Do You Want to Buy An $18 Million Parking Garage Available On The Rocky Mount Monopoly Board?

For the fun of it, let’s play Monopoly!  On the Board, one of the things we can buy is a parking deck. A deck we are told that will be great for Edgecombe County. Consider a few of the following things before plunking your Monopoly money down.

  1. This parking deck has 700 spaces.
  2. You currently have 328 spaces being used for the Event Center.
  3. The hotel wants 140 spaces.
  4. Building the parking deck On Top of our existing  328 spaces
  5. Net gain 232 spaces.
  6. Parking deck total cost (including the acquisition of land, but not including consultants) $18,350.000
  7. Cost per new space, $79.095

I highly recommend that instead, you consider building surface parking across the street from the Event Center. I don’t see how, but let’s say that costs $1 million. This hotel, parking, mixed-use project is being touted as great for Edgecombe County. Makes you wonder how many times residents of Wards 1,2,3, 4 will stay in this proposed hotel? If they park in the parking deck, they will have to pay to do so.

It is a false premise to say that building the hotel is an economic driver. A hotel does not bring restaurants and shops and living above the store apartments. It is having these things in place that result in needing a place to stay. If this project is really good for Wards 1-4,  spend the $1 million on surface parking and invest the rest of that $18,350.000 in these Wards that have the most distressed housing, missing sidewalks, potholes in the streets, unkempt parks, crime, and slum landlords.

The party line is that Nash County is responsible for these poor conditions, and the plight of these Wards. This is an unexamined idea! You have to ask why Wards 1-4 look the way they do if the majority vote on the council holds the power?  This majority, had they wanted to, could have directed city resources into these Wards, having the best sidewalks, tree-lined streets, liveable and safe housing, the best parks in the city rather than the worst. This is within the purview of the City of Rocky Mount. Wards 1-4 are the Gateway of Rocky Mount and should be seeing growth. Will the October 8, 2019 election finally be the end date when the citizens of Rocky Mount are no longer willing to be disrespected by the leaders who say they want to help them?

September 19 -6:30, at a Meet The Candidate Event held at ECC, the contested Council Seat in Ward 1, held by Councilman Knight since 2003,  spent his time defending himself and the current Council for all the great strides they have made. There is little correlation, however, between those words and tangible results in Ward 1. The winner for the evening was Tarrick Pittman, who is running for Mr. Knight’s seat. A retiring, quiet, gentle young man, he stood head and shoulders taller than all the rest with his articulate, well planned, plans for Ward 1 and his work for the entire city. An impressive resume, his technological expertise informs his approach. He is a bright, new hope, and Monopoly player for Rocky Mount. Next time we’ll talk about buying a Monopoly Utility Company with the money we saved by providing surface parking. A parking deck might be nice to have, but repair and replacing infrastructure is a must-have. 

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in Atlantic Avenue Corridor Plan, Economic Development in Rocky Mount NC, Rocky Mount 2019 Elections and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Do You Want to Buy An $18 Million Parking Garage Available On The Rocky Mount Monopoly Board?

  1. Anthony says:

    Unbelievable to spend this amount of money when plenty of surface parking spaces are available in the immediate area for a fraction of the cost with out lining the pockets of some particular city leadership individuals.. As for the hotel, what happened to The Carlton House project?? A private investment that has NOT been supported by the CITY.. Apparently not supported because certain city leaders can not benefit financially from this project..


    • The Carleton House is up for sale. Can you believe that? A landmark that the City did everything to squelch. The story, the memories, the LOCATION, that could still be one of the anchor projects in our preservation story. It really is insane and such a loss for the city. Wonderful Jesse Gerstl, who is one of our ‘angels unaware’ investing in Rocky Mount, should have been carried around on a silver platter for all he has been doing. Jesse took me through the motel and has such a great vision for the restoration. It blows my mind that The Majority, as they call themselves-4 votes!!! have controlled this project. It makes me so upset, that I hope you’ll hold my hand until we can put an end to this nonsense. How’s that, Anthony, for a reaction to your comment. Thanks for keeping me company on Main Street.


  2. Rodd says:

    Gaming the System!
    The city officials and council members have learned how to manipulate the system to their advantage.
    One wonders how much of the hotel/parking scheme money may line their pockets. Voters Beware!


  3. John says:

    The average price of a single garage space in Manhattan in New York City, NY is $80,000.00 so I guess that’s a bargain at $79,095.00.


  4. Robin-Ann Johnson says:

    RA Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.

    Sent from my iPad



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s