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Mill contractor has experience renovating historic factory

As promised, construction personnel were working at the Grey Hosiery Mill on Monday morning, three days after the city of Hendersonville announced it had finalized a deal that clears the way for the historic mill’s long-awaited redevelopment.


“As of this afternoon, all property associated with the Grey Hosiery Mill has been transferred to Grey Mill Ventures LLC. All project financing has been secured and received and all building permits have been obtained,” the city said in a news release on Friday afternoon.
Beneath the official boilerplate was a quiet sense of triumph that the city leaders had at last landed the prize that had eluded them for a generation: the rebirth of the city’s only historic industrial site into a modern complex of 36 loft apartments.
It was almost two years ago when the City Council selected historic renovation specialist Belmont Sayre of Carrboro to convert the historic mill into a boutique hotel. Belmont Sayer president Ken Reiter informed the city last June that he failed to get financing for a hotel and instead proposed a development of 36 apartments. The council agreed to the backup plan provided he rent a portion of them at affordable rates.
Contractor C.T. Wilson, a third generation company based in Durham, received building permits for the construction project, valued at $5.9 million. The company has an ambitious schedule to finish the project in less than a year.
“That is the plan, to have it move-in ready early next year,” project manager Kate White said Monday. “We are going to push and see how quickly we can get it done.” The number of workers on site is “going to vary. I have a meeting the folks down there next week. We’ve got all the trades going on at once. There’s a little demo but I think most of the demolition is interior.”
Based in the company’s Greensboro office, White has overseen the renovation of the historic Revolution Mill, which the Cone brothers opened in Greensboro in 1898 as the first flannel mill in the South. The $100 million project has transformed the historic mill into 142 one- and two-bedroom apartments — snapped up fast by renters — plus offices and restaurants. C.T. Wilson has been working at the site for six years.
“We’ve been doing a lot of historic renovation,” White said. The Hendersonville mill on North Grove Street at Fourth Avenue East has a similar lineage. Built in 1915, the Grey Hosiery Mill expanded several times over the years. The common areas make up about 6,700 square feet of the overall 35,000-square-foot of floor space.
“We are looking forward to getting out there,” White said.