Updated: Feb 7, 2022
In the category of ECONOMIC VITALITY, Best Adaptive Reuse Project, an Award of Merit is presented to: Belmont Sayre, LLC, City of Hendersonville, UNC Development Finance Initiative, Land of Sky Regional Council, MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC, and Tise-Kiester Architects for Grey Hosiery Mill Reuse.
The Grey Hosiery Mill located at 301 Fourth Avenue East is an iconic representation of early development in Hendersonville. The building was originally constructed between 1915 and 1918. Hosiery mill operations ceased in 1967, and the building served a variety of uses before becoming vacant and falling into disrepair over the last twenty years. There were multiple efforts over many years to redevelop and find a new use for the building. In partnership with the University of North Carolina’s Development Finance Initiative (known as DFI) in 2016, the City began what was widely seen as a ﬁnal eﬀort to recruit a developer to rehabilitate the mill. With DFI serving as a development consultant, the City selected Belmont Sayre, LLC, based on the strength of its proposal and its extensive experience in historic mill rehabilitation in North Carolina.
The City owned the historic resource, and through a dedicated effort, leveraged public and private investment, historic tax credits, and a grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (or CDBG) Neighborhood Revitalization program to bring the project to fruition. City staff worked with the developer and elected officials to maintain focus on the project’s larger strategic goals: the rehabilitation of the mill; its catalytic physical location; and previously identiﬁed downtown housing needs. These efforts helped maintain momentum to finish the project.
Completed in January 2020, the impact of the adaptive reuse of the mill is signiﬁcant. With a total project investment of $8.5 million, the renovation provided 35 additional rental housing units in downtown Hendersonville with an estimated $6 million in property tax value expected to generate $65,000 in City and County tax revenue. The project also leveraged over $3 million in historic tax credits and $500,000 in CDBG grant funds. Twenty-eight of the 35 units are workforce housing serving service, government, and other employees. Having additional residential units downtown also benefits area businesses. The rehabilitated mill is important to the overall redevelopment of the area and has been the impetus for other projects.