HAMLET — The county won’t have to cough up any coin from its coffers to demolish a dilapidated former boat building facility.
Officials announced Friday that the county is the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce Rural Infrastructure Authority to tear down the old Tartan Yachts manufacturing plant.
“The grant will provide much-needed funds for an aged industrial site that has been a major blight for many years at the entrance of our Mark’s Creek industrial Park,” County Manager Bryan Land said in an email. “We are very grateful to the RIA for their generosity to Richmond County.”
Land added that Richmond County received the only demo grant in the state during this budget cycle.
Demolition grants are “aimed at freeing up attractive sites for industrial development,” according to the RIA’s website.
The proposed building scheduled for demolition was built around 1953, and expanded in 1958 and 1960, according to a press release from Rep. Scott Bewer, D-Richmond.
Brewer said the building has been vacant for 20 years and is in poor condition and shows “signs of obvious physical deterioration.”
Aside from boat building, the site was also used as a furniture manufacturing facility, Brewer added.
“I want to thank Gov. Roy Cooper, and the Department of Commerce for the award of this grant to help promote economic development in Richmond County,” Brewer said. “I’m excited for the state’s economic investment, literally paving the way for the development of new industry. Cleaning up this site … will make investment in this park even more attractive. Richmond County has had great success over the years in developing our (industrial parks), and I am pleased this grant will help that work continue.”
The Hamlet plant was the second site for Tartan Yachts, which was based in Grand River, Ohio, according to the company’s website. A downturn in the marine industry in the late ‘80s resulted in manufacturing being consolidated in Ohio.
Economic Developer Martie Butler, who applied for the grant, said the county had foreclosed on the property after years of no taxes being paid and currently owns the property.
Butler called it a “great industrial site,” as it already has hookups for water, sewer and natural gas.
She also previously obtained a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to determine if there was any contamination.
Butler said the demolition and grading should be complete within the next nine months and that there is already a party interested in the property.