The town of Valdese, North Carolina, is working with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Hickory, North Carolina, to obtain a grant for the demolition of the former Alba Waldensian Mill, a report by The News-Herald says. The town’s council approved a motion to apply for a $500,000 North Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development block grant to tear down the 61,739-square-foot facility.
The Alba Waldensian Mill was built in 1927 and produced and sold seamless knitwear made specifically for medical supplies, such as gauze strips and bandages, as well as women’s undergarments and hosiery. The building has been vacant for more than five years. The property was purchased in December 2016 by Valdese Water Recycling LLC, which has committed to investing up to 25 percent of the demolition costs or match the grant.
Estimated demolition cost is $360,000, the report says, but the real cost won’t be known until the project goes out for bids. The building contains asbestos that must be removed before it is demolished.
State historic preservation officials said they wanted to salvage pieces of the building, such as some of the brick, pictures and stories, but the building itself cannot be preserved.
The grant for demolition comes with the requirement that the only business allowed on the property for five years is manufacturing. The report says Valdese Water Recycling plans to use the property for a new headquarters and laboratory testing facility.