Food hall under development in Gastonia’s Fuse District

GASTONIA COUNTY, N.C. — A former grocery store in Gastonia will soon be transforming into a food hall. It will be located in a growing part of town called the Fuse District.

Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon spoke with the developers and business owners about what this investment could mean for the county.

Developers of the project told Ken that they feel it could become something very much like Optimist Hall in Charlotte, a large food hall where you can buy a meal from one of several shops and eat indoors or outside with a view of the Charlotte skyline.

In this smaller version, the view is of Gastonia’s new baseball stadium in the Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District.

Developers said this district has drawn new businesses and upscale apartment complexes.

“I think we are seeing Gastonia’s development in its infancy,” developer Eric Vargosko said.

Vargosko said his team, Lenox Development Group, also worked in South End and North Davidson in their infancy. He said they invested $5.2 million into this project and hope it will be open by fall of next year.

Developers said they believe the food hall will draw in people from throughout the region to Gastonia.

“You are seeing some of that growth come this way. This is kind of the last remaining place for individuals to find unique bones and structure,” developer Cody Gibson said.

Some business owners said they are excited about the possibility of drawing new customers to the area.

However, restaurant owners said they fear the food hall will create competition and do not feel like there is much they can do about that.

(WATCH BELOW: Optimist Hall to start charging for parking)