DANVILLE, Va (WFXR) — History is being revitalized in Danville. On Thursday, the city held its groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of the White Mill. The former textile factory bought by Dan River Incorporated in the 1920’s is being revamped and will be called “Dan River Falls.”
City officials, residents, and even former mill workers all seem excited about the new possibilities that come along with this. The river district actually caught the attention of master developer “The Alexander Company” back in 2017 through a tweet.
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones says the goal is to promote economic growth and bring people to Danville.
“To get young adults and young people, who leave our community, maybe they go to the military or go to college, to come back to their city and help us to continue to transform and reimagine this great city,” said Mayor Jones.
Dan River Falls will hold 150 apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms. Official David Glassman with Rental Housing Programs says 20% of these apartments will be affordable housing units.
“With Danville’s economic growth, with jobs coming in, and Danville trying to attract new jobs to the city — all of those jobs need somewhere to live,” Glassman said.
Additionally, there will be 150,000 square feet of commercial space in the building. President of The Alexander Company, Joe Alexander says this is a great way to promote economic growth.
“The commercial space will create opportunities, so if the Office of Economic Development wants to bring in businesses to Danville, they’ll have space that they can be able to show them that’s right in the River District where all the vitality is happening,” said Alexander.
Danville resident Hunt Hedrick along with both of his parents used to work in the mill. Hedrick says he is grateful to see people taking an interest in the place that did so much for his family.
“I have a lot to be thankful for in Dan River. It housed, fed, clothed, educated me as a kid, and launched my career into business,” Hedrick said.
In addition to the economic growth, Executive Director of the River District Association Diana Shwartz says, she hopes the development will encourage people to share the city’s history and be optimistic for its future.
“Now, when people go by, instead of lamenting what we lost in the past, they can point and talk about the generations of families that have been here in this beautiful vibrant building that’s coming back,” said Shwartz.
The Alexander group says this development will be an investment of around $120 million once it’s all completed. They say it is estimated to take between 20-24 months.