Clinton Mayor Scott Burton announced in a special report on Thursday that a Knoxville developer has entered into an agreement to purchase the former Magnet Knitting Mills site in downtown Clinton.
The property is along Charles G. Seivers Boulevard. It has been a contentious topic of conversation and debate in the Clinton area for several years, according to a press release from Burton, the mayor. He described the Knoxville developer as community-conscious.
“While the current owner has obtained a permit for the demolition of the existing two-story brick building, the potential new owner has another multi-use vision for the site,” the press release said. “Upon completion of the sale and the transfer of the property to the new owner, the City of Clinton will work with the Knoxville owner/developer to rehabilitate the site for future live-work, retail, and commercial use. This rehabilitation would include the renovation of the existing building and preservation of Clinton’s downtown.”
There was a fire inside Magnet Mills, a former hosiery mill, on April 7, 2016, and the property was included on a list of eight endangered historic properties that was announced that same month. The site included two big, brick warehouse buildings next to CVS Pharmacy between Charles G. Seivers Boulevard and the Clinch River in downtown Clinton.
At the time of the fire, Clinton City Manager Roger Houck said items had been stored in the building for several years. He said the City of Clinton had been pursuing code violations against the property through its slum ordinance, and a hearing officer issued an order the week before the fire that part of the structure had to be vacated, demolished, and cleaned up.
The building site on Charles Seivers Boulevard is at the edge of the city’s historic downtown area. It is seen as a prime spot for future development, WYSH said last year.
Magnet Mills made hose for women back in the 1950s, said Danny Treece, who said his father Albert Treece once ran the maintenance department. Magnet Mills probably shut down in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and the facility has had a few other uses, including building government bulletproof vests, Treece said in an interview at the time of the fire in 2016.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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