Open House set for development of Empire Hotel in Salisbury

Open House set for development of Empire Hotel in Salisbury

Downtown Salisbury, Inc., and the City of Salisbury will host a drop-in Empire Hotel Open House on Monday, Oct. 16, beginning at 5 p.m., at City Hall Council Chambers 217 S. Main St.

The Open House will allow residents to hear more information about the Empire Hotel Redevelopment project and share their thoughts and concerns. Tours of the property will be provided and light refreshments will be served.

One year ago, 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 former Montgomery Ward main floor, mezzanine and basement. Combined, the project will allow for approximately 29,000 square feet of retail space.

It was anticipated that the property would close in August 2017, however due to the project financing structure recommended, the closing date has been rescheduled to early to mid-2018. Construction is scheduled to begin thereafter.

The Empire Hotel project is contingent upon the successful completion of several factors such as a market feasibility study, financial feasibility analysis, planning review and community input.

The Open House is considered one of many opportunities that will be provided for community input.

In 2010, Downtown Salisbury, Inc., through a series of public meetings, discussions, and with much public input, published the Downtown Master Plan. As proposed, redevelopment of the Empire Hotel will provide towards achieving a number of strategies outlined in the plan -- one being the expansion of the downtown as a diverse, livable, urban residential district.

The Empire Hotel was built in 1855 by local attorney Nathaniel Boyden, opening to the public three years later as a "first class hotel" on the heels of the railroad's arrival in Salisbury. Then known as the Boyden House, the property also housed permanent residents throughout its 100-year operating history.

After years of substantial renovations and management turnover, the hotel finally closed its doors in 1963. DSI purchased the hotel in 2007 from the Ragsdale family of Jamestown, N.C., with the intention of stabilizing and developing the property.

For more information about the Empire Hotel Open House, please contact Janet Gapen at (704) 638-5230 or via email at

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