City OKs long-anticipated plans for redevelopment of former mill in west Charlotte

Interior of the Savona Mill
Interior of the Savona Mill

Long-anticipated plans to transform a former mill in west Charlotte into retail, offices and residences cleared a major hurdle Monday.

City Council unanimously approved a proposal at Monday’s zoning meeting to revamp the Savona Mill off of South Turner Avenue. Developer Argos Real Estate Advisors purchased the 180,000-square-foot, early 20th century textile mill in 2012. Argos filed a petition to rezone the property in 2016.

The development could include up to 290,00 square-feet of commercial and/or office space, including up to 45,000 square-feet of retail, and up to 240 residential units, according to plans filed with the city.

Blue Blaze Brewing opened on the site in 2016. Argos recently told the Observer that the development would also include a culinary incubator kitchen.

The city has worked to encourage investment in the nearby Rozzelles Ferry and Beatties Ford roads corridors through business grant programs. Leaders hope the extension of the Gold Line streetcar through the west side will spur development along its route, as the LYNX Blue Line has in South End and more recently, along the northern extension.

“For folks that are always asking, ‘Well where is the economic development happening on the west side?’ Pay attention to this project,” council member Braxton Winston said at Monday’s meeting.

The project is part of a trend, as developers look to repurpose old mills and factories into restaurants, breweries, office space and more.

In Optimist Park, developer White Point Partners is refurbishing an old pantyhose factory into space for a food hall, restaurants and offices. Off of Statesville Avenue, a New York-based developer is redeveloping a 75-acre site with former factories and warehouses.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.