North Carolina Mill Rehabilitation
by Mark Stanford, April 2008
Hundreds of structures across North Carolina (NC) tell the ever-evolving history of the state, and nowhere is this reflected better than in the hundreds of mill structures still standing throughout the state. Until the mid-1990s, NC’s economy was dominated by agriculture and textiles. Since then, hundreds of mills and warehouses across the state have closed and/or fallen into disrepair. Recently, many of these structures, and consequently their surroundings, have been rehabilitated for re-use. This paper will examine the factors that led to the closing of these structures, as well as the economic impact resulting from the rehabilitation and redevelopment of one famous project: the American Tobacco facilities in downtown Durham, NC. Much of the information provided within this paper – especially as it relates to American Tobacco – came from an interview with Michael Goodmon and several conversations with Jonathan Cowan, both of whom work for American Tobacco-developer Capitol Broadcasting Corporation – Real Estate.