Two groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 30 at sites in the Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District in west Gastonia, marking major progress for the City’s economic development plans along West Franklin Boulevard. The two groundbreakings were held at the old Trenton Mill and at a site behind the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant on Trenton Street and Main Avenue.
“I grew up in west Gastonia so I’ve always been an advocate for this area. The revitalization going on is one of the best things that could possibly happen for our City,” said Mayor Walker E. Reid. “Hopefully this can generate more business west of this area as well and bring more economic development opportunities.”
Trenton Mill Lofts
The site of Gastonia’s oldest standing textile mill building will be developed into 89 loft apartments by the Lansing Melbourne Group. The building, located at 612 W. Main Street, employed hundreds of mill workers in the 1890s and operated without interruption for 80 years. “What we’re looking at here is a legacy that we’re here to protect, we’re here to enhance and we’re here to give living opportunities to workers in this community,” said Peter Flotz, managing member for LMG. The project will include $24.4 million of investment and is expected to open next year.
Durty Bull Brewing Company
Durty Bull Brewing Company, based in Durham, will expand to Gastonia by developing a parcel of land on the corner of Trenton and Main. The 5,000-square-foot space is attached to the historic former Coca-Cola bottling plant and will include a tap room, nano-brewery and restaurant. “We’ve all bought into this idea of what this area can be,” said Zachary Boshamer, president of North of Fifth Investors, which is partnering with Durty Bull to bring the concept to life. The project will bring $2 million investment and is expected to open early 2021.
The two groundbreakings were part of a tour for civic and business leaders at the 5,000-seat multi-use ballpark, located directly across from the two development sites. The $26.2 million sports and entertainment facility is scheduled to open in spring 2021.