Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Redevelopment of historic Grey Mill wins economic development honor

The public-private partnership that resulted in the redevelopment of the Grey Hosiery Mill into 35 rental apartments was honored last week by the 2020 Economic Development Awards Program.

The adaptive reuse of the historic building won a Bronze Rank in the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse category of the International Economic Development Council’s awards program. The honor was presented this week at an awards ceremony during the IEDC's annual conference, which is currently under way.

“We are thrilled to receive this award for a hard-fought local victory in Economic Development," Lew Holloway, the city's Community Development Director, said. "The Grey Mill Apartments, now fully occupied, represents the largest historic rehabilitation project ever completed within the City and is the culmination of a multi-year effort to redevelop the building and site. IEDC’s recognition of the project and our role in it is a fitting capstone to a once in a generation opportunity to save a historic resource within the community and we are grateful to see our good work recognized.”

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. 35 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

The Grey Hosiery Mill is an iconic building that connects the 7th Avenue and Main Street districts in Historic Downtown Hendersonville. Originally constructed between 1915 to 1918 with operations as a hosiery mill ceasing in 1967, the building served a variety of uses, before becoming vacant and falling into disrepair over the last 20 years.

The finished project includes 35 rental units, has an estimated property value of $3.1 million and is expected to generate an estimated $32,500 in city and county tax revenue beginning this year. The 28 units of workforce housing, plus seven units of moderate income units, combined with the convenient in-town location are having a positive impact on quality of life for the area workforce. With early targeted recruitment of tenants from local civil servants, the benefits are assisting the community in supporting and retaining a quality workforce, the city said.

The city's Downtown Economic Development Program led the Grey Hosiery Mill reuse project in partnership with the University of North Carolina Development Finance Initiative, Land of Sky Regional Council of Government and developer Belmont Sayer.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”