Located at the corner of Hemp and S. Kennedy streets, the old Milliken textile plant has long been at the center of Robbins, but the town’s Board of Commissioners are now looking ahead to what might replace it.
The plant, which once employed hundreds in the northern Moore County town, closed in the 1990s and burned down in 2008, leaving a massive rubble pile of brick, steel, asbestos and abandoned fuel tanks.
The site has been cleaned up over the past 10 years with the help of federal environmental grants, and Robbins officials are now turning their sights to the future.
During the board’s recent meeting, commissioners began talking about trying to lure a new jobs-producing industry to the site.
“The main thing to consider is what we are going to decide to do with it,” said Town Manager Clint Mack.
American Growler, which designs and manufactures special-purpose vehicles for the military and other customers, is currently using the site as parking for its surplus trailers. Robbins leases the property to American Growler on a month-to-month basis.
Mack told the commissioners that using the county’s lead economic development agency, Partners in Progress, to advertise the property is one of the best options available for marketing the former textile mill. The town does have economic development funds, Mack said, that could go toward improving the property’s appearance or conducting an engineering report.
“If that’s some feedback we get from a developer, it would be something I would consider,” Mack said.
Commissioners Lonnie English and Kevin Stewart said they would be open to offering incentives to any company wanting to take over the site.
(Original article by Jonathan Bym, The Pilot)