Hamory looks to rework Washington’s downtown

Published 12:07 am Monday, September 22, 2008

By Staff
Turning his talentstoward developmentcentral business area
Staff Writer
Ross Hamory’s already put in lots of work remodeling his East Main Street home in Washington.
The back has been opened to let in more light, and he has built a garage and straightened the pillars on the front porch.
Inside he’s redone the floors and fixed up the plumbing, among other tasks.
Now Hamory wants to help Washington remodel its downtown. It’s part of the job description for the head of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront.
Hamory got his taste for handiwork during his career at the Federal Aviation Administration when he worked on the homes his family bought as they moved every few years, he said.
They always tried to buy something in the best school district available, he said.
The work is a hobby for him, though he did have a local carpenter take the lead on some of the bigger projects, he said.
He came to find manual labor a welcome relief from his career at the FAA, where he worked in security.
And Hamory went pretty high.
He spent time abroad as he worked his way up the chart, living for a while in Singapore and traveling extensively.
He ended his career several years ago as head of security for the FAA.
With his job behind him, Hamory and his wife, Chris, looked for a place to settle down, and found Washington.
And the key to reaching that potential is speaking with one voice, he said.
For example, it’s tough to find anyone who thinks a hotel downtown, or the development of apartments above the shops there, would be a bad idea, he said.
He’s hoping DWOW can work as an “integrator” to help coordinate between other local groups and to help the local community talk out its differences on how those goals should be accomplished.
He also sees his organization as a tool for helping grass-roots activism, he said.
He cited the work of Bill Sykes on developing a plan for Washington’s anchorage area on the Pamlico River.
It was Sykes’ vision and energy that got the project accomplished, but DWOW was able to help him get there, Hamory said.
Cooperation like that is what will lead to an improved downtown, he said.