For generations, families in Spartanburg County made a living working in textile factories.
Those factories that used to thrive stopped during the economic changes of the 1970s and 1980s. The abandoned sites of the mill remained inactive until developers began to revive them in large-scale apartments, artist studios and other projects.
This trend is expected to continue with the latest redevelopment project of the former Converse Mill into 173 loft-type apartments. The $ 50 million project is expected to be completed in December 2022.
Here’s a look at other factory renovation projects that have taken place in Spartanburg County over the years.
►Drayton Mill Lofts and Drayton Mill Marketplace, at 1800 Drayton Road, Spartanburg, continue to be an excellent example of how old textile factories can be transformed into reusable space that includes mixed-use development. In 2016, the old mill spinning and weaving buildings were converted into 289 apartments by TMS Development, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The renovation project cost about $ 35 million.
The spinning mill was built in 1902 and was an example of Romanesque Renaissance architecture that influenced textile buildings at the turn of the century.
Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc., based in Spartanburg, continued until 2017 to develop the nearly 250-acre site into a multi-purpose complex for residents and visitors. In 2021, there were 15 companies on site at Drayton Mills Marketplace, including Sparkle City Chiropractic, Bareknuckle Barber Shop, Holiday Beer and Burn Boot Camp.
► The old Arcadia factory no. 1 Hayne St., 1875, Spartanburg, was converted into 92 loft apartments in 2019 by Georgian developer Pace Burt. Construction began in late 2017.
As part of the project, the Chapman Cultural Center was included to help redevelop 20,000 square feet of space in artist studios.
The former site of the mill opened in 1902 and, in the 1930s, changed ownership with Fred Dent leading the day-to-day operations of the mill. At that time, the mill employed 600 people, who made cotton and polyester fabrics. The mill closed in 2001.
► In 2020, the old Star Mill, located at 180 Arch Street, Spartanburg, was refurbished. The former stocking factory was redeveloped by BF Holdings, LLC. The location of the building next to a bus stop allows tenants of public housing to pay the rent in person and there is parking on both sides of the building. In September 2019, Spartanburg City Council passed resolutions designating the site as a historic site for appraisal purposes. The building offers 12,000 square feet of open offices on two floors.
► Renovations of the former Beaumont Mill on North Pine Street in Spartanburg were completed in 2016 for use as offices in the Spartanburg Regional Health System. The $ 34 million renovation project was completed by Young Office, VIT, CJ Compton, Milliken, Hodge Floors, Roebuck Landscaping and Pickens Roofing. SRHS bought the 130-year-old mill in 2015 as part of a ten-year, $ 500 million master facility plan.
► Inman Mill, at 240 Fourth St., Inman was transformed into 159 loft-type apartments with project work completed in 2019. Opened by James A. Chapman in 1902, the 350,000-square-foot brick property was listed in the National Land Registry. Historic Sites in March 2016. The project cost $ 30 million and was developed by Dyke Nelson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The lofts of the Inman Mill units are spread over four floors, giving new life to a textile factory that closed in 2001.
► For more than a decade, Mayfair Lofts, at 100 Cleveland St., Spartanburg, has been offering residents a luxurious lifestyle. Developer Pace Burt of Albany, Georgia, developed the 1923 mill in 2008 into 107 apartments. It was one of the original Mayfair Mills factories on the west side of Spartanburg, in the Arcadia community. Burt also developed the old Arcadia mill no. 1 on 1875 Hayne Street, Spartanburg in 2019 in 92 loft apartments.
Mayfair’s No. 1 mill became an art space in March 2020 and is now called Mayfair Art Studios. The studios, in a 20,000-square-foot facility, feature a private studio floor for resident artists that was fully rented, with a waiting list, when it opened.
►Victor Mill is located on a 24-acre site at 250 Victor Ave., Greer and closed in 2001. The structure was demolished in 2006 after a fire. The site remained vacant for years before Chris Hill of the Scout Realty Group proposed in 2019 to redevelop the site into a combination of apartments, townhouses and single-family single-family homes. A concept presented to Greer City Council includes 250 townhouses and a maximum of 25,000 square feet of commercial space.
Chris Lavender is the public safety and breaking news reporter for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @LavenderSHJ.