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Questions & Answers

Can the city ensure that a percentage of the employment to be used in the construction of the hotel/condo/garage complex be given to our unemployed here within the inner city?

I would be very upset that in revitalizing the city, we are unable to guarantee jobs to our unemployed. Jobs with an earned income will enable continued sustainability and viability of previously marginalized communities where the hotel complex is situated.

That being the case, what kinds of training are planned or are already in place so our unemployed can better positioned to be hired? Rocky Mount has to lead in doing this. We believe the continued development of downtown will result in jobs for citizens via construction, hotel workers, parking deck employees and more. According to Novogradac Consulting's Economic Impact Analysis, our area is expected to gain more than 600 jobs between construction and operation years of the development. Area community colleges continue to see growth in enrollment while producing a workforce that is ready to contribute locally. The city of Rocky Mount recognizes its under/unemployed community and strives to keep them informed of opportunities for advancement. The city of Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation department will soon sponsor its second job fair of 2019 on July 9. More than 500 people turned out for the spring job fair, where attendees were not only presented with job opportunities, but also helped with resume preparation, job readiness and more. Opportunities for employment with the city of Rocky Mount and the Rocky Mount Event Center were and will be presented at both job fairs.

The news are filled with a possible new construction of a 20,000 seat S. Raleigh football stadium at the estimated cost of $2 billion. The complex also envision 1200 hotel rooms, 1750 apartments, 125,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant spots, and 1.6 million sq. ft. office space. This is a definite competition for the sports tourism market. What kind of impact do you project should such an endeavor come to fruition?

The Raleigh stadium will look to house a Major League Soccer team and major sports events/concerts, whereas our Event Center is exceeding early projections from concerts, private events and the continuous booking of amateur athletics tournaments in basketball and volleyball, and much more.

Please advise what the "7 cent dedicated tax rate" is referring to on pages 35 and 36 of the PowerPoint presentation. Is this sales tax, property tax, or something else? Also, is this city-wide or just for the special taxing district of downtown?

The 7 cents refers to the ad valorem tax increases dedicated to the Rocky Mount Event Center debt payments. The ad valorem rate (or property tax rate) was increased 2.5 cents in 2016, 2.5 cents in 2018, and 2 cents in 2019 for a total of 7 cents. The increase is effective citywide.

Where is the hotel and parking deck slated to be downtown?

Please click here to view the site plan.

How much has been spent on the project so far, including but not limited to, Novogradac, Davenport & Co, BWC Consulting, Maynard Cooper & Gale, Poyner & Spruill, site plans, MGA, engineering, travel for developer and consultants and city staff resources?

$279,224.53 as of 6/27/19

What is the benefit to the city in leasing the parking deck from the developer rather than building it directly? Ted Cole said the lease "basically acts the same way debt would." Why doesn't the city just borrow the entire amount and build the deck?

The city has considered the option of constructing the garage. The decision at this time is a project inclusive of the parking deck, hotel, retail, and residential being simultaneously constructed. The tier one hotel flag has stringent requirements and will not commit without control of the parking garage. While the city could design, bid and construct the parking garage, there is no guarantee it would cost less. To ensure the city is getting a fair price, the city is engaging a third party to review the garage construction specifications once available and the third party will provide independent pricing. If the pricing is significantly less than that provided by the developer, the city could continue negotiations with the developer or choose not to lease the garage.

How much money is the city looking to raise from bonds? What will be the dollar amount requested during the LGC meeting?

The city is not issuing bonds for this project. The city intends to enter into a 20-year capital lease for the garage estimated to be $17,750,000.

The city contribution portion of this project is to build a 700 space parking deck at the cost of $18 million. Of those parking spaces, 140 will be reserved for hotel use, and 328 spaces currently exist at the event center. That means there will be 232 net new parking spaces for the event center and to support downtown businesses. Does the city feel that is sufficient parking?

The pro-forma prepared by Sports Facility Advisory dated 2/23/2015 for the event center planned for 697 parking spaces. Some parks were adjacent to the facility and others in nearby downtown parking lots. The current financial model assumes that the parking garage will not have 100 percent occupancy each day. For larger events, the city continues to have alternate parking lots if needed. The developer is also planning for an additional 120 surface parking spaces on his property for which the city is not leasing. The city will continue to conduct parking studies in this area and plan for appropriate future growth.

The cost to create 232 new spaces will be $79,094 each, not including what was already spent on the lots during construction of the Event Center. Does the city feel that this is a fair amount to pay for extra parking?

The cost of 700 spaces is $17,750,00 or $25,357 per space. The city is engaging a third party to validate the proposed pricing of the garage.

In the development agreement, and in public meetings, a third party consultant has been referenced as verifying construction costs. Who is this consultant? Who is paying for it? Is there a report available I can have?

The city is working to engage a third party to verify the cost of the garage. The city must have construction documents from the developer before that work can begin. The third party has not been engaged at this time. The city will pay for the consultant.

In the development agreement, there is a 7 percent management/renewal fee of gross sales going to the developer. Since the city is paying for the entire construction, including all technology such as gates and ticket/payment machines, why is there a management fee on top of that? What does it include?

The management fee is 3 percent and will cover the cost of ongoing operations of the parking garage. The renewal and replacement fee of 4 percent will cover expected repairs, maintenance and improvements for the garage.

It has been mentioned in council meetings and in the development agreement, that Hunt Services was chosen for their experience in building hotels, residential, retail and parking decks. Has the developer ever built a parking deck? If so, where and when? Has the developer ever built multi-family housing?

Please contact Hunt Services for specifics.

The site plan is referenced in the development plan, but has not been distributed. Can I get a copy?

The site plan is can be downloaded here.

In section 4.2 of the current draft development agreement, the city would be required to reimburse Hunt Services for any pre-development costs if the city doesn't meet a bunch of criteria laid out in section 4.1 including approval by the LGC. How much has been spent by Hunt Services in pre-development costs?

Please contact Hunt Services for specifics.

I saw the June 25 press release about this project but did not understand what exactly has been approved by the City Council and what remains to be approved. Can you provide more details? Has the Project Development and Cooperation Agreement been approved? If not, when will the council consider it for approval?

The council is taking the steps to move towards the final approval of the development agreement with the consultant. The Local Government Commission will have the final approval regarding the financing for the project.