A city panel has recommended, with certain conditions, that City Council approve a developer’s plans to convert the former Plush Mill building into office space and add indoor self-storage in a new building as part of phase two of the development.
The Planning Commission on Jan. 19 recommended the requested annexation into the city and zoning on 2.94 acres on Easley Bridge Road for developer Mark Peters of Fountain Inn to redevelop the former textile mill in West Greenville.
The site is directly across U.S. 123 from the St. Francis Downtown hospital.
Peters plans to put office space in the 1925 mill building, with 25,000 square feet, that fronts U.S. 123 where it intersects with Traction Street.
The development, to be called Plush Mill, will feature open space, high ceilings, original flooring, exposed brick walls, and skylights, according to a marketing brochure from CBRE, a commercial real estate brokerage hired to lease the office space.
Planning staff members recommended approval with several conditions.
Among them, final development plans should meet federal Secretary of Interior standards for rehabilitation or receive approval by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Plans for the phase two building, including self-storage use, and a park with a reserved area for public art should be approved by the Planning Commission and reviewed by the Design Review Board as part of the final development plan, according to the planning staff’s report.
The triangular area at the intersection of Traction Street and Easley Bridge Road is referred to as Point Park, which will become an open space with seat walls, grassed area and the public art area, the report said.
Peters is requesting a zoning designation of FRD, Flexible Review District, for site configuration, allowed uses and design standards.
Peters intends to work with the state Department of Archives and History on a rehabilitation plan that will qualify for state and federal income tax credits, according to the planning staff report.
Peters, who bought the dilapidated industrial complex through a limited liability corporation in October, has said he aims to have it ready for tenants by August.
Peters is president of Britt, Peters and Associates, a Greenville civil and structural engineering firm.
He has said he would demolish structures on the site that were added after construction of the original mill building and have no historical significance.
Speaking on Peters’ behalf at the Planning Commission meeting, a consultant said the project would continue the resurgence of West Greenville.
One option, said Todd Ward of SC Development Consulting LLC, is creating event space at the site that could host weddings or graduation celebrations.
The original mill, which has banks of 24-pane windows on both sides, was designed by J.E. Sirrine, a well-known architect of the time, and was the first in South Carolina to make plush, a fabric with a soft and luxurious feel, according to historical research on the property.
The former business, called Piedmont Plush Mill, operated 28 looms on the site by 1939 and sold plush, mohair, velour and auto upholstery, according to the research. It closed in 1983.
Top: Site plan by SGA Architecture