It took “untold hours of time and energy” by a dedicated corps of people, but the city of Lanett in June took possession of the abandoned Lanett Cotton Mills site with the help of a partnership that included the Chambers County Development Authority and the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority.
The city hopes to leverage economic development potential from the reuse of the historic industrial property. Lanett Cotton Mills opened in 1894 and was the area’s main employer until the late 20th century, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy described the effort to acquire the property, which went completely idle in 2006, at a recent ceremony to mark the sale. McCoy hopes the mill site, long an eyesore and source of community displeasure, can be developed into something more fitting for its location on U.S. Highway 29, one of the most heavily traveled and publicly visible locations in the town.
As well as city and county cooperation, McCoy praised the Development Authority staff and Board President Bobby Williams and Electric Authority CEO Fred Clark for their efforts. The mill was purchased from Regeneration LLC with the help of the AMEA Capital Loan Program no-interest note of $400,000 over four years.
The site, which is now getting a thorough cleanup effort, is zoned and restricted for commercial and light industrial development.