TMS Development Undertakes Drayton Mills Rehab

Work has started on Drayton Mills Loft Apartments, a 289-unit apartment property in Spartanburg.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Spartanburg, S.C.—Work has started on Drayton Mills Loft Apartments, a 289-unit apartment property in Spartanburg. It’s a redevelopment of the historic Drayton Mills, which is composed of four structures dating from the time when the city was a center of textile production. The first phase will involve two of the buildings.

TMS Development acquired the site from Pacolet Milliken last year, though Pacolet Milliken remains its master developer. The two buildings measure more than 500,000 square feet, and the redevelopment will include 68 distinctive floor plans that take advantage of the buildings’ exposed wood and steel, and their solid maple flooring.

Originally built in 1902 and expanded in increments over the next half-century, the cotton mill complex is comprised of four main buildings: the Spinning Building, Weaving Building, Warehouses and the Company Store. When the textile industry slowed and the bulk of the work went overseas in the last decades of the 20th century, mills throughout the South shuttered. Drayton Mill last operated in 1995, and in 2007 Pacolet Milliken inherited the property from Milliken & Co. In 2012, Drayton Mills was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The initial phase of the rehab will adapt the Spinning and Weaving Buildings to residential use. Pacolet Milliken, as the master developer of the site, is working on plans for the redevelopment of the other buildings on the property, which may include retail, event space, and possibly office space.

Common amenities at the Spinning and Weaving Buildings will include a fitness center, two community rooms, and a gallery displaying artifacts of Drayton Mills history. There will be a 60-foot lap and cold-jetted recreation pool outside, a courtyard space featuring fire pits and barbecue stations, and dog parks. A municipal nature trail will be connected to the property.

The developer recently obtained a $27.35 million first mortgage loan for the project. Grandbridge Real Estate Capital facilitated the overall finacing, a blend of federal historic tax credits, as well as South Carolina historic mill tax credits, and a FHA/HUD 221(d)(4) construction to perm loan product by Grandbridge that offers a 40-year fixed rate loan term.

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