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Tarboro showcase attracts investors

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Jonathan Coltrane, left, the economic vitality chair for the Tarboro Development Corporation, addresses the room Thursday during the Downtown Tarboro Investment Showcase at the W.S. Clark Building in Tarboro.

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BY JOHN H. WALKER
Staff Writer

Saturday, September 21, 2019

TARBORO — Tina Parker had a satisfied look on her face Friday morning.

Parker, who holds the dual role of Tarboro’s Commercial Development and Main Street coordinator, with the help of more than a few co-workers and volunteers, had just pulled off what she said she felt was a “very successful” Downtown Tarboro Investment Showcase the day before.

The event was the result of a consolidated effort by the Town of Tarboro and Tarboro Development Corp., in conjunction with Preservation North Carolina, Carolinas Gateway Partnership, N.C. East Alliance and ElectriCities.

Its purpose was to showcase available properties in downtown Tarboro to investors and it was patterned after a similar event held earlier this year in Elizabeth City.

“I’m very pleased,” Parker said of the effort. “We had some out-of-town investors and we had some local investors … and you really want local investors in your community.”

Parker received feedback quickly.

“I’ve already had some calls on some of the properties and have three showings scheduled Sunday,” she said, “so I definitely think it went well.”

At the outset of the meeting, it was pointed out that two of the properties featured in the event program, located at 109 W. Church and 410 N. St. Andrew, had already been sold.

The first property, which had been home to a specialty boutique, dealing in women’s and children’s clothing and accessories as well as home decor, will be developed into an Airbnb. The second property, which has been unoccupied for a number of years, will become the headquarters for NBSF Consulting Inc., and will house more than 200 workers in a call center announced at a ribbon cutting just an hour before the showcase began.

Parker said two other properties were added to the list prior to the start and one, the former Cotton’s Restaurant at 117 St. James St. drew interest and showings are also scheduled for it.

“This is what we wanted … it is what we hoped for,” Parker said. “We feel Tarboro has much to offer and welcome folks to come see for themselves.”

In his welcome to the group, Mayor Joe Pitt emphasized he was “a downtown guy” and told the group of already announced commercial ventures that will bring an additional 2,000 workers to town. He also told of other businesses, including the new call center, Humble Knuckles Deli & Tap and the construction of the new Tarboro Savings Bank facility.

“There is excitement in downtown like it hasn’t been in years. My challenge to you is that I would like to see five buildings filled in six months,” he said.

He challenged property owners to make their best deals and investors to make their strongest offers.

“Downtown Tarboro is so much healthier than others in the area,” he said.

With Parker’s early feedback and scheduled showings, Pitt’s challenge just may be met sooner than later.

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