Project: Woodside Cotton Mill/Lofts at Woodside Mill, Greenville
Awarded to: Randy Moore CG Woodside Partners (Suwanee), Ken Betsch, Architect, Betsch Associates, Greenville, Chris Norris, Contractor, Caldwell Constructors, Greenville
Submitted by: Janie Campbell, Preservation Consultant, of the Rogers Lewis Jackson Mann & Quinn Law Firm in Columbia
After a two year rehabilitation, the Lofts at Woodside Mill opened in late summer 2021 in the historic Woodside Cotton Mill in Greenville. This project successfully demonstrates how historic tax credits and adaptive use of historic structures have reinvigorated a largely oppressed neighborhood.
Originally constructed in 1902, the Woodside Cotton Mill was once a thriving industrial facility that by 2006 became an abandoned, derelict site. The project team, comprised of CG Woodside Partners, Betsch Associates architecture firm, Caldwell Construction contractors, and Rogers Lewis tax credit advisors, wove together a rehabilitation plan that reinvigorated not just the mill itself, but the ancillary structures to create a vibrant community and successful project. With the assistance of historic tax credits, the project converted the over 500,000 square foot textile mill site into 309 apartments, with the boiler room and compressor house used as amenities such as a co-working space, fitness center, clubhouse, and restaurant. By working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office, the site’s integrity remains in the reused, revitalized complex.
At the start of the project, the main mill’s windows were almost entirely in-filled with brick, many of which were covered with printed images of windows as a stand-in.
The rehabilitation included new windows based on those seen in historic images and the few extant examples found on site, as well as the removal of non-contributing resources on the complex. The retention of the smokestack, cotton warehouse, and other ancillary structures helps tell the story of the former thriving cotton mill. The project maintained the retention pond and stabilized structures that do not yet have a use in the complex’s master plan. The addition of new paved parking areas aided in maintaining the hardscaped, industrial feel of the site while also in including new elements such as the pool with pavilion and a dog park.
The West Greenville neighborhood has experienced a renaissance since construction began on the rehabilitation. The promise of 309 apartments as well as new restaurants and brewery spaces has attracted residents and visitors alike to the fourteen acre site in Greenville’s west end. The revitalized space has supported local gatherings such as the Village Launch Third Thursday Market, which brings local minority-owned businesses to the site to display their goods and services, further fostering a sense of community, which the mill village has experienced since the early twentieth century. The rehabilitation of the Woodside Mill has reinvigorated the greater West Greenville area into a thriving microcosm of Greenville.
The conversion of the Woodside Mill into the Lofts at Woodside Mill required a broad, vibrant vision with attention to detail for the more than 500,000 square feet, making it no easy task for any development team. By coordinating with the State Historic Preservation Office, the team was able to successfully transform the mill site into a flourishing new development while keeping with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and accessing the necessary tax credits to aid in the funding of the project.
The saved and rehabilitated complex of mill buildings serves as a fantastic example of preservation at work in South Carolina and of a successful historic tax credit project.