There is the Monaghan Mill, founded in 1900 on the banks of the Reedy by a Charleston merchant who named it after his home county in Ireland. In 1902, the Woodside Mill opened, which at its peak produced 275 miles of cotton fabric per day. There is the Brandon Mill company that once considered the great baseball player Joe Jackson among its hundreds of employees. There is Judson Mill, which opened in 1912 and for a time was the largest textile mill in the area, full of them.
Together they formed part of the Greenville Textile Crescent, which made the upstate city the textile capital of the world. These historic factory buildings now welcome a completely different type of customer: developers who are transforming these former fabric factories into lofts, condos and mixed-use projects, and in the process, are reshaping West Greenville.
Fueled in part by the meager inventory of the market, the area commonly known as West Greenville has become a hot spot for real estate development. There are Field House condominiums overlooking Flour Field baseball park in the west end of the south main street in downtown, where the west side is usually considered. There are M West townhouses known for their rooftop terraces overlooking the city center.
There are Pendleton West townhouses, early harbingers of West Greenville development when they were built in the mid-2000s. Further west, routes such as Perry Avenue and Pendleton Street became centers of residential and commercial redevelopment. And then there are all the old mills, whose spindles and looms have long gone silent, and one by one they are turning into high-class loft houses.
According to Nick Carlson, vice president and broker for Wilson Associates Real Estate, the move to redevelop the factory on the west side of Greenville began with a refurbishment of the Mills Mill, where two-bedroom apartments can now cost more than $ 400,000. “This is really very good,” he said. “I think the state offered tax breaks for companies that wanted to come and rebuild old mill buildings. And where there are most of them, west of Greenville, they began to appear one after another. “
More than just a village
The boundaries of West Greenville may depend on who defines the area. For some, this means the exclusively renamed Village of West Greenville, a vibrant and growing area of greater Greenville that boasts a growing number of shops, restaurants and galleries. But for real estate professionals like Carlson, West Greenville can mean everything from Fluor Field to an arch of refurbished factories stretching from Monaghan Mill in the region’s northwest corner to Judson Mill just outside St. Francis Hospital.
“You hear a lot about West Greenville, and it depends on where you come from,” Carlson said. “If you’re from Greenville, you say, ‘Oh, it’s in the arts district.’ But in fact, it includes much more than you think. “
Because, of course, the reconstructed mill promises to add hundreds of residents to the area. Renamed West Village Lofts Brandon Mill had only three of 12 floor plans named after
artists, writers and musicians playing in the artistic atmosphere of the area are available from last week. Monaghan Mill is now a Greenville Loft, an apartment complex with amenities such as a community garden, fish pond and local dog park.
The former Judson Mill is being converted into a mixed-use complex that will include over 200 apartments, a beer pub, a nightclub and a huge climbing gym. And the massive Woodside Mill, once the largest cotton fabric manufacturer in the United States, is gradually being rebuilt and will eventually have over 300 loft apartments, some with ceilings up to 18 feet.
Carlson expects the converted factory buildings to spur further renovation, given that some of the former textile mills are surrounded by empty lots that once housed the factory workers’ housing quarters.
“There’s a ton left for development,” he said. “You have a lot of unoccupied land at Mills, where the mill once was, and for some reason it’s no longer there. So you can see how many developers are doing the filling. We are starting to see this transfer to West Greenville with all the wastelands there. What they were able to do is phenomenal. Some developments have built entire city blocks, and they have built homes that have sold between $ 300,000 and over $ 400,000. “
Property prices are rising
For now, however, the engine that powers West Greenville remains the busiest village, which Forbes magazine called “an area worth watching.” The New York Times wrote an article about this in 2019. The Anchorage was a James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant 2018. Village Grind Coffee Shop and Coastal Crust Pizzeria are some of the many local favorites. Spacious galleries in old textile buildings abound.
Unsurprisingly, property prices in the area have risen as a result. There are streets near West Greenville, Carlson said, where houses could be found for $ 70,000 a few years ago, and now they are going for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The village’s pedestrian accessibility and dense concentration of galleries, shops and restaurants have made it a favorite with young shoppers in their 30s and 40s, Carlson said.
“You have a lot of good things to do,” he said.
The need for more affordable housing on the west side of Greenville is being addressed through projects such as The Mosaic on Academy Street, which will set aside a quarter of the apartments as rent-capped housing, making them affordable for those earning less than average. family income. Although the area is dominated by condos and apartments, the single-family home market is getting more competitive every day, especially with affordable real estate, so scare everywhere.
This reality means that West Greenville will almost certainly receive further development – both the village itself and the area around it. One question remains open: How the old water and sanitation infrastructure in West Greenville can be integrated into new projects beyond the giant factories’ renovations.
“This is old infrastructure,” Carlson said. “I know there was a community partnership to try and improve this, but you will have older homes that will run on older systems, and trying to combine the two is difficult.”