The restoration of the historic Loray Mill announced in April also is expected to transform the surrounding neighborhood in time.
With that in mind, the Gastonia planning office will conduct a kick-off public workshop Thursday to discuss the Loray Village Area Plan, an ongoing strategic plan.
This is a drop-in, open-house style workshop for city planners to receive comments from residents in and around the Loray Mill Neighborhood and other interested residents, business owners, agencies and stakeholders.
“We’re hoping for a big turnout,” said Planner II Jason Pauling. “We’re excited. We want to see how much feedback we get.”
Built in 1900, the massive Loray Mill in West Gastonia was the site of the bloody 1929 labor strike. In April, a construction kick-off was held to renovate the long-vacant building. Phase one will be 190 market rate “Class A’’ loft apartments, 79,000 square feet of commercial space and 34,000 square feet of amenities and self-storage for apartment residents.
City leaders have said the project will spur millions in reinvestment in the surrounding area and the city as a whole.
At Thursday’s workshop, residents will get an update on the Loray project from the developer and participate in the planning for the future of their neighborhood.
Pauling said residents may have questions or concerns about items such as sidewalks, housing, parks and recreation, public safety, infrastructure and absentee landlords.
The mill project will be a catalyst for change, and “now’s the time to prepare for it,” Pauling said.
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