Fort Payne group buys city-owned building in the hopes of creating more businesses

Fort Payne group buys city-owned building in the hopes of creating more businesses

FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) - A Fort Payne organization is working to save a historic structure and put it to good use.

On Tuesday, the city of Fort Payne sold it to the Fort Payne DeKalb County E-Center.

Officials say they’ve been trying to get a hold of this building for the last three years. They’re now ready to make their dreams a reality for this community.

The city council on Tuesday agreed to sell the old Cobble building to the Fort Payne DeKalb County E-Center.

Center officials say they've been working to find a way to save the old historic sock mill while at the same time convert it to something useful.

Officials say they're hoping to convert the building into a business incubator.

They're currently working to begin that program at another downtown location until the renovations are complete.

The goal of the E-Center is to put new businesses or small existing businesses into the building for less than market rent.

Coupled with professional coaching, officials hope that will allow those businesses to grow.

“That means they’ll stay in here a period of time and as they grow and get bigger themselves then they can incubate out and maybe buy some of these empty buildings around here,” said Vicky Kirby, Fort Payne DeKalb County E-Center president.

Kirby anticipates the renovations will take about two years.

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