Meeting Looks At Davidson Asbestos Mill Cleanup And Redevelopment

Dec 9, 2019

The N.C. Division of Waste Management will hold a public meeting Monday night in Davidson to talk about how a former asbestos mill could be cleaned up and redeveloped. 

A Charlotte developer, 301 Depot Holdings, is considering renovating the mill for offices, shops, a restaurant or brewery or other commercial uses — as allowed by current zoning. The company was formed in May and is affiliated with Charlotte real estate company Lat Purser & Associates.

Red area is the old mill property, with asbestos buried to the left and the old mill building to the right. Depot Street is at the top next to the mill.
Credit Town of Davidson

The property, on Depot Street in downtown Davidson, is known as the Metrolina Warehouse and currently houses furniture and home furnishings businesses. Several developers have proposed projects on the site in the past two decades, but none has succeeded so far because of the building's history. 

It was built as a textile mill in 1890. From 1930 to the 1960s, the building housed Carolina Asbestos Co., which made asbestos fabric, tiles and shingles. The company also dumped asbestos waste on the property for decades. 

Three years ago, an old cap on the asbestos pile leaked and had to be rebuilt. At the same time, the federal Environmental Protection Agency also led a cleanup of homes in the nearby West Side neighborhood that were found to be contaminated with asbestos waste that had been dumped there. 

Monday's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Ada Jenkins Center, 212 Gamble St.