Augusta, GA: With many of the buildings sitting derelict for over ten years following the collapse of a once thriving textile industry, Cape Augusta, LLC has purchased the historic King Mill from the Augusta Canal Authority. The purchase of the former textile mill, located on 22 acres next to the Augusta Canal on Goodrich Street, was completed January 24, 2018.
Development plans call for the neglected complex, once a shining gem in Augusta’s crown, to be restored to its former glory as a mixeduse residential marketrate apartment complex with select supporting retail and hospitality, according to James Ainslie, Cape Augusta’s President and CEO. This purchase further demonstrates Cape Augusta’s commitment to the revitalization of this economically depressed area of Augusta.
“In speaking with potential tenants of our neighboring Sibley Mill Commercial Campus, it’s clear that a highquality product for trendy urban living is vital to unlocking downtown as a destination for major commercial users. We are delighted with our acquisition of this site as it’s ideal for this purpose,” Ainsley said.
Cape Augusta is already developing the adjacent Sibley Mill complex as Augusta Cyberworks, a data center, commercial office space and cyber technology campus. Under terms of the 2016 Sibley lease agreement with the Canal Authority, Cape Augusta was given the right of first refusal to acquire the Canal Authority’s neighboring King Mill property, an option the firm exercised in March 2017.
Canal Authority Executive Director, Dayton Sherrouse, explained “Our hope for both King and Sibley mills is that they could not only be preserved as a part of our city’s industrial history, but also be put back into productive use and once again become economic drivers for ourcommunity. The innovative ideas and energy that the team from Cape Augusta have put forward should do just that.”
The Canal Authority acquired the King Mill in 2001 when Spartan Mills faced receivership and shuttered the plant. The Canal Authority then leased the Mill to another textile manufacturer, Standard Textile of Cincinnati, Ohio who operated a small portion of the facility to process institutional textiles until last year, ceasing operations entirely in October 2017. The Canal Authority resumed operation of the mill’s hydroelectric plant and has retained ownership of the power plant under terms of the sale to Cape Augusta.
Both mills are within the National Register of Historic Places district known as the Augusta Canal and Industrial District. The redevelopment will follow the United States Department of the Interior’s guidelines for rehabilitation of historic structures,” Sherrouse noted.