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Abandoned Burlington plant set to be razed

South Boston News
SCHEDULED FOR DEMOLITION — The former Burlington Industries plant located at the edge of Halifax is set to be razed in the very near future. / October 11, 2012
Work is expected to begin in the next month or so to demolish the old Burlington Plant in Halifax, members of Halifax Town Council were told Tuesday.

Town Manager Carl Espy explained that D.H. Griffin Company, based in Greensboro, N.C., has obtained building permits to tear down the old 387,000 square foot brick structure, which for many years housed one of Halifax County’s largest employers before the textile maker took bankruptcy. The plant, which sits on 89.49 acres of land on the edge of town, closed its operations back in 2002. It has been vacant since that time.

The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority has received two $50,000 grants to fund the demolition of the facility. The first is from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and will be used for the abatement of hazardous materials (such as asbestos, commonly used in building construction in the 1940s).

The second $50,000 grant comes from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF). When the IDA applied for the latter grant, it cited a need for partial demolition of the building in hopes of preserving the major part for readaptive reuse.

However, after documenting damages from an interior fire and numerous leaks in part of the roof, plus vandalism to much of the plant’s copper piping, it was decided that the preservation of the current building is not economically feasible.

Patsy Vaughan, Development Director for the IDA, said the Griffin Company will recycle much of the material from the building after demolishing it. “That’s how they make their money,” she explained.

A big concrete slab that has served as the foundation for the facility will be left intact, possibly to serve as the foundation for a new building, said Vaughan. “Of course, it all depends on who buys the property and how they might site a new facility.”

Vaughan said Griffin will sell the property once the demolition of the building is completed. “They are a very professional company,” she said, noting that the IDA worked previously with them when the old U. S. Plywood facility was razed. She said the IDA has a right of first refusal on the property unless it can be sold before the demolition is completed.

“We are very likely to want that site,” she acknowledged, “in the hope of attracting a new industry, since it offers both rail and natural gas access.”

A member of the Halifax Planning Commission, Mike Sexton, urged Council members Tuesday night to stay abreast of developments at the Burlington site and to be sure that whatever emerges in the future will be good for the Town.

The exact time for when demolition work will begin depends of Griffin’s ability to get all necessary state environmental permits, but Vaughan says she expects to see work begin before the end of the year.

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Yes, let's just see what our illustrious IDA fills the Burlington site with. Betcha 10 to 1 it will still be vacant in 20 years with the track record these guys have!

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