Often dubbed as “the rooms,” the peach-painted Relax Inn on Martha Berry Boulevard — one of several hotels with a notorious reputation for illicit activity — is officially closed.

While that may not have been the intention, the sale of several properties last week to make way for The Point, a new residential and retail development, will also scrub a few other properties from the area as well.

The deal also includes properties containing Rome Eye Care, which has moved to 109 John Maddox Drive, as well as a former car dealership and a burned out building that once sported “Family Guy” characters and a taxi service.

Demolition of the hotel and other properties is likely to begin during the spring.

The Point plans are for a complex consisting of 210 apartments and condos alongside a small amount of retail space and a parking deck at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Martha Berry Boulevard.

The development by 33 Holdings is planned to take all but a small corner of the triangle formed by Martha Berry, North Fifth and West 11th Street. The encapsulated area will contain the housing, amenities, parking deck and stores.

That project and the renovation of office space nearby has the potential to spark a Martha Berry Boulevard renaissance. The new growth is not far from several relatively new businesses in the area — like Chicken Salad Chick and Publix — and others are moving in.

For example, the Legacy Brain & Spine Clinic is opening a Rome office off West 11th Street. The location will include Dr. Said Elshihabi and Dr. Nok Keomahathai.

“When you visit one of our clinics for treatment or surgery, you can expect to receive world-class medical care, delivered by expert physician specialists and caring clinical staff, for an exceptional healthcare experience,” said Sadie Diaz, the marketing director for the clinic.

Much of the Martha Berry corridor is located in a Tax Allocation District as well as a designated federal opportunity zone, essentially meaning developers are being incentivized to build in specific communities.


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