Transformation of Converse Mill into apartments begins

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A project years in the making is finally back on track. Transforming the old Converse Mill into apartments has just begun. It’s all a redevelopment Spartanburg County leaders told 7 News, fills a housing need while also preserving the past.

A setting that has a lot of memories for the Morris & Hefner sisters.

“Upstairs in that window, it was vibrating and you can tell the mill is going,” said Spartanburg County Resident, Wanda Hefner.

They’ve lived across from the old Converse Mill for most of their lives.

It’s a place that plays a large role in Spartanburg County’s history.

“It formed the basis of the whole mill village there, it was the foundation for the economy of that part of eastern Spartanburg County,” Assistant Director of Local History with Spartanburg County Public Libraries, Brad Steinecke told us.

It’s not only Spartanburg County’s history, but also family history for both Brad Steinecke and two sisters.

“I had some uncles, and my grandfather and grandma worked there,” Hefner said.

After the hum of the Converse Mill stopped though, they along with their father watched the ivy grow and windows shatter.

“My father always wanted to see it fixed but he passed away this year,” Hefner said.

But their father’s wish is coming true. After five years of trying to turn the mill into apartments and a contractor pulling out, developers told 7 News things are back on track.

Spartanburg County leaders said this project will bring needed housing to the eastside of the county while also keeping a part of its history alive.

“All these investments going in, it’s really like having oxygen in a community, then it just spreads. It’s that strong oxygen that will energize the community in a lot of ways folks would have never thought about,” said Spartanburg County Councilman, David Britt.

For the Morris and Hefner sisters, they’re eager for this mill to come back to life.

“We’re glad it’s coming. It has been kind of quiet for a while but it won’t be quiet for long,” Hefner told us.

They already know what they’re personally going to call the finished product, after their father.

“We always come up with a name and call it ‘Franklin’s Loft’,” said Morris.

The new time frame developers are hoping to have the redevelopment done is December of 2022.

The new apartments will include 173 lofts.

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