May 22, 2019

CALL TO ACTION | Contact our State Representatives for the Empire Hotel

The Empire Hotel in downtown Salisbury, North Carolina is an iconic structure in the center of the city with a legacy stemming from the year 1855.

In 1855, Attorney Nathanial Boyden began construction on the 3-story building that would become the Boyden House. Construction lasted until December 1855 and the hotel formally opened in May 17, 1859. Over the years the building transferred owners to become the Davis House, the Central Hotel and lastly the Empire Hotel. The Empire Hotel closed for good in 1963, leaving its rooms empty for almost 40 years.

Salisbury, NC, with a population 33,524, is a central location on the I-85 Corridor between such populous cities as Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. These cities boast a population of approximately 3.2 million total. Founded in 1753, Salisbury’s downtown is nationally recognized as a model for preservation and downtown development, benefiting from $130 million in investment, $60 million of which has been in the last 10 years.

In 2017, Black Point Investments, LLC signed a purchase and sale agreement with plans to develop the property into market-rate apartments. Initial plans also provide for the development of retail storefronts along South Main St., including the retail space in the large former Montgomery Ward main floor, mezzanine and basement. Combined, the project will allow for approximately 29,000 square feet of retail space.

There have been many attempts at rehabilitating the hotel over the years. The Empire Hotel has a rich legacy, and its current efforts for rehabilitation require your help.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed state budget included the Empire Hotel restoration as one of 68 local projects statewide that would receive grant money. The governor’s proposed grant would invest $26.4 million to 68 projects to spur economic development in rural areas. Communities would provide at least $1 for every $4 of state funds invested in the project.

The grant would mean $1 million for the Empire Hotel project if approved. However, the same Empire Hotel funding is not included in the state House’s budget. And Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, said it is unlikely the project will be added to the Senate budget. Ford is expecting the Senate budget to be unveiled later this month.

Please consider emailing or calling our local representatives in support of these redevelopment efforts. While Gov. Roy Cooper has outlined financial support of the rehabilitation project of the Empire Hotel, local representation is likely not going to support the project.

The restoration of the Empire Hotel means that history will live on, and a pivotal structure in the center of Salisbury's downtown again contributes to the town center's vitality. Support of the restoration project means increased food options, more retail, a more business friendly and professional downtown for Salisbury.

Contacts for our NC representatives can be found here:

To call Rep. Ford or Warren:

FORD - (919) 733-5665

WARREN - (919) 733-5784

Thank you in advance for your consideration in contacting our elected officials to support Main Street USA.

Greg Rapp Realtor®
Wallace Realty Co. 
301 S. Main Street 
Salisbury NC 28144 

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