Additions planned at Station Square
By COREY DAVIS
Friday, September 8, 2017
Real estate investor and general contractor Ben Braddock has two projects in the works at Station Square in downtown Rocky Mount.
Braddock, who along with a business partner purchased the 65,000-square-foot facility from Chambliss and Rabil Commerical Realty, has blueprints in his office showing the renovation of one of the spaces on the first floor and turning it into a shared conference or meeting space for small businesses or community use. He said there will be a large meeting space for a classroom that will seat about 50 people or a networking function that could hold up to 75 people.
There will also be two small, shared conference room spaces and a space used for board rooms as well. The new space is slated to be completed and ready for use in April. Braddock said it will be similar to the HQ entrepreneurial co-working space in the larger cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro.
“Let’s say you’re a small business and you don’t have the need for housing a whole staff in an office, but you want to have a place to meet a client two or three times a week,” he said. “We will have space available on a membership basis where you can book it online. Also, this space will be ideal for small local nonprofits, With those spaces like HQ, the biggest demand is their conference rooms, and that’s the kind of niche that we’re looking to offer in Rocky Mount.”
Another project that will be completed in April at Station Square will be the opening of a coffee shop at the first entrance of the facility on Church Street. Braddock said the coffee shop will have space for outside seating both in the front of the building on the patio and in the courtyard as well as inside seating.
“The first thing that came to me when I pulled up to the parking lot and saw the corner space was having a coffee shop,” he said. “I saw that there is a big need for a coffee shop in downtown Rocky Mount, especially when you have about 6,000 people working downtown and the closest coffee shop is two miles away. We want to serve the audience that is already here and help amenitize downtown.”
Before coming to Rocky Mount, Braddock for a number of years purchased and renovated older builders in Norfolk, Va. He is licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina as a general contractor. In addition to Station Square, Braddock said, he has made several other considerable investments in Rocky Mount.
When Braddock purchased Station Square, the facility was 75 percent occupied with a variety of small business tenants in a building that he said was perceived to be empty. Braddock added Station Square has leased out additional spaces since he purchased it.
His vision for Station Square is to build off the legacy that was established by Chambliss and Rabil.
“I want this to continue to be a place where small businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups and nonprofits can connect, collaborate and contribute to the community,” Braddock said.
With the appeal of downtown Rocky Mount attracting local and outside investors, Braddock said he is excited about what is in the wings for downtown Rocky Mount.
“I hope to continue to be a part of a lot of things happening downtown,” Baddock said. “I know projects this fall where they’re redeveloping loft condominiums on Main Street. Frankly, the city of Rocky Mount has done their part with the huge investment of the downtown streetscape project that has set the stage for private investors like me and plenty of others to come and redevelop spaces. I believe in the next three to five years, downtown Rocky Mount is going to be unrecognizable.”