At a time when Greenville County was known as the “Textile Capital of the World,” Judson Mill was the largest mill in the county. Decades later, the mill shuttered its operations, and was subsequently acquired by Belmont Sayre as an urban mixed-use redevelopment project. In 2017, the partnership of Three Corners Development and Judson Mill Ventures commissioned McMillan Pazdan Smith to transform the 800,000 SF historic structure into a wide variety of spaces: 204 affordable apartments, 215,000 SF office space, 106,000 SF light industrial space, 35,000 SF flex space, and 12 acres of retail parcels. Residential amenities will include an outdoor kitchen, a fitness and yoga center, a game room, a pool and hot tub, a bocce court, and a bike shop.
The team started with the mill’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This vital first step secured the federal tax credits associated with historic property restorations necessary to meet the developer’s financial goals. Additionally, the design team is working closely with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) to meet specific design requirements. Careful attention is being given to elevations of additions and how these affect the existing structure’s massing. Specific areas have also been identified to remain as they were during the textile era, including matching existing windows, while other areas are being modernized to meet daylighting and air quality requirements. Furthermore, many of the additions that accumulated over the life of the facility are being retained to explain how the mill evolved with the technological advancement of the textile industry. Four large courtyards, cut precisely where approved by SHPO, will provide the daylighting needed by interior residential units.