Rocky Mount Mills had a long run of historic economic importance in the Twin Counties before shutting its doors almost 20 years ago. Now, at last, it might be poised for a new chapter.
Capitol Broadcasting bought the 19th-century mill in 2007, but as the Great Recession took hold, the property sat vacant. Rocky Mount community leaders held onto hope.
Capitol Broadcasting, under the leadership of the Goodmon family, has a rich history of its own – largely responsible for the resurgence of the American Tobacco District in Durham and the beautiful downtown Durham Athletic Park, home of the Bulls’ minor league baseball team.
Might the mill, which hugs the shore of the Tar River, offer another scenic setting for upscale offices, restaurants and shops?
The property includes more than 50 acres of land, 300,000 square feet of interior building space and about 30 mill houses.
News this week that Capitol has hired a development manager whose main focus is Rocky Mount Mills has rekindled that sense of hope.
Evan Covington Chavez told Telegram business reporter John Henderson the development of the mill property is the primary responsibility of her new position.
She said she and Michael Goodmon, who is vice president of real estate for Capitol, had discussed numerous possibilities for the site. Now, she added, it’s time to move things forward.
That’s welcome news for Rocky Mount. We have high hopes the mill will once again take on a major economic role in a new incaranation.