Danville leaders are inviting the public to join Thursday’s groundbreaking celebration of a project to revitalize the iconic White Mill building.

Construction has started – after many delays – following the final piece of the financial puzzle last month.

The project is a public-private partnership with the Danville Industrial Development Authority and The Alexander Company, based in Madison, Wisconsin.

“With construction now officially underway, we are excited to be one step closer to the day when this building is restored to its original beauty, and it will have new life, one where people will be living and others can work, shop and play,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said in a statement Tuesday. “As we celebrate this moment, let us also celebrate the partnerships in place and the work of so many behind the scenes to bring us to this point. This is another great day for Danville.”

According to a news release, construction crews started mobilizing on site last month.

Also last month, the project received a $5 million boost from the state. The grant money will come from Virginia’s Industrial Revitalization Fund, which provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional development strategies, primarily in distressed communities, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office announced.

Danville City Manager Ken Larking said the $5 million will help fill the gap that needs to be covered for the roughly $85 million White Mill project.

The White Mill – once part of the sprawling Dan River Inc. textile operation – will be redeveloped into a multi-use project that will initially feature 147,000 square feet of commercial space and 150 apartments. Another 56 units are planned in a future phase.

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This article was originally published by the Danville Register & Bee.