Timeline since the closing
July 30, 2003 ó Unable to meet loan obligations or pay creditors, Pillowtex announces the end of the company, whose ties to Kannapolis go back a century when it was owned by the Cannon family.
Federal, state and local officials start to address needs of more than 4,300 workers displaced in Cabarrus and Rowan counties alone.
September 2003 ó Rowan County’s unemployment rate reaches 12.2 percent. Companies bid for pieces of Pillowtex in filings with bankruptcy court in Delaware. The biggest interest is in the brand names of Cannon, Royal Velvet and Charisma.
U.S. Department of Labor says close to 5,000 former Pillowtex workers in North Carolina are certified for federal training, health care and unemployment benefits.
October 2003 ó GGST LLC, a group of four liquidators, submits the highest bid at $128 million, giving it substantially all of Pillowtex’s remaining assets: buildings, equipment, furnishings and brands.
September 2004 ó David Murdock, whose company still owns much of the downtown Kannapolis real estate from his brief ownership of the mill in the 1980s, buys the Plant 4 building.
A liquidation company starts selling off computers, furniture, equipment and fixtures from Pillowtex plants in Cabarrus and Rowan counties.
December 2004 ó At auction in New York City, Murdock pays almost $6.4 million for Plant 1 and a 119-acre waste treatment plant.
Sept. 12, 2005 ó Murdock announces plans for a $1.5-billion, 350-acre North Carolina Research Campus, a biotechnology center to be built on the site of Kannapolis’ Plant 1.
November 2005 ó A demolition blast knocks down half of Plant 1’s towel distribution center.
December 2005 ó Town Lake is drained.
February 2006 ó Ground is broken for the Core Laboratory, centerpiece to the research campus. It will sit where the lake used to be.
March 2006 ó The bleachery and remaining part of the towel distribution center is imploded ó the third largest implosion in U.S. history.
June 2006 ó A $13.5 million settlement is reached among Pillowtex lawyers, creditors and workers. The agreement settles various worker claims, vacation pay and bonus disputes. The average payment to former employees amounted to $2,000 each.
August 2006 ó Explosives bring down the signature Plant 1 smokestacks.
November 2006 ó The last piece of Plant 1 history, the checkerboard water tower, comes down.
September 2007 ó Murdock gives Duke University $35 million to jumpstart a groundbreaking medical study that bears his name. MURDOCK stands for Measurement to Understand Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis.
The MURDOCK study will run for years and rely on the participation of thousands of people in the area to better understand obesity, diabetes, hepatitis, arthritis and heart disease.