Woolen Mills development taking shape

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A lot of progress has already been made on the new Woolen Mills Development.

Charlottesville Woolen Mills, Charlottesville Albemarle Historical Society

As you know, crews have been working to transform the old mill into the new headquarters for WillowTree, a brewery, an event space, and a coffee shop. If you haven't been by there in a while, a whole lot has changed.

The parking lot now has curbs, and drainage, and is level enough to use for parking. The inside has drywall, lighting, plumbing and more.

"Things are standing on a very good foot right now, we have all the walls up in every section of the building, the saw tooth buildings, the first, second and third floor. Things are coming along real well," said Matthew Corbett, the project engineer.

A big step to bringing the historic factory into modern times is the power. An old utility closet is now the main electrical room, complete with a 3000 amp set up.

"It used to be a storage room just below the third-floor entrance," said Corbett. "It used to have a set of steel stairs embedded in it. It was the neat cool damp space that we had to waterproof the inside, set the switchgear, which came in three sections and it's what's going to fire this building up."

They are working to keep the building as historic as possible, the 3/4 inch maple floors that have been sanded and cleaned up, but they still tell a story.

"You can tell where the foot traffic was, where the machines were, it allows the building to speak to you even more," said Corbett.

Sometimes it's hard to believe the old factory that sold most of the nation's woolen uniforms will be a home to high-tech app company, and that's why it's so rewarding.

"When you get to the point of the job, all the long of work rolling around in the mud were well worth it," said Corbett.

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