STATUS: Construction begins this month
Woodside Mill’s magnitude matches its outsized history, from its construction between 1902 and 1912 to its series of mega-development proposals, which, like the five-story colossus itself, have seen more than their share of ups, downs, starts, and restarts.
Most recently, Crossgate Partners purchased the mill and plans to begin construction this month on 307 residential lofts in a project totaling $62 million, says Randy Moore, managing partner of the Suwanee, Georgia-based real estate company.
Launched in 2002, Crossgate has developed and now owns a variety of properties from Florida to Tennessee, including the CityLights luxury-condos development in Nashville and its July purchase of the Brasfield & Gorrie construction company’s regional headquarters in Cobb County, Georgia.
“It’s a very exciting project to restore and bring back to life a mill that is over 100 years old with so much historical significance,” Moore writes in an email.
The mill, once the largest textile operation under one roof in the United States, has plenty to work with — often, perhaps, foiling previous redevelopment attempts.
Armando Delgado, an Atlanta businessman, purchased the mill in 2000 from Stone Manufacturing Co., which had occupied the building since 1987, Greenville County tax records and published reports say.
After Delgado, another Atlanta developer, Woodside Mill Partners LLC, purchased the main mill for $4.5 million, news accounts say, with similar plans for more than 300 apartments.
Such is the story of the mill itself, whose founding visionary, John T. Woodside, a Greenville grocer, built the factory that would, in its heyday in the 1920s and ‘30s, operate 112,000 spindles — making it about 25% larger than its closest competitors, Brandon and Poe mills.
Woodside, who along with his three brothers built Greenville’s Textile Crescent empire, went bust in the Great Depression. Ultimately, so did the area’s largest mill village, many of whose 600-plus houses fell into poverty.
In 1987, the Woodside Cotton Mill Village Historic District landed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The village is largely intact over 80 years later despite modernizations made to individual buildings by a succession of mill and home owners,” the listing says. “The spatial integrity of the village has been maintained. Mill and community exist in the same relationship as it has for more than 80 years — the cotton mill rises above a village of modest cottages built for the mill workers.”
Now, Crossgate Properties envisions a new generation of residents in a mill that Moore expects will come back to life in late 2021. Amenities will include a resort-style pool, outdoor entertaining areas, fitness and yoga facilities, a conference space, and event center.
Architectural firm JDavis, with offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, says the “adaptive reuse of the cotton mill and ancillary structures” on the 14.3-acre site will feature LEED Gold Certification, “planned around sustainable building and lifestyle features,” its website says.
“Our design,” Moore’s email says, “allows us to preserve a great deal of the original Woodside Mill and create a place for many to enjoy for another 100 years.”
It took a decade (1902-1912) to build the five-story mill.
The mill had 112,000 spindles at its peak, making it 25% larger than its closest competitors, Brandon and Poe mills.
The mill ceased operation in 1984.
The new owner, Crossgate Partners based in Suwanee, Georgia, plans a $62 million project to include 307 residential lofts.
Redevelopment plans include a resort-style pool, fitness facilities, and outdoor entertaining areas. The projected opening is sometime in 2021.
Read about other Upstate mills revitalization updates
Revitalized Taylors Mill will be ‘year-round’ gathering space | New Elements revitalize struggling old mill village | Construction begins on Judson Mill’s transformation into multi-use space | Former Larkin’s COO takes charge of Drayton Mills events space | Chapel aims to weave into Poe Mill | Greer Mill’s adaptive reuse project moving through rezoning process | Conestee Mill securing retail and office tenants