ROCKINGHAM — The former Food King redevelopment project is coming closer to fruition.
City Manager Monty Crump announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the flooring is finished, aside from “a little bit of wrap-up work.”
Crump also said that there are four parties currently interested in the property “in some form or fashion.” He added that all those interested are local.
Potential plans for the plaza include a retail outlet, restaurant and brewery, according to Crump.
“We’ve been working for a while to get to this point… we’ve got a marketable piece of property,” he said. That interest, he continued, “shows the viability of downtown.”
Mayor John Hutchinson said that lately, there has been more interest in locating downtown than there has been available real estate, “so it’s going to be good to get another several (businesses) located in downtown.”
“It’s great to see the downtown coming back alive,” Hutchinson added.
The city received more than $1 million in funding for the project, including a $750,000 grant from the Rural Economic Development Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce and $300,000 from the state budget.
The City Council approved the $60,000 purchase of the property in February of 2018.
In late 2021, Assistant City Manager John Massey presented to the council a concept that shows a space for a restaurant on the end near the parking lot, with space for an outdoor patio, as well as two other storefronts on the west side of the building.
Massey said it has been difficult to find a single potential tenant to occupy the 10,000 square-foot space, so the city asked the architect to divide the property.
The proposed restaurant space would be around 4,000 square feet. The other two spaces each would be around 2,500 square feet.
Also in 2021, the city took care of plumbing issues during a streetscape enhancement along the block and installed outlets in the parking lot for food vendors to use to cut out generator noise.