Private Developers Bring New Life to Waynesboro Complex - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Private Developers Bring New Life to Waynesboro Complex

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A team of private developers is bringing new life to a sprawling former factory complex in Waynesboro.  The Mohawk Industries Inc. textile plant had provided jobs in the city since the 1950s.  It closed three years ago after a series of layoffs.

About 120 people worked at the Mohawk Plant on South Delphine Avenue when it shut down at the end of 2009.  But at its peak production years earlier, the facility employed up to 500 people.  Waynesboro says the "repurposing" of the plant shows how the city is modernizing its manufacturing tradition.

Massive industrial elevators, capable of moving 20-ton loads, help divide the 460,000 square feet of former industrial space.

"Because of the size of this building, it really lends itself well to splitting it up in different ways," said Delphine Enterprise Center manager Rebecca Polan.  "So we could have a pharmaceutical grade company be in a section of this, and we could have a steel fabricator be in another section...and they would literally never touch each other."

The Delphine Enterprise Center is in fact nearing a deal with a steel fabricator, and has already attracted a wood-flooring company.  Other areas offer 20,000 square feet of office space.  Mohawk and Wayn-Tex Inc. had used the entire complex for textile production, but many job creators could share the home on Delphine.

Polan said, "Smaller manufacturers, startups who are looking for affordable rents that will allow them to get their businesses off...off and starting could really benefit from a facility like this."

Crews are already doing some cosmetic work and roof repairs in preparation for a grand opening in November.  Waynesboro believes the facility will be an easy sell.

"Location is perfect," said Greg Hitchin with Waynesboro Economic Development.  "Right at exit 96, it'll be down the road from our industrial park.  It's got rail.  So yeah, it's got all the infrastructure assets in place.  With some expert construction and marketing behind it, we think it'll fill up quickly."

The Delphine Enterprise Center is owned by Allied Logistics, which has some related experience.  It turned the former General Electric and Genicom plant into the home of several smaller businesses and industries.

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