Thomasville’s plan A for grant money is to tear down ‘Plant B’

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Herbert Stevens loves most of his neighbors, but there's one he's not fond of.

"It's horrible," Stevens said. "You got animals coming up and all kinds of stuff."

Stevens has had a front-row seat to the decline of the now abandoned factory on Fisher Ferry Street for the past 27 years. It has been decaying and abandoned for more than ten years.

"It used to be a hustling, bustling place to work," Stevens said.

Now he believes it's a magnet for trouble.

"It's been set on fire three times," Stevens said. "People just tearing stuff out, taking metal."

He calls it an eyesore. The bricks are breaking off, windows are broken and even parts of the roof have caved in over time.

But the city finally has the means to tear it all down.

"Revitalize the neighborhood and have potential for growth in the future," City Manager Kelly Craver said.

Craver applied for a grant from the state and ended up getting $400,000 from North Carolina for economic development. The total price tag for demolishing the factory and planting grass on the 11-acre plot is roughly half a million.

Craver hopes to bid out the contract and start the demolition in the first quarter of next year.

"It took a long time but it's a good thing. I'm glad the city is doing it," Stevens said.

The owner of the property decided to donate the land to the city, Craver said. He says there isn't a clear timetable for the project to be complete, as the building has asbestos and will need extra care in the process. Craver says seven of the 11 acres are also a flood plain, with a creek running through the property, so it'll require extra planning.

Thomasville City Council will vote on whether or not to approve the grant money for this use during a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m.