Carroll could lease empty KDH buildings

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Carroll officials say the county has missed opportunities to bring new employers the area because it doesn't control the closed plant in the industrial park.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter


HILLSVILLE — Gildan has not agreed to sell Carroll the old Kentucky Derby Hosiery buildings, but has shown a renewed willingness to work with county officials, according to an update at the April 9 supervisors meeting.
County officials say they’ve had potential industries approach them, but didn’t have any available facility in which to place a new business.
To try to deal with that issue, the Carroll Industrial Development Authority made a $1.6 million offer on the two shuttered Gildan buildings in the industrial park.
Supervisors’ Chairman Sam Dickson, in an update at a busy April county board meeting, gave a brief update on the status, as well as what brought Carroll officials to make an offer.
It’s the responsibility of the supervisors to assist with creating jobs in the community, the chairman said.
“We have had more than one company approach us with opportunities that we could not move forward with because we did not have control of the Gildan property,” he read from a prepared statement. “At the same time, Gildan would not provide Carroll County with a lease rate and, therefore, only out of necessity has the Carroll County IDA even contemplated the purchase of the buildings.”
The back-and-forth between the county and the company started in late 2010, Dickson said. The first offer made by the IDA was less than $1.6 million, he said without stating how much money was involved.
The school system has called Gildan three times about the old KDH buildings, and the company ended up increasing the price on the facilities by $200,000 to $1.4 million, Dickson said. At the time, Gildan thought the school system had its own funds to buy the buildings, like other school divisions do.
“After losing yet another opportunity for 150 jobs in the fall of 2011 because Gildan did not respond in a timely manner, the IDA did make an offer for the two buildings and I must say that during this process, there were no [dissenting] comments until after the offer of $1.6 million,” Dickson said.
Gildan came back with a counter-offer that Dickson described as “very high,” and, in addition, provided a lease rate for the buildings for the first time ever.
“This will allow the IDA and Carroll to work with potential prospects with purchasing the property at this time,” Dickson said.