Preservation North Carolina envisions converting the propertyinto a $60-million complex comprising apartments, offices, retailand a 30,000-sf civic center. Firestone/Bridgestone donated themill to the preservation group a year ago.


David Rogers of Rock Hill, NC and Murray Gould of Raleigh, NCare two developers discussing the mill's development potential withMark Rodman, chief operating officer of Preservation NorthCarolina.


"What we're looking to do is turn it into an area that hascondos and apartments and we're also working with the city ofGastonia about the possibility of housing a civic center," Rodmantells "There's a good possibility that it will workout, but we're still in negotiations."


No matter where the civic center ends up, city officials say theonly way to pay for it is with an increased hotel/motel occupancytax. Preservation North Carolina is also raising money for therenovations, expected to cost about $60 million. The group has beengiven a $100,000 local government grant but missed out on a federalgrant for $600,000.

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