Whether you prefer living in a quaint downtown setting or a larger tract of land surrounded by lush forests and farmland, the Roanoke Valley has plenty to offer.
The Roanoke River bisects the region, which comprises two counties: Halifax, which includes the cities of Roanoke Rapids, Enfield, Scotland Neck, Weldon, Littleton, Hobgood and Halifax; and Northampton, which includes nine townships.
The Valley's cities and towns may be small in size but they're big on charm, especially in many of their downtowns. One example is Weldon, where antique street lamps and old-fashioned brick walkways line the streets, a mural depicting an old train engine graces a building‚ and the former passenger station now holds a library.
In 2003, the town beat out 42 other applicants to win a grant from the North Carolina Main Street Center‚ which is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Since then‚ private investors have come on board‚ pouring millions of dollars into revitalizing the National Registered Historic District. Development company Landmark Inc. purchased downtown buildings while Rehab Builders gutted and remodeled them‚ building apartments upstairs and commercial space below.
Weldon’s revitalization is the result of $3.3 million in private funds‚ $700‚000 in grants and public monies‚ and valuable community support.
Those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle may find their home on Lake Gaston and its 350 miles of shoreline, which offers natural beauty that keeps people coming back for more. Not to be upstaged‚ 4‚600-acre Roanoke Rapids Lake – just downstream from Lake Gaston, featuring 47 miles of shoreline – is also getting a lot of attention these days.
Dams on the Roanoke River created both impoundments‚ producing hydroelectric power for utility company Dominion Resources. Together‚ the large bodies of water are magnets that attract residents and visitors to the Roanoke Valley. Al Hartley‚ formerly of San Diego‚ moved near the lake because his wife’s family has roots in the area.
“The lake is gorgeous‚ and the fishing here is great‚” says Hartley‚ adding that it yields largemouth bass‚ walleye‚ channel catfish‚ perch and striped bass‚ also known as rockfish. “There’s no way you could pry me out of this place.
While Hartley sings the praises of Lake Gaston‚ Ellen Heaton of Heaton Real Estate is partial to Roanoke Rapids Lake. She says the lake is only in its infancy of being developed but offers all the qualities of its larger neighbor – with the added benefit of being closer to the schools‚ shopping and medical facilities of Roanoke Rapids.
Properties on Roanoke Rapids Lake range from simple fishing cottages to million-dollar homes. Heaton says she knows of one property that doubled in value within a year. “Anything on the water is such a great investment‚” says Heaton‚ who with her husband plans to buy property and build a home on the lake.
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