Old Mill Homes Find New Life In Halifax County
Posted September 19, 2006 5:35 a.m. EDT
ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. — 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.