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York County seeks Bleachery artifacts

The York County, South Carolina, Culture and Heritage Museums is seeking memorabilia related to the former Rock Hill textile mill known as the Bleachery.

Museum staff will be on hand Wednesday from 1-5 p.m. at the Family Trust Federal Credit Union on West White Street to review and document objects, photos, news articles, or other collectibles related to the historic site.

The Bleachery, once one of the largest textile finishing plants in the U.S., operated from 1929 until its closure in 1998. The 26-acre tract, which the city bought in 2010 for $6 million, is at the center of Rock Hill’s efforts to establish a thriving downtown area.

Developer Sora-Phelps is seeking to rezone the property for a project that would include 430 student-housing units, 130 apartments, and 90 units devoted to senior housing. Plans also call for offices, a boutique hotel, restaurants and retail.

But last month the City Council deferred a vote on the rezoning request in order to give the city time to mull possible changes to the development and financing agreement it has with Sora-Phelps.

The council subsequently voted to extend by 60 days to April 25 the inspection period included in the contract. The agreement stipulates that the inspection period be used by the developer to evaluate the suitability and feasibility of the project.

Rock Hill’s investment in the Bleachery has led the way for the Knowledge Park development project, a public-private initiative to revitalize a corridor from Fountain Park to Winthrop University with high-tech employers and private investment.

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