Alternative Concepts

The site’s 18.15 acres encompass four historic buildings that date from the founding of the mill. The complex has changed little over the past 100 years and retains its original industrial and campus-like appearance. The buildings provide approximately 188,000 sq ft of uninterrupted interior space and while their recent vacancy has led to deterioration, they provide a historic shell with completely adaptable interiors.  The remainder of the site includes both wooded areas and open space, with a stream running through the western corner.

With gently sloping terrain, it provides the opportunity for creating a dramatic landscape to compliment the historic buildings, yet plenty of acreage to add substantial infill and meet parking requirements.


The Design team took input from the Symposium, community surveys, community meetings, local demographic and economic development studies, mill redevelopment case studies, and site analysis and put forward three alternatives for mixed-use redevelopment:

Arts Community
The arts community is a concept based on an idea of dynamic spaces.  Based on community input and demographic analysis, providing affordable housing and raw studio space with natural light would be a desirable resource in Athens.  One of the community’s strengths is its arts and music scene, and a quality of life that attracts the creative class and retirees.  Suggested uses of building space includes lofts, studio spaces, galleries, film studios, restaurant/bar, and indoor/outdoor music venue.

Multigenerational Development
An analysis of the research developed by Partners for a Prosperous Athens highlighted a need for jobs, affordable housing, and caring for an aging population.  The study emphasized the need for space for dependent care (retirement + health care) and a shortage of health care providers.  An assisted living development that housed the elderly as well as providing live/work units for their caretakers could qualify for subsidized housing tax credits.  Rehabbed buildings could serve as medical space; infill construction could be specialized housing outfitted to elderly needs.  A partnership with the newly relocated and nearby Health Sciences campus could provide mutually beneficial opportunities.  Mixing in convenient commercial uses, such as a grocery store or wellness center, as well as a recreational walking track provides desirable and necessary amenities in one location, not just for on-site residents, but the surrounding neighborhoods and industries, as well.

Light Industrial Incubator
This property was successful as an industrial site in its past life, and could continue to be so in the future, given its location in a transitional industrial-residential-commercial area.  It has direct access to the CSX rail line, is served by the city bus line, and is 0.4 miles from the highway (Loop 10) around Athens.  If the buildings could be stabilized, they could be readied as a raw shell, completely adaptable to the specifics of an interested business, company, or light manufacturing facility.  Depending on the use, light industrial can be mixed with commercial and residential uses to create a dynamic live-work environment.  Local and state tax incentives for manufacturing can be used in combination with tax credits and incentives for addressing blight, rehabilitating historic buildings, creating workforce housing, and providing jobs and childcare.

Student-generated Products

Marketing Flyer PDF  |  Layout by David Tully

Presentation Boards PDF  |  Layout by Hattie Johnson