Developer proposes plan to turn historical mill into affordable housing, domestic violence shelter in Greenville Co.

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – One Greenville based developer has plans in the city’s west side to turn a historical mill into more than just affordable housing for the community.

The Gordon Street Mill sits on the land surrounded by 20th Street, Gordon Street, and North Georgia Street.

Builders with M Peters Group said the plans are to create a campus-style project made up of two pieces.

The first piece would include 116 units of 100-percent affordable housing. Tenants will have to earn less than 60-percent the area median income in order to live there.

Vice-President for M Peters Group, Travis Paul, said tenants will also be able to use vouchers to hit those numbers.

“And then the next part of the campus is we’re going to have a headquarters for Safe Harbor,” said Paul.

Safe Harbor is a local non-profit that serves survivors of domestic violence in Upstate area.

“So if you’re in a situation that you need to get out, they’re going to provide transitory housing,” Paul explained. “There will be 50 beds there. There will be on site admin work, counseling and just general support for it.”

Right now— Director of Development for Safe Harbor, Amanda Manly said the non-profit is operating out of a single family home that’s more than 100 years old. Up until the pandemic hit, the home used to fit 34 people inside.

“We have a lot of issues as you would expect in a building that is that old,” Manly said. “Not to mention that we’re a community living space which is not the most conducive to a healing and nursing environment for clients and the kids that are coming to us for services.”

This new campus would allow for their outreach efforts to expand its capacity by more than 50-percent, and would also serve as a full domestic violence center.

“Our shelter and all of our community services would be in the same building,” Manly explained. “So our shelter clients would have really easy access to all of our supportive services as well.”

Paul said the units will serve as short stay apartments, with most people occupying the shelter beds for less than 30 days.

“This is great transitory housing that will give them their own space,” Paul said. “So they’ll have their own bathroom, their own kitchens, their own beds. Really a nice place for people and their families to go to in a time of need.”

He said M Peters Group used a third party for market research that showed there’s a lot of demand for affordable housing needed in the West Greenville area. He said it made sense to choose the Judson Mill as the location to build on.

“From really preserving the historical mill history of West Greenville at Judson Mill, but also doing a lot to help the community through affordable housing and the safe harbor headquarters,” said Paul.

The project received a unanimous vote from Greenville’s County Council to move forward with the plans during its first reading.

Paul said there will be two more hearings that will go before the County’s Planning and Development Committee. They’re hoping for a re-zoning and final approval around mid-October.

If the County approves and finalizes all plans, Paul said they hope to break ground on the new homes by December.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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