Conestee Mill securing retail and office tenants

Conestee Mill
Rendering by SeamonWhiteside

Conestee Mills

STATUS: Permitting stage

The adaptive reuse project announced in 2017 for existing buildings at Conestee Mill, 1 Spanco Drive between Mauldin and Greenville, is now in the permitting stage with leases for retail and office tenants in the queue, says Todd Hardaway of WCM Global Wealth.

WCM Global Wealth, a Greenville-based financial services company, manages a real estate fund that acquired the site in March 2017 and is developing the property with various partnerships. The former mill was built in the early 1800s to create South Carolina’s first mill village and closed in 1973, according to a master plan for the Conestee area drawn up by Greenville County.

The mill sits adjacent to the 500-acre Lake Conestee Nature Park and the oldest South Carolina dam, built in 1892. The dam is under review and likely would be rebuilt in the near future if and when funding is secured by the Conestee Foundation, Hardaway says. At this point, engineering studies’ results are such that development of the property will move forward, he says.

The developer plans to convert the property into a gathering place similar to Hampton Station with retail and restaurants that work synergistically. With about 27,500 square feet of leasable commercial space, the scope of the project also includes two additional residential components — new-construction modern townhomes and multifamily lofts in the 60,000-square-foot mill building closest to the waterway — as well as an amphitheater.

The five buildings with space available for lease range from about 1,200-13,500 square feet, with the largest building able to be subdivided into four spaces.

Mills Armstrong of WCM says this project fills a void in the Mauldin submarket because there are no other historic buildings in the area that could serve this purpose.

Current tenants with either verbal agreements or, in one case, a signed lease, include a restaurant, brewery, and office user. Rob Howell, senior vice president of Avison Young, is handling leasing efforts on behalf of the landlord. Howell also has been involved in several capacities with the Hampton Station project, which is why he was chosen for this project.

“I think the restaurant and the brewery are probably our biggest desire,” Hardaway says.

In terms of the multifamily component, WCM will partner with a company that specializes in residential loft development, but there’s a chance that building could also remain a commercial use.

“I think it’s a natural fit for residential, but if a few office tenants came in and want to do that, that would be, too. It’d be a really cool office,” Hardaway says.

Read about other Upstate mills revitalization updates

Revitalized Taylors Mill will be ‘year-round’ gathering spaceNew Elements revitalize struggling old mill villageConstruction begins on Judson Mill’s transformation into multi-use spaceFormer Larkin’s COO takes charge of Drayton Mills events spaceChapel aims to weave into Poe MillGreer Mill’s adaptive reuse project moving through rezoning processWoodside Mill, Greenville’s largest former mill, set for redevelopment—again


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