so light and airy, but with the perfect amount of space.” (Source: Read more)

Bank’s building helps revitalize downtown – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator response: Rocky Mount Downtown Revitalization will happen while the naysayers keep trying to block and stop progress.

Southern Bank is showing its commitment to helping the revitalization of downtown Rocky Mount.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the construction of the bank’s new 18,000-square-foot-building on the corner of Church and Sunset streets. Michael Bryant, executive vice president and regional executive director for the bank’s west region that includes Rocky Mount, said the nearly $5 million project is scheduled to be completed by April 2016.

Bryant said the new facility will be the first new private construction project in downtown Rocky Mount in more than 20 years and will be among the largest of the bank’s branches. Bryant gave credit to retired longtime Southern Bank board member Frank Holden for having the vision to build the new bank building in the downtown area. He said Southern Bank has room in the new building to add more employees. (Source: Read more)

Streetscape highlights rough spots downtown – Rocky Mount Telegram

The new sidewalks, lamp posts and planters are a welcome addition to downtown Rocky Mount, business owners say.

But the upgrades that are part of the city-led $6.5 million Streetscape project only highlight a nagging aesthetic problem downtown – buildings in a state of disrepair, business owners said. (More)

Downtown revitalization attracts investment – Rocky Mount Telegram

Investors are showing a renewed interest in purchasing downtown buildings as the city’s Streetscape project progresses and the revitalized Douglas Block fills up, officials said.

“I see the market is increasing,” said Downtown Development Manager Vanessa McCleary said. “I’ve had two properties that have been leased recently. I’ve got about 10 properties in various stages of construction, and all of that is picking up.”

In the last year, $1 million of private dollars have been invested in improving downtown buildings, she said. (More)

Read more:

Downtown revitalization

Council studies downtown revitalization at retreat – The Rocky Mount Telegram

WILMINGTON – Rocky Mount City Council members got a taste of what a thriving downtown market looks like during the first day of their annual retreat.

Wilmington Downtown Inc. President and CEO John Hinnant took the council members and city staff on a walking tour then a ride on the free trolley service to some of the redeveloped areas. Councilman Reuben Blackwell said the experience was eye-opening. (More)

See related:

Rocky Mount City Council

More new shops open in Douglas Block

Response: Some people didn’t want Douglas Block to be successful however many cities are revitalizing their downtowns so why not Rocky Mount? C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

The Douglas Building in downtown Rocky Mount that is a centerpiece of a revitalization project is nearly full with new tenants. (More)