WinnCompanies Breaks Ground on Historic Redevelopment

The $35 million project is scheduled for delivery in late 2024.

Osage Mill groundbreaking. Image courtesy of WinnCompanies

WinnCompanies has broken ground on a 139-unit fully affordable community in Bessemer City, N.C. The $35 million historic redevelopment is scheduled for delivery in late 2024.

The project consists in the preservation and revitalization of Osage Mill, a historic structure built in 1896. Tise Kiester Architects is the redevelopment’s architect, Rehab Builders is the general contractor, Brockmann Law serves as legal counsel and MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC is the historic consultant. Upon completion, the property will be managed by WinnResidential.

Financing for the project includes:

  • construction and permanent financing from Bank of America
  • equity under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, Federal Historic Tax Credit Program and North Carolina’s Mill Rehabilitation Tax Credit program
  • Tax-exempt bonds from North Carolina Housing Finance Agency issued by Gastonia Housing Authority

Bessemer City, WinnDevelopment and Osage Mill Residential are working together to transform the long-vacant building. The community will be designated for residents earning 60 percent or below of the area median income.

Historic landmark redevelopment

Built by Bessemer City founder John Askew Smith, Osage Mill has been vacant since 1995. The historic building is considered an iconic landmark of the community. The Osage Mill Redevelopment Project will highlight the historic fabric of the structure and add modern features, while keeping the mill’s smoke stacks and water tank.

WinnDevelopment plans to preserve the exterior of the 250,000-square-foot building, while creating 50 one-bedroom, 77 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom apartments. Amenities will include a business center, a fitness center, a dog park, a resident lounge, a playground, a picnic area, secure storage and 244 parking spaces.

The redevelopment’s design will conform to Energy Star guidelines. Duke Energy will maximize the efficiency of the property’s building envelope, mechanical equipment, appliances and exterior lighting.

Executive Director of the Gastonia Housing Authority Terri Sanford said in prepared remarks that the project will revitalize the city’s downtown, while providing housing for the disabled, the elderly and the area’s working families.

Osage Mill is located at 201 S. 12th St., in the western region of Gaston County. The building sits in a mixed-use neighborhood, in an area with multiple dining options and retail centers.

Upon completion, the project will provide much-needed affordable housing in metro Charlotte, N.C. On a national level, the affordable housing sector remains under pressure, with developers having difficulty to obtain financing for these projects.

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