2008 MFE Awards
Merit: Adaptive Reuse

Submitted by: Crosland Charlotte, N.C., is known as a banking center. But long before its financial pillars, it was a textile town. And one of those first textile mills was Alpha Mill, built in 1888. The building stayed active until 2001 when it ceased operation as home to a textile pattern engraving operation. When it closed, the building had active leaks, structural problems, and dated, mid-20th century additions and modifications.

These issues left Crosland, a locally based developer, with many challenges as it attempted to convert the buildings into 167 units of housing. The redevelopment was worth the effort?the building offered attractive Romanesque touches, elaborate brick ornamentation, and large wood columns hidden by sheetrock. Crosland renovated and revealed all of these design features.

The result is a converted mill with apartments that boast exposed brick, large wooden beams, 12-foot windows, and ceilings as high as 17 feet. The developer also provided a video arcade at the bottom of the old smokestack, an outdoor recreation area with a pool, and two rooftop terraces with unobstructed views of the Charlotte skyline.