The big day is here: the White Mill groundbreaking ceremony in Danville on Thursday.
At the ceremony, “Dan River Falls” was unveiled as the site’s new identity. The name is a nod to Dan River Fabrics, the textile powerhouse of which the White Mill was a part; Wynne’s Falls, the name of the first settlement along the river that became Danville; and the use of the Dan River, the banks on which the mill building sits, as an economic engine.
Mayor Alonzo Jones made the announcement and proclaimed Thursday as “Dan River Falls Day” in the city.
“This monumental redevelopment effort that we celebrate today is injecting new energy and investment into a site that was left behind,” Jones said of the mill building, which was Dan River Mill No. 8 but had been commonly referred to as the “White Mill.” “Rather than cling to the name White Mill, we celebrate the site’s history along the Dan River and look toward its future.”
In a public-private partnership with the Danville Industrial Development Authority, The Alexander Company will restore the iconic 550,000-square-foot structure. Upon completion, Dan River Falls will provide 147,000 square feet of commercial space and 150 units of housing, of which 32 will be reserved for individuals and families earning up to 80% of the area’s median income. The apartments will be built on the top three floors of the western two-thirds of the building and will include one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. The first floor and the eastern one-third of the second floor will be reserved for commercial space, with the lower level of the building being converted into 219 interior parking spaces for tenants.
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This article was originally published by ABC 13.