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City seeks developer for historic mill

The city of Hendersonville is taking another stab at recruiting a development partner for the historic Grey Hosiery Mill.

The City Council last week authorized interim City Manager Lee Galloway to draft a streamlined request for proposals and invite developers to respond within 45 days. Council members said they wanted the RFP to be simpler than one sent out a couple of years ago, and wanted a quick turnaround.
"I just want to get it on the record and let the public weight in on it and see if there is anything we can do to get it developed," said Councilman Jeff Collis, who brought the issue up at the council meeting. "I've had some conversations with the beer production folks and beer associations. I'd like to see something go in there that had something to do with beer and wine. It's going to take some kind of public-private partnership."
Collis also said he was "still convinced we need some kind of meeting space downtown."
Whatever a developer proposes, Collis said, needs to be presented to the public.
"I at least want the public to weigh in on it," he said. "It's still a taxpayer-owned building."
Built in 1915, the Grey Hosiery Mill on Grove Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues is the only historic industrial building remaining in the city of Hendersonville. Capt. James P. Grey and his son James P. Grey, built the mill and the younger Grey operated it for many years after his father moved to Bristol, Tenn. It was sold in 1965 Holt Hosiery Mills Inc. of Burlington, which halted production two years later.