Old Gastonia mill sees new life

Old Gastonia mill sees new life

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 11:19 AM

GASTONIA, N.C. -- One of the area’s most historic buildings is set for a facelift. 

The Loray Mill in Gastonia has been sold to an Atlanta based redeveloper. 

Camden Development Group along with other partners will turn the 100-year-old mill into loft apartments, storage space and commercial space. 

For west Gastonia the project could mean major revitalization.  

"We were a cotton mill town and when all of those people left, a lot of the business left," said Pat Stines, co-owner of Firestone Grill, just blocks from the old mill.  

The Loray Mill was built in the early 1900s and the scene of a historic strike in the 1920s that resulted in the death of the Gastonia police chief and a union activist. 

Firestone later purchased the building, and then moved in the 1990s leaving the mill vacant. 

Several deals have fallen through in the last couple of decades to redevelop the mill.  However, city officials now say the project is a done deal. 

"It's estimated that over a 30-year period just in a very defined area the investment impact of this mill will be about a third of a billion dollars," according to Jack Kiser, Special Projects Executive for Gastonia. 

Construction on the mill will start in coming weeks.  Officials estimate the first phase of the project, the loft apartments, should be finished by the summer of 2014. 

A construction celebration is scheduled for Tuesday April 9th at 6:00 pm in front of the mill.  It is open to the public.
 

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