WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The former 550,000-square-foot Hanes plant on Stratford Road will soon be no more. Crews are in the process of demolishing the last of the structure to make way for Hanestowne Village.
The 26.5 acres will include retail, restaurants and medical offices to be built in phases.
"We hope to finish the first phase by the end of this year," said Tim Dockery with The Crown Company out of Dobson.
The company purchased the property along with Turnpike Properties in 2009 for $2.6 million and also plans to upgrade the congested Stratford Road.
"We are doing all these road improvements and we’re building these structures privately, with no incentives from the city," he said.
With the site expected to bring more traffic, developers plan to widen Stratford Road and install turn lanes that city engineers say have been needed for years but were impossible due to being landlocked by the Hanes plant and railroad tracks.
Dockery says between 10-20 well-known restaurants and retailers are expected to move into Hanestowne Village, with some as soon as the end of 2014.
The P.H. Hanes Knitting Company first opened on the site in 1910. Hanes also built a town around the plant for his workers that included homes, a school, church and stores.
"It was actually Hanes, North Carolina," said Judy Robertson, who grew up in the Hanes community and moved back about 10 years ago. "It's really a by-gone era. This was the manufacturing facility of its day."
The Hanes town, which even had a stop on the railroad, would eventually be incorporated into Winston-Salem. In 2007 the plant closed its doors and eliminated 600 jobs due to the textile industries’ push to off-shore production.
The plant has sat vacant since, closing and most recently became the target of vandals.
Many Hanes town residents say they welcome the restaurants, retail stores and upgrades to Strafford Road.
"It's a step in the right direction," Robertson said. "Didn't think it would happen so quickly."