Charlottes plan to redevelop two historic mills into workforce housing in NoDa has hit a snag.
A private developer says he needs $2.3 million in public funds to renovate Mecklenburg and Johnston mills, which are adjacent to a proposed light-rail station at 36th Street.
The deterioration was much more significant than we could have anticipated, said developer Robert Fossi, of Washington-based Community Builders, who requested the additional money. It has profound structural damage.
The City Councils Housing and Neighborhood Development Committee voted 3-2 Wednesday to send the request to the full council. Democrats LaWana Mayfield, Patsy Kinsey and John Autry voted yes, while Republican Warren Cooksey and Democrat Michael Barnes voted no.
Cooksey said Friday he thinks buildings are too far gone to restore them.
The plan is to convert Johnston Mill into 90 apartments and Mecklenburg Mill into 60. With the additional money, Fossi said he hopes to start work in early 2013.
The city has spent $6.7 million on the historic buildings since 1990. Previous attempts to renovate the mills had failed.
In 2006, previous owners defaulted on a city loan and filed for bankruptcy. A second developer, NoDa Mills, was chosen a year later to renovate the mills. But in 2010 that group dissolved.
The Community Builders bought the mills for $1.2 million in April 2011, under the condition they would be preserved and used for workforce housing.
Council members could vote on the $2.3 million request Sept. 24.