By RICK CURL
Of The Record Staff
It still stands in rubble and ruin with signs of some efforts to remove its symbolic scabs and scars that remain behind after a tornado and fire left their respective destruction.
That’s the best way to describe the Alphin Brothers abandoned warehouse along U.S. 301 just south of Dunn. While the building appears to be in some kind of dilapidated building purgatory, the contractor hired to clean up the sight says there is progress being made. A slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
If you drive past the sight you will notice large piles of debris filled with a combination of metal, wood and other leftover pieces of the building that once stood where the piles now rest.
As you look further into the compound, you can see walls with gaping holes or even completely See Alphin Brothers, Page 3
Above is what remains of the once thriving Alphin Brothers plant on U.S. 301 south of Dunn. A tornado more than six years ago and a subsequent fire last year have left the building in no condition to be serviceable. However, the contractor working on the site has said progress is being made.
Daily Record Photo/Rick Curl Alphin Brothers
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erased walls that offer a glimpse inside what was once a thriving facility — offering wholesale distribution of meats and seafoods as well as retail sales. The wholesale business is still operational, but at a different location — 210 S. Clinton Ave., Dunn.
Still visible are some of the equipment used in the operation and remnants of pallets, forklifts and signs telling customers where to load.
“We’ve hauled out about 45 or so loads of debris from the site,” Henry Elmore managing member of TSI Disaster Recovery Inc. said Tuesday afternoon. “We will be taking the last major load out of there yesterday or today.”
Alphin Brothers officials referred questions to Mr. Elmore.
However, recent trips to the site — including one late Tuesday afternoon — didn’t reveal any noticeable changes. Three vehicles that have been parked at the scene — an Alphin Brothers delivery truck, a skid loader or Bobcat and a Ford tractor — appear to be in the same locations they have occupied as do the scrap piles.
“At this point we’ve been working with the property owner,” said Brian Haney, Harnett County community and government affairs director. “They are making progress on the property.”
Mr. Haney confirmed the property was condemned as of March 2016.
“At this time there is no clear deadline for completing the demolition and clean up,” he said. “From a county standpoint, any additional action would have to come from the board of commissioners.”
Mr. Elmore told The Daily Record one reason for limited activity at the site was due to prospective buyers for the property.
He indicated an unknown buyer has expressed interest in portions of the property that were untouched when a fire destroyed a significant portion of the facility.
“There is a part of the building that wasn’t touched by the fire,” Mr. Elmore said. “There’s one big freezer in the back of the building that is still in serviceable condition. There’s also some high-value equipment that was purchased and installed just prior to the tornado that is still inside and would be a valuable asset to the property.”
He indicated the intent, for now, is to wait and see if the property can be sold before tearing down the entire building as was initially planned.
“If we can get the building ready for someone to buy it, that would be great,” he said. “We don’t want to do anything to keep any new jobs from coming into Harnett County. So, we’ll try to get the site ready for a new owner if it turns out the property could be sold.”
The building has been struck by devastating circumstances twice since the spring of 2011. In April of that year a tornado ripped through parts of Harnett County and one of the things left in shambles was the plant.
Following a lack of action to restore the property, Harnett County Commissioners issued a condemnation order in March of 2016 giving owners until Aug. 31 to complete the work.
The building fell into further disrepair after a military training exercise went wrong later that spring. A reported explosion took place somewhere on the property that ignited a fire. The fire took out a significant section of the building leaving open areas and more debris for contractors to remove.
Since then a chain link fence has been installed and now surrounds the property. It has padlocks and no trespassing signs.