Morganton is home to one of North Carolina’s most unique City Hall projects. In 1997, as the city was looking at ways to redevelop a portion of its downtown, a 100 year old textile mill closed and filed for bankruptcy. The Morganton Redevelopment Commission acquired the property and, along with the City, set out on a 10 year process to rehabilitate the old mill.
The City of Morganton, which was at the time outgrowing its current offices, decided to become the anchor tenant at the mill, with the remaining portion to become private residential and commercial space. What would become known as the Morganton Trading Company was beginning to take shape.
Work began and over the next decade the mill was taken back to its early 1900’s footprint. A large common courtyard was created where 40,000 square feet of building was demolished. The Redevelopment Commission, City of Morganton and developers worked together to salvage wood floors, expose massive wood beams, open bricked over windows and preserve an abandoned water tank.
The project faced several challenges but in 2006 the Morganton Trading Company opened to rave reviews. The site contains 43 residential loft apartments and 15,000 square feet of premium office and commercial space. Leaders and employees with the City of Morganton have been very pleased with their new location, and the area has blossomed into a reenergized downtown center with over $25 million of new investment.