GOOD HOPE, Ala. (WIAT) — A once-active cotton gin in Good Hope, Ala. is now a vacant building. The Good Hope City Council approved the purchase of the property and passed an ordinance allowing the city to lease it out.
Good Hope plans to lease the building to Stash House Properties, the group planning to convert the building into a restaurant and eventually purchase the property from the city.
If the walls of this retired cotton gin could talk, they might tell you it has been sitting vacant for a while. Long enough that Good Hope city leaders decided to buy the property themselves. The property purchase cost the city $500,000.
“We, as the council, didn’t purchase this to make money,” Mayor Jerry Bartlett said. “We purchased this so we could make something happen in the city of Good Hope. We purchased this so we could get a restaurant in here that people need.”
In need indeed; the city of Good Hope doesn’t have any sit-down restaurant options, only fast-food chains.
“We just don’t have a lot of options right now,” Mayor Bartlett said. “So people are going to love sitting in here.”
Plus, this isn’t the first time the city has had to take finding a property owner or lessee into their own hands. They did the same with the property neighboring the cotton gin.
“Since we did that, we have got a pharmacy in the front, and a pediatrics in the back,” Bartlett said. “Had we not purchased that, and went and found somebody to develop that, it would still be sitting there with junky cars and metal buildings”
To their point, they have innovative lessees ready to move in this summer.
“It will be a restaurant – then it will be multifaceted after that,” Mayor Bartlett said.
Like that Maren Morris song goes, ‘the house don’t fall when the bones are good.’ Clearly, these bones are pretty good lasting as long as they have. Mayor Bartlett tells CBS 42 the lessees hope to turn the gin into a local eatery and entertainment destination.
“They’re wanting to do something here that we haven’t ever done before in the Good Hope area,” Bartlett said.
Using those old bones, the new lessees, who intend to eventually buy the property, will turn this into the spot to be. The building will come with restaurant kitchen appliances, a hand-crafted wooden bar, storage fridges… plus the rustic country vibe everyone craves.
“We think this is a great destination, right off the interstate,” Mayor Bartlett said. We got Smith Lake property and Smith Lake people coming up here on the weekend. This place is going to have an atmosphere. I think once they get everything situated and the way they want it, they’re going to want to come back.”
CBS 42 will be back to check on the cotton gin conversion once the lessees move in, which is expected this summer.