Two communities in Moore County, the Village of Pinehurst and the Town of Robbins, are each embarking on downtown revitalization projects to create new destinations for residents and visitors, as well as to attract new development opportunities.
For more than a decade, Pinehurst has sought to redevelop an area of the village, referred to as Village Place, located on the outskirts of the quaint downtown. The old Pinehurst steam plant on Magnolia Road is in this area, and finally a project will soon be underway to renovate this historic structure.
Built in 1895, the steam plant is a 7,000 square-foot building that once powered and heated the Village’s hotels and homes. The plant continued to provide steam into the 1970s until the hotels were modernized with heating and air conditioning. It has sat unused since it was decommissioned in 1998, and it is now owned by Pinehurst Resort.
The Resort is moving forward with their plan to convert the building into a pub and microbrewery that will feature a covered terrace and outside dining area, a covered beer garden with an outside bar, an event lawn on the west side of the property, and a small smoke-greenhouse building on the east side. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2018.
“We have wanted to see something happen in this part of the village for a long time,” said Village Mayor Nancy Fiorillo.
Before the project could move forward, the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission had to approve the renovation plans since the building is in the historic district. “There was a lot of enthusiasm by all of us about what they are planning to do,” said commission chairman Jim Lewis. “They have gone to considerable lengths to renovate the property and restore certain details.”
Lewis said the plant is an important part of the village’s history and many people have wanted to see this building restored and reused in some way.
“I think it is going to be fabulous,” said Mayor Fiorillo.
In northwestern Moore County, the Town of Robbins is working to redefine its identity to attract new residents and visitors and encourage local economic development. As part of their efforts, the Town has recently been awarded a $75,000 grant for a new venue to host bands and others performances in the heart of downtown Robbins.
The grant will be used to add an outdoor stage and other amenities, as well as make streetscape improvements to a community greenspace at the Hope Academy on Middleton Street. The greenspace was developed through a partnership between the town and the Northern Moore Family Resource Center, which operates the academy.
Town Manager David Lambert said the outdoor stage is expected to be completed in time for next year’s Farmers Day Festival in August 2018. This project is part of Robbins’ vision to provide quality public spaces where residents can come together to build community and enjoy high quality entertainment.
“Downtown revitalization is essential to the economic improvement of our community and quality of life”, Lambert said. “Projects like this embody the Town’s vision of ‘Moving Forward Together.' "
Both projects exemplify the progressive nature of Moore County’s communities and their ongoing efforts to make improvements that enhance our quality of life.
Photo courtesy of Pinehurst Resort