IT'S NOT A DONE DEAL...NOT YET
In a split 3 to 2 vote Thursday, a majority on Hendersonville City Council opted to go with a developer who proposes to transform the old Grey’s Hosiery Mill building on Grove Street into a campus facility for Wingate University….though it’s far from a “done deal”.
Council members Ron Stephens and Steve Caraker voted against the idea, saying that while they supported Wingate, they preferred the old mill be developed for some type of residential housing instead. Mayor Barbara Volk and Council members Jeff Collis and Jerry Smith voted against the residential idea for the old building, which the city has owned for a number of years, and supported the Wingate idea instead.
Developer CathFord now has 90 days to convince City Council they can make their proposal for an expanded Wingate campus actually happen.
Apparently, Wingate University has not fully signed off on the CathFord proposal yet…indications are there are some issues that still need to be resolved with Wingate.
After a lengthy closed-session meeting Thursday, Mayor Volk said if an agreement between developer CathFord and Wingate can’t be worked out, “…then we’ll talk about it again.” “We did not make a second choice.”, the mayor said.
If the proposal to use the facility for a Wingate campus does happen, the developer estimates the cost will be about $6.7 million.
City Council had requested ideas from developers for the old hosiery mill property and that’s been pending for a while. In all the years the city has owned the property, a number of ideas have been bounced around…one in particular to convert the property into a civic type or performing arts center fell completely through some years ago due to a lack of adequate financial support.
After sitting abandoned for more years, one block north of the 1995 courthouse, Wingate University surfaced as a possibility for the old hosiery mill…largely because Wingate, which has only been in the community for several years, is holding pharmacy and MBA classes in the former Coldwell Banker building two blocks away at Fourth Avenue East and King Street and Wingate is expanding to include physician’s assistant training in Hendersonville.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
Updated 2am 6/21/13