The Lofts at Third and Broad

A view of The Lofts at Third and Broad from East First Street. The development features condominiums on the third and fourth floors with retail space for sale on the Broad Street and East Third Avenue frontages.

When Ira Levy first envisioned what is now The Lofts at Third and Broad, it was to be an edifice that paid tribute, of sorts, to the old Third Avenue Hotel.

After multiple iterations, the new mixed-use residential and retail development has been completed and many Romans have bid adieu to the construction equipment that has seemingly been on site forever.

At the same time, Rome has welcomed new permanent residents to the core of the downtown district. With a finished product to show off there is a good chance that the remaining units will be sold sooner rather than later.

Yes, sold. Not rented or leased.

That’s a new twist to downtown redevelopment. The condominiums are being sold individually, as are the ground floor retail spaces which will bring in significant new tax dollars, and create even more property owners in the downtown area.

The same thing is happening a few blocks up Broad Street where townhouse style condominiums are being constructed on Hoyt Hill adjacent to the library There will be eight condos there.

This is significant because for the past couple of years, downtown Rome has tried to maneuver through a number of issues — from parking to the effort to ban smoking, to occasionally rowdy youth just hanging around late into the evening. One of the most frequent complaints as downtown officials have attempted to deal with have been that Mr. Businessman A was not aware that such and such was being considered, or Mr. Property Owner had not heard what was being considered.

Between the residential units and the retail properties at the Lofts, there will be close to 30 new parties — plus the likelihood of eight additional property owners up on Hoyt Hill — that have a significant financial interest in the vitality and viability of downtown Rome, and those voices need to know what’s going on and need to be involved in discussion about important changes from the get-go, not the back end of the discussions.

Education and communication between downtown leadership and and property owners is likely to be addressed when the Downtown Development Authority holds a retreat next Thursday in Acworth. Parking, promotions and planning for the River District on the west side of the Oostanaula are also anticipated to be major topics under discussion. Parking Services manager Becky Smyth said the new website the DDA has launched should help with getting the word out about things that under consideration for the heart of Rome.

“We want to be transparent and clear.” Smyth said.

Weed Walk this Friday

The fifth annual Robert Weed Memorial Nature Walk in the Marshall Forest off Horseleg Creek Road will take place Friday, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is hosted by the Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful program.

Weed, who died in 2014, was a cousin to MacLean Marshall, whose family was the sole owner of the forest prior to deeding it to the Nature Conservancy. The Weed family has continued to maintain the forest with a number of local supporters.

This year, Marty Cipollini, the Dana Professor of Biology at Berry College will be the speaker for the event which always includes a brief walk along the unique Braille Trail in the forest. Cipollini is an expert in the area of forest ecology and has led major research efforts into the reintroduction of the Longleaf pine and American chestnut tree across Northwest Georgia.

Plastics adviser open office in Adairsville

David Rogers has opened Rogers Technical Services at 207 South Main Street in Adairsville. Rogers has been consulting in the PVC and plastisol polymers industry for 22 years and has a customer base that is spread all over the Southeast.

Rogers explains that he works primarily with end users of the plastics to evaluate both products and processes.

When it comes to evaluating products Rogers said he help evaluate the appropriateness of the the material for a specific product. As it relates to processes, Rogers is able to provide a third party, independent analysis of ways to improve the end product.

For additional information, contact Rogers at 770-877-3556.

Associate Editor and business columnist Doug Walker is always looking for news and tips about area businesses. To contact Doug, email him at or call 706-290-5272.

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