Building Reuse and Restoration Grants Program
The economic recession, coupled with a downturn in traditional manufacturing, has devastated many rural North Carolina communities. The resulting wave of business and factory closings has led to mass layoffs and left hundreds of vacant buildings in its wake. These decaying buildings and empty storefronts are painful reminders of the economic hardship faced by many rural communities.
Thanks in part to the center’s Building Reuse and Restoration Grants Program and a related health care program called Rural Hope, many of these buildings are getting new life as job-generating businesses. The building reuse program is designed to spur economic activity and job creation by assisting in the productive reuse of vacant buildings in small towns. The health care program, which funds new construction as well as building reuse, focuses on one of the few sectors currently adding jobs in rural areas.
Among the promising examples of these two programs:
- A former grocery store in Goldsboro became an AT&T call center that is internationally recognized as a leader in customer satisfaction.
- An office building in Sparta became Ashley Flowers Family Dentistry, the only full-time dental practice in Alleghany County that accepts Medicaid.
- A vacant furniture plant in Taylorsville became the new location of Piedmont Fiberglass, one of the nation’s top manufacturers of fiberglass products.
- A building that once housed the generators for Columbia’s first electric company is now Vineyards on the Scuppernong, a wine and gift shop.
- A vacant manufacturing facility in Laurinburg became the new site of Nature's Earth Pellets, a company that produces wood pellets for use in cat litter and environmentally friendly fuel.
- Roxboro MedAccess Urgent Care expanded its facility to provide primary care services.
- A vacant building in Henderson became the Vance County site for Rural Health Group, a full-service community health center.
- The Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro doubled the capacity of its existing facility to address growing needs in the community.
- Ashe Services for Aging in West Jefferson constructed a 55-bed adult care home to serve needs for assisted living and dementia care.