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After many delays, Danville's White Mill work to start in early December

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White Mill

The project to convert the former Dan River Inc. White Mill building into apartments and commercial space should begin work in December, after financing is finalized.

Work on the White Mill project starts early next month, and it will include removal of lead-based paint and leveling of concrete floors and other activity.

The floor-leveling will enable workers to begin framing the walls, said Dave Vos, development project manager with The Alexander Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

Starting in January, crews will remove the concrete block window openings, Vos said. Installation of new aluminum windows will match the historical steel ones, he said.

Drivers traveling by the building along Memorial Drive downtown will be able to catch glimpses of work being done, Vos said.

“In January, they’ll see, with the removal of the concrete block from the windows,” Vos told the Danville Register & Bee on Tuesday.

The White Mill structure has about 300 windows.

Construction will also include utility work to bring new water service in for fire protection, he said.

The project will take about two years to complete, wrapping up in late 2024, Vos said.

Increases in material costs and a shortage of workers have delayed the project, and now the only factor holding it up is finalization of financing for it.

The Alexander Company is slated to fill the White Mill’s western third and center sections of the top three floors with apartments.

Under a joint venture between the IDA and The Alexander Company, the firm would convert the western two-thirds of floors two through four into 150 residential units and the IDA would redevelop the first floor and the eastern one-thirds of the second floor into commercial space available to lease — all occurring in the project’s first phase. The IDA would turn the lower level into parking.

The Alexander Company and the IDA signed a memorandum of understanding during a ceremony in May 2021 at the Danville Family YMCA across the Dan River from the White Mill.

Entering into the partnership under 424 Memorial Drive LLC — instead of having the Alexander Company buy the property outright — allows the use of historic tax credits for the project.

The IDA owns the White Mill property, but the authority agreed to admit the Alexander Company into the ownership structure as part of the memorandum of understanding.

Last month, it was announced that a tenant is joining The Alexander Company’s and the Danville Industrial Development Authority’s White Mill project.

Officials have a letter of intent from a tenant who officials will not identify to develop the eastern thirds of the top two floors of the former Dan River Inc. building.

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