Local News

Old Mill Homes Find New Life In Halifax County

Posted September 19, 2006

— Homes once built for mill workers in Halifax County are finding new life with a new industry.

In the old mill village in Roanoke Rapids, there are rows after row of housing that has been neglected for decades. But now, a Virginia real estate developer has plan to turn those houses into something with all the conveniences of a modern home.

"We are going to take and purchase them, renovate them, and sell them and make some happy homeowners," said developer Gary Bullock.

Bullock's $20 million plan will transform 200 of these old dwellings into affordable housing. But the idea isn't a new one for the town.

About a year ago, Donald Kelly moved into one of the houses owned and remodeled by the city's housing department. He's happy with the work.

"You find that better-looking property also drives away the bad," said Kelly.

Bullock said he believes his renovated houses will be excellent starter homes for first-time buyers who move to Roanoke Rapids for new jobs at the Carolina Crossroads music and entertainment project.

"You are going to have a lot of force there that will be moving into homes, and they can't afford $250,000 to $300,000 houses," he said.

The asking price for one of Bullock's like-new houses will run somewhere between $110,000 to $125,000.

The development itself means more jobs for the area, as contractors will be needed for all the renovations. Residents can see an overview of the project Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Halifax Community College.

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