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Council OKs downtown hotel plans

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Rocky Mount City Council is now split on a planned multimillion dollar downtown hotel and parking garage.

The council voted 4-3 to approve the project Monday during a special Committee of the Whole meeting.

Councilmen Reuben Blackwell, Andre Knight, Richard Joyner and Councilwoman Lois Watkins voted to approve the project.

Councilmen Tom Rogers, W.B. Bullock and Councilwoman Chris Miller voted against the project.

The city advertised the meeting as a closed door session, but presented the hotel project and financing in open session with no citizen participation.

City staff is hosting a public information session today concerning the hotel project.

The 10 a.m. to noon meeting on the draft agreement for the development project will be held in the George W. Dudley City Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

The Draft Development and Cooperation Agreement between the city and Hunt Services allows the city and Hunt Services to work with each other in order to facilitate the planning, design, financing, construction and operation of the proposed facilities including a 107-room Tier 1 hotel, one or possibly two parking garages, residential condominiums and retail space.

In February, David Hunt said the proposed multi-layered project would be a $60 million to $70 million development aiding in downtown revitalization.

During the same month, the council authorized the mayor to execute a Letter of Intent. This non-binding agreement means the council will exercise its due diligence for the consideration of the development project. The council selected Hunt Services as the developer in May.

“These meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to hear about the specifics of the proposed project from our financial advisors and from city staff. The project is not final and will need approval from the Local Government Commission,” City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said in a press release.

The Draft Development and Cooperation Agreement is available on the city’s website. Anyone can email questions about the project to downtowndevelopment@rockymountnc.gov.

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