Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hanes Town and Hanestowne Village

Article and Photography by Jessica st Lewis

Everyone that lives within a certain radius of Winston-Salem is familiar with the old Hanes Mill Outlet at Stratford Road and Ricks Drive.  It's where we'd go (at least) once a year to get new underwear, socks, bras, sweatshirts, pajamas, panty hose and more.  We'd hear the large baskets being rolled across the factory floor through the ceiling above.  Next, we'd stop at the Sara Lee outlet in the same building for cheesecake or other such yummies.  Every once in a while, we'd walk across the street to Towel City for towels, linens, maybe a new tablecoth.

In all those many years of shopping the Outlet, I never once noticed the murals that spanned the entire section of the building! It wasn't until they were ready to demolish the building and I wanted to capture the landmark before it went that I saw the murals.

I wonder how, after all these years, they remained hidden from my sight.  Were they covered in some way, or had they just become such a part of the building that I just didn't see them anymore? 

Have the murals been there since the 550,000-square-foot Hanes Plant was built in 1910 for the P.H. Hanes Knitting Company?  It's amazing to me that it's possible the murals have gone unnoticed by me all these years.

More Detail of the Mural Above
The plant was closed in 2007 and elimated 600 jobs.  After April 2007, the plant sat vacant.  The Hanestown neighborhood remains, with many of the old houses reenergized with local niche shops.  The neighborhood thrives with families and the local park is used by those that live and work close by.

Our photos of the old plant were taken in April 2014.  

The site has been cleared, making way for a mixed use development, breathing new life into the property.  Retail, restaurants and offices are included and retailers such as Tijuana Fats, Wal-Mart and LA Fitness have already committed.  There will also be a medical park.  The development is called HanesTowne Village.  

There are 10-20 well-know restaurants and retailers expected to move into Hanestown Village, some as soon as the end of the year.

See the Winston-Salem Journal's images of the plant's demolition here.

Hanesbrands Inc. is still considered a great company, with a solid portfolio that includes DBApparel and Maidenform Brands Inc.  You can shop the Hanes Mill Outlet at Thruway Shopping Center and Marketplace Mall in Winston-Salem and online.

This building, above, was in front of the plant itself.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, most Hanes town residents say they welcome the restaurants, retail stores and upgrades to Stratford Road.

Detail of mural on outer building.

An amazing rendition of the surrounding neighborhood.  I love how the neighborhood families are unified and together at the picnic table, the church prominant in the background.

The bottom right of the photo below shows one of the people sitting at the picnic table seen in the above photos.  I love the laundry line full of whities (made by those same plant employees, I'm sure). 

The shadow shows the corner of the building; I wish I could read what appears to be a proclamation underneath the hanging tee shirts.

Crown Company and Turnpike Properties purchased this property in 2009 for $2.6 million.  

The buildings were demolished on April 10, 2014 and the site has been cleared for construction.

Construction is well underway, Stratford Road is being widened and turn lanes and entrances are nearing completion.  

Above, looking west from Stratford Road.

According to Tim Dockery of the Crown Company, all road improvements and structures are being funded privately, with no incentives from the city.

Photo below shows new turn lane and entrance into Hanestowne Village.

Below, looking west.

Photo Below:  From the rear, at the corner of Mill Street.  
This building sits close to where the Hanes Plant actually sat.   

This is the first in a series that will focus on Hanes Town, then and now.

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