Old Mills Become New Retail
When Michael Bay sees an abandoned textile factory--and there are a lot of those in the Carolinas--he thinks, furniture store. Last year, he completed the redevelopment of a long-abandoned Burlington Industries mill complex on Mooresvilles Main Street, which he opened as a Merinos Home Furnishings (pictured). Now hes taking the concept elsewhere in the Carolinas.
Michael (accepting the Willis Barnette Willis Barnette Entrepreneurial Award from the Mooresville/South Iredell Chamber of Commerce recently) tells us that hes starting work on the redevelopment of a 1960-vintage, 1M SF mill in Winston-Salem soon for a first-phase completion in late August. It, too, will be a Merinos. No one has known what to do with these structures, he says. I look at them and see a gold mine. Michael says he wants to redevelop as many as 10 more sites in the next five years to expand his furniture store chain, which is doing well at the Mooresville location.