The overarching sentiment expressed by the firm behind the Mooresville Mill Project at Thursday night's meeting of residents of the Mill Village was “We're not giving up”.
David Rogers, of Rogers & Associates Inc, the development firm working with property owners Cherokee Investment Partners, LLC on the Mooresville Mill Project, was at the regular meeting of the Mooresville Mill Village residents to give an update on the progress of the project, set to redevelop the historic Mill into a retail, residential and commercial mixed-use development. Cherokee Investment Partners bought the mill property after the departure of Burlington Industries.
Rogers talked about the firm's attempts to have the property listed on the National Historic Registry, which is an extension of the National Park Service. The importance of the listing has to do with potential tax credits that the partners could use to raise capital for the project as well as borrowing against the future property tax increase that would come from the new space. Attempts to gain entry to the Registry have not worked out thus far on a state level and a Federal review of the application is underway. Results from that review will likely be known in early July.
It has also been discovered that the sewer capacity currently available to the mill property will not be sufficient to meet projected demand. Rogers said that work is underway to develop solutions to the issue and if possible would be undertaken in such a way as to benefit the surrounding Mill Village neighborhood, where some of the sewer lines are still the original pipe laid by the mill.
Despite these setbacks, Rogers is still confident in the project. He relayed that in 40 years of historical development, he's worked on several projects that took 4 to 6 years to “really get going” and that such timelines are just part of the nature of dealing with historical properties. Rogers, Mayor Thurnberg, and Commissioners Abraham and Atkins all spoke of other potential “catalysts” in the work that could serve as the trigger that “gets this project going”, but none were willing to speak about specifics at this stage.