Back in 2011, the Charlotte Business Journal had an article about this Project Cirrus and Dover/Doran Mills deal, and again we are treated to another round of exaggeration of great expectations. Not only through the data center itself, but also the property surrounding it. First, the excerpt from the biz journal.
The property that would be available near the proposed data center, school of business, and the distillery was being handled by a company in Mooresville, Wilson-Watts Properties (at that time). The document below shows the package that was available as a download on their site.
Notice again, how the property and/or structures are always described in a negative sense, such as “dilapidated Doran buildings” in the document above, and “large, empty, and overgrown building” in the second document below. But everything will be bigger and better and create many job opportunities.
A little later after my discoveries, I decided to verify a couple of things that were being claimed about this new Project Cirrus data center. So, I sent an email to the communications people at Gardner-Webb University.
The first thought I had after reading the Dover Business Park document and the email replies from GWU was: “What about that distillery there along with the Godbold School of Business? What a paradox.”
There would be a very noticeable slow-down in the work going on at the old mill, especially after it had been gutted and plundered and was no longer useful to the developers. After all, the wood was being repurposed for the brewery, and it was getting close to the grand opening. Well, that, and that suspicious fire at the mill during this time. There is also documentation about the fire and some unpaid contractors coming up, once I receive a certified signature.
Meanwhile, the rush is on, now that the dust has settled at the Dover properties. Now, plans are underway to have Shelby City Manager Rick Howell assist his friends to acquire an alleyway beside the brewery. And these friends happen to be Roger Holland, who in his own words, had “spent 38 years working on uptown’s rebirth since he was a founding board member of Uptown Shelby.”, David Dear, and Greg Melton.
Howell, the “mind behind Advance Shelby” who bungled the old Farmers Market deal, comes through again. He, along with the mayor and city council decided it was okay to close the alleyway in order for the brewery patrons to have tables outside. Yet, Howell claimed the alleyway was not actually closed. Look at the picture below, and allow your eyes to deceive you.
The documentation below was taken from the Agenda from the City Council Meeting, 2/16/2015 and are public records that were downloaded: Note, City Manager Rick Howell stated in this meeting – “Mr. Howell reiterated the alley will not be closed and added a balanced approach should be taken regarding this repurposing request and future requests.”
Again, Howell is picking winners and losers. Don’t take my word for it, look at the mess Howell made out of the old Rogers Theater when Destination Cleveland County found it “unacceptable” and refused to take it and use it. Gary Kulas came in and tried to fix it up, but Howell politely told him he didn’t think he could make it. Kulas had every obstacle empowered by the powers that be thrown in front of him. That’s another story we’ll be sharing in the future.