07/02/08 — New meeting space planned for former nightclub building

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New meeting space planned for former nightclub building

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 2, 2008 1:45 PM

Goldsboro might soon have another place to hold large gatherings -- now that the city's Planning Commission has approved the project.

Cid Yow, who was in the hotel and hospitality industry for 14 years, has plans to turn a former nightclub, located on the southeast corner of Corporate Drive and Clingman Street, into a banquet hall known as Goldsboro Community Multi-plex -- something the city needs, he says.

"One of the things that Goldsboro is really lacking is meeting space," Yow said. "We have good hotels, but we don't really have meeting space."

During his four years managing two hotels in Goldsboro, he said he saw the city lose a lot of people, and in turn revenue, to Greenville, Raleigh and other area cities because of the lack of large meeting areas.

So when the building off of U.S. 70 became available, he bought it, with plans to turn it into a place to hold meetings, wedding receptions, business expos, trade shows and other events he believes Goldsboro has been missing out on.

"I wanted to create a market, to give people a cause to come to Goldsboro," he said, adding that it should be a win-win situation for everybody. "That will increase the revenues for the hotels and increase the occupancy tax which helps out the city and travel and tourism."

The facility, which has 20,000 square feet and can seat 500 people, has many perks, he explained.

"The beauty of the building is that it is very accessible, centrally located and very close to hotels," he said.

Unlike most of the facilities in and around the city, Yow said that with this hall, all 500 people can sit in one room, viewing the same thing.

"And the pricing is extremely competitive," he said about the flat daily rate of $1,200 to rent the building.

Yow said the facility has all of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permits necessary to allow the sale of beer and wine, as well as a large stage and 5,000-square-foot dance floor.

"The hall has a lot of versatility," he said. "We can have dinner theaters here, programs for schools, Christmas programs."

And while Yow acknowledged the building's bad reputation -- known best for its rowdy crowds and a homicide in July 2004 -- he plans to quickly change that.

"My forte is hospitality, not a club business," he said. "People can rent the facility out for private parties, but our contract is eight pages long and our guidelines are extremely stringent. We require one security guard for every 50 people in attendance. If there is an argument, we have the full right to call the party over and issue no refunds.

"If someone wants a really nice place to go and host a really nice event in a safe environment, then this is it. That was my goal."

Yow also plans to give back to the community because he said the building is part of the community, and will be used by the community.

So he has offered the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce free space for any of its functions.

He also has proposed that the facility be used as a bingo hall and an indoor/outdoor flea market, but city planning staff said the establishment would not have more than one use at a time.

Yow submitted a request for a conditional use permit for the site which went through a public hearing at the June 16 City Council.

As for the Goldsboro Planning Commission, which met Monday night, members approved the project plan.

"This may very well be the best use for this that I've seen," Planning Commission Chairman Chris Boyette said.

The request will return to the City Council at the July 7 meeting where council members will make a decision on the permit.

In other business, the planning commission also approved seven other items Monday.

The first was a rezoning request made by Winston Smith to change property located on the east side of Corbett Road between Mull Smith Lane and Mark Edwards Road from one residential zone to another in order to allow two mobile home units.

Commission members also approved the closing of Tart Street and three site and landscape plans, the first of which is for the cleanup of an apartment complex on the south side of Chestnut Street at Kornegay Street terminus.

Plans for paving the existing graveled area to the rear of the Salvation Army Thrift Shop also received the commission's nod, as did plans for a day treatment program, located on North Drive, for children ages 7 through 15 who have problems in school.

A preliminary subdivision plan for property located off of Spence Avenue was on the approval list, as was a sign modification for Democko Chiropractic.