Three Signs of a Bright Future for Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount NC city lakeHappy 150th birthday Rocky Mount!

From its humble beginnings as a “rocky mound” to earning a “Best Main Street in the Making” honor, Rocky Mount has blossomed over the last century and a half, creating a great environment to live, work and raise a family.

Of course, it hasn’t always been easy.Economic changes have affected cities throughout Eastern North Carolina. Hurricane Floyd devastated the city. These challenges only proved that the people of Rocky Mount understand the true meaning of community. They’ve worked together to improve neighborhoods, they’ve volunteered with United Way agencies, and they’ve worked closely with police to lower the crime rate. 

 

In fact the city has had the lowest number of part 1 crimes in 39 years. Part 1 crimes include: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

It hasn’t always been easy---but worthwhile initiatives rarely are.

Now, as Rocky Mount looks forward to the next 150 years, the future couldn’t be brighter. We’ve listed three wonderful things that are on the horizon. 

Unemployment is down—new jobs are coming to Rocky Mount

All aboard! Thanks to the CSX Railroad Carolina Connector intermodal terminal, an estimated 600 jobs will be coming to the area-- 300 construction jobs and 300 terminal jobs.

The CSX announcement was a wonderful victory for Rocky Mount, but CSX isn’t the only one bringing a brighter forecast to the area.

Craft breweries are quickly becoming a North Carolina tradition like barbecue and sweet tea. We have more breweries than any other Southern state, and in 2012, the economic impact of craft beer was a staggering $791 million.

The Rocky Mount Brewmill is a piece of this “amber artisan” movement. Breweries provide jobs not only in retail and at the brewery itself, but by creating distribution and hospitality jobs. Don’t forget: industries want to locate to areas with a vibrant local culture. Perhaps one day Rocky Mount will be to craft beer what Duplin County is to North Carolina wines.

Downtown renaissance

While large shopping centers bring convenience, they may be short on character. Ask any Rocky Mount resident about “way back when,” and you’re likely to hear a story about going downtown to buy school clothes, to get a prescription filled and to meet friends and relatives. They remember a time when it was difficult to find a parking space downtown.

Economic changes have challenged downtowns across the United States. While some have slowly slid into disrepair, others have used this as an opportunity to not only re-invent themselves, but to showcase why people have always loved the allure of downtown. 

Look no further than the incredible boom in downtown development to see the revitalized Rocky Mount.  If you haven’t been to Main Street lately, take a stroll soon---you’ll see many of the following improvements:

Trendy downtown lofts for rent
Totally revamped Douglas Block buildings
Renovated Booker T. Theatre
New restaurants
A gorgeous biotechnology center (at the Rocky Mount campus of Edgecombe Community College)

There’s much more to come--- soon the city will feature the Rocky Mount Event Center which will be a perfect place to host everything from basketball tournaments to family reunions.

 

Fighting the crime rate in Rocky Mount

Thanks to innovative indicatives of the Rocky Mount Police Department and cooperation from area citizens, Rocky Mount is now experiencing the lowest number of part 1 crimes in 39 years. Part 1 crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Police Chief James Moore said several factors can help make cities less dangerous. These include working with concerned citizens and empowering communities so they will not tolerate crime. Innovative programs, such as those listed below, have also contributed.


CompStat, is a computerized, statistical system that tracks crime. CompStat helps police identify high-crime areas, and works effectively hand-in-hand with other programs to make Rocky Mount safer and less dangerous.

ShotSpotter  gives police real-time information and location data when a shot is fired.

Violent Crime Reduction Call-in program from the Rocky Mount Police Department provides personalized warnings to criminal offenders and urges them to participate in positive change by utilizing local resources

The Green Dot Initiative gives local citizens the tools and information they need to discourage crime in their area.

There are several other incredible initiatives that have resulted in a wonderful victory for the citizens of Rocky Mount.

There’s a lot to love about Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount has the unique combination of innovation and hometown charm that makes it a great place to raise a family or start a business. Another benefit: Your dollars will go much further in Rocky Mount than it will in cities such as Raleigh or Durham. The lower cost of living has been instrumental in helping stop poverty in the area.

Don’t take our word for it. Visit. Catch some jazz at The Prime Smokehouse.  Watch the latest stars at the Imperial Centre’s planetarium. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs--- homemade bath products and unique works of art can all be found along Main Street.

It’s hard to narrow down the things we love most about Rocky Mount (although we did take a shot at it with our “top ten list.”) If you’re new in town, take off your hat and stay a while. 

You’ll be glad you did. 


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