September 22, 2022

Chronicle Mill apartments in Belmont set for long-awaited opening in October

By Collin Huguley at Charlotte Business Journal

Nearly a decade after developers John and Jennifer Church purchased the Chronicle Mill site in Belmont, residents will soon begin moving into the apartments at that adaptive-reuse project.

John Church spoke at a Gaston Business Association breakfast event this morning and said that the Chronicle Mill project will open in mid-October. The Churches are working with Armada Hoffler Properties (NYSE: AHH) on the revival of the old mill building. The project will include 238 apartments and commercial space, which Church said will land at around 15,000 square feet.

Church said pre-leasing for the apartments began around six weeks ago and the units are now 36% leased. He added that the developers are in talks with a brewery and coffee shop for leases within the project’s commercial space. Chronicle Mill will also include coworking space and two live/work units, he said.

“I’m happy to say that after 10 years of trying to get this thing done that when I now drive down Catawba Street I don’t have to listen to my wife complain about how the property looks like crap,” Church said today. “So it is a nice feeling to get it done.”

The Churches bought the mill and roughly 7-acre site it sits on for $258,000 in 2013. The developers spent years planning and navigating environmental concerns about the site, and were finally preparing to break ground in the second quarter of 2020. Then, the Covid-19 outbreak hit and delayed the project further.

Construction began on Chronicle Mill in the first quarter of 2021.

Armada Hoffler’s Jennifer Harris told the Charlotte Business Journal in April that the developers hoped to complete the apartments by the end of September and allow residents to move in shortly after. At the time, the development costs for Chronicle Mill were “creeping closer” to $55 million, Harris said.

With its construction timeline still intact, the long-awaited idea to revive a key piece of Belmont’s history — and enhance its downtown — is close to reality.

“Initially it was just going to be a land play, but we realized once we bought it that we ought to revitalize it and make it part of downtown,” Church said during his presentation today. “It has been in the history of this community for 100 years and hopefully now for another 100 years as an adaptive-reuse project.”


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