Rocky Mount Purchases More Land Tied To Casino Expansion

The town of Rocky Mount has continued its ambitious expansion plans. It recently purchased more land previously linked to a potential casino in North Carolina.

According to Nash County deed records, Rocky Mount recently bought more than 41 acres of land in two purchases for $1.85 million.

This parcel of land, located close to the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Old Carriage Road, is around the junction of US 64 and Interstate 95. It’s about eight miles west of downtown Rocky Mount.

Rocky Mount eyeing hundreds of acres for “future economic development”

Commercial casinos are banned in the state. North Carolina online casinos are also prohibited, though sweepstakes and social casinos are available to play online.

In March, Rocky Mount completed a purchase of over 40 acres of land for $4 million. That parcel of land was considered a potential site for a casino.

NC Development Holdings, a company associated with casino developer The Cordish Companies, had previously acquired the options on a major portion of the land purchased by Rocky Mount.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the purchase of the entire parcel of land was approved by the Rocky Mount Council last year for a price of more than $15 million. At the time, Rocky Mount City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. said the purchase was carried out as an investment for the city’s economic future.

“That area has often been a site that people have had an eye for developing. So, when the opportunity came up for the city to acquire those parcels, we thought that it would be in the best economic interest of the city to make such an investment. We don’t really have a specific desire or vision for the site. But we believe that it could be an economic hub.”

The two 40-acre parcels purchased comprise a portion of over 300 acres the city would like to purchase in the name of “an investment in our economic future,” says Rogers Jr. All 336 acres under consideration for purchase and development represent the land identified as the site for possible casino expansion.

Lawsuit over rezoning for different casino dismissed in Rockingham

Last week, a lawsuit filed by landowners in Rockingham County over the rezoning of land tied to a different casino expansion project was dismissed. The court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate in the case.

The Rockingham County Board of Commissioners had voted in favor of rezoning close to 200 acres of land for commercial use to possibly develop a casino. The land was located close to residential land, including near Camp Carefree, a nonprofit organization that provides care for disabled and critically ill children and a plaintiff in the case.

NC Development Holdings had also engaged in the development of this casino project.

The casino expansion plans in both Rocky Mount and Rockingham arise from casino legislation put forth in the 2023 legislative session. While it failed to gain traction, 2023 casino legislation identified three sites that will likely continue to be potential development areas for future casinos. Those three areas are in Rocky Mount, Rockingham, and Nash counties.

Lawmakers have said that they would not push for casino expansion in the shortened 2024 legislative session. That means the plans for retail casino expansion in North Carolina will renew in 2025 at the earlies.

About the Author

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro is a sports betting writer at NCSharp. With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specializations include soccer, football, basketball, tennis and esports betting.