Tuesday, 24 April 2018 05:06

Rockingham Downtown Corporation Holds Monthly Meeting

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A Building of Interest to the Rockingham Downtown Development Corporation A Building of Interest to the Rockingham Downtown Development Corporation Photo by Amy Guinn

ROCKINGHAM - The monthly meeting of the Rockingham Downtown Corporation (RDC) was Tuesday, April 17th at the old Community One Bank Building at 115 S. Lawrence St.

This building is currently owned by the City of Rockingham and the City is looking for a new owner for this space. 

Despite its age, the building is in good condition, according to Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, who spoke at the meeting about the multitude of possibilities for this space. The focus of the RDC meeting was to brainstorm ideas as to what would be a good use for this space and compliment the new businesses that have recently located in the downtown area. 

Suggestions included a business incubator, which would be a collaborative of businesses who share office space, administrative staff, utilities and office equipment, thus making the expense of running their business more affordable for each business. 

A ”maker space,” which is similar to an incubator, fosters entrepreneurship and encourages business startups. 

Other ideas to be used in conjunction with the businesses included a community kitchen, a retail coffee shop, and a wine bar.  The vision entails a variety of small businesses alongside non-profits, and/or retail vendors. 

Groups such as the Richmond Young Professionals have expressed the desire for some space to hold their monthly meetings and Jamie Moss of RE/MAX envisions a conference room for her office’s use in the building - you get the idea: a functional small space for the use of many entities in this relatively large building. 

Neal Cadieu stated that there are grants available through USDA for some of these ventures.   

The Cooperative Extension office, as well as NC State, could play a role in the development as well. 

It was pointed out that, with the upcoming RichmondCC expansion into the downtown area, the possibilities seem great for interest in this building. 

All of these options are well within the purview of the RDC.  Specifically established to promote the historic preservation of the downtown area; take remedial actions to eliminate the physical, economic and social deterioration of downtown; to disseminate information of and promote interest in the preservation, history, culture, architecture and public use of the downtown, area to hold meetings and events to instruct the members and the public in these activities and enhance appreciation of the history and culture of downtown; and to aid, work with and participate in the activities of other organizations with similar purposes, the RDC meets the third Tuesday of each month.

Future sessions may alternate between lunchtime and “after work” time periods to accommodate the varying schedules of the participants, but the RDC welcomes any and all constructive input.

Last modified on Monday, 23 April 2018 23:14