City requesting development proposals for first phase of FUSE

FUSE logo

The City is taking another step ahead on the FUSE project. City officials have authorized, DFI, the development consultants assisting on the project, to send out requests for proposals for the first component of the project, the redevelopment of the historic Trenton Mill. DFI (Development Finance Initiative) is a professional arm of the UNC School of Government, which is providing specialized finance and development expertise on the FUSE project.

“Getting Trenton Mill moving now will allow it to be under construction along with the FUSE sports and entertainment facility, which is expected to open in the summer of 2020,” said Gastonia’s Economic Development Director Kristy Crisp. “The two-pronged goal for FUSE is to construct a multi-sport and entertainment facility that also serves as a catalyst for private development. The Trenton Mill portion of the project is the initial phase of that private development.”

City officials and DFI have worked with an architect to develop a financially feasible proposal for redeveloping the mill property, which includes a vacant historic textile mill built in 1897, that includes multi-family and retail space. Total development costs are estimated to be $14.2 for adaptive reuse or $15.2 million for new construction. The mill property is located on the northeast corner of the FUSE site at the intersections of Trenton Street and Main Avenue.

FUSE (Franklin Urban Sports & Entertainment) is an economic development project designed to bring new life to an area of Gastonia that has seen disinvestment over the years. The FUSE District connects Gastonia’s Downtown to the Loray Historic District along Franklin Boulevard.

“The goal set early on in the project was that FUSE was not going to follow the ‘build it and they will come’ development model.” Crisp said. “We have proactively identified specific opportunities for private development and we are moving ahead to attract residential, retail, restaurants and possibly a hotel.”

Interested developers can get more information and schedule a tour of the Trenton Mill by emailing Omar Kashef, DFI project manager, at Development proposals must be submitted to Mr. Kashef electronically by the deadline of 5 p.m. June 1.