After a year of conversation and debate, the Mecklenburg Mill is finally under construction to turn the Charlotte landmark into apartments.
Mecklenburg County issued a building permit, valued at $7.9 million, to the Boston-based nonprofit, The Community Builders. Along with the issued building permit, three smaller permits were also issued, to move forward with rehabilitation of the mill in North Davidson, NoDa.
“The staff of The Landmarks Commission was very excited to see a good rehabilitation plan for the property because it’s a very important historic property,” said Preservation Planner for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Landmarks Commission, Stewart Gray. “It holds a very special place in terms of the history of North Charlotte.
Last October, Charlotte Mecklenburg City Council approved $1.25 million in funding to The Community Builders to help with unexpected costs for the restoration. The Community Builders purchased the land in 2011 and was unaware of rotten girders, tilted support columns and deteriorated beams.
In 2012, they urged the city for funds from the Community Development Block Grant Program, which had $4.6 million available from savings on projects in 2011. After stressing the importance of restoring historic sites, the city approved.
There are three planned phases. In phase I, the Mecklenburg Mill will be turned into 48 individual units of affordable housing. The apartments will range in size from 428 square feet for the smallest studio; to 1,216 square feet for the larger two bedroom units; and the price of the units have not been determined.
NoDa has become a very prominent part of Charlotte’s landscape and with the planned expansion of the light rail into NoDa, city planners expect even more growth in the area.
“Turning that building into apartments is a very tried and true option for historic buildings,” said Gray. “Old mill buildings lend themselves very well to rehabilitation whether its offices, apartments, shop they just have really good bones. “
The apartments are expected to be completed sometime within 2014.