SEAGROVE, N.C. -- Seagrove is known as the “Pottery Capital of USA,” as it states on the town’s welcome sign, but across the next few years, it could be on the map for another reason.
The town is in the process of transforming the Historic Luck’s Cannery property into a multi-use community center that would include space for shops, entertainment services and educational programs.
Sapona Plastics purchased the property in 2017.
The company operates in the property’s upper building and didn’t need the lower building for operations.
Rather than demolish it, the company partnered with the Town of Seagrove to have it serve a broader purpose.
“We told them we would help them clean it up and raise some money to renovate it,” said Dean Lail, president of Sapona Plastics.
“Too often we let the building fall down and don't remember the people that created 200-300 jobs for people,” said Jack Lail, the founder of Mid-State Plastics.
Beginning in November, the Celebration of Seagrove Potters will move into the lower building.
Mayor David Fernandez is also looking forward to the overall vision.
“We want this space to be an event center for the whole county, not just for Seagrove,” Fernandez said.
The five-acre municipal community center is designed to become a hub for economic development.
Twenty-five percent of the building has been leased to companies, including a local brewery.
“We're looking to have other spaces that can be leased on an ongoing basis for shops - coffee shop, yoga studio and also we have space for educational classrooms,” Dean Lail said.
The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority says this type of concept for a multi-use community center will be unique to Randolph County.
“This is really something that's going to take Seagrove into a sustainable future for the pottery industry and I think that's what's so special about it and it's due for southern Randolph County. It's a great project,” Randolph County Tourism Executive Director Tammy O’Kelley said.
The project is expected to be completed in stages over the next several years.
Town offices are already in a renovated section.
Along with the Celebration of Seagrove Potters, another event is on the calendar for Spring 2020.
You can visit the project’s website to learn more about the plans.