The owners of the Beacon Mill site, which covers 42-acres in the heart of Swannanoa, have filed paperwork seeking state approval for redevelopment of the property. The site has been vacant since 2003, when a fire set by an arsonist consumed the majority of the mill’s buildings. The factory had been closed since 2002, following a slow decline in the area’s textile businesses due to loss of jobs overseas. The site is currently owned by retired Ingles executive Gordon Myers, and the Robert P. Ingle Living Trust, and has been designated a brownfield site by the state of North Carolina.
According to a September article in Mountain Xpress, the owners have no plans to develop the property themselves, but would like to sell it to someone who will. They’re seeking approval for a variety of future uses of the site to assist in marketing the property to prospective buyers. The Mountain Xpress article states that “the [brownfields] property is eligible for reuse, despite the presence of toxic substances that exceed allowable limits in soil and groundwater . . . . so long as the developers were not responsible for the contamination in the first place.” Contaminants present on the property include heavy metals and volatile organic compounds that can become vapors or gases.
If approved, the redevelopment plan would permit the site to be developed for a variety of uses, including multifamily residential, retail, recreation, commercial and industrial. Developers would have to comply with certain contamination mitigation requirements, and some uses, such as child care facilities, would be prohibited without additional state permission.
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality sought public input on the proposed redevelopment plan. The public comment period closed on September 29.
To read the Mountain Xpress article about the Beacon site, please click here.