I wrote last week about a conversation I had with Vann Joines, entrepreneur, when we discussed what makes people pick the places they live. Part of that answer is that people are looking for diversity, a sense of place, a cultural context that is unique. Rocky Mount is such a place! The architecture in and around downtown represents a strong link to our stories, where once, holding grandmother’s hand we went downtown.
Main Street and its environs are filled with significant buildings that feature distinctive architecture and decorative masonry. Have you noticed that at certain times of the day, the windows reflect both sides of Main Street as through a looking glass. Think of the great metaphor this is for our Twin Counties efforts; each side reflecting the beauty of the other! The historic character of downtown is one of its greatest economic assets which creates a unique experience, distinguishable from a suburban commercial site that can be found anywhere in the country. Once we wanted to ‘get away,’ we didn’t particularly value our stories of growing up in the Mill Village or ties to the Railway and Tobacco world. All that has changed. The success of today’s towns and cities hinge on how well they embrace their great cultural history, their unique past while building a future that meets the needs of today.
Calling all realtors: Invest your time, talent, your imagination and determination to promote this unique place. Bring your clients into the area! It will take some research to discover the historical significance of the properties you show, but use that research to pitch the sale. You’ll have to use your imagination to point out the possibilities of restoring a building or a residence, but doing this is a great New Years Resolution; putting new energy into your sales technique. If only this post could convince realtors…..stop assuming that clients have no interest in living in the downtown area. There is money to be made, but more then that, think of what your enthusiasm can do for the redevelopment that is taking place. Won’t you add your expertise and efforts to help create a future that will grow exponentially with success?
Continuing the Call: Let’s rethink our appreciation for these downtown buildings. Here is a great example of one that is for sale at 232 SW Main Street. One of your colleagues is already involved with at least two sites for sale on Main Street. We NEED you to believe in this area again, forget the nonsense of how dangerous life is. People are living and working downtown everyday. You are missing an opportunity to build something up again, something to be proud of that will bring you income and bring Rocky Mount recognition and pride. How can you resist? Think….I’m needed, I could make a difference, why the heck not!
If you know someone who is a realtor, please share this link. Help me reach them. Thank you! SFH